On June 21, 2016 Honda applied with to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the terms "Hydronaut" and "Hydrogenaut." Assuming success, both terms were to be applied to an endeavor "Providing technological and scientific information about fuel cell vehicles; Providing a website featuring technological and scientific information about fuel cell vehicles." After being published for opposition, both applications were left to die, their abandonment dates listed as January 20, 2020. CarBuzz discovered that two days later, January 22, Honda re-applied with the U.S. PTO to trademark the same two terms for the same service. It's possible the Japanese automaker will sit on them again, to no apparent purpose. Nevertheless, someone inside the company has the aim of one day spreading the hydrogen gospel.
The alternative fuel could certainly use converts. Mercedes-Benz and BMW have trotted out the occasional fuel-cell electric vehicle over the past decade or so, but the Japanese and South Korean automakers have been especially vocal about getting FCEVs mainstream. Toyota copied the Prius playbook for the Mirai, sinking noteworthy sums of money into an ungainly first generation to get early-adopter butts in seats, then rolling out a svelte second generation gunning for mainstream appeal. We saw how that turned out with the Prius. The problem with the much more handsome Mirai is that even in California, only fringe greenies are lured by the siren song of hydrogen at the moment. Until the infrastructure expands enough to achieve regular contact with the average driver, and permit travel outside of narrow corridors, that situation won't change quickly.