The famously smog-choked city of Los Angeles will be home to the first zero-emission fuel-cell cars in the U.S., according to an announcement made yesterday by Mayor James Hahn (D). By the end of 2002, Honda Motor Company will lease five FCX hydrogen-powered cars to L.A., which will loan them to city employees for commuting. The car seats four people, has a range of 220 miles, and has been certified by the California Air Resources Board and the U.S. EPA as a zero-emission vehicle. Most major car companies have similar cars in the works; Toyota and DaimlerChrysler plan to have fuel-cell cars available for sale or for test-driving within the next year. The hitch is the hydrogen: Los Angeles hasn’t quite figured out how to maintain a steady supply for its fleet, and experts say it’ll take at least a decade to roll out a nationwide retail hydrogen-fuel infrastructure.
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