Southern California to Host Automaker Tests of Fuel Cell and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles
--- Honda, Ford and General Motors all announced plans at the Los Angeles Auto Show to test cutting-edge alternative-fuel vehicles on California roads in coming months. Honda and GM's Chevrolet are each building hydrogen fuel cell cars for limited testing. Meanwhile, Ford will test a plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Los Angeles Times reported. Honda's zero-emission FCX Clarity is a production version of a hydrogen fuel cell car that the automaker first exhibited two years ago. Next summer, Honda will lease the four-door sedans to a limited number of people in Irvine, Santa Monica and Torrance. The three-year lease will be $600 a month, Honda executives told the Times. The cars will be able to go 270 miles between fill-ups.GM said it will distribute 100 hydrogen fuel cell-powered Chevrolet Equinox crossovers over the next six months. Ten will be lent to Walt Disney Co. Like Honda, GM will use the test to gather valuable research about the vehicle's use. Both GM and Honda are basing their tests in southern California because the region already has hydrogen fuel stations. Ford is lending 20 plug-in hybrid Escapes to Southern California Edison. The utility company will use them as fleet vehicles.