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Honda Says it Aims to Slash Price of Fuel Cell Cars

June 28, 2005

TOKYO — Honda Motor Co. aims to cut the cost of hydrogen-powered fuel-cell cars to a hundredth of the present level to make them competitive with conventional cars, according to Reuters.Yozo Kami, chief engineer in Honda’s research and development operation, told Reuters its fuel cell cars cost about 100 times that of typical gasoline models to manufacture, and it needs to slash that by a tenth to the level of high-end cars and, eventually, to a hundredth to make it more competitive against conventional alternatives. Kami predicts fuel cell cars could have a market share of 5 percent by 2020.Mass production of hydrogen vehicles came closer to reality on June 17 when the Japanese government approved certification of fuel cell cars made by Honda and Toyota Motor Corp. Honda, which started limited marketing of fuel-cell vehicles in 2002, is now leasing 19 such cars to government bodies and some firms in Japan and the United States. It will expand the leases to individuals in the United States by the year-end. Toyota leases 16 hydrogen vehicles in Japan and the United States, charging more than 1 million yen ($9,175) a month.
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