Honda's new fuel cell car hits the streets

Honda's new FCX Clarity, a hydrogen fuel cell-powered car, is rolling off assembly lines in Japan, and on its way to celebrity customers in Hollywood, according to this Associated Press story.

Set aside for the moment the argument about whether hydrogen fuel cells will ever prove to be a viable alternative to hydrocarbon fuels, much less the "silver bullet" that ultimately slays high gasoline prices. What affect will the FCX Clarity have on urbanism if it goes into mass production?

A zero-emissions vehicle is great news because it eliminates carbon emissions from driving. Yet I worry it will also eliminate the dawning realization among Americans that sprawl is a dead-end lifestyle. We as a people have shown remarkable capacities for both clarity of thought and responding to calls for action ... and remarkable whiny selfishness when it comes to thinking outside ourselves. Is it possible this car's debut will call to both our better and baser instincts?

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