Honda leverages older name for new FCV: Clarity Fuel Cell makes its debut at Tokyo; 435-mile range on JC08
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. unveiled the planned production model of its all-new fuel cell vehicle (FCV), called Clarity Fuel Cell, at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show 2015. This model will be on display at the Honda booth during the show. The name honors its predecessor, the FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle, introduced at the LA Auto Show in 2007. (Earlier post.)
Employing original Honda technologies, the fuel cell stack for this model was downsized by 33% compared to the previous version of the fuel cell stack yet delivers output of more than 100 kW, with an output density of 3.1 kW/L—approximately a 60% improvement. The fuel cell powertrain was made as compact as a Honda 3.5L V6 engine, enabling it to be packaged under the hood of a sedan-type vehicle for the first time. This powertrain layout enabled a full cabin package that seats five adults.
As a reference, the V-Flow stack (earlier post) in the FCX Clarity itself was smaller and more powerful than its predecessor, increasing the volume output density by 50% and the weight output density by 67% from the previous stack. The now outdated V-Flow stack more than quadrupled the volume output density from Honda’s first stack delivered in 1999.
Combined with improved efficiency of the powertrain and a reduced energy requirement for driving, a 70MPa high-pressure hydrogen storage tank installed to this vehicle provides a cruising range of more than 700 km (435 miles) in JC08 mode and after refueling the vehicle at a hydrogen station with charging pressure of 70 MPa which comply with SAE standards (J2601) (earlier post). For the US, with its different certification methodologies, Honda anticipates a range of more than 300 miles.
The cruising range may vary when the vehicle is refueled at hydrogen station with different specifications, as amount of hydrogen put in the tank will vary depending on the specifications of hydrogen station. The cruising range may also vary significantly depending on conditions of usage (ambient temperature, traffic congestion, etc.) and how the vehicle is driven (sudden starts, use of air-conditioning unit, etc.)
The tank can be refilled in approximately three minutes using a 70MPa station with an exterior temperature of 20 ˚C. (Time required for refueling may vary depending on conditions.)
A li-ion battery provides energy storage. The high-output motor with maximum output of 130kW realizes both direct, highly-responsive driving and excellent quietness at the same time. In addition, when combined with the Power Exporter 9000, the Clarity Fuel Cell can function as a “power plant on wheels” that generates and provides electricity to the community in times of a disaster or other events.
Honda will begin lease sales in Japan of this all-new Clarity Fuel Cell in March 2016. For the first year after the start of sales in Japan, Honda will focus on sales mainly to local government bodies or business customers which Honda has already been working together for the popularization of FCVs. During this period, Honda will collect information about the in- market use situation, including the external power feeding device, and gather diverse opinions from customers and other relevant organizations, then later begin sales to individual customers.
Honda will begin with small-volume production at the Production Supervisory Unit and Powertrain Production Supervisory Unit (located in Takanezawa-machi, Shioya-gun, Tochigi, Japan.), then eventually expand production volume and begin regular sales along with lease sales.
The sales price of Clarity Fuel Cell in Japan will be 7.66 million yen (US$63,670), including consumption tax. The Power Exporter 9000, which has the capacity to feed approximately seven-days’ worth of electricity for an average household, is scheduled to go on sale at the same time as the Clarity Fuel Cell. Clarity Fuel Cell will be sequentially evolved into the US and Europe.
In 2002, the Honda FCX became the first fuel cell vehicle in the world to be certified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). With these certifications, Honda began lease sales of the Honda FCX in Japan and the US. In 2008, Honda became the first automaker to begin lease sales of the FCX Clarity, which featured an innovative sedan-type package and unprecedented driving experience. The all-new CLARITY FUEL CELL was developed based on various data related to the ease of use and driving performance of these previous Honda FCVs.