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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 passenger vehicles."

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 (270 miles);
  • 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 hybrid powertrain;
  • 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- capacitor; and
  • 10 per cent more capacity than the previous model with a 5,000-psi tank.
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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