Hydrogen-powered Honda FCX Clarity launched
Honda’s advanced hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle came off the assembly line at the world’s first dedicated fuel cell vehicle manufacturing facility in Japan. After 19 years of development, the arrival of this “real world” fuel cell car is a step forward towards cleaner motoring. While expensive, the car will be available only on lease in the United States and Japan, in limited numbers.
The FCX Clarity – which emits only water from its exhaust pipe – was presented at a line-off ceremony at the Honda Automobile New Model Centre in Tochigi Prefecture, where Honda also showcased a number of the new production processes.
A new dedicated fuel cell vehicle assembly line has been established at the Honda Automobile New Model Center, which includes processes unique to a fuel cell vehicle such as the installation of the fuel cell stack and hydrogen tank. Honda Engineering produces all fuel cell stacks itself, also in Tochigi. In manufacturing fuel cells, exclusively-designed automated equipment was introduced to ensure quality of the highest precision while enabling mass production of cells, with several hundred cells required for each fuel cell stack.
The FCX Clarity was designed from scratch as a dedicated fuel cell vehicle. It is powered by the highly compact, efficient and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack. Boasting a low-slung appearance made possible by the layout of the fuel cell power plant, the FCX Clarity is still a practical four-door vehicle. Lease sales are scheduled to begin in July in the U.S. and this fall in Japan. The combined sales plan for Japan and the U.S. calls for a few dozen units within a year and about 200 units within three years.
Using hydrogen gas to power an electric motor that outputs 134 hp, the Honda FCX Clarity cannot be bought outright. In USA, it will be available to Californian residents in 2008 for a 3-year lease costing US$ 600 (Dhs 2,202) per month. In total the 3-year lease would cost US$ 21,600 (Dhs 79,272) after 36 months, including insurance and servicing costs.