Honda FCX Clarity

Production Cars 8 Dec 2007
Honda FCX Clarity

The Honda FCX Clarity is a zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle based on the Honda V Flow platform. American Honda is planning to to lease the FCX Clarity to a limited number of consumers in California starting from summer 2008.


Honda FCX ClarityThe FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show on last 14 November 2007, when Honda has announced its plans to begin limited retail marketing of the vehicle in summer 2008.

From the official Press Release:

The Honda FCX Clarity is a next-generation, zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle based on the new Honda V Flow fuel cell platform, and powered by the highly compact, efficient and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack.

Featuring improvements to driving range, power, weight and efficiency and boasting a low-slung, dynamic and sophisticated appearance, the FCX Clarity marks the progress Honda has made in the development of hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars.

Honda FCX Clarity Tetsuo Iwamura, American Honda president and CEO says: “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.”

Market

American 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.

Honda FCX Clarity Honda FCX Clarity

American Honda is also developing a service infrastructure that provides customers with the best balance of convenience and the highest quality of 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.

Technical Features

Honda FCX Clarity - Fuel cell stackThe 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.

Honda V Flow Fuel Cell Platform

Honda FCX Clarity - InteriorThe FCX Clarity’s new V Flow platform packages the ultra-compact, lightweight and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack (65 percent smaller than the previous Honda FC stack) in the vehicle’s center tunnel, between the two front seats.

Taking advantage of a completely new cell configuration, the vertically-oriented stack achieves an output of 100 kilowatts (kW) (versus 86kW in the current Honda FC stack) with a 50 percent increase in output density by volume (67 percent by mass).

Its compact size allows for a more spacious interior and more efficient packaging of other powertrain components, which would otherwise be unattainable in a sleek, low-slung sedan.

The main performance figures are a 68 mpg combined fuel consumption and a range of 270 miles, while compared to the current-generation FCX significant improvements include a 25-percent increase in power-to-weight ratio, a 45-percent reduction in the size of the fuel cell powertrain and an advanced new lithium-ion battery pack that is 40 percent lighter and 50 percent smaller than the current-generation FCX’s ultra-capacitor.

Design

Honda FCX ClarityMore than just a fuel cell vehicle – the FCX Clarity speaks to Honda’s vision of the future of automobile design and performance freed from the constraints of conventional powertrain technologies.

The FCX Clarity’s four-door sedan platform features a short-nose body and spacious cabin with comfortable accommodations for four people and their luggage.

Major powertrain components – including the electric motor, fuel cell stack, battery pack and hydrogen tank – have been made more compact and are distributed throughout the vehicle to further optimize space, comfort and total vehicle performance.

Advanced Materials and Components

The interior features seat upholstery and door linings made from Bio-Fabric – a newly-developed, plant-based material that offers CO2 reductions as an alternative to traditional interior materials, along with outstanding durability and resistance to wear, stretching, and damage from sunlight.

Additional features include a state-of-the-art navigation system with hydrogen station locations, backup camera, premium audio, climate-controlled seats and Bluetooth™ connectivity. 

Among the technical highlights are shift-by-wire, electric power steering (EPS), and a newly-designed instrument panel with an easy-to-read hydrogen fuel-consumption display, further improve its customer appeal and ease of operation.

Honda FCX Clarity - Debut at LA Auto Show Honda FCX Clarity - Debut at LA Auto Show
Above: the Honda FCX Clarity debuts at the Los Angeles Auto Show

(Source: Honda)

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