Honda FCX Clarity

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Honda FCX Clarity
FCX Clarity.jpg
Manufacturer Honda
Also called Honda Clarity
Production 2008–2014
Assembly Takanezawa Plant, Takanezawa, Japan [1]
Designer Sachito Fujimoto
Body and chassis
Class mid-size
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout FF layout
Related FCX Concept
Electric motor fuel cell-powered 100 kW (130 hp)
Transmission Single Speed, Direct Drive
Range 240 mi (390 km) (EPA)
Wheelbase 2,800 mm (110.2 in)
Length 4,834 mm (190.3 in)
Width 1,847 mm (72.7 in)
Height 1,468 mm (57.8 in)
Curb weight 1,600 kg (3,528 lb)
Predecessor Honda FCX
Successor Honda Clarity Fuel Cell[2]

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 was the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle available to retail customers.[3]

Production began in June 2008 with leasing in the U.S. commenced in July 2008.[4] It was introduced in Japan in November 2008. The FCX Clarity is 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 several hydrogen fuel stations are available.[5] As of 2010, 20 FCX Clarity cars were leased for US$600 a month, including collision coverage, maintenance, roadside assistance and hydrogen fuel.[5] There are around 10 others on lease in Japan and another 10 in Europe.[5][3] One of the reasons for such a low number of cars in the U.S. was a lack of hydrogen filling stations.[5] In 2014 Honda announced to phase out the FCX Clarity. From 2008 to 2014, Honda leased a total of 46 FCX units in the US.[6]

The new generation Clarity Fuel Cell is scheduled to be launch in the U.S. by late 2016, two additional variants will be added to the line-up, the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, both slated for release in the American market in 2017.[7]


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 used 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).[8] 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.[9]

The following table shows fuel economy ratings from the United States Environmental Protection Agency test procedures for both, the 2014 FCX Clarity and the 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell, expressed in miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPGe). One kg of hydrogen is roughly equivalent to one U.S. gallon of gasoline.[10]

Vehicle Model year Combined
fuel economy
fuel economy
fuel economy
Honda FCX Clarity 2014 59 mpg-e 58 mpg-e 60 mpg-e 231 mi (372 km)
Honda Clarity Fuel Cell 2017 67 mpg-e 68 mpg-e 66 mpg-e 366 mi (589 km)


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 CO2.[9][11]


The FCX Clarity is produced in Japan at a 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).

It is reported that Honda plans to offer hydrogen fuel cell vehicle at costs competitive with gasoline mid-size cars by 2020 although its 2005 hand-built predecessor to the Clarity cost about $1 million.[3]

In July 2014 Honda announced the FCX Clarity would be discontinued and replaced by a new and higher-volume hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle to be introduced.[6]

Electric and plug-in hybrid variants[edit]

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

In April 2016 Honda announced that in addition to the new generation Clarity Fuel Cell scheduled to be launch by late 2016, two additional variants will be added to the line-up, the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, both slated for release in the U.S. in 2017. The all-electric variant will be launched first, and the plug-in hybrid model will be launched later in 2017. The plug-in hybrid is expected to have an all-electric range of 40 mi (64 km), and it will be available in all 50 states.[7]


Since the car's unveil at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show, it was reported in May 2008 there were 50,000 people inquiring about the car through its Web site.[4]

Running costs[edit]

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.[12]

Tax credits[edit]

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 US$600 per month for 3 years which includes collision coverage, all maintenance and roadside assistance.[13] 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's features include 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[edit]

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.[14] It also served as the official pace car for the 2011 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March 2011.[15]

Awards and recognition[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ohnsman, Alan; Seeley, Tina (18 May 2009). "Fuel cells valid despite cuts, car firms vow". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on May 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c Bloomberg News (2009-08-24). "Hydrogen-powered vehicles on horizon". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  4. ^ a b Alan Ohnsman (2008-05-21). "Honda to Deliver 200 Fuel-Cell Autos Through 2011". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2010-05-09. 
  5. ^ a b c d Jerry Garrett (2010-07-21). "As Honda Ramps Up E.V.'s and Hybrids, Fuel Cell Program Lags". New York Times-Wheels blog. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  6. ^ a b John Voelcker (2014-07-29). "Honda Ends Three Green Models For 2015: Insight, Fit EV, FCX Clarity". Green Car Reports. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  7. ^ a b Loveday, Eric (2016-04-21). "Honda Clarity Electric & Plug-In Hybrid To Launch In 2017". Retrieved 2016-04-21. 
  8. ^ "Honda FCX Clarity - Vehicle Specifications - Official Web Site". Honda. 2011-01-16. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  9. ^ a b Ken Thomas (2008-10-24). "Behind the wheel of the hydrogen Honda". The Seattle Times. 
  10. ^ United States Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy (November 2016). "Compare Fuel Cell Vehicles". Retrieved 2016-11-24. 
  11. ^ "Honda FCX Clarity". 
  12. ^ Alan Ohnsman, Makiko Kitamura (2009-08-12). "Honda Prefers Hydrogen as U.S. Pushes Battery Autos". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  13. ^ Phenix, Matthew (14 November 2007). "Honda FCX Clarity: Lease the Future for $600/Mo.". Autopia blog. Wired News. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  14. ^ "Honda FCX Clarity designated as official vehicle of 2008 Ind". Automobile magazine blog. April 17, 2008. 
  15. ^ Evan McCausland (2011-03-09). "H2 Racer: Honda FCX Clarity Will Serve as IndyCar Pace Car". Automobile magazine. 
  16. ^ "Honda FCX Clarity Named 2009 World Green Car" (Press release). Honda Motor. 2009-04-09. 
  17. ^ Sebastian Blanco (2010-11-08). "CR-Z hybrid wins JIDPO's Good Design Award, third title in a row for Honda". Autoblog Green. 
  18. ^ Didorosi, Andrew (2008-12-07). "Top Gear Reviews Honda FCX Clarity". Jalopnik. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 

External links[edit]