Honda Motor Co., Japan's second-biggest auto maker, said it will unveil a hydrogen fuel-cell car by 2003, joining Toyota Motor Corp. as one of the first companies to sell vehicles powered by the low-pollution technology.
Honda said it received permission from Japan's transport officials to operate the FCX-V3 prototype fuel-cell car from mid-July on public highways and city streets, after road tests last year in California.
Fuel cells, now used mainly on spacecraft, are battery-like devices that generate electricity by combining hydrogen with oxygen to power a motor in cars and trucks. Under ideal conditions, the reaction produces only water vapor.
Auto makers are competing to develop fuel-cell systems in hopes of making theirs the dominant technology.