Honda Becomes First Automaker
to Supply a Fuel Cell Vehicle to a Private Corporation
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. on July 15, 2003, became the world’s first automaker to supply a fuel cell vehicle to a private corporation, delivering a Honda FCX to the Iwatani International Corporation at the Ariake Hydrogen Station in Koto-ku, Tokyo. Japan’s top domestic hydrogen manufacturer, Iwatani International Corporation has head offices in Tokyo and Osaka. Since December 2002, when the first FCX fuel cell vehicles were delivered in same-day ceremonies in Japan and the U.S., Honda has delivered three vehicles in Japan to the Japanese Cabinet Office, the Ministry of the Environment, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; and three vehicles to the City of Los Angeles in the U.S. However, this is the first time that a fuel cell vehicle has been supplied to a private corporation. According to Honda, the delivery of this latest FCX fuel cell vehicle represents an important step forward in the process of information gathering and technological development both for fuel cell vehicles and the hydrogen energy infrastructure that will be necessary for their mass market introduction. The FCX uses Honda’s ultra-capacitor energy storage system to achieve responsive driving performance. Layout of the powertrain’s structural components has also been optimized to attain a spacious interior with room for four adults in a compact body that maintains a high level of collision safety performance in all directions. Honda initially plans a limited market release of approximately 30 vehicles over the first two to three years in Japan and the U.S. combined.