Labelling its first hydrogen fuel cell car – the first such car made available to members of the public, no less – ‘Clarity’ in 2008 ranks among Honda’s bolder recent decisions.
Doubtless, it was plucked from the marketing ether to echo the remarkable truth of the clear, semi-clean water trickling from the model’s tailpipe; because the alternative intimation is surely a reference to the brand’s strategic foresight, and its steely eyed dedication to a zero-emissions path that leads inexorably to the moral and technological high ground.
There’s no small irony in option B. Despite others joining Honda on the fuel cell bandwagon, almost a decade of progress has not resulted in much more clarity than we encountered the first time around.
As before, infrastructure – the method of conveniently refuelling a car that runs on the stuff – remains a thorny issue simultaneously pricked by a lack of willpower, interest and investment.
In London, one of the biggest, richest and most populous cities in the world, there is now a grand total of five places to pump compressed gaseous hydrogen into a fuel tank. That plainly isn’t enough.