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California lease of life for Honda's new fuel cell

Date: 16 November 2007   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

Honda will offer a three-year £290 a month lease deal on its new FCX Clarity fuel cell car from next summer - but only in southern California.

Launched at the Los Angeles motor show the FCX will be leased to "limited numbers" of private customers, five years after Honda's initial scheme with earlier fuel cell vehicles.

Rental includes maintenance and insurance for the four-seater family saloon, which has a claimed 270-mile range, up 30% on its predecessor, and 20% superior fuel economy or up to three times an equivalent petrol model.

Honda claims a 120% increase in the power to weight ratio due mainly to an 180kg reduction in fuel cell powertrain weight, despite a significant increase in the car's size. Running gear, mated to lithium-ion batteries, accounts for virtually the same bulk as a petrol-electric hybrid system.