Ready For My Hydrogen Car

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This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

I am so ready for my hydrogen car.

Over the weekend, The New York Times automobile section featured a front-page piece on the Honda FCX Clarity. It's a gorgeous car that won rave reviews from The Times. Honda is going to make a finite number of them available under a special lease program in California.

Writer Norman Mayersohn took one for a test drive and said the FCX is ready for production. Imagine an automobile that gets the equivalent of 65 miles to the gallon. You heard right.

Right now, the Honda goes about 270 miles before it needs refueling, and therein lies the problem. The hydrogen infrastructure just doesn't exist yet.

California is efforting a hydrogen highway by 2010 - a system of hydrogen stations every 20 miles or so. Ford and BP just opened a hydrogen station in Florida. But for the most part they are few and far between. The closest one to New York City is Albany.

The tipping point is not so far off. Just think of it - clean air, energy independence.

What are we waiting for?

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.