Nearly every manufacturer at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show made
some kind of statement regarding their intent to reduce reliance on
petroleum-based fuels. After showing various iterations of this concept
over the last several seasons of auto shows, Honda finally revealed its
production FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show,
announcing plans to begin limited retail marketing of the vehicle in
the United States, beginning summer 2008.
The FCX Clarity is a zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle based on the entirely new Honda V Flow fuel cell platform, and powered by Honda's V Flow fuel cell stack. Promising tremendous improvements to driving range, power, weight, and efficiency - and boasting a low-profile dynamic appearance - the FCX Clarity marks Honda's continued progress in advancing the real-world performance and appeal of a hydrogen-powered fuel cell car offering mileage better than 65 mpg for a range of more than 250 miles from its 5,000-psi hydrogen storage tank.
"The FCX Clarity is a shining symbol of the progress we've made with fuel cell vehicles and of our belief in the promise of this technology," said Tetsuo Iwamura, American Honda president and CEO. "Step by step, with continuous effort, commitment and focus, we are working to overcome obstacles to the mass-market potential of zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell automobiles."
Honda plans to lease the FCX Clarity to a limited number of retail
consumers in Southern California with the first deliveries taking place
in summer 2008.
Full details of the lease program will be set closer to launch, but current plans call for a three-year lease term with a price of $600 per month, including maintenance and collision insurance. American Honda also claims to be developing a service infrastructure that will provide customers with the best balance of convenience and service. When the FCX Clarity requires periodic maintenance, customers will simply schedule a visit with their local Honda dealer. American Honda will transport the vehicle to their fuel cell service facility, located in the greater Los Angeles area, where all required work will be performed. At the completion of the work, the customer will pick up their car from the dealer.
How It Works: The FCX Clarity utilizes Honda's V Flow stack in combination with a new compact and efficient lithium ion battery pack and a single hydrogen storage tank to power the vehicle's electric drive motor. The fuel cell stack operates as the vehicle's main power source. Hydrogen combines with atmospheric oxygen in the fuel cell stack, where chemical energy from the reaction is converted into electric power used to propel the vehicle. Additional energy captured through regenerative braking and deceleration is stored in the lithium ion battery pack, and used to supplement power from the fuel cell, when needed. The vehicle's only emission is water.