Fuel cell vehicles have been the automotive equivalent of lab rats - closely watched under tightly controlled circumstances.
Now a Southern California family has joined the rat race.
American Honda Motor Co. has leased an FCX fuel cell car to Jon Spallino of Redondo Beach, Calif., for two years. The cost: $500 a month, but that includes all maintenance and insurance on the hand-built car, which is valued at more than $1 million.
Honda wants to collect real-world use data on fuel cells to supplement information from its own fleet and from vehicles loaned to governments. Honda says it will lease fuel cell cars to other consumers over the next year.
The FCX's hydrogen storage tank gives it a range of about 190 miles. Where to refuel? Honda says there are four refueling sites near the Spallino family, including one at Honda's headquarters in Torrance, Calif.