Honda FCX Clarity
|Honda FCX Clarity|
|Also called||Honda Clarity|
|Assembly||Takanezawa, Japan |
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Engine||fuel cell Electric motor|
|Transmission||Single Speed, Direct Drive|
|Wheelbase||110.2 in (2,799 mm)|
|Length||190.3 in (4,834 mm)|
|Width||72.7 in (1,847 mm)|
|Height||57.8 in (1,468 mm)|
|Curb weight||3,528 lb (1,600 kg)|
The Honda FCX Clarity is a hydrogen fuel cell automobile manufactured by Honda. The design is based on the 2006 Honda FCX Concept. The FCX Clarity demonstrates electric car qualities such as zero emissions while offering 5 minute refueling times and long range in a full function large sedan. It first went on sale as a 2008 model year vehicle.
Since the vehicle's unveiling in November 2007, there were nearly 80,000 people around the world who expressed interest, according to Honda. Production was reported to begin in June 2008. The first five customers of the fuel cell vehicle were announced on June 19, 2008, and delivery of the first vehicle in the United States around July. It was introduced in Japan in November 2008. One of the first FCX Clarity customers was a return customer of a first-generation Honda FCX who has leased that vehicle since 2005. According to Honda, he previously was the first retail customer of a hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle in the world. Current lessees may be offered a renewal when the current leases expire, though the renewal period is not yet decided. In July 2014 Honda announced the end of production of the FCX Clarity for the 2015 model.
There were reports that previous generation fuel-cell cars from Honda cost more than $1 million to build in 2005. Some estimated that Honda had cut its production costs to between $120,000 and $140,000 per vehicle.
The FCX Clarity is currently available for lease in the U.S., Japan and Europe. In the U.S., it is only available to customers who live in Southern California where "fast-fill" hydrogen stations are available. As of 2010, 20 FCX Clarity are leased for US$600 a month which includes collision coverage, maintenance, roadside assistance and hydrogen fuel. There are around 10 others on lease in Japan and another 10 in Europe. The number of fuel cell vehicles Honda can put on the road is significantly limited by the number of hydrogen stations the company can use. Two more stations will open in fall 2010 in Torrance, California, and in Newport Beach, California In 2010, it is reported that there are a total of 50 FCX Clarity available for lease in the U.S. with a target to have 200 available world-wide. Honda believes it could start mass-producing vehicles based on the FCX Clarity by 2018.
The vehicle's electrical power comes from a 100 kW Honda Vertical Flow (V Flow) hydrogen fuel cell stack whereby electricity is supplied on demand. In common with many electric vehicles, the car has regenerative braking and uses a separate battery to store energy recovered during braking.
The electric motor is based on the motor in the EV Plus, rated at 134 horsepower (100 kW) and 189 lb·ft (256 N·m) torque @0-3056 rpm. The range on a full hydrogen tank (4.1 kg @ 5000psi) is EPA certified at 240 miles (~386 km). The vehicle is estimated to get about 77 miles (123.9 km) per kilogram hydrogen in the city, 67 miles (107.8 km) per kilogram highway and 72 miles (115.9 km) per kilogram in combined driving.
The FCX Clarity is about 4 inches shorter than a 2008 Honda Accord. It comes with an innovative cockpit: the display in the dashboard includes a dot that changes color and size as hydrogen consumption grows, to make it easier for the driver to monitor their driving efficiency. A separate display shows the battery power level and another shows motor output. A speedometer is placed above the cockpit display, to make it easy for the driver to keep eyes on the road. In the interior, upholstery on the seats and door linings are made with Honda's Bio-Fabric that is derived from plants which cuts CO
The FCX Clarity is currently produced in Japan, at a new dedicated fuel cell vehicle assembly line in the Honda Automobile New Model Center (Takanezawa-machi, Shioya-gun, Tochigi Prefecture). The fuel cell stack itself is produced at Honda Engineering Co., Ltd. (Haga-machi, Haga-gun, Tochigi Prefecture). Honda planned to produce 200 vehicles within 3 years.
It is reported in 2009 that hydrogen made from natural gas cost about $5 to $10 per kilogram in California. Although it was more than double the equivalent amount of gasoline during the summer of 2009, fuel-cell cars have at least double the efficiency of similar models with a gasoline engine. The FCX Clarity averaged 60 miles per kilogram of hydrogen .
On 25 July 2007 the United States Internal Revenue Service announced that the Honda’s FCX had met the requirements of the Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit as a qualified fuel cell motor vehicle. Purchasers of the 2005 and 2006 Honda FCX are eligible for a $12,000 Section 30B(b) credit, but consumers are not currently allowed to purchase the vehicle, as it is still available only for leasing, and only in Southern California, where public hydrogen refueling stations are available.
The leasing program began in July 2008 at a price of $600.00 USD per month for 3 years which includes collision coverage, all maintenance and roadside assistance. Honda announced Power Honda Costa Mesa, Honda of Santa Monica and Scott Robinson Honda as the initial dealers, which were chosen for their proximity to hydrogen refueling stations.
The FCX Clarity includes many desirable features, including an AM-FM car radio with CD player, integration for iPod and iPhone, a USB port, auxiliary input, a voice-activated GPS navigation system, XM satellite radio, cloth seating surfaces, Bluetooth, and digital instrumentation.
Pace car in IndyCar series
The Honda FCX Clarity was the pace car in 2008 Indy Japan 300 which took place at the Twin Ring Motegi in Tochigi, Japan, April 2008. It also served as the official pace car for the 2011 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March 2011.
Awards and recognition
- World Green Car of the Year - 2009 
- 2008 Good Design Award from the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization
- "Most important car for 100 years" - BBC Top Gear
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- John Voelcker (2014-07-29). "Honda Ends Three Green Models For 2015: Insight, Fit EV, FCX Clarity". Green Car Reports. Retrieved 2014-08-20.
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- Alan Ohnsman, Makiko Kitamura (2009-08-12). "Honda Prefers Hydrogen as U.S. Pushes Battery Autos". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
- Phenix, Matthew (14 November 2007). "Honda FCX Clarity: Lease the Future for $600/Mo.". Autopia blog. Wired News. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
- "Honda FCX Clarity designated as official vehicle of 2008 Ind". Automobile magazine blog. April 17, 2008.
- Evan McCausland (2011-03-09). "H2 Racer: Honda FCX Clarity Will Serve as IndyCar Pace Car". Automobile magazine.
- "Honda FCX Clarity Named 2009 World Green Car" (Press release). Honda Motor. 2009-04-09.
- Sebastian Blanco (2010-11-08). "CR-Z hybrid wins JIDPO's Good Design Award, third title in a row for Honda". Autoblog Green.
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- Honda FCX Technology FCX homepage (Japanese).
- Honda Fuel Cell page contains specifications of FCX, FCX Concept, Home Energy Station.