• Jul 28th 2008 at 9:02AM
  • 11
The very first set of keys for Honda's brand new FCX Clarity have been delivered to film producer Ron Yerxa and Annette Ballester. The duo took delivery of their new hydrogen fuel cell-powered FCX Clarity on Friday, July 25, 2008 at Honda of Santa Monica. Now that the first production second-gen FCX has been delivered, we'd imagine that Jon Spallino, Jim Salomon, Laura Harris, and Jamie Lee Curtis will be getting phone calls of their own in no time at all. Mr. Spallino has actually been driving an FCX for the last three years, though it was one of Honda's first generation efforts. The new car is worlds better, featuring a new vertical flow fuel cell stack delivering a 270 mile range.
Despite the fact that Honda has delivered its first set of FCX Clarity keys, don't go rushing to your nearest Honda dealership to get your own. There are only three U.S. dealerships certified to lease hydrogen Hondas at the moment, and all of them are in the far-left state. So, if you want one... perhaps a move to Southern Cal. is in order.

[Source: Honda]

Press Release:

Honda FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle Lease Program Begins with First Customer Delivery

Zero-emissions vehicle now on the roads of Southern California

American Honda Motor Co., Inc., today announced that Ron Yerxa and Annette Ballester took delivery of their hydrogen fuel cell-powered FCX Clarity on Friday, July 25, 2008 at Honda of Santa Monica, one of three dealerships in Southern California that are part of the first fuel cell vehicle dealership network. Yerxa and Ballester are the world's first FCX Clarity customers and the first of approximately 200 customers who will lease the vehicle in the United States and Japan over the next three years, with the vast majority of vehicles being leased in Southern California.

"The FCX Clarity lease program is one more step toward meeting the societal goals of climate stability, renewable energy supplies and zero-emissions transportation," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda. "With this key step, we are advancing toward the goal of broader commercialization," Mendel added. "Establishing a dedicated sales network and service infrastructure provides customers with the best balance of convenience and the highest level of satisfaction."

Significant advances over Honda's previous generation FCX include a 25 percent increase in combined fuel economy to 72 miles/kg-H2* (74 mpg GGE <miles per gasoline gallon equivalent>) and a greater than 30 percent increase in driving range up to 280 miles*. The FCX Clarity is a next-generation, hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle. Propelled by an electric motor that runs on electricity generated in the fuel cell, the vehicle's only emission is water, and its fuel efficiency is three times that of a modern gasoline-powered automobile.

*Based on official 2008 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      This car is the best car in the world. Not just because it don't pollute at all but because powerful electric drive without early battery depletion is the best way to roll. No noise, no wear, no
      complicated transmission, just direct drive and good braking assist by the 4 wheels electric drive.

      A car with that technology can be scale down if someone is in the cheap end of the market and a model with the same architecture can be simplified and sold 10 000$ and still be good for 20 years without maintenance except tires.
        • 7 Years Ago
        We would expect a million dollar car to be really good, but there is still noise (air compressor for the fuel cell, road noise) and wear (still has moving parts and the fuel cell membrane degrades with use). Sorry, but the Honda FCX Clarity has just 1 motor and 2 wheel drive. The car is expensive enough, Honda is not going to increase the price by using 4 wheel motors.

        As for "scaling down", a $10,000 fuel cell vehicle would be a skateboard with a 15 mph top speed and 5 mile range.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I wonder how this thread got so far without links to H2 debunking? There is only one upside to the H2 cars, and that is you can replace the fuel cell with a battery and get a far cheaper, far more efficient car.

        Using electricity to split water or reform natural gas, and then compress it, and then store it, and then transport it and then convert it back to electricity ... well you could have just put the electricity in a battery and save vast quantities of energy.
      • 7 Years Ago
      brody said...
      Why did Honda do a Fuel-Cell car? Is this a Plug-In Fuel Cell?

      Because Honda believes H2 has a future, and no it is not a plug-in fuel cell. Considering Honda's track record of building fuel effecient AND profitable cars, I suspect they know what they are doing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Honda said the following publicly (google), over the coming decade (10 years) they expect the cost of these fuel cell vehicles to plummet from in the millions of dollars to $100,000.00. Oh, yeah most Hydrogen is made by burning natural gas (which gets more and more expensive as time goes on) and currently Hydrogen is more expensive than Gasoline. This is a non practical (from cost standpoint) show car in so many ways.

      Now as to why they're doing this, two guesses. One is that the fuel cell research waste was the cost of California dropping its electric vehicle requirement earlier in the decade. The second one is that the Japanese government is probably funding alot of research in fuel cells for their manufacturers since they saw that our government was providing billions to our automakers from Pres Bush for Fuel Cell research in return for killing electric car R&D back early in his term (the Japanese govt funded hybrid research after our govt did with our automakers under Pres Clinton, our automakers buried the results, but Toyota got its Prius from that).
        • 7 Years Ago
        To get that price reduction would require several major breakthroughs in both H2 fuel cell technology and H2 fuel storage, none of which are even hinted at now. But even if they managed to achieve that price by 2018, it would still be well above mass market price and will not be price competitive to the numerous affordable plug-ins running on much cheaper and far more readily available electricity.

        Plug-ins already have a much lower price than H2 fuel cell cars, and we're already seeing numerous breakthroughs in battery technology that will improve performance and reduce prices once they go into mass production. That means the plug-ins will always have a substantial cost advantage over fuel cells, and will likely have a performance advantage, too.

        I'm predicting Honda will announce their own plug-in cars sometime before 2011, in a desperate effort to catch up with the rest of the market, and will quietly cancel the fuel cell program as soon as the government subsidies stop.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Jeremy Korzeniewski, thanks for the great pics of Honda manufacturing. I really like the white coveralls and the bump caps.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Are the keys not a little on the large side !

      well maybe everything has to be overblown in the hydrogen world !
        • 7 Years Ago
        Given how expensive these cars are I know I'd want a really BIG lock....
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why did Honda do a Fuel-Cell car? Is this a Plug-In Fuel Cell?

      BEVs are cheaper, more efficient form well to wheel, can be charged at home, can be charged anywhere. I would have some serious hydrogen anxiety if I owned a Clarity. Where should I fill up? Even if they did start building a lot of H2 charging stations, it would be a waste of money because BEVs are more efficient.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Worst Rock Band ever!