The Honda Fuel Cell vehicle needs no further introduction; it was the first EPA- and CARB-certified fuel cell vehicle, which went into production and introduced in the U.S.A. and Japan in 2002. Among the firsts accomplished by Honda’s fuel cell vehicle include the first fuel cell vehicle to start and operate in sub-freezing temperatures; first fuel cell vehicle leased to an individual customer in 2005 and a follow-up fuel cell vehicle based on the FCX Clarity. Honda was also the first marque to organize a fuel cell vehicle dealership, back in 2008.
Fast forward to present time, Honda expects limited volumes in the early stages of production. Deliveries will begin through certified fuel cell vehicle dealers in Los Angeles and Orange counties as well as the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento.
The Clarity Fuel Cell anchors an expanding portfolio of advanced environmental Honda vehicles, including a re-engineered 2017 Accord Hybrid, going on-sale this spring, and a new Clarity Fuel Cell Plug-In Hybrid vehicle based on the same platform as the Clarity Fuel Cell, slated for launch by 2018.
Technological innovations to the Clarity Fuel Cell have created a fuel cell stack that is 33 percent more compact than its predecessor with a 60 percent increase in power density compared to the outgoing Honda FCX Clarity. The more compact fuel cell and integrated powertrain, comparable in size to a V6 engine, now fits entirely under the hood of the car, allowing for a more spacious cabin with seating for five passengers.
The new Honda Clarity Fuel Cell will feature a driving range estimated to exceed 300 miles, with an anticipated refueling time of approximately three to five minutes.
In looks, the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell features a low, wide aerodynamic body with clean character lines. At the front, prominent LED headlights illuminate brighter than anything, while 18-inch aluminum wheels complete a sturdy road stance. Resemblance to current variants of the current-generation Civic and even the Accord is most prevalent. Colors valid for the Clarity Fuel Cell consists of black, white and signature red paint schemes.
The interior achieves a refined and harmonious experience using quality materials and current technologies such as; the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assistive tech. Featuring a second iteration of the i-MMD plug-in system that offers significant improvements in battery capacity and power, the next-generation Honda plug-in hybrid will more than triple the 13-mile all-electric range of the previous Accord Plug-In Hybrid sedan.
In addition, the platform underpinning the Clarity Fuel Cell will serve as the base for a next-generation Honda plug-in hybrid launching in the U.S. by 2018. In the effort to speed the advancement of a refueling station network outside of California, Honda U.S.A. joined the public-private partnership H2USA in May 2013, which brings together automakers, government agencies, hydrogen suppliers, and the hydrogen and fuel cell industries to coordinate research and identify cost-effective solutions to deploy stations that can deliver affordable, clean hydrogen fuel in the United States. In June 2013, Honda entered into a long-term collaborative agreement with General Motors to co-develop the next-generation of fuel cell systems and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 timeframe. Additionally, in an effort to support the wider introduction of fuel cell vehicles, Honda in 2014 committed 13.8 million in financial support to FirstElement Fuel to accelerate the building of additional hydrogen refueling stations throughout the state of California.
Edited: Honda U.S.A