16 Jun 2008

When Hydrogen Equals C02

Honda makes first hydrogen cars

The FCX Clarity emits none of the gases responsible for global warming

The Japanese car manufacturer Honda has begun the first ever commercial production of a hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicle.

The medium-sized four-seater, called the FCX Clarity, runs on hydrogen and electricity, emitting only water vapour.

Honda claims the vehicle offers three times better fuel efficiency than a traditional, gasoline-powered car.

As someone who totally supports the use of cleaner energy, regardless of global warming debates, this is good news. However the thorn in the rose, and what is not widely understood, is that hydrogen does not occur on earth in gas form. It can only be manufactured by using energy, and a lot of it at that. The cheapest and best way to crack hydrogen from water would be by using nuclear power, otherwise it would have to be done by fossil fuels, making the net saving in carbon emissions very minimal.

Once more, like so many "green products" this turns out to be a PR gimmick more than something we shall all be driving in 5 years, or perhapos even 50.

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