Honda to Lease Fuel Cell Cars to Individuals

January 12, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

Honda Motor Co. Inc. (Tokyo, Japan) announced that it will start leasing its pollution-free fuel cell vehicles on an individual basis in the United States by the end of the year, which would make it the first automaker to do so. At present, Honda and Toyota Motor Corp. are marketing fuel cell vehicles to corporate clients and public entities on a leasing basis both here and in Japan.

Honda's leasing scheme for individuals is expected to focus on California, where drivers have access to a network of hydrogen filling stations. Fuel cells use hydrogen instead of gasoline, but emit no pollutants. Honda said it plans to charge individuals some $500 a month per vehicle, the same as it charges corporate customers.