Japanese car maker Honda has begun limited mass production of a hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle.
The Honda FCX Clarity will be the world's first commercially available hydrogen fuel cell car.
However, the company plans to deliver only 200 of the vehicles during the next three years.
A few dozen will be made available in the US and Japan during the next 12 months, but there are no plans yet announced to offer the cars in other countries.
The vehicles are being leased to customers at a cost of $600 per month through three dealers in California. Honda has not said when it plans to begin full mass production.
"This is an important day in the history of fuel cell vehicle technology and a monumental step closer to the day when fuel cell cars will be part of the mainstream," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda.
The cars are fuelled with hydrogen gas which is compressed for storage inside the fuel cell. Honda has developed technology for producing hydrogen from natural gas, to enable owners to fuel their own vehicles.
The fuel cells charge batteries to drive an electric motor. Fully-fuelled, the car has a maximum range of 280 miles, according to Honda.
Lifetime leasing costs for the vehicles are apparently well below Honda's current manufacturing costs, according to earlier statements by the company.
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