The first thing you notice when you drive a fuel cell vehicle like Honda's FCX Clarity is how much it seems like a conventional automobile. In our drive in the futuristic vehicle, we were struck by the smoothness of the shift-free powertrain, and we noted that the rumble of a conventional engine was replaced by a low but discernible whine from the electric motor and the air pump that supplies oxygen to the fuel cell. According to Ben Knight, vice president of Honda R&D Americas, the two key factors limiting the spread of fuel cell vehicles are the lack of hydrogen infrastructure and the cost of the components.
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