• Jul 17th 2010 at 5:17PM
  • 19
Honda next-generation solar hydrogen station – Click above for high-res image gallery

Recently California passed a rule that extended access to the state's carpool lanes for zero and ultra low emission vehicles until 2015. Part of that regulation update included the phase-out of access for hybrids like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight. Despite hybrids being relegated back to the crowded lanes, Honda still has two vehicles that do qualify, the FCX Clarity and Civic GX.

Unfortunately, at this point, the number of fuel cell powered-Claritys in private hands remains in the single digits. Even the natural gas-fueled Civic GX is comparatively scarce. Perhaps now that the Civic will have HOV-lane access until 2015, more buyers will migrate away from hybrids. One advantage of the Civic is getting a Phill fueling rig that hooks to your home natural gas supply so that you can fill the Civic in your garage.


  • Honda's next generation solar hydrogen station prototype began operating today at the Los Angeles Center of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. The system is ultimately intended for use as a home refueling appliance capable of an overnight refill of fuel cell electric vehicles, such as the Honda FCX Clarity.
  • Honda's next generation solar hydrogen station prototype began operating today at the Los Angeles Center of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. The system is ultimately intended for use as a home refueling appliance capable of an overnight refill of fuel cell electric vehicles, such as the Honda FCX Clarity.
  • Honda's next generation solar hydrogen station prototype began operating today at the Los Angeles Center of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. The system is ultimately intended for use as a home refueling appliance capable of an overnight refill of fuel cell electric vehicles, such as the Honda FCX Clarity.
  • Honda's next generation solar hydrogen station prototype began operating today at the Los Angeles Center of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. The system is ultimately intended for use as a home refueling appliance capable of an overnight refill of fuel cell electric vehicles, such as the Honda FCX Clarity.
  • Honda's next generation solar hydrogen station prototype began operating today at the Los Angeles Center of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. The system is ultimately intended for use as a home refueling appliance capable of an overnight refill of fuel cell electric vehicles, such as the Honda FCX Clarity.
  • Honda's next generation solar hydrogen station prototype began operating today at the Los Angeles Center of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. The system is ultimately intended for use as a home refueling appliance capable of an overnight refill of fuel cell electric vehicles, such as the Honda FCX Clarity.

[Source: Honda]

PRESS RELEASE

Honda Civic GX and FCX Clarity Retain California HOV Lane Access Until 2015
07/12/2010 - TORRANCE, Calif. -


California drivers of the compressed natural gas (CNG) - powered Civic GX and zero-emissions FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle will continue to have access to the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) highway lane until January 2015. The recently passed California Assembly Bill 1500 extends HOV lane access to Inherently Low Emission Vehicles (ILEV), which includes cars that are certified zero emission and CNG vehicles. Before the extension was passed, existing ILEV HOV access stickers were set to expire January 1, 2011. Under the new law an unlimited number of HOV lane access stickers will be issued to eligible ILEV vehicles. The law takes effect January 1, 2011.

Honda is the only OEM currently selling a dedicated CNG-powered vehicle designed and manufactured for retail sale in the United States. The 2010 Civic GX achieves an EPA-estimated city/highway fuel economy of 24/36* miles per gasoline-gallon equivalent and is the only vehicle certified by the EPA to meet both Federal Tier 2-Bin 2 and Inherently Low Emission Vehicle (ILEV) zero evaporative emission certification standards**. The Civic GX is available at 43 dealers in California and is priced at $25,340***.

Civic GX owners can refuel at numerous public stations around California as well as at home with a Phill natural gas home refueling appliance. Sold by BRC FuelMaker, Phill connects to a home's existing natural gas line and allows for convenient overnight fueling of the Civic GX.

The zero emissions, hydrogen powered FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle is available for lease-only in Southern California. The sleek and modern sedan is propelled by an electric motor that runs on electricity generated in an on-board hydrogen fuel cell. The FCX Clarity's only emission is water, and its fuel efficiency is three times that of a modern gasoline-powered automobile and two times that of a gasoline-powered hybrid vehicle.

For more information about Honda vehicles, please visit www.honda.com. For media inquiries please visit www.hondanews.com.

For more information about Phill, please visit http://www.impcotechnologies.com/fuelmaker.asp.

*Based on 2010 EPA mileage estimates, reflecting new EPA fuel economy methods beginning with 2008 models. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
**EPA Tier-2, Bin-2 and ILEV certification as of May 2009
***Price does not include $750 destination and handling. Price does not take into account state or federal tax credits.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      clarification

      I wonder how many CLARITYS they'll crush when the leases expire.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The use of platinum in fuel cells appears to be approaching acceptable levels:
        http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/environment/research/cqvcf/platinumandhydrogenforfuelce3838?page=3

        As the report concludes, demand for platinum is unlikely to be a significant constraint on fuel cell car production.
        Of course, it is always possible to assume that no progress will be made in technologies one does not personally favour, whilst large strides are made in those that one does, for instance in lithium air batteries, but the evidence that we have seems to indicate that it will be perfectly possible to build fuel cell vehicles at a reasonable cost, at least for larger vehicles, SUVs etc.
        • 5 Years Ago
        First of all there is few platinum in the fcx clarity. Honda don't want to see the fcx been stolen by someone for the platinum content, this would afraid futur buyers and anyway the fuelcell cars don't cost 1 million to build as you said many many times before not so long ago. You should retract yourself on that point.

        http://green.autoblog.com/2009/07/20/report-toyotas-first-fuel-cell-vehicle-will-be-priced-shockin/
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, the leases were for 3 years, so we should find out soon. I suspect that they'll just renew the leases for another 2 or 3 years, then quietly take them back and recycle them for the platinum, as the fuel cell will be near the end of its lifespan, and is too expensive to replace.

        When the previous generation of H2FCV prototype leases expired, Honda just "upgraded" them to the new FCX Clarity so they could take back and recycle the old ones without too much squawking. Maybe they'll have a decent BEV or plug-in hybrid ready by the time the Clarity needs to be replaced.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They can bide their time. It's not like they'll be left in the
        lurch when everybody else brings out EVs. It's not like
        they'll sell like hotcakes.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As of today, platinum costs $48.30 per gram.

        GM uses 30 grams ($1,449 worth) of platinum in their current 100 kw fuel cell stack - .3 grams ($14.50) per kw.

        The Clarity's stack may not be as advanced, but certainly the cost of the platinum is a relatively minor factor.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The sad part is that the Civic GX is both more expensive and significantly less fuel-efficient than the Civic hybrid.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, for many years not, the Civic GX has won the title of "Cleanest Internal Compustion Engine"
        • 5 Years Ago
        Carbon footprint:

        4.5 for the hybrid vs. 5.6 for the GX (annual tons of CO2)

        from fueleconomy.gov

        • 5 Years Ago
        But the NG car emits far less pollutants than even a hybrid..

        I suppose that's the benefit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fuel cell yes. Natural gas no HOV sticker. Lawrence Weisdorn
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sorry , are you the lawrence weisdorn that was charged by Vision industries with fraud, recently found guilty in court of an unrelated fraud and banned from the Vanouver stock exchange ???
      • 5 Years Ago
      -Unfortunately, at this point, the number of fuel cell powered-Claritys in private hands remains in the single digits.

      Expensive grant pony.

      Toyota's latest big push for EVs is going to force Honda into the EV market, kicking and screaming. I wonder how many they'll crush when the leases expire.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Honda did EV's in California in the 1990s.

        Why are people acting like EVs are something new?
      • 5 Years Ago
      What's this "your home natural gas supply"? Is natural gas used widely somewhere? In what way that is used?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Timo, in North America natural gas is very widespread. Most homes are heated with NG and many people have NG hot water heaters and stoves.

        However, this gas is at very low pressure, and the Phill has an electric pump and some ingenious thermal management to increase the pressure efficiently as required for the car. Even so the cost advantage is a moot point and the Phill is very expensive. Comes down to a convenience rather than a cost savings.
      • 5 Years Ago
      HOV lane access to fuel cell vehicles? Yes. Only EVs and zero emission vehicles like HFCVs should be given that perk.

      Should NG vehicles be given special accommodations? No.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yippy.
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