• Image Credit: Copyright 2015 AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 AOL
Honda has officially started leasing its Clarity hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to select customers in Japan, and the sedan should arrive at a few dealers in California late in the year. Once the model is available in the US, expect the Clarity to be the natural challenger to the Toyota Mirai FCEV.

The Clarity boasts an electric motor with 174 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. In Japan's JC08 test, Honda claims the sedan can travel the equivalent of 466 miles, but that evaluation is more lenient than its US equivalent. The automakers expects the sedan to receive an EPA-estimated driving distance of over 300 miles. Prices in Japan begin at the current equivalent of $67,800. However, examples here should retail for around $60,000 and lease for under $500 a month. The Toyota Mirai is similar to the Clarity in major categories, including an EPA range of 312 miles and leases for $499 a month. The two of them should have quite a fight.

Honda plans to limit Clarity production to 200 units in Japan for the first year, and only government agencies or businesses can lease them there. After the company collects impressions from these clients, it intends to make the sedan available to individuals. The decision only to lease the Clarity at first evokes the early days at of electric vehicles when companies like General Motors used the strategy to get the EV1 to customers.

One thing that could give Honda the edge in the upcoming hydrogen fuel cell battle is its history in the market. The company first offered them with the FCX and later followed up with the FCX Clarity. By this point, the automaker should be well acquainted with the process.

Related Video:

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell | Tokyo Motor Show | Autoblog Short Cuts
Show full PR text
Honda Begins Sales of All-new Clarity Fuel Cell - Clarity Fuel Cell realizes the world's top-class cruising range among zero emission vehicles of approximately 750 km -

TOKYO, Japan, March 10, 2016 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today began sales in Japan of its all-new fuel cell vehicle (FCV), the Clarity Fuel Cell.

Striving to realize full-fledged popularization of FCVs, Honda created Clarity Fuel Cell as an FCV featuring both a high level of practicality that represents the "universal value" of an automobile and "cutting-edge appeal" that is suitable for a vehicle that is at the forefront of the times. Clarity Fuel Cell is the world's first*1 five-passenger sedan type FCV, realized by making the fuel cell powertrain more compact using original Honda technologies and fitting it entirely under the hood of the car.

Combined with the improved efficiency of the powertrain and a reduced energy requirement for driving, a 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen storage tank installed to this vehicle provides a cruising range (for reference) of approximately 750 km*2, an increase of approximately 30% compared to the previous FCV model, to achieve the world's top-class*3 cruising range among all zero emission vehicles. This increase in cruising range significantly improved the practicality of this FCV model as an everyday car which can accommodate all driving needs from everyday use to a long-distance driving trip. The hydrogen tank can be refilled in approximately three minutes*4, realizing ease of use equivalent to that of a gasoline-powered vehicle.

Moreover, as part of its "cutting-edge appeal," the Clarity Fuel Cell features an exterior design which combines dynamism and elegance as well as a quiet yet powerful and smooth driving feel which can be realized only by an electric vehicle equipped with a high-output motor with maximum output of 130 kW. In addition, in combination with a portable external power output device, the Power Exporter 9000, which also went on sale today, Clarity Fuel Cell can function as a "power source on wheels" that is capable of supplying approximately seven-days' worth*5 of electricity for an average household.

For the first year of the Clarity Fuel Cell launch in Japan, Honda will focus on lease sales mainly to local government bodies or businesses Honda has already been working with for the popularization of FCVs. During this period, Honda will collect information about the in-market use of the Clarity Fuel Cell as well as the external power output device and gather diverse opinions and requests from customers and other relevant organizations, and then later begin sales to individual customers.

Honda will begin with small-volume production at the Production Supervisory Unit and Powertrain Production Supervisory Unit (located in Takanezawa-machi, Shioya-gun, Tochigi, Japan.), eventually expanding production volume. Moreover, Honda is planning to introduce the Clarity Fuel Cell to Europe and the U.S. before the end of 2016.

Honda was one of the first automakers to begin focusing attention on hydrogen as a possible solution for issues such as global warming and depletion of fossil fuels. Honda has been positioning the FCV, which emits only water, as the ultimate environmentally responsible vehicle and has taken a proactive approach to the research and development of FCVs since the late 1980s.

In 2002, the Honda FCX became the first fuel cell vehicle in the world to be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). With these certifications, Honda began sales of the Honda FCX in Japan and the U.S. In 2008, Honda became the first automaker to begin sales of the FCX Clarity, which featured an innovative sedan-type package and unprecedented driving experience. The all-new Clarity Fuel Cell was developed based on various data related to the ease of use and driving performance of these previous Honda FCVs.

With the goal to make a contribution to the forthcoming hydrogen energy society and to realize the joy and freedom of mobility and a sustainable society where people can enjoy life, Honda will continue taking on new challenges in the area of hydrogen technologies including the Smart Hydrogen Station, FCVs and external power output devices under the concept of "generate, use and get connected."

<All-new Clarity Fuel Cell>
●Sales plan (in Japan, first year): Approximately
200 units
■Key specifications
Number of occupants 5
Powertrain Motor Max. output 130 kW/4,501-9,028 rpm [Max rpm: 13,000 rpm]
Max. torque 300 N・m/0-3,500 rpm
Type AC synchronous motor
Fuel cell stack Max. output 103 kW
Type Polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC)
Drive battery Type Lithium-ion battery
Fuel/tank Fuel type compressed hydrogen
Tank capacity 141 L (front: 24 L/ rear: 117 L)
Nominal pressure 70 MPa
Vehicle size (length x width x height) 4,915 mm x 1,875 mm x 1,480 mm
Vehicle weight 1,890 kg
Price including consumption tax*6 (for reference) 7,660,000 yen
○Body color (total 3 colors)*7
‐Premium Brilliant Garnet Metallic (Roof color: Black / Interior color: Platinum Gray)
‐White Orchid Pearl (Roof color: Black / Interior color: Platinum Gray)
‐Crystal Black Pearl (Interior color: Platinum Gray)

<Portable external power output device - Power Exporter 9000>
■Key specifications
Rated output 9 kVA
Output voltage/output frequency AC100・200 V (single-phase three-wire system)
/50/60 Hz (frequency switching system)
Power conversion Inverter
Weight 50.8 kg
Overall length x width x height 755 mm×387 mm×438 mm
Output terminal 100 V×6 terminals /200 V x 1 terminal
Applicable standard V2L Guideline DC 2.1
Price including consumption tax*8
(for reference)
1,180,000 yen
*1 Among planned production models of sedan-type vehicles, Honda internal research as of February 2016

*2 Honda internal measurement in JC08 mode and after refueling the vehicle at a hydrogen station with charging pressure of 70 MPa under the standard conditions specified in the SAE standards (J2601) (e.g. Ambient temperature of 20 degrees Celsius/68 degrees Fahrenheit; Begin refueling into a high-pressure hydrogen tank with internal pressure of 10 MPa). The cruising range may vary when the vehicle is refueled at hydrogen station with different specifications, as the amount of hydrogen put in the tank will vary depending on the specifications of the hydrogen station. The cruising range is expected to be approximately 800 km when the vehicle is refueled under the same conditions using a hydrogen station that complies with new standards which will become effective after fiscal year ending on March 31, 2017. The cruising range also may vary significantly depending on conditions (ambient temperature, traffic congestion, etc.) and how the vehicle is driven (sudden starts, use of air- usage conditioning unit, etc.)

Range calculation based on Japanese JC08 drive cycle; anticipated U.S. EPA range rating to exceed 300 miles.

*3 Honda internal research as of February 2016

*4 Honda internal measurement using a hydrogen station with charging pressure of 70 MPa under the standard conditions specified in the SAE standards (J2601) (e.g. Ambient temperature of 20 degrees Celsius/68 degrees Fahrenheit; Begin refueling into a high-pressure hydrogen tank with internal pressure of 10 MPa). Time required for refueling may vary depending on charging pressure and ambient temperature.

*5 Calculated based on the average daily electricity consumption by an average household (Researched by the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan)
*6This model is currently available exclusively for leasing. The lease price varies depending on lease terms and plans etc.
*7There will be a 43,200 yen (including consumption tax) extra charge for White Orchid Pearl and 64,800 yen (including consumption tax) extra charge for Premium Brilliant Garnet Metallic.
*8The price is a manufacturer's suggested retail price (in Japan) and it is for reference only.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
  • From Our Partners

    You May Like
    Links by Zergnet
    Share This Photo X