Hydrogen cars have always been on the margins, but the continuous work put into them is shown with the introduction of the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Sedan.
What Is It?
Hydrogen fuel cell cars are nothing new to Honda; its stubby FCX was introduced in 2002 and worked to make inroads with municipalities (San Francisco, for instance, leased two of them back in 2004).
Now that Toyota has begun deliveries with its Mirai fuel cell sedan, it’s time for Honda to answer with its similarly-sized Clarity, which will start landing in the driveways in certain areas of California near the end of 2016.
What Honda Says:
John Mendel, executive vice president, American Honda Motor Co., Inc:
“Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are a zero emissions technology that Honda believes in, and has worked to advance for more than 20 years.
“Vehicles like the Clarity Fuel Cell are potential game changers because they offer an uncompromising, zero emissions customer experience, with utility, range and refueling times on par with today’s gasoline-powered cars.”
What’s New In the Clarity Fuel Cell:
- Projected driving range of 300 miles
- Projected refueling time of three minutes at a pressure of 70 MPa (refueling stations typically accommodate MPas oof both 35 and 70)
- The Clarity’s platform will provide the basis for a next-generation plug-in hybrid electric vehicle to be introduced by 2018, which Honda says will have triple the current Accord Plug-In Hybrid’s all-electric range of 13 miles
- Fuel stack is 33% more compact with a 60% increase in power density, compared to the previous FCX Clarity
- Smaller fuel cell is about the size of a V6 engine and fits entirely under the hood
When Does It Go On Sale?
The Clarity Fuel Cell will first be marketed in late 2016 to Los Angeles and Orange County, as well as the Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. The markets will expand as the hydrogen infrastructure grows outside these areas.