Friday, May 8, 2009

Honda Clarity FCX Concept

Here is a future technology that one day may power automobiles. Presently, Honda, GM, and BMW have hydrogen fuel cell autos in development. Today's post is on the Honda FCX Clarity, which is Honda's entry into the hydrogen fuel cell automobile race. Honda believes it could start mass producing vehicles based on the FCX concept by the year 2018.

The advantage to hydrogen powered vehicles is that they are non polluting, the only product to come out of the tailpipe is water vapor. Hydrogen would be manufactured locally, therefore concerns about the cost and availability price of imported oil are negated. Check out the video!
The vehicle is powered by a .57-litre, 100kW Honda hydrogen fuel cell stack. Electricity is stored in a 288V lithium ion battery. The electric motor has 134 horsepower and powers the front wheels of the vehicle. The Clarity goes from 0-60 mph in 9.2 seconds, which is two seconds slower than the average four cylinder mid size car. The estimated range is 240 miles with a full tank of 4.1 kg compressed hydrogen. The Clarity is also available in one color Star Garnet Metallic.

Currently consumers are not currently allowed to purchase the vehicle. The Clarity is only available for leasing in the Southern California area.....where the hydrogen refueling stations are located. The leases are only available to a select 200 people over the next three years at $600.00 USD per month for 3 years. Fuel and maintenance are included with the lease cost! Here is an Car and Driver interview
with Jim Salomon the third person to lease a Clarity.

My take on this car is that Honda appears to be the most advanced of the manufacturers working on the technology. The Clarity launch is similar to the
Saturn EVI launch back in the 1980's.

This could be the type of car that we are driving in twenty years. The most likely scenario is that a number of different technologies will be available in automobiles. Due to the major improvements in battery technology... the electric car may be the largest automobile technology in twenty years.

The problem with the hydrogen technology is that the hydrogen refueling infrastructure would have to be built to support those vehicles.

For additional information go to the Honda FCX Clarity website!


  1. Hi Pete .. it does look as though HFCs are the way forward .. it'll be interesting to see how many car engineering entrepreneurs the recession finds!

    It'd be interesting to see one and test one ...
    Thanks - Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters

    PS - have a good Mother's Day with the family!

  2. Peter, If you have no place to refuel the car it is not a good investment right now. Down the road maybe it will be, if they get places to refuel them. They sound good but it will take time to get everything ready for them to come out to everyone. Good post.
    Dan and Deanna "Marketing Unscrambled"

  3. Hi Hilary,

    Hydrogen will probably be a power source in the future! It is the most abundant natural resource that we have....also probably the greenest!

    Currently, they have technological obsticles to to overcome! But, think of a world with an abundence of power that is non-polluting!

    I would be interested in leasing one but apparently the list is a mile long!

    Thank you for your comments!

    Pete Baca
    The Car Enthusiast Online

  4. Hi Dan & Deanna,

    Currently, availability of charging stations is a major problem. When they solve the technical problems, I anticipate that gas stations would have a hydrogen pump....just like they have for gasoline and diesel.

    I brought the Clarity up since it is a ground breaking vehicle. It will take twenty years or so to start making hydrogen powered vehicles in large quantities. So, I look forward to a clean and green future!

    Thank you for your super comment!

    Pete Baca
    The Car Enthusiast Online

  5. Hi Pete,

    Does the car in your picture use water based fuel? Amazing. Definitely this is the future to go. I am also amazed by how beautiful the car is in your picture. They could build it more futuristic way, couldn't they?

    Thank you for your sharing.
    Shaw Funami
    Fill the Missing Link

  6. Hello Shaw,

    Thank you for your great question! The Honda Clarity uses pressurized hydrogen! The hydrogen is generated at the refueling centers.

    The water is generated when oxygen is mixed with the hydrogen...which generates the H20.

    I have read about water based fuel! It is a fascinating proposition! There has not been conclusive proof that it works yet. Wouldn't that be an easy solution to the energy crisis!

    You noticed that the styling was evolutionary rather than revolutionary. I am of the opinion Honda was conservative with the styling so the car would be easily accepted!

    Thanks for your comment!

    Pete Baca
    The Car Enthusiast Online

  7. Hi there Peter, I was wondering where the FCX's exhaust sits? and what happens to the water vapor that is released?

  8. Hello Anonymous,

    I checked out the Honda FCX does not outline where the exhaust sits. Based on the drawings it has to be directly out of the V-Flow fuel cell.

    Cars today have the exhaust in the rear to get the carbon monoxide and other fumes away from the passengers. But, with the FCX there are no dangerous fumes..the exhaust can be released close to the fuel cell since it is water vapor and heat. Only if the heat was substantial would they release it in the rear of the car.

    The water vapor will just evaporate into the air! Thank you for your great question!

    Pete Baca
    The Car Enthusiast Online