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Scandinavians plan for hydrogen fuel-cell cars

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Honda/Reuters/Handout

(Read caption) A Honda FCX Clarity and Honda's next generation solar hydrogen refueling station prototype are pictured at the Los Angeles Center of Honda R&D Americas, Inc., in Los Angeles in this March 2010 file photo. Honda and other companies have pledged to develop fuel cell vehicles and a hydrogen infrastructure in northern Europe, Ingram writes.

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Nordic countries have consistently proven to be at the forefront of electric car and alternative fuel adoption, and now look set to take the lead with fuel cell vehicles too.

Several northern European countries have signed a memorandum of understanding with Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Hyundai, to work towards the development of fuel cell vehicles and installing a hydrogen infrastructure.

As reported by Wards Auto, companies in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland are committing to a hydrogen-fueling infrastructure between 2014-2017. The Nordic countries join Germany in its promise to expand its hydrogen network.

In addition, the carmakers involved will now have greater confidence that their products will have a market.

The agreement coincides with a Honda announcement that it will produce an all-new fuel-cell electric vehicle, set to be launched in 2015.  The Japanese carmaker is one of very few companies currently running trials with a production fuel cell vehicle, the FCX Clarity.

Ken Kier, executive vice-president of Honda Europe, says "We want to continue to lead the way for fuel-cell technology across the world... [the memorandum] signifies that commitment."

The memorandum of understanding also adds to a previous agreement that set 2015 as a date for market introduction of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles--into markets where a refueling infrastructure was in place.

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All that should mean that fuel cell cars could soon be as popular as their battery electric counterparts in northern Europe.

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