The IRS announced in July that the hydrogen-powered Honda FCX fuel cell vehicle became eligible for the Qualified Fuel Cell Motor Vehicle Credit program. The credit is part of the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005, which seeks to promote affordable, dependable and environmentally-sound production and distribution of energy for America's future.
Propelled by electricity that is generated by a hydrogen fuel cell in conjunction with an advanced Honda-designed ultracapacitor, the FCX fuel cell vehicle's only emission is water vapor.
"This tax credit helps offset the higher costs associated with the early development of advanced technology vehicles that reduce CO2 emissions and dependence on oil. It is a further validation that the FCX is a real vehicle and another step towards market viability" said Stephen Ellis, Fuel Cell Vehicle Marketing Manager at American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
In public use since 2002, the FCX is part of a long line of Honda vehicles developed to reduce the impact of transportation on the environment. The FCX is powered by Honda's originally developed fuel cell stack (Honda FC Stack) with the breakthrough capability to start and operate in freezing temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celsius, along with increased performance, range and fuel efficiency compared with earlier models.
The FCX is the only fuel cell vehicle certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and U.S. EPA. The CARB and EPA have also certified the FCX as a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) and the EPA has confirmed a range of 210 miles. With seating for four people, the FCX is practical for a wide range of real-world applications, allowing placement of over 15 vehicles on the road in the hands of customers, including the cities of Los Angeles; San Francisco; Las Vegas; Chula Vista, California; the California South Coast Air Quality Management District and the state of New York.
In 2005, Honda was the first to lease a fuel cell vehicle to an individual customer with a second customer added in 2007. Additionally, the Honda FCX is the only fuel cell vehicle fully certified to meet the applicable federal government crash safety standards. 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 since 1999.