Transportation & Fuel Source Technology
Honda Reveals 'FCX Clarity' Advanced Fuel Cell Vehicle
Honda today unveiled the new "FCX Clarity"
advanced fuel cell vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and announced plans
to begin limited retail marketing of the production vehicle in summer 2008.
The FCX Clarity is a next-generation, zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered
fuel cell vehicle based on the entirely-new Honda V Flow fuel cell platform,
and powered by the highly compact, efficient and powerful Honda V Flow fuel
cell stack. Featuring significant improvements to driving range, power, weight
and efficiency - and boasting a low-slung, dynamic and sophisticated
appearance, previously unachievable in a fuel cell vehicle - the FCX Clarity
marks the progress Honda continues to make in advancing real-world performance
and consumer appeal of a hydrogen-powered fuel cell car.
"The FCX Clarity highlights the progress Honda is making with fuel cell
vehicles and underscores our belief in the promise of this technology," said
Jim Miller, executive vice president of Honda Canada Inc. "With continuous
effort, commitment and focus, Honda is working step by step to overcome
obstacles to the mass-market potential of zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell
The FCX Clarity will be leased to a limited number of retail consumers in
Southern California with the first deliveries taking place in summer 2008.
Current plans call for a three-year lease term with a price of about $600 per
month, including maintenance and collision insurance.
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. 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.
A revolutionary new V Flow platform packages the ultra-compact,
lightweight and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack (65 per cent 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 per cent increase in output
density by volume (67 per cent by mass).
The Honda FCX Clarity
boasts numerous other significant advances in the
performance and packaging of fuel cell technology, compared to the
current-generation FCX fuel cell car. These include:
- a 20 per cent increase in fuel economy - to the approximate
equivalent of about 68 mpg (3.4 L/100 km) combined fuel economy
(about 2 to 3 times the fuel economy of a gasoline-powered car of
comparable size and performance, and about 1.5 times that of a
gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle of comparable size and performance);
- a 30 per cent increase in vehicle range - to 435 kilometers
- a 25 per cent improvement in power-to-weight ratio, in part from an
approximate 180-kilogram (400 lb.) reduction in the fuel cell
powertrain weight, for superior performance and efficiency despite a
substantial increase in overall vehicle size;
- a 45 per cent reduction in the size of the fuel cell powertrain -
nearly equivalent, in terms of volume, to a modern gas-electric
- an advanced new lithium-ion battery pack that is 40 per cent lighter
and 50 per cent smaller than the current-generation FCX's ultra-
- 10 per cent more capacity than the previous model with a 5,000-psi
More than just a fuel cell vehicle, the FCX Clarity highlights Honda's
vision 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.
Designed to appeal to forward-thinking customers seeking the ultimate in
zero-emissions and alternative-fuel vehicle performance, the FCX Clarity is
also equipped with a full complement of advanced safety, comfort and
convenience features, including a state-of-the-art navigation system with
hydrogen station locations, backup camera, premium audio, climate-controlled
seats, Bluetooth connectivity, and a newly designed instrument panel with
an easy-to-read hydrogen fuel-consumption display.
The FCX Clarity's only emission is water. Carbon Dioxide (CO(2))
emissions come only from the production of hydrogen, which varies by source.
With the production of hydrogen from water by electrolysis, CO(2) emissions
can be further reduced and ultimately approach zero if the electricity used
for electrolysis is generated using solar, wind, water or nuclear power.
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