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Honda claims title for offering first FCEVs in US

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Although Hyundai announced that its 2015 Tucson SUV would “become the first hydrogen-powered car to be available for lease to consumers,” it was recently pointed out by a representative from Honda that they began leasing their first generation fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), the Honda FCX, in 2002, and granted a lease for their “revolutionary FCX, an advanced hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle, to the world's first individual customers, Jon and Sandy Spallino of Redondo Beach, California back in 2005.” At the time, Honda reported “the Spallinos had signed an agreement to lease a 2005 Honda FCX for a period of two years,’ and were expected to use the car for “normal use, including commuting to work to Orange County, trips to school for their children, shopping and household errands.”

The FCX was followed by the FCX Clarity in 2008,which was declared the “2009 World Green Car.” Since then, Honda has delivered these vehicles to individual retail consumers as well as government fleets in the United States. They have also made significant technological advancements in fuel-cell operation in both hot and sub-freezing weather, meeting stringent emissions requirements and safety regulations since the introduction of its first generation fuel-cell vehicle over the past 12 years.

In the meantime, Toyota plans to put its own version a "concept" model, the FCV into mass production next year, beginning with Japan, then the US in 2016. Most of these vehicles, including the Hyundai Tucson, are expected to be marketed in California, where the state’s lawmakers have allocated $100 million to construct additional hydrogen fueling stations to accommodate them.

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