Gallery: Honda FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle Starts Production

 

We first featured the Honda FCX Clarity late last year, when Honda announced plans to bring the fuel cell vehicle into production this summer. Making good on their promise, Honda just announced that the hydrogen powered vehicle is rolling off the factory floor in limited numbers to a lucky few. Two hundred FCX Clarity are in production, and will be delivered to celebrity clients such as Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest as early as July. They will be leased for $600 a month, and naturally, to people who live near a hydrogen refueling station. The launch of the FCX Clarity marks a major milestone in retail initiatives for fuel cell vehicles and the first distribution of the Honda developed fuel cell platforms.

The FCX Clarity, which can achieve about 68 miles per gallon, is part of Honda’s attempts to retake market and mind share from Toyota and regain their spot as the leader in environmentally friendly vehicles. Honda expects to mass produce the vehicle in about 10 years time, or sooner, if they can bring the costs for the vehicle down. For now, expect Honda to turn a number of their standard fleet into hybrids beginning next year.

+ Production Begins for the New FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle + Honda FCX Clarity

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3 Comments

  1. H2andYou June 23, 2008 at 9:42 am

    To answer alisamleo questions.

    Yes, Hydrogen is an energy carrier and is often compared to a battery. Because hydrogen is an energy carrier, and not an energy source, that makes it a versatile fuel accessible for use in different applications. Separate from the frequent emphasis on hydrogen cars, the reality is hydrogen can be used to power many different types of applications. The next cell phone call you make could be powered by hydrogen since fuel cell power supplies support cell phone towers. The next time you shop at Wal-Mart the box of Oreo cookies and the new Blue Ray movie you purchase could be transported with a fuel cell forklift, or may have been driven across the country on a semi-truck using a hydrogen injection system.

    Hydrogen can be produced from any renewable resource or from nuclear by splitting water via electrolysis, which eliminates all harmful emissions. Additionally, hydrogen can be produced directly from waste materials using bacteria (a process called anaerobic digestion) and can capture the emissions-free fuel from products that would otherwise wind up in a landfill. Although many believe it takes requires more energy to produce hydrogen making, the fact is this is true for any energy we use. It takes energy to make energy. It takes approximately 340 btu’s of natural gas energy in a gas turbine to deliver 100 btu’s of electricity to a house. To produce hydrogen from natural gas it takes approximately 133 btu’s to make 100 btu’s. Even using natural gas to produce hydrogen is not is inefficient as many believe, and it also would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50%.

    As a representative of the Hydrogen Education Foundation, I am helping people to understand that incorporating hydrogen within the world’s energy portfolio will simultaneously reduce dependence on foreign energy imports, while improving the country’s carbon footprint by reducing greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere, and spark worldwide economic development. An initial $10 to $15 billion investment, equivalent to about one month of military spending in Iraq, would establish an initial refueling infrastructure within 2 miles anywhere within the top 100 metro areas and along all US highways.

    To learn more about the benefits of hydrogen, we invite everyone to please visit and ask us questions at http://www.h2andyou.org.

  2. greg June 19, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Please:

    It is past time to look past the hydrogen hype. Just for starters, see:

    http://climateprogress.org/2008/06/19/hydrogen-fuel-cell-honda-fcx-clarity-problems/#more-3151

    I know, it SOUNDS so promising. It is but a distraction. Honda is a leader, no doubt, but this is a dead end.

  3. alisamleo June 17, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    thanks for the post on this! i\’m curious though, i read this comment below on hybridcars.com addressing the issue of hydrogen and wondering if you had any insight into this….I don\’t know that much about any of this so I can\’t tell if this guy is right or just blowing hot air:

    from: http://www.hybridcars.com/hydrogen/honda-production-fuel-cell-car-2008.html

    Kudos to Honda for bravery in attempting something different. Shame on them for being so stupid.
    The problem with hydrogen (H2) is that there is no natural source of it on our planet. It must be manufactured and that takes a lot of energy just to make it.
    If you start with natural gas, it will waste about 25% of the natural gas to just produce H2 when you could just burn the natural gas in an internal combustion engine (ICE) like the Honda Civic GX.
    If you produce it by electrolyzing water with electricity (whether from solar, wind, gas, coal, etc), you waste about 80% of the electricity and only about 20% actually goes to the road. A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or pure Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) only lose about 20% of the electricity so you will go a lot more miles with your energy source.
    As far as the fuel cells themselves go, they are a very complex and expensive system. I doubt you will ever see them for less than a few $10\’s of K – just for the motor. The cars will likely never cost less than $100K and the first ones will probably cost over $500K although I\’m sure they will be subsidized for a while.
    Contrast this with cheap electric motors and even batteries are quite cheap relative to a fuel cell.
    Regarding the H2: H2 is the smallest molecule in existance. Therefore, everything is permeable to it. H2 will leak out of any tank so it can\’t be stored for very long without losing it. This means that it cannot be stockpiled or stored but must be produced a few days before it is used. While subtle, this will make any H2 infrastructure very complex and expensive.
    Hopefully, Honda will prove me wrong but H2 looks to me like a ruse to keep producing old fashioned gasoline fueled ICE vehicles for another few decades before having to actually do the right thing (PHEVs and BEVs).

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