Honda has taken the wraps off of the Japanese version of the hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity and announced that the sleek burgundy sedan will be available for lease in Honda's home country come November.

The Japanese FCX Clarity's specifications (available after the jump) are mostly the same as the American version, with two noticeable differences. First, and high on the list of items everyone is talking about, the Japanese model has climate-controlled seats up front and in back. That's huge. The other item is that Honda is now claiming a range of 620km (385 miles). That's a lot more than the 270 miles that the American version is rated at, but the numbers for the Japanese model were done in 10-15 mode using Honda calculations and the American numbers were calculated with "Honda in-house data calculated using previously approved EPA methodology." Since the American FCX holds its 4.1 kg of hydrogen at 5000psi while the Japanese version stores 171 liters at 35MPa (these are two different ways to say the same thing), I think the difference comes in the testing and calculating rather than any updated technology. The 10-15 cycle is a predominantly urban cycle which benefits from the regen capability provided by the lithium ion battery. The lower U.S. range is based on combined urban/highway cycles with 2008 test procedure.


[Source: Honda]

PRESS RELEASE

Honda Unveils Japan Model of FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle - Leasing in Japan to begin November 2008

TOKYO, Japan, July 2, 2008– Honda Motor Co., Ltd. unveiled the Japan model of its FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle, which will also be displayed at the Environmental Showcase at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit that begins July 7, 2008. Leasing in Japan is scheduled to begin November 2008.

Initially, leases are to be limited to government agencies and certain corporate customers. Numerous FCX Clarity events are to be held beginning in 2009 at which the public will have the opportunity to come in contact with the FCX Clarity and gain a greater appreciation of the appeal of fuel cell vehicles.

Designed as a dedicated fuel cell vehicle, the FCX Clarity is powered by the Honda V Flow fuel cell stack. Thanks to the innovative layout of the fuel cell power plant, the FCX Clarity offers superior design, packaging and driving performance. Emitting no CO2 in operation, the FCX Clarity offers not only the ultimate in environmental responsibility but also real-world performance and appeal.

The new lightweight, compact Honda V Flow fuel cell stack offers significantly enhanced performance, with an output of 100kW (compared to 86kW in the conventional FC Stack), as well as enhanced cold climate performance that enables it to start in temperatures as low as -30°C. The lightweight and compact design of the FC Stack allows it to be arranged in the vehicle's center tunnel for a more spacious interior and an elegant, low-riding sedan form. Cruising range has been extended 30% to 620km.* The Japan model also features climate-controlled seats in the rear as well as in the front.
* In 10-15 mode (Honda Calculations)

The combined sales plan for Japan and U.S. calls for a few dozen units a year and about 200 units within three years.

< New Technology >
  • Honda Bio-Fabric: the world's first automotive interior covering made from plant-based materials
  • Climate-controlled seats (front and rear)
  • Compact, easy-to-operate transmission featuring Shift-by-Wire technology (a first for Honda)
  • An extra rear window that enhances rearward visibility-privacy is maintained thanks to a layer of polycarbonate film that conceals the trunk room

FCX Clarity: Principal Specifications (Japan model)
Number of occupants 4
Power train Motor Max. output 100kW
Max. torque 256N·m
Type AC synchronous electric motor
(permanent magnet)
Fuel cell stack Type PEMFC
(Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell)
Max. output 100kW
Lithium ion battery Voltage 288V
Fuel Type Compressed hydrogen
Storage Pressurized hydrogen tank
(35MPa)
Tank capacity 171 liters
Dimensions (L × W × H) 4,835 × 1,845 × 1,470mm
Vehicle weight 1,635kg
Maximum speed 160km/ h
Energy storage Lithium ion battery


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