American Honda today announced the lease of two Honda FCX fuel cell (FC) vehicles to the city of Las Vegas. The announcement was made in a ceremony held today with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman. The city of Las Vegas will lease the FC vehicles for a period of two years at a cost of $500 per vehicle per month. The vehicles will operate on a regular daily basis as part of their normal fleet operations. The FCX fuel cell vehicles will be refueled at a city-owned and operated hydrogen station. The two Honda FC vehicles are the only fuel cell powered vehicles in service in the state of Nevada, increasing Honda's total number of vehicles operating in the United States to 14.
"We're thrilled to have the city of Las Vegas as a new customer for the Honda FCX," said Dan Bonawitz, vice president of Corporate Planning and Logistics for American Honda. "Whether it is the sunny skies of southern California, the freezing winters of the northeast or the extreme temperatures of the Nevada desert, Honda is committed to expanding its technology and real world experience."
"Innovation is what the city of Las Vegas has demonstrated for years," added Mayor Goodman. "Consistent with that vision is the deployment of these state-of-the-art, pollution-free Honda fuel cell vehicles. With being the first city in Nevada to test these vehicles and building the world's first hydrogen energy station in 2002, we are at the forefront in pursuing innovative technology that will help keep our environment clean."
The Honda FCX is the world's first and only fuel cell vehicle to be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB), and is the only fuel cell vehicle in regular daily operation with multiple customers in the U.S. and Japan. CARB has certified the FCX as a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV). In addition, the Honda FCX is also the only fuel cell vehicle to appear in the 2003 and 2004 EPA Fuel Economy Guide.
With the addition of the city of Las Vegas, Honda has a total of 14 FCX vehicles in regular daily use with six customers in three states, including the only fuel cell vehicle in daily use in a hot desert climate and in the sub-freezing temperatures of the Northeastern U.S. In 2004, the city of San Francisco leased two cars, joining the city of Los Angeles (five vehicles), the South Coast Air Quality Management District (two vehicles), city of Chula Vista (one vehicle) and the State of New York (two vehicles) as FCX customers. Additionally, the city of Los Angeles celebrated its two year anniversary as Honda's first ever fuel cell customer in the United States on December 2, 2004.
Honda undertook fuel cell research in 1989 and has been road testing vehicles in the United States since 1999. Honda has also been a member of the California Fuel Cell Partnership based in Sacramento, Calif., since 1999.
Honda also leads the automobile industry in the development of cleaner and more efficient gasoline-powered vehicles, including gas-electric hybrid technology. This includes the introduction of America's first hybrid vehicle, the Honda Insight, in December 1999, and the first truly mainstream hybrid vehicle, the Civic Hybrid, in March 2002. This December, Honda placed its Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid technology in its best-selling vehicle, the Accord, boasting V-6 performance with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder, compact class Civic.
Honda Fuel Cell Technology Milestones