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Honda Clarity Fuel Cell sedan makes N. American debut at LA Auto Show; available in California late 2016; PHEV in 2018

The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell sedan (earlier post) made its North American debut at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show as Honda announced additional details for the vehicle’s entry into the US market. The next evolution of Honda’s fuel cell technology, the Clarity Fuel Cell delivers significant gains in packaging, interior space, efficiency and real-world performance.

Honda also announced that the platform underpinning the Clarity Fuel Cell will also serve as the foundation for a next-generation Honda plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) that will launch nationwide by 2018, with more than triple the 13-mile all-electric range of the Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan.


Technological innovations to the Clarity Fuel Cell have created a fuel cell stack that is 33% more compact than its predecessor with a 60% increase in power density compared to the outgoing Honda FCX Clarity. The more compact fuel cell powertrain, comparable in size to a V-6 engine, fits entirely under the hood of the car, allowing for a spacious cabin with seating for five passengers. The new Honda Clarity Fuel Cell will feature a driving range estimated to exceed 300 miles, and an anticipated refueling time of approximately three minutes at a pressure of 70 MPa.

Additional features include the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assistive technologies, support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED exterior lighting and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The Clarity Fuel Cell will be available in black, white and signature red exterior paint schemes.

Honda will begin deliveries of the Clarity Fuel Cell to customers in late 2016 through select fuel cell dealers in select California markets starting in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento.

Eventually, Honda will expand the scope of its marketing to additional California markets and other states, including the Northeast as hydrogen refueling networks expand.

Honda said the Clarity Fuel Cell will be priced competitively with others in the segment; Honda expects its new generation of environmental vehicles, which includes the Clarity Fuel Cell, to serve as a new volume pillar for Honda.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are a zero emissions technology that Honda believes in, and has worked to advance for more than 20 years. Vehicles like the Clarity Fuel Cell are potential game changers because they offer an uncompromising, zero emissions customer experience, with utility, range and refueling times on par with today’s gasoline-powered cars.

—John Mendel, executive vice president, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Honda sees hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as one of the most promising pathways to address climate change by reducing CO2 emissions of transportation. Honda has announced a company-wide goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050, and the Clarity Fuel Cell is a one of a series of steps towards achieving that goal.

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. The collaboration expects to succeed by sharing technological expertise, economies of scale and other benefits.

PHEV. The platform underpinning the Clarity Fuel Cell also serves as the foundation for the next-generation PHEV. This will be a new volume production vehicle in the Honda line up available nationwide. Featuring a second iteration of the two-motor hybrid plug-in system offering significant improvements in battery capacity and power, the next-generation Honda PHEV will offer more than triple the 13-mile all-electric range of the Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan. This range will enable a zero emissions commute for the average American, while increases in power will enable EV operation at highway speeds.



Two cracking offerings!
Go Honda!

Honda> Honda said the Clarity Fuel Cell will be priced competitively with others in the segment.

Given the choice of an otherwise identical Honda PHEV or FCV, it's pretty hard to imagine how the FCV competes for the customer's favor. Recent Idaho National Labs study revealed that Chevy Volt drivers achieved 75% of trips on electric fuel. Now that the 2016 Volt offers 50 miles all-electric-range that number will probably exceed 90%.

It will be fascinating to see what level of price premium consumers will pay to use hydrogen as a fuel to avoid that 10% gasoline use. Given the uncertainties of H2 refueling and maintenance, I can't imagine it will be very much.


Not only that but for 99.9999% of America there are NO Hydrogen stations.


As Yogi Berra was supposed to have said, "It is hard to make predictions, especially about the future". However, I will predict that Fuel Cell vehicles will not be an important player in the mix of light vehicles (cars and small trucks). Almost all of our hydrogen comes from reforming natural gas and is not green nor especially efficient after compressing and transporting. Maybe it would make sense to use high temperature electrolysis if we had a surplus of low-cost nuclear power but this is not likely and battery electric is still a more efficient use of electric power. Also, there is next to no infrastructure for the commercial distribution of hydrogen.

The PHEV is a much better idea as you still have long range if you need it but most of the time it will run off electric power. The new Chevy Volt is probably a better deal as it has considerably more electric range.



That is why Audi is going for a PHEV FCEV.


It is pretty tiresome reading the endless sledging comments on fuel cells and hydrogen.

Some of us are interested in discussing the relative merits of the various fuel cell alternatives coming through, and looking at them in their own terns.


The Clarity is a beautiful car, it was back in 2007 as well. Now that they will have a PHEV, we will have the first FCHEV available. Local trips with EV, longer trips with FC range extender.

Dr. Strange Love

Maybe in the future someday you will get your hydrogen refill canister just like you may get your propane tank refill for you BBQ. Walmart may eventually sell the small convenience bottles somewhere close to the camping supplies.


10,000 PSI hydrogen is nothing to mess with. The tank can only take a certain amount of fills before it has to be replaced for safety reasons due to stress on the tank. This is why I like reformers.

Dr. Strange Love

10K psi retail hydrogen bootles in Walmart is a scary idea. It can be locked away with the ammo.


Residential ordinances prohibit H2 tanks, but they allow a full one in your car outside or in your garage.



Just making a somewhat educated prediction or guess about the future. Ten or fifteen years ago Ford and GM were hard at work on fuel cell vehicles. GM even built a number of test vehicles (see )
and now you do not hear anything from them about fuel cells. However, they are in production with their second generation PHEV Volt and are supposed to have a reasonably priced BEV on the market in 2017.

Just my opinion and you are welcome to yours. Hey, maybe MIT will get their compact fusion machine running and electricity will be too cheap to meter. Hard to make predictions especially about the future. I just do not see a reasonable source for hydrogen other than reforming hydrocarbons.


My understanding that liquified hydrogen needs cryogen or will boil off and vent till only a fraction remains at lower pressures.

I have not heard of a solution to that but note that this inconvenient fact? has not had a proper airing.

OTOH, if we could believe 'the marketers', carbon capture and storage can be scaled to massive (coal) plants! but when it comes to tailpipe or for H2 - pre combustion capture at the reformer is a non starter.

Seems bullshit can only flow one way.



Not sure why your comments were addressed to me.

Anyway, liquid hydrogen would boil off unless it is being actively refrigerated but none of the car makers are proposing to use liquid hydrogen. Most propose using compressed H2 at about 10,000 psi although some other metal hydrid storage systems have also been proposed.

I was not suggesting that the reforming of hydrocarbons be done on the vehicle although it could be done. In fact, I was not advocating making hydrogen for fuel cells at all.

$hit will always flow from high pressure to low pressure.


Honda and GM have teamed up on fuel cells. This may just be patent swaps, but it gives Toyota something to consider.


No sweat your post is clear.
If I'm not clear I'm in error.
This next ramble may not help.
There is so much that does not add up.

From this gcc article:
"Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are a zero emissions technology that Honda believes in, and has worked to advance for more than 20 years. Vehicles like the Clarity Fuel Cell are potential game changers because they offer an uncompromising, zero emissions customer experience, with utility, range and refueling times on par with today’s gasoline-powered cars."

To elaborate.
"none of the car makers are proposing liquid"- but the serious refiners and wholesalers have Liquid form as the grail if not a basic requirement for processing, transport and storage. So it seems necessary.

" To increase its density, the hydrogen gas is chilled to just above 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Though the nozzle drips with condensation, it’s not cold to the touch..."

"Pumps at the South Coast Air Quality Management District headquarters in Diamond Bar meter hydrogen cooled to -40 degrees F with sufficient accuracy that they can charge credit-card holders..."

- Miari 2016. the two tanks are 60liters each.


The Mirai has two hydrogen tanks with a three-layer structure made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic consisting of nylon 6 from Ube Industries[38] and other materials. The tanks store hydrogen at 70 MPa (10,000 psi). The tanks have a combined weight 87.5 kg (193 lb).[2][36]


"H2 storage mass? 5KG in 120 liters of storage"!
About 20 liters petrol equivalent.

wikinote:Notes: One kg of hydrogen is roughly equivalent to one U.S. gallon of gasoline.


H₂ melts at -434 degrees F, boils at -423 degrees F.

Hydrogen’s energy content is nearly three times greater than gasoline per pound, but three times less per gallon in liquefied form.( so equivalent energy = 7* the volume @ 10kpsi.

"As a gas pressurized to 10,000 psi, hydrogen provides less than one-seventh of gasoline’s energy content."

Range is the central argument for most H2 advocates.
Without high 10,000 psi options at low costs H2 has the same on board volume restrictive disadvantages experienced with large battery dimension restrictions, + CNG + LPG.

If you see some of the the current H2 tanks, they are often configured as small cylinder arrays. Do not stack well and for the volume have lower range than possible. ( I don't offer the numbers from memory).

That's my first point.the second point and I agree with you is that a low(est) temp reformer would help resolve numerous technology obstacles including a dealbreaking opportunity for capturing the CO2 by product (if we are to describe a new tech as real "progress".

But you'd have to believe this lot.
If the ccs people were believable they could demonstrate capture from the reformer this should be a diddle for them as it is available as a concentrate. Collection could not be easier. To be honest, for all I know reformer by product may be a solid carbon form as per pyrolosis, I assume it is CO2 though.

Rather than anything serious pending, CCS is the love child of fossil fuel interests and is sold on trust in buisness as usual to be collected at some time in the future.
But the world waits for no man.

Some may disagree I insist on demonstrable proof of concept or - as we see with the concept cars we comment on it is just that - conceptual.(engineering fantasies.)

I will resist being reassured by conceptual 'ideas' and prefer to work with the current reality - if it has merit.

To be a enchanted by the idea of suckling on fossil fuel offerings - as is the case today, when a direct efficient renewable energy option with electrons without the two added steps of conversion is irrational in my mind.

But I am not against H2 as such. If were looking at the only alternative being to suffer inhaling fossil fuel combustion products in locally confined places or there would be no question.

That is not the reality today direct when battery storage is a comprehensively ready way to bypass numerous energy conversion losses.

While we can see similar transition problems with current battery tech, these are shared in common with fuel cell applications as battery buffering if not storage is required.

Batteries don't also share the H2 specific challenges.

I don't see we have the luxury of time on our side for the neccessary strategic shifts away from dirty fuels. I see no merit in the CSS or reformed H2 as transition ready.

H2 is and will be more useful in time but not for mass passenger cars even though commercial interests give it the nod.

If the problems associated with any technology were stated upfront, I can stop describing it as B.S.
and yes a bit of backpressure could be more useful than an umbrella.


I could have waited till tomorrow (today) and see proof of concept for separating hard carbon from reformer @ 750 -1200o C.

A bit much for mobile applications so back to inefficiencies losses and bottle gas prior to injecting electrons into the same ' bigger = better ' batteries.


Hydrogenfraud Squad


"It is pretty tiresome reading the endless sledging comments on fuel cells and hydrogen."

Not half as tiring as your professional shilling all over the internet for a fossil fuel scam by an associate of the London Fuel Cell Partnership. Take the hint, and take a hike Dave Illingworth.,1,27362,29,27991.html

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