At the Los Angeles car show last week, many car companies were showing concept cars that promised cleaner energy. There were numerous hybrids, electrics, and fuel cell cars on display. Many of them were only concepts with no real plan for mass production. And most of the car companies discussed technologies that seemed too behind the times, or too unrealistic to make it to market.
Honda was the one company that stood out from an innovation perspective. They introduced their hydrogen fuel cell prototype. The car, which was said to be released to a select few people in 2009 for testing, was the ultimate “clean” automobile. It was sold with an at home hydrogen fueling station that really stood out to me.
The fueling station was a simple unit, small enough that one person could carry it themselves. All you need to do is fill it with water and fill your car before you drive. In addition, the extra energy created could be used to power a part of your house. In total, Honda claimed that this would cut down your entire energy costs by about 50%. Genius!
While all the politicians and other car companies dispute the reality of hydrogen on the basis of the lack of a large infrastructure, Honda creates the infrastructure along with the car. They predict that if everything goes well, the cars will be mass produced by 2011. And the only thing they give off is water vapor, now that’s innovation we can all get excited about.
Now its up to you, the consumers, to change the way you think about cars. Things will only get better when we reward the companies that create change. Honda is creating change right before our very eyes. Let’s create a market for them.