Leeds , United Kingdom (PressExposure) September 30, 2009 -- Can you imagine driving a car which is fuelled by hydrogen and emits nothing but water? It sounds like the ultimate pipedream - a lovely idea, but scientifically impossible.
But itâs not fantasy - engineers really can produce vehicles like this. And not just on the drawing board, either. They are actually being driven around, in real traffic, on real streets, today.
Car giant Honda has a long history of working at the cutting edge of motor vehicle design, along with a passionate commitment to preserving the environment.
It has developed a car known as the FCX Clarity, which is powered by hydrogen - light, odourless and plentiful - and its exhaust residue is nothing more dangerous than pure water.
The car has been years in the making, and is being driven around in limited numbers on the streets of California right now.
Itâs not quite ready for sale, though: there is a lot more work to do before it reaches the car showrooms. The hydrogen stations needed to refill the vehicles when they run low on fuel arenât built yet, the car is expensive to produce and the production of the hydrogen isnât yet carbon neutral.
But Honda and others in the worldwide car industry regard these hurdles as challenges rather than obstacles and are determined to keep the research work going. Their hope is that this sort of car will be used everyday by our children or grandchildren.
Honda has always been keen on trying to break new scientific ground. Back in 1986, it produced a humanoid robot which could function independently in a human environment - the aim was that, as in science fiction, it could help people in their daily lives.
The early prototypes looked like washing machines on legs - they couldnât balance and, as a result, they fell over. But things moved on, and more than 20 years later the robot can run, talk, climb stairs, kick a football and even recognise faces.
The companyâs commitment to the environment is as long standing as its desire to lead scientific innovation. More than 50 years ago, the firmâs founder said: âAfter materials are carried into the factory, nothing but products should be carried out.â
He has been taken at his word - today, Hondaâs UK car plant in Swindon recycles around 96 per cent of all the waste it generates. Incredibly, only six kilograms of waste per car goes to landfill, compared to 71 kilograms in 1994. By next year, the company aims to send no waste at all to landfill, by using innovative techniques such as recycling incineration ash to make cement.
It is this commitment which has led Honda to team up with do-it.org.uk - and the Yorkshire Post to set up a dedicated microsite - to persuade people to help green causes by volunteering to spend some of their time with local charities.
The car giant is making its own contribution by donating Â£5 from every test drive for its new eco-friendly hybrid car, the Insight, to green causes.
If you would like to volunteer and do something for your own local community, then take a look at the Yorkshire Post website now. Go to [http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/custompages/customp..]. for volunteering opportunities in your area. http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk
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