Read his lips: more hydrogen stations, please. That's the crux of the commentary from a Southern California gentleman who's been tooling around in a Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle since 2005.
Jon Spallino, the first "retail customer" to lease the Clarity, tells The Wall Street Journal that he enjoys "everything about the car," including the peppy acceleration from the car's electric powertrain. The added bonus, of course, is the fact that the car's emissions are nothing more than water vapor. He pays $600 a month to lease the car, including the hydrogen refueling costs, and says he can go about 230 miles on a full tank.
The flipside is the paucity in hydrogen refueling stations, which is understandable considering that they cost an estimated couple million dollars a pop to open. It's no accident that Spallino is one of the early hydrogen drivers, though, since there are eight public refueling stations in Southern California (and one in Northern California), more than any other state, according to US Department of Energy records. The only other public station is in South Carolina, so road trips are tough.
Spallino, a resident of Redondo Beach, joins higher-profile folks such as actress Jamie Lee Curtis and former pro hockey player Scott Niedermayer among those who've gotten the opportunity to lease the super-low-volume fuel-cell vehicle. How low? Honda leased out 10 of them last year and just five in 2012. You can read more of Spallino's hydrogen-powered thoughts here.