All Electric Vehicles

Honda FCX: The FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Car

The Honda FCX Clarity is a real live working Honda fuel cell car. Itís part of Hondas FCX family where over the years they have developed fuel cell systems in various vehicles.

Itís the latest and by far the most successful of all the Honda FCX vehicles as itís being used by everyday people in California as we speak. It was leased in the summer of 2008 for three years.

The fuel cell car is a huge advancement form its predecessor, which itself was a huge advancement too when it was manufactured.

Honda FCX The FCX Clarity is over 397 pounds lighter than the last vehicle and is 45% more compact which is a huge advancement! It also makes you wonder what the next generation may look like.... although I wouldnít get my hopes up too much.

In the Clarity the hydrogen is mixed with oxygen to create electricity which goes to the motor and turns the wheels. This means that the clarity is basically like an electric car except its battery is a hydrogen fuel cell.

Honda FCX The only by-product of the reaction in the honda fuel cell is just plain water! Now that is a real step up from CO2 emissions.

This is also just like any other regular family car that Honda sells. Itís a five door saloon that, unless you saw it being filled up with hydrogen, you would never guess it was a fuel cell car.

I think Honda were trying to make the point that this technology could be put into any average car that you buy and doesnít have to look like some far off concept idea that you need to change the way you drive for. I have to admit it doesnít look too bad either.

Its looks are also built with some purpose though as it has plenty of aerodynamic features such as the low angle of the rear window and an aerodynamic under body which all helps to keep the range as high as it possibly can.

The Clarity fuel cell car comes with a lithium ion battery pack under the seat. This captures energy from braking and decelerating which most electric cars already take advantage of and it gives it an extra bit energy.

The motor then produces 134 hp and 139 ft-lbs of torque, which is average for a car of its size but brilliant for a fuel cell car which can also travel 270 miles.

Honda FCXA nice feature in the car is on the dash where as a small ball glows blue when youíre driving frugally and gets larger and turns red when you put your foot down hard.

This sounds like a great way to keep your eye on the how youíre driving is affecting your range on paper but to be honest I can imagine that it would get pretty annoying after a while. Imagine if every time you ate a bit too much cake or watched TV a bit too long that a flashing light would appear right in front of your face!

I feel that this is a brilliant step forward for hydrogen fuel cell cars and the only downsides I can see are:
  • The cost of production of fuel cell cars, which is huge at the moment and needs to come down greatly before they have any chance of being sold on a larger scale.
  • The hydrogen infrastructure isnít there at the moment and needs to be much larger but the first problem of price is standing in the way still.
Honda FCX

The cost of making these fuel cell cars is huge at the moment although the real price isnít exactly known at the moment since they canít be bought.

So the honda fcx is first production fuel cell vehicle is a huge step forward, first for Honda and also second for all fuel cell cars and I hope that the next fuel cell car will be one we can buy outright.

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