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Tuesday, February 05, 2008
2009 Honda FCX Clarity
Image: courtesy of Honda Motor Co. (www.honda.com)

Honda's Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

Honda Motor Company surprised everyone at the end of last year by launching the FCX Clarity Advanced Fuel Cell Vehicle at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show. The launch had been anticipated because the Honda FCX Concept (the Clarity's development vehicle name) had been undergoing final testing in Europe, and it looked like a production vehicle already. This is an industry first and Honda has chosen to introduce their first fuel cell car as a 4 door sedan with a spacious interior.

The FCX Clarity uses Honda's V-Flow fuel cell stack, which is stored compactly in the central console and produces 100 Kw of peak power to drive the Honda manufactured AC synchronous electric propulsion motor. There is regenerative braking to generate electricity when slowing down, and this is stored in an onboard 288 volt lithium ion power pack for both propulsion and peak load balancing of the fuel cell energy delivery process.

The Honda FCX Clarity is not a hybrid, but a 100% fuel cell vehicle and produces just water as the exhaust. Its fuel source is compressed hydrogen, with the onboard tank located behind the passengers. The Honda V-Flow fuel cell stack is able to function in up to -30 C temperatures which is also a remarkable achievement. Honda has been able to lower the riding height of the vehicle to conventional standards, by designing the fuel cell powertrain to fit in the transmission tunnel. The FCX Clarity has a range of 270 miles (432 km).

Honda is offering the FCX Clarity as a lease package 600 dollars per month in the greater Los Angeles area, and this price includes all maintenance and collision insurance, which is an excellent price for the opportunity to drive one of the most technically advanced vehicles on the planet as a daily experience.

Honda is totally behind fuel cell technology and Tetsuo Iwamura, American Honda president and CEO, said "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."

The engineers at Honda have taken fuel cell technology further and faster than any other manufacturer and their efforts are a very important step towards zero emissions transportation for everyone.

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