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Japanese automakers hydrogen car drive

Imagine a car that can be refuelled in minutes but emits only water. Sounds like science fiction? In fact it already exists — Hollywood star Jamie Lee Curtis has one. So does Honda president Takanobu Ito. Yet while some see them as the ultimate environmentally-friendly automobiles, the high production cost means that affordable hydrogen-powered fuel-cell cars are still more of a dream than reality.  Manufacturers such as Honda, however, are making a renewed push behind the vehicles, which run on electricity generated by a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, belching out nothing more harmful than water vapour.

"We believe that the fuel-cell electric vehicle will be the ultimate form for automobiles in the future," Ito said at the Tokyo Motor Show which opened Wednesday. "It has advantages such as zero CO2 emissions in use, can travel considerable distances without refuelling and can be quickly refuelled," he said.