Under the agreement, City of Los Angeles employees will begin a 'familiarisation programme' with prototype versions of the Honda FCX. The City will take delivery of five models before the end of this year.
The car recently became the world's first fuel cell vehicle certified by two government agencies in the US as a zero emission vehicle.
'This vehicle is now ready for practical use,' said American Honda executive vice-president Tom Elliott. 'Using a fleet of advanced fuel cell vehicles in a real world environment will help us evaluate these vehicles and fuels with our customers. It will also help in the development of a refuelling infrastructure needed to support customers of hydrogen-powered vehicles.'
Honda plans to lease about 30 fuel cell vehicles in California and Japan during the next two-to-three years but it has no plans for the mass market sale of fuel cell vehicles or sales to individuals, it said.
The car uses hydrogen supplied to a fuel cell 'stack' to generate electricity and power its electric motor. Its acceleration, the manufacturer says, is similar to a Honda Civic.