Honda's working on a website to educate the public about hydrogen cars.
Battery-electric vehicle ownership isn't for everybody. As comfortable, livable, and "normal" as the modern BEV is, driving one day-to-day requires easy access to charging equipment, and the average BEV's severely limited range and relatively long refueling times present sizable inconveniences.
Yet despite the potential advantages of rival technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells, zero-emissions vehicles powered by lithium-ion dominate the headlines, and consumer knowledge about hydrogen cars is comparatively slim. Honda appears to be gearing up to tackle that issue head-on, as we've turned up evidence that Honda is planning to launch an informational website chock full of fuel cell vehicle info.
Last week, Honda filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office to secure trademarks on "Hydronaut" and "Hydrogenaut", with both filings describing "a website featuring technological and scientific information about fuel cell vehicles."
It's common for businesses to file for a couple of closely related or similar-sounding trademarks at the same time, covering their bases ahead of any final decision about naming and preventing would-be vultures from scooping up similar-sounding trademarks.
We can't predict the future, but we imagine that Honda's fuel cell education efforts could end up resembling those of Electrify America - the brand-agnostic Volkswagen subsidiary formed out of VW's settlement in the US dieselgate case, which has launched a couple of informational EV campaigns. Granted, we wouldn't expect Honda's Hydronaut site to maintain the same brand agnosticism.
Honda has put more stock in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles than most major automakers, although so far, those efforts have culminated in just a single vehicle in the US market: the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, available only in California. What's more, where the Clarity nameplate was originally reserved exclusively for a fuel cell vehicle, the Japanese car manufacturer has spread its bets, tacking the Clarity name onto a plug-in hybrid and a battery-electric, as well.
Moreover, an all-new Toyota Mirai will also expand the breadth of appealing and good looking hydrogen fuel cell vehicles when it launches this year.
But a lot of Honda's hesitance can likely be chalked up to uncertainty with how ready the US market is to accept fuel cell vehicles as a viable alternative, and given how volatile their fuel-of-choice is, that's perhaps understandable. Remember the Hindenburg? A new informational site aimed at dispelling common misconceptions and educating the public on the potential upsides could liberate Honda to lean more fully into fuel cell propulsion.