Everyone knows that hybrid cars and electric vehicles are the way forward in terms of cutting down carbon dioxide emissions caused by transport. But ask someone how eco-friendly a hydrogen car is and people aren’t quite so sure.
Perhaps this is just down to a lack of general knowledge, or that we’ve been told so much about hybrids and electric vehicles in comparison. But, of course, hydrogen fuelled cars only emit water vapour from the exhaust pipe, so yes, they are environmentally friendly.
In fact, hydrogen has been billed as the fuel of the future that all cars will eventually use.
The first production hydrogen fuel cell car was produced by Honda. It’s the FCX Clarity and the Japanese automaker made a limited number of them and leases them (rather than selling them) to selected clientele in areas like California.
One of Honda’s first FCX Clarity customers was actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who started driving her hydrogen-fuelled car in 2008. And having a celebrity behind the wheel helps get people talking about something new and unknown like hydrogen powered cars, and gradually the information becomes more widely known. The same thing happened with hybrids – when celebrities like Tom Hanks, Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt started driving them, the information about their environmental friendly benefits filtered down to the masses more easily.
California – home to a state wide hydrogen fuelling network – is rather ahead of the game in terms of the hydrogen and hybrid revolution. In the UK as a comparison, there’s only one commercial hydrogen filling station – and that’s at the Honda plant in Swindon.
So, when looking for one of the new eco cars in the UK, it’s unsurprising that most people will turn their attention to a hybrid or an EV – there is no hydrogen option for the moment. But hydrogen’s time will come – it’s a question of when rather than if.