DETROIT – Honda Motor Co. has announced that it plans to be the first automaker to lease a vehicle powered by a fuel cell to a consumer in the United States. The announcement was made at the 2005 North American International Auto Show.

Honda's CEO, Takeo Fukui, said the company wanted to lease a 2005 FCX in order to demonstrate how far the technology has progressed.

In the U.S., Japan and Europe, about 200,000 hybrids are being driven. There were about 17 million new gasoline-powered cars produced in the U.S. last year. Worldwide, there were about 50 million cars manufactured.