American Honda announced on November 16 the lease of two 2005 Honda FCX fuel cell vehicles to the state of New York, the first state customer for Honda fuel cell technology and the first customer for a fuel cell vehicle in the Northeastern U.S.The 2005 FCX is powered by Honda's originally developed fuel cell stack (Honda FC Stack) with the breakthrough ability to start and operate in sub-freezing temperatures, making it possible to place the car in New York state for year-round operation. The announcement was made in ceremonies held in the state capitol of Albany with New York Governor George Pataki and American Honda president Koichi Kondo.The State will lease two hydrogen-powered 2005 FCX fuel cell vehicles for a period of two years with delivery of the first vehicle scheduled to take place in December, followed by the second vehicle in mid-2005. In addition to its sub freezing operation qualities, the 2005 FCX has increased range and performance and a 50-percent reduction in the number of component parts. With the adoption of a new structure featuring stamped metal separators, the Honda FC Stack contains only half the components of earlier prototype units while delivering an almost 20-percent increase in range and fuel efficiency and a 33-percent increase in peak power output. Use of newly developed aromatic electrolyte membranes greatly improves durability and allows for power generation at temperatures ranging from -4 degrees F to +203 degrees F. The Honda FCX converts compressed gaseous hydrogen into electricity for motive power with water as its only emission. The 2005 FCX has a range of up to 190 miles and seating for four people, making it practical for a wide range of real-world applications. The Honda FCX is the only fuel cell car to be certified by both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) for regular daily use. The State of New York is the fifth U.S. customer for the FCX and the first state FCX customer. With the addition of the two New York vehicles, Honda will have 12 fuel cell vehicles in regular daily use with customers in California and New York. The City of Los Angeles became Honda's first fuel cell customer in December 2002 with the lease of five FCX hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars. In March 2004, the City of San Francisco took delivery of two vehicles followed by the delivery of two vehicles to California's South Coast Air Quality Management District in August and one vehicle to the City of Chula Vista on November 10.