Honda readies sleek hydrogen car for sale next year

With the new FCX, Honda will take the next step in taking hydrogen powered cars beyond the laboratory.

Honda FCX
Honda FCX
The FCX is actually fun to drive. On a driving course set up at Robert F. Kennedy stadium the cars could be driven at typical highway speeds.

The FCX's electric motor produces up to 127 horsepower. The FCX takes off quickly from a standing start.

That's because it's powered by an electric motor. Electric motors naturally generate a lot of torque, or wheel-turning power, at low speeds.

It's when coming out of a turn at about 40 miles per hour and accelerating up to 70 that the downside of an electric motor begins to show. (Think about coming up a looping entrance ramp and trying to merge into a fast-flowing highway.) With the pedal mashed all the way to the carpet, the FCX felt like it was struggling.

This is why hybrid gas-electric cars rely on their gasoline engines at higher speeds.

At idle, the FCX is totally silent. Driving around, the only sounds are of the tires rolling across the pavement and occasional whirring, like a jet taxiing on a runway, from the spinning electric motor.


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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.