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.