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From: riposte6/27/2005 4:41:27 PM
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Automakers Aim for Massive Fuel-Cell Car Price Cut by 2010

Date Posted 06-24-2005

TOKYO — Honda Motor Co. is striving to cut the cost of hydrogen fuel-cell-powered cars to a hundredth of the present level to make them competitive with conventional cars, according to a report by Reuters news service.

A Honda spokesman said 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.

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. The automaker announced at the Detroit auto show in January that by year end it would expand fuel-cell car leases to individuals in the U.S. Toyota already leases 16 hydrogen vehicles in Japan and the United States.

A Toyota spokesman told Reuters on Friday the introduction of the environmentally friendly cars to the mass market is unlikely until 2010 at the earliest due to high costs and the need to improve fuel-cell storing technology to allow long travel.

The Financial Times reported earlier this month that Toyota aims to cut the cost of fuel-cell cars to $50,000 from more than $1 million by 2015. General Motors aims to have a production-ready hydrogen vehicle by 2010 with a fuel cell that costs $5,000, it said.
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