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The latest lessee of one of Honda's FCX Clarity fuel cell sedans is Scott Niedermayer. As captain of both the Anaheim Ducks of the NHL and the Canadian Olympic hockey team, Niedermayer is the first athlete to get one of the hydrogen-powered Hondas. The hockey star currently lives in Orange County near Los Angeles, making him eligible to get one of the fuel cell machines since he has access to fuel.

American Honda's executive vice president for sales, John Mendel, handed the car over to Niedermayer earlier this week. As an athlete, Niedermayer lives an active lifestyle and loves the outdoors. He cites his desire to protect the environment as a reason to drive a zero emissions vehicle like the Clarity. Now, if only more than a handful of wealthy people in Southern California could get access to cars like the Clarity, we might get somewhere.

[Source: Honda]

PRESS RELEASE

Honda Delivers FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle to 2010 Canadian Olympic Hockey Team Captain Scott Niedermayer


01/06/2010 -ANAHEIM, Calif. - American Honda Motor Co., Inc., delivered a zero emissions hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle today to its latest customer, 2010 Canadian Olympic hockey team captain, Scott Niedermayer. Also a team captain for the Anaheim Ducks National Hockey League team, Niedermayer is a leader both on and off the ice, promoting an environmentally responsible lifestyle and the protection of natural resources.

"My love for nature and the outdoors developed while growing up in Canada and I hope the generations after me get to experience nature as I have," said Scott Niedermayer. "Everyday actions, like driving the zero-emissions Honda FCX Clarity, will help to make this dream a reality."

Honda's FCX Clarity produces electricity onboard from hydrogen via Honda's innovative V Flow fuel cell stack with water vapor as its only emission. Significant advances include exhilarating performance, futuristic sedan packaging and a driving range of up to 240 miles*. FCX Clarity's fuel efficiency is three times that of a comparable, modern gasoline-powered automobile.

"The FCX Clarity demonstrates Honda's commitment to developing zero-emissions vehicles, and we believe that having drivers
like Scott Niedermayer behind the wheel of a Honda FCX Clarity is a great way to reach out to a new audience of drivers," said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda. "We hope that Scott's example of driving the FCX Clarity will inspire fans and other athletes to consider more environmentally responsible products."

Niedermayer and his wife, Lisa, reside in Orange County, California, with their four sons. The family enjoys the outdoors together by camping and mountain biking. Their love of nature has inspired the family to seek a greener lifestyle that includes changes such as adding insulation around the family home and installing a radiant barrier on the roof to conserve energy. Niedermayer already carpools to games with his fellow teammates and promotes a recycling program around his team's dressing room.

Honda's advanced fuel cell electric vehicles have been tested and proven through a series of successful partnerships over the last seven years with various fleet users and retail customers. A small but growing network of hydrogen fuel stations in Southern California allow for vehicle refueling in about five minutes and offer a clean, domestic energy supply for transportation. Honda has gained extensive experience from the deployment of several generations of its fuel cell electric vehicle technology with the ultimate goal of achieving the mass-market commercialization of zero-emissions fuel cell vehicles.

*Fuel economy estimates and driving range based on EPA test data. Your actual driving distance will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle


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  • 34 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they can make hydrogen from renewable energy efficiently and the durability issues for automotive use are worked out I am all for it. Using fossil fuel, no way.

      Hydrogen was given it's biggest boost by ex president Bush. He thinks it's just wonderful that his buddies in the oil/NG industry make hydrogen from imported NG. The oil companies just look at it as a nother way to control what price we pay to be allowed to drive down the road. Nickle and dime us to death. Nickle raise here, dime raise there.

      EV + solar panels = Freedom. oil/NG companies + hydrogen/gas = Slave.

      http://motherjones.com/environment/2003/05/hydrogens-dirty-secret

      • 5 Years Ago
      A hydrogen fuel cell car is really just a hydrogen powered extended range EV.

      Why don't they put a plug on it?

      If it already has a 16kWh lithium battery, and costs $500,000, why wouldn't you drop the hydrogen range extender, and put a bigger battery in it? It would cost a whole lot less, and you can plug it in anywhere...

      Sincerely, Neil
        • 5 Years Ago
        You are absolutely right. The Clarity is, quite simply, a "true" green version of the Volt. That is, instead of burning gas, its using hydrogen.

        And adding a plug would be only be another method to the power the battery, and quite frankly, would be the holy grail for the future of the automobile. Charge at home for daily city usage, and have a hydrogen (or whichever gas) to power a fuel cell for long range journeys and have zero emissions from your car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Leave the batteries and the electric motor and replace the hydrogen bits with the 1 litre IMA engine from the original Insight.
      • 5 Years Ago
      For all you hydrogen-huggers out there , the spot price of
      platinum is at the moment is around $1600 dollars a troy ounce !

      Interestingly the price seems to track the gold price , so one is
      investing in a technology that stands the the chance of becoming
      dramatically more expensive within a very short period of time !
      Hey and we all know how much the capitalists love this sort of
      money-making opportunity !

      My moneys on lithium , at around $35.00 a kilo you know it makes sense !

      • 5 Years Ago
      Why is Honda wasting money on this dead end. Two Words: Diesel Hybrid
      Or Three Words: Bigger Electric Motor, or Three Other Words: Get A Plug
      • 5 Years Ago
      Guess what, dude? producing hydrogen creates anywhere from 'slightly less' to 'notably more' carbon dioxide pollution compared to just driving a gas car, like normal non-rich people.

      But hey, enjoy playing pretend environmentalist.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Before you pronounce your final judgment, you should be aware that the issue is still very debatable. A study conducted by the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California Davis found that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles using site produced hydrogen via SMR actually produced fewer emissions than a BEV, and that:

        "All of the pathways except for FCVs using hydrogen from electrolysis reduce GHG emissions compared to ICEs and HEVs."

        http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/12/mccarthy-marginal-20091229.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+greencarcongress%2FTrBK+(Green+Car+Congress)&utm_content=Google+Reader

        FCVs like the Honda Clarity can be cleaner than BEVs - most definitely cleaner than a coal-powered-electric car, and even cleaner than a BEV supplied by our current grid mix.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's not about winning, but I'm happy to have been able to discuss this with you reasonably...

        I support all flavors of EVs, and I hate to see one side unfairly bashed. Thanks for having an open mind.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Reports vary a lot because there hasn't been very much real emissions data for SMR, onsite or otherwise (in contrast to emissions data for natural gas plants, which is readily available), probably because it is still relatively rare. The report posted by letstakeawalk uses a rough estimate (see page 2 of the report) of 400 gCO2 kWh−1 = 111g/MJ ~ 100g/MJ from page 83 of the book "Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies" and that number is sourced from TIAX 2007. I tried tracing details on how they came up with the number but came up empty. They also seem to source it from the ANL GREET model, but I haven't had time to look at that yet (you have to sign up to download the latest version).
        http://pubs.its.ucdavis.edu/publication_detail.php?id=1362
        http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12222&page=83

        For the chart (also on pg 9 of the report), they used 97.2g/MJ for onsite SMR (no mention where they got that), but the emissions numbers of onsite SMR hydrogen would be higher than the BEV if you used the 111g/MJ number that they sourced on pg 2 (114g/km SMR hydrogen vs 108g/km for BEV load-level). The numbers are close enough that the specific MJ km-1 number for vehicle efficiency can also push one above the other.

        Also keep in mind this report was based on their conclusion that alternative vehicles will use "marginal electricity" in the near term, which assumes 100% natural gas plant contribution and the most inefficient types of natural gas plants (NGCT & NGST). The actual electricity profile of California is much cleaner than this assumption because of renewables, nuclear and cleaner combined cycle plants. But to be fair, the emissions number for BEVs in this report is close to then numbers for the US avg grid.

        In general, onsite SMR is the cleanest way to make hydrogen (which is why most hydrogen reports assume a very large contribution for onsite SMR for the near future, ending only when renewables can drastically reduce hydrogen emissions), other methods such delivered large scale SMR and electrolysis can be dirtier than typical gasoline (as the report shows, though it omitted large scale SMR for some reason).

        The downside of onsite SMR is it is not renewable and to switch to renewable you would have to rebuild the station (which can be costly). This is something that electrolysis, delivered hydrogen, and plug-in vehicles don't share. Supposedly they are planning to use temporary onsite SMR stations which are movable and are less costly in order to address this issue.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Whoops.

        "...which is why they can *claim* no emissions from the tailpipe."
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mr. Niedermayer might not want to go far from a hydrogen station. These cars fuel gage goes down like a EV when your on the hwy. This guy in this article below paid more than $7.50 per Kg for hydrogen. So $7.50 per gallon. Wow, I hope Honda is giving the fuel away also. The Clarity's real world range is 160-190 miles, a feat converted EV's can attain to day.

        http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100102/MOTORING/701019950/1247/life

        Letstalkawalk, this fluffy report you sight is taken from CA power grid not Canada's. I might point out the Northwest gets more hydro power not gas fired NG plants for producing electricity. Which would make the H2 car cost prohibitive to operate. We sell much power to CA.
        "None of the pathways here use “low carbon fuel,” compared to gasoline in the near term (although there is potential to do so in the future)."

        They skewered this report by saying marginal charging at night. When no renewable energy is being used. In other words if a BEV was using NG to produce electricity they are saying the FC vehicle is 4% more efficient than a BEV. Obviously if both vehicles use coal, NG off sight, solar, wind, wave, geothermal, hydro. FC looses big time. Lets not forget NG reformation plants on site would be extreamly cost prohibitive.

        •"McCarthy, Ryan W. and Christopher Yang (2009) Determining (marginal electricity for near-term plug-in and fuel cell vehicle demands in California: Impacts on vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. J. Power Sources doi: "

        What do you know it is the hydrogen freak McCarthy again. The oil companies are paying him a bundle to promote hydrogen now. He would have made a good doctor for the cigarette companies in the 80's

        Funny how he only gives figures on "marginal electricity" he shows hydrogen in the best possible light being produced from natural gas on the CA grid. Any other means beside more fossil fuels used to create hydrogen is a complete dead end. If natural gas is the best that hydrogen can do, no thank you please. From renewables hydrogen is dead.

        Natural gas is the only way hydrogen can survive. Do we realy want our LDV (light duty vehicle) fleet using more fossil fuel. Natural gas a fossil fuel that we already import 15% of. So the oil companies think it is great we sent 900 billion dollars out of the country importing their precious commodity in 2008 and now they want to do it all over again with natural gas just so they can continue to be the most profitable corporations in the world. The oil/natural gas companies are saying screw you America we don't care what is good for America, we want what is good for us and we have enough money to buy educated shills like Mr MacCarthy to keep you dependant on imported fossil fuels.
        We say importing fossil fuels for hydrogen is good and like the bankers, we have all the money so we are going to shove it down your throats weather you like it or not.

        "Study of the accompanying chart tends to show that fuel usage of PHEV 40 are set at at a mere 75-90 mpge.

        "I defy anyone to justify the calculated measures for FCEV as anywhere near accurate. Nor is the estimate, of the the minimal energy costs for obtaining Hydrogen to consume in FCEV vehicles, anywhere near reasonable. This study seems to go out of its way to justify FCEVs as a preferred method of propulsion.

        Under the SAE J1711 standard that EPA /CAFE are proposing to use to measure PHEV40s, show mileages of around 230 mpge for C-segment sized vehicles. That would translate to figures of around 20g/km of CO2 equivalent. Hence:

        Garbage In, Garbage Out."




        • 5 Years Ago
        "I wonder why there is so much conflicting data on hydrogen."

        Because there is new research occurring all the time, and newer technologies supercede less efficient ones. SMR produced hydrogen is much more common than electrolysis; it is both cheaper and cleaner to produce hydrogen using SMR.

        As far as cyanide being a byproduct of combustion, you should realize that there is no combustion involved in a fuel cell - which is why they can clean no emissions from the tailpipe. The Wiki article you linked to was referring to burning H2 in an ICE, not using it in a fuel cell.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well that's an interesting report. I wonder why there is so much conflicting data on hydrogen.
        I still don't like the conception that it's emissions free.
        A form of cyanide being one of the combustion byproducts is a little worrying.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Before you flame me, read up on hydrogen a little. Too many people are misinformed:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_economy#Environmental_concerns

        I know this is not a definitive article, but it's a start.
        If given the choice, i'd rather take coal-powered electric any day :P
        • 5 Years Ago
        Letstalkawalk said, "FCVs like the Honda Clarity can be cleaner than BEVs - most definitely cleaner than a coal-powered-electric car, and even cleaner than a BEV supplied by our current grid mix."

        H2 powered car come no where close to being as clean as a BEV. Power both of them from coal, wind, solar, geothermal, wave generation, hydro and the FC is completely out of it's league.

        There is only one place it comes close and that is from fossil fuels extracted much like oil.

        Hydrogen info is always distorted because it comes from and is funded by oil/NG companies who are the leaders in spreading FUD
        • 5 Years Ago
        Okay fine, you win and i learned something. :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hi,

        Why wouldn't you want to just put the natural gas into the car directly (Civic GX), rather than converting it to hydrogen (Clarity FCX)?

        It seems that this would be more efficient?

        Neil
      • 5 Years Ago
      Tuners is that area can fit gazeous hydrogen tank to regular cars that live near hydrogen stations, no need to wait eternally for fuelcell. Im sure some consumers are interrested to buy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        hydrogen has too many problems, both in combustion engines and fuel cells. it's extremely inefficient, so much so that even a fuel cell car uses more energy than combustion engine cars. a battery electric car is literally 3 times more efficient than this oil company sponsored lie. not to mention it's very expensive and very difficult to store hydrogen of any amount.
        if the effeciency of the cells should go up and if the storage problem can be solved, and if there would be refill stations everywhere then maybe. just maybe.

        the plugin hybrid and the ultralight fast charge BEV is the two best ways. now and further out. hydrogen doesn't compare. this is a dishonest car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Interesting so at the moment the present day fuel stacks
      employ around $4500 worth of platinum !

      And how much do the spun carbon-fibre fuel tanks cost ?
      and maybe one would have do consider the cost of
      the large lithium cell beneath the floor of this car (reputed to
      be 16kwh ) this is of course to smooth the whole thing out
      because we all know that the one thing the fuel cell hates
      is to be put under any type of load , the efficiency goes right
      down the toilet !

      And not to forget the extremely expensive control system with
      its plethora of leak monitoring equipment which you know are
      just going cause havoc with the cars reliability after a few years.

      And then there is the old chesnut , Hydrogen , how are you going to
      store it and ship it ?

      Its all just too complex , too expensive , too unreliable , the only
      winners will be the oil companies !



      • 5 Years Ago
      Interesting so at the moment the present day fuel stacks
      employ around $4500 worth of platinum !
      And how much do the spun carbon-fibre fuel tanks cost ?
      and maybe one would have do consider the cost of
      the large lithium cell beneath the floor of this car (reputed to
      be 16kwh ) this is of course to smooth the whole thing out
      because we all know that the one thing the fuel cell hates
      is to be put under any type of load , the efficiency goes right
      down the toilet !
      And not to forget the extremely expensive control system with
      its plethora of leak monitoring equipment which you know are
      just going cause havoc with the cars reliability after a few years.

      And then there is the old chesnut , Hydrogen , how are you going to
      store it and ship it ?

      Its all just too complex , too expensive , too unreliable , the only
      winners will be the oil companies !



        • 5 Years Ago
        "Interesting so at the moment the present day fuel stacks
        employ around $4500 worth of platinum !"

        Check your maths. 1g = 0.032 troy oz.

        Currently GM uses 30g Pt, next gen anticipates 10g or less.

        • 5 Years Ago
        letstakeawalk: May I point out that Honda isn't GM, so GM figures don't really apply? Also, the Clarity fuel cell was designed and built before that GM fuel cell, so again that technological advancement doesn't apply - yet.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How many have they leased anyways? I haven't really been following the Clarity's progress.
        • 5 Years Ago
        good question , I would think with the overall cost price being
        somewhere in the region of $500,000 I would think it is starting to
        put a strain on even Honda's bank balance .

        It would also be interesting to find out if any of the current cars have
        had to undergo a fuel cell replacement yet ?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Treat it carefully boy , you have over half a million dollars
      worth of rolling metal there !
      • 5 Years Ago
      The primary reason many people go behind Hydrogen are the two biggest negatives of BEVs - range anxiety and charging times. They hear numbers like 40, 100 miles from the volt and leaf, and that the leaf takes upto four hours to charge on a 220v circuit (8 on 110). Its very disconcerting to the ears.

      Then you hear numbers like the Clarity can go upto 240 miles on a 5 minute fillup for about the same cost as a civic ($30 in hydrogen).

      Its true that for people who purchase BEVs as city cars will probably never run past that range, or worry about charging as charging will be done in off hours, and be exponentially cheaper as a result. But for the rest of us suburbanites, FCVs sound more friendlier to the consumer as a practical vehicle, rather than being a lifestyle statement that BEVs will be for the present time.

      Until there exists a BEV that can travel cross country in much the same way - and time friendly manner - that a normal gasoline (and technically even a FCV) can, fuel cell development will continue.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Until there exists a BEV that can travel cross country in much the same way - and time friendly manner - that a normal gasoline (and technically even a FCV) can, fuel cell development will continue."

        The thing is, I think BEV's will reach that milestone well before FCV's will (if ever). Already this year we will have a 100 mile range affordable EV. Along with this introduction will be an expanding network of 30 minute quick charge stations, first in the initial cities of introduction, and then along the highways connecting them. I think that within 5 years you should be able to drive an EV across the country, having to stop every 100 miles to recharge.

        In 5 years Nissan will replace your battery with a new one, they say 200 miles, so then the prospect of driving across the country really isn't that daunting.

        Or to make it even simpler, rent a genset trailer and do it in 500 mile stints between 5 minute fillups.

        It's amazing what transformations the next 5 years will bring. It will be the dawn of a new era, a major turning point in the saga of humanity.
      harlanx6
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't happen to think it is really about emissions yet. It is still about reducing dependence on imported energy. If it were really about emissions, we would have a crash program to be putting PV panels, windmills, and nuclear powered powerhouses up everywhere they would work, because they are without doubt cleaner. I can't see any way we could possibly go to a more expensive and impractical system than H2 (produced of course, by our beloved oil companies).
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