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Hydrogen cars from Honda, GM and BMW

Hydrogen cars are on their way. Hydrogen as a motor fuel is the answer to many environmental problems since there are no harmful emissions, no depleting of resources, no danger to the atmosphere, and it can be produced from a variety of renewable resources.

General Motors (GM) is showing off their new "Sequel", a minivan that runs on hydrogen. I saw a news story this morning and the van is a small suv/station wagon model that was reported to deliver high quality driving experience. GM says the vehicle can go for up to 300 miles on a full tank and is a generation ahead of its previous work on fuel cell prototypes. The technologies embodied in the Sequel include fuel cells, by-wire and wheel hub motors. "Today, with Sequel, the vision is real – not yet affordable, but doable," says a GM spokesman.

Honda, American Honda's FCX hydrogen car is on the road with a fleet of 20 test cars on the road in California. Honda is the only automotive manufacturer to certify its fuel cell vehicle for regular daily use and the first to offer its technology to an individual customer. The Los Angeles area, will be among the first individuals to begin utilizing the first of California’s Hydrogen Highway refueling stations, a statewide infrastructure build out underway to offer hydrogen refueling station access to private individuals. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the state’s commitment to a Hydrogen Highway in April of this year, creating a public and private partnership to build California’s Hydrogen Highway by 2010.

BMW announced in September, 2006 that they will be rolling our a hydrogen car, the "7 Series" in 2007. They claim: it will run on water, emit water vapor at the tailpipe, can be filled automatically with robots and it will use hydrogen made from sunlight. The BMW solution is a clean energy system where liquid hydrogen is produced from water using solar power, the hydrogen is dispensed from automated filling stations and it powers modified BMW production vehicles.

On a slightly different front: Natural-gas cars

In 2005, Honda announced it had begun limited retail sales of its natural gas-powered Civic GX Sedan paired with a a new home-refueling appliance called Phill. The Civic GX is the cleanest internal combustion vehicle ever certified by the U.S. EPA and, with the introduction of home refueling, has the lowest fuel cost per mile of any new vehicle. The California Air Resources Board gave the GX an AT-PREV emissions rating.