The new Toyota Prius-fighter from Honda is already visible on the horizon. It's the Honda Insight (LINK) and it will be available in 2009. It looks a lot like a Prius and is supposed to be a little less expensive. I want one. But further out in the future is a much bigger innovation, the Honda FCX Clarity, a fuel cell powered car that's actually on the road today--if you live in the L.A. / San Diego area and were selected to have the right to lease one.
Here's a video of James May of TopGear driving this new Honda. Unfortunately, he doesn't really explain why the Clarity is so much more ground breaking than the battery powered electric Tesla. He keeps pulling up the strawman of cheap, little electric cars that take forever to charge and go hardly any distance before running out of juice. He only suggests but never clearly explains why the Clarity is the car of the future instead of the Tesla. What he suggests is that it's because the Clarity is more like the car of today. Instead of having to charge it up for several hours (minimum 3.5 according to Tesla), you can fill the Clarity with hydrogen in just a few minutes.
via Jalopnik (LINK)
Will we ever see hydrogen filling stations proliferate like gasoline filling stations? Or will we instead see fast electric charging stations or even stations for hot swappable, pre-charged batteries?