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Honda FCX Clarity at 2009 Geneva Motorshow

Honda FCX Clarity

Alongside the CR-Z, will be Honda’s production fuel cell car the FCX Clarity, now in the hands of customers in the US, including Hollywood Film Producer Ron Yerxa and actress Jamie Lee Curtis.

The FCX Clarity is a next-generation, zero-emission, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle based on an entirely new Honda V Flow fuel cell platform, and powered by the highly compact, efficient and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack. The latest FCX features tremendous improvements to driving range, power, weight and efficiency and boasts a low-slung, dynamic and sophisticated appearance, previously unachievable in a fuel cell vehicle. The FCX Clarity is a significant landmark as Honda continues building the real-world performance and appeal of the hydrogen-powered fuel cell car.

Honda has begun leasing the FCX Clarity to a limited number of retail consumers in California, with the first vehicles having been delivered in the summer of 2008. In addition some companies and institutions in Japan are being leased the world’s first production fuel cell car. Among those to receive the second generation of Honda’s fuel cell car will be the LA-based Spallino family who were the world’s first hydrogen family when they began leasing a previous generation FCX in June 2005.

How the FCX Clarity works
The FCX Clarity utilises Honda’s V Flow stack in combination with a new compact and efficient lithium ion battery pack and a single hydrogen storage tank to power the vehicle’s electric drive motor. The fuel cell stack operates as the vehicle’s main power source. Hydrogen combines with atmospheric oxygen in the fuel cell stack, where energy from the reaction is converted into electric power used to propel the vehicle. Additional energy is also generated through the capture of kinetic energy from vehicle braking and deceleration (regenerative braking), which is stored along with surplus energy from the fuel cell in the lithium ion battery pack, and is used to supplement power from the fuel cell, when needed. The vehicle’s only emission is water.

Honda V Flow FC Stack
The V Flow FC Stack features an entirely new cell structure that achieves a higher output of 100kW, smaller size and lower weight, with a 50% improvement in output density by volume, and a 67% increase in output density by mass, compared to the previous Honda FC stack.

Improved Startup Capability at Low Temperatures
Improved water drainage due to the V Flow cell structure facilitates better output immediately after startup. The reduced coolant volume and single-box design made possible by the wave flow-channel separators results in heat mass 40% lower than previous stacks. As a result, startup is possible at temperatures as low as -30° C.

Honda V Flow Fuel Cell Platform
The FCX Clarity’s revolutionary V Flow platform packages the ultra-compact, lightweight and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack in the vehicle’s centre tunnel, between the two front seats. The compact size of the new V Flow FC Stack allows for a more spacious interior and more efficient packaging of other powertrain components, which would otherwise be unattainable in a sleek, low-slung sedan.

FCX Clarity Design
More than just a fuel cell vehicle – the FCX Clarity portrays Honda’s vision of the future of automobile design and performance freed from the constraints of conventional powertrain technologies. The FCX Clarity’s four-door sedan platform features a short-nose body and spacious cabin with comfortable accommodation for four people and their luggage. Major powertrain components – including the electric motor, fuel cell stack, battery pack and hydrogen tank – have been made more compact are distributed throughout the vehicle to further optimise space, comfort and total vehicle performance.

Advanced Materials and Components
In keeping with its theme as an environmentally-advanced automobile, the FCX Clarity features seat upholstery and door linings made from Honda Bio-Fabric – a newly-developed, plant-based material that offers CO2 reductions as an alternative to traditional interior materials, along with outstanding durability and resistance to wear, stretching, and damage from sunlight.

Designed to appeal to forward-thinking customers seeking the ultimate in zero-emissions, alternative-fuel vehicle performance, the FCX Clarity is also equipped with a full compliment of advanced safety, comfort and convenience features. These features consist of a rear view camera, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS), a premium sound system, climate controlled seats and Bluetooth connectivity.

Other improvements, such as shift-by-wire, electric power steering (EPS), and a newly designed instrument panel with easy-to-read display of hydrogen fuel consumption, further improve its customer appeal and ease of operation.

The FCX Clarity’s only emission is water. CO2 emissions related to the production of hydrogen vary by source; however, well-to-wheel CO2 emissions using hydrogen reformed from natural gas – the most widely used method of production today – are less than half that of a conventional petrol vehicle. With the production of hydrogen from water by electrolysis, CO2 emissions can be further reduced and ultimately approach zero if the electricity is generated from sustainable sources, such as solar, wind, hydro or wave power.

In the area of solar technology, Honda has developed its own solar cells, with half the CO2 emissions in the production stage compared to conventional crystalline silicon cells; and has begun mass-production and retail sales of this technology in Japan for both commercial and residential use. These panels are also used to generate electricity for the Torrance R&D refuelling station.

Fuel Cell Leadership
For 40 years Honda has worked hard to reduce the environmental impact of the automobile, including efforts to reduce emissions, boost fuel efficiency and, now, many industry-leading efforts to advance the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle – a technology and fuel that Honda believes may hold the ultimate promise for a clean and sustainable transportation future. Honda’s pioneering achievements in this area include the first U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) certification of a fuel cell vehicle (2002); the first lease of a fuel cell vehicle (2002); the first fuel cell vehicle to receive an EPA fuel economy rating (2002); the first cold-weather customer (2004); the first and still only individual retail customers (2005, 2007).

2009 Honda FCX Clarity – Hi-res. Images

2009 Honda FCX Clarity
2009 Honda FCX Clarity
2009 Honda FCX Clarity
2009 Honda FCX Clarity
2009 Honda FCX Clarity
2009 Honda FCX Clarity
2009 Honda FCX Clarity
2009 Honda FCX Clarity

Honda FCX Clarity Main Specifications

Number of Occupants 4
Motor Max. Output 100kW
Max. torque 256 Nm
Type AC synchronous electric motor
(permanent magnet)
Fuel cell stack Type PEMFC(Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell)
Max. Output 100kW
Fuel Type Compressed hydrogen gas
Storage High-pressure hydrogen tank
Tank capacity 171 L
Dimensions (Length × Width × Height) 4835 × 1845 × 1470 mm
Vehicle weight 1625 kg
Maximum speed 160 km/h

Energy storage

Lithium ion battery

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