The Concept behind the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, as always, is inspired by the marque’s principle of man maximum, machine minimum. Through minimizing the space utilized by the powertrain, Honda has been able to achieve a level of interior space that allows five adults to sit comfortably.
Exterior-wise, the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell has been designed to give an imposing presence on the road while maintaining a strong sleek sedan profile. For the front, the Fuel Cell vehicle has full LED headlights which flow into the sharp, slender profile. rather nicely. To make the profile stick, Honda has included 5-spoke, blade-like 18-inch wheels; just to enhance the sedan’s character.
The interior of the FCC (Clarity Fuel Cell) combines an upbeat yet refined atmosphere designed to provide the driver with a relaxing and comfortable driving environment. The advanced driver interface uses Honda’s design principles of instant recognition and intuitive control. Simple and spacious and plush to an extent, the inside of the FCC has premium materials such as leather, soft-leather ornaments and desired lighting ambience.
In the powerplant department, the size of the fuel cell stack and the power generation unit have been reduced to a size comparable to a V6 engine. That means, a boost to output of up to 177 PS (130 kW), compared to the FCX Clarity, and a 60 percent power density improvement to 3.1 kW/l.
Despite the compact nature of the fuel cell powertrain, Honda’s advanced technologies have ensured world leading fuel cell stack performance. Honda’s original wave flow channel separators are more advanced than ever, while the cells now feature a higher output and a more slender shape thanks to a 1 mm (20%) reduction in the thickness of each cell. These advances combine to make the fuel cell stack 33% more compact than the stack used in the original FCX Clarity.
The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is equipped with a high pressure tank capable of storing hydrogen gas at 70 MPa, increasing the mass of hydrogen that can be stored and extending the range of the vehicle. Coupled with the efficient powertrain and reduced vehicle energy consumption, the Clarity Fuel Cell achieves a best-in-class fuel cell vehicle range per full tank of over 700 km (435 miles).
Engineered to use the high output of Honda’s fuel cell stack and the power assist of the lithium ion battery pack, a high output motor provides power to the driven wheels together with instant and powerful acceleration. Due to the continuously increasing torque provided by the high output 177 PS motor with no need for gears, the Clarity Fuel Cell achieves perfectly smooth acceleration anywhere from zero to maximum speed.
The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell offers two driving modes, Normal and Sport. The ‘Normal’ mode provides a balance between fuel economy and driving performance, while ‘Sport’ places importance on a more responsive acceleration feel.
Roll out of the Honda Clarity FCV is expected for Japan and Europe in the first quarter of next year. Honda, as one of five automotive companies to form the HyFIVE consortium, is expected to supply the vehicles to make up the 110 European fleet that highlights and promotes the development, use and viability of Fuel Cell vehicles.