2015 Tokyo: The production Honda Clarity Fuel Cell shows up in Japan’s capital

Honda’s ready to continue their quest to try and standardize more hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicles with the all-new Clarity Fuel Cell, which arrived at the Tokyo Motor Show in full-production guise to take on the new Toyota Mirai.

Built as a follow to the FCX Clarity, the new Honda Clarity FCV features a body that’s not far off from the current-generation Honda Accord as in size, clearly indicating Honda’s desire to make the new Clarity Fuel Cell as friendly to consumers as possible. Thanks to those proportions, they translate into a massive cabin thanks in part by a slightly smaller engine bay when compared to the size of a V6-equipped car.

So what sits in that bay? A new fuel-cell stack that’s more compact and efficient than the unit found in the previous FCX Clarity. The result is around 175hp with an increase of power density by 60%, at 3.1kW per Liter.

Supplying the new fuel-cell is a 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen tank, allowing the Clarity Fuel Cell to travel up to 435 miles on one tank and unlike current electric vehicles, it only takes around three minutes to refill, similarly to a gas engine.

For full details, check out the press release below.

Tokyo Motor Show Pic


Honda Exhibits World Premiere of CLARITY FUEL CELL, Planned Production Model of its All-new Fuel Cell Vehicle, at 44th Tokyo Motor Show 2015

— Lease sales in Japan will begin in March 2016 —

TOKYO, Japan, October 28, 2015 – Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today unveiled the world premiere of the planned production model of its all-new fuel cell vehicle (FCV), CLARITY FUEL CELL, at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show 2015. This model will be on display at the Honda booth during the Tokyo Motor Show. (Press days: October 28-29, 2015 / Public days: October 30 – November 8, 2015)

The all-new CLARITY FUEL CELL fuses the ease of use of a gasoline-powered vehicle and values that are unique to a FCV at a high level. This fusion gives this sedan-type FCV high value and potential to set a benchmark for FCVs now and in the future.
Employing original Honda technologies, the fuel cell stack for this model was downsized by 33% compared to the previous version of the fuel cell stack and yet output of more than 100kW and output density of 3.1kW/L*1 – approximately a 60% improvement – were achieved. The fuel cell powertrain was made as compact as a V6 engine*2, and thus it was made possible to consolidate it under the hood of a sedan-type vehicle for the first time in the world*3. This powertrain layout enabled a full cabin package that seats five adults comfortably .

Combined with improved efficiency of the powertrain and a reduced energy requirement for driving, a 70MPa high-pressure hydrogen storage tank installed to this vehicle provides a cruising range of more than 700 km*4(Honda internal measurement – for reference), the top-class cruising range among all FCVs. The tank can be refilled in approximately three minutes*5, realizing ease of use equivalent to that of a gasoline-powered vehicle. Furthermore, the high-output motor with maximum output of 130kW*1 realizes both direct, highly-responsive and exhilarating driving experience and excellent quietness at the same time. In addition, when combined with an external power feeding device, the Power Exporter 9000, the all-new CLARITY FUEL CELL can function as a “power plant on wheels” that generates and provides electricity to the community in times of a disaster or other events.

Honda will begin lease sales in Japan of this all-new CLARITY FUEL CELL in March 2016. For the first year after the start of sales in Japan, Honda will focus on sales mainly to local government bodies or business customers which Honda has already been working together for the popularization of FCVs. During this period, Honda will collect information about the in-market use situation, including the external power feeding device, and gather diverse opinions from customers and other relevant organizations, 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.), then eventually expand production volume and begin regular sales along with lease sales. The sales price*6 of CLARITY FUEL CELL in Japan will be 7.66 million yen (including consumption tax). The Power Exporter 9000, which has the capacity to feed approximately seven-days’ worth*7 of electricity for an average household, is scheduled to go on sale at the same time as the CLARITY FUEL CELL. CLARITY FUEL CELL will be sequentially evolved into the U.S. and Europe.Honda was one of the first automakers to begin focusing attention to 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 lease sales of the Honda FCX in Japan and the U.S. In 2008, Honda became the first automaker to begin lease 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 feeding devices under the concept of “generate, use and get connected.”

Key specifications

Number of occupants 5
Cruising range (reference) More than 700km*4 (Honda internal measurement while being driven in JC 08 Mode
Refueling time Approximately 3 minutes*5
FC maximum output More than 100kW
FC stack output density 3.1kW/L*1
Motor maximum output 130kW
Hydrogen maximum filling pressure 70MPa
Energy storage Lithium-ion battery
Vehicle size (length X width X height) 4,895mmx1,875mmx1,475mm
Price*6 (reference) 7.66 million yen (including consumption tax)

– By: Chris Chin

Chris Chin

Chris Chin is the Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech and is a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine.

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