After debuting in Tokyo, the 2016 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell made its American debut at the ongoing Los Angeles Auto Show. The vehicle which emits 0% carbon is a strong statement by Honda in line to fulfilling their promise to achieve 50% carbon emission reduction by 2050.
The new model leverages the automakers two decades of advancing its fuel cell technology which has resulted in huge gains in efficiency, packaging, interior space and performance.
2016 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Exterior
Looking at the Clarity Fuel Cell sedan head on, you won’t notice any difference from a conventional standard sedan. The vehicle stretches 4,895 mm long, 1,875 mm wide and stands at a height of 1,475 mm.
The vehicle has a slender aerodynamic profile. At the front it features sharp LED headlights which flank a grille similar to conventional Honda sedans. The rear also features LED taillights. The vehicle will be offered in three exterior colors which are black, white and red. The Clarity Fuel Cell will ride on 18-inch alloy wheels.
Honda announced that they will use the platform on the Clarity Fuel Cell on the next generation of their Honda Plug-In hybrid expected to debut in 2018 which is expected to triple the electric range of the Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan.
2016 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Interior
The reduction of the fuel stack by 33% has made it possible for a roomy cabin large enough to accommodate five passengers. The interior will be upholstered in quality material and will feature soft plastics here and there.
Honda will also hook up the vehicle with their most updated technology features including Honda sensing suite, Android Auto, LED interior and exterior lighting and Apple CarPlay among others. The vehicle will also feature up-to-date connectivity features like USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity and Smartphone integration to name just but a few.
A modern infotainment system with a large screen and a premium audio system will also be featured. The automaker will also offer a package of driving aids as an option.
Engine Specs and Performance
Hydrogen in, water and electricity out, this is how clean driving is turning out to be. The sedan is powered by a modified version of the FCX Clarity hydrogen cell which has been on the market since 2008 as a prototype. Through research, the company has been able to tweak the engine to deliver more output. It produces 174 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. The engine enables the vehicle to complete the 0-60 mph run in 9 seconds.
The Clarity Fuel Cell is the first hydrogen vehicle to feature its power-train under the hood. This has been achieved by reducing the fuel cell stack by 33% to almost the size of a conventional 3.5 L V6 petrol engine leaving plenty of cabin room. This also made it possible for Honda to mount two hydrogen tanks: a smaller tank beneath the rear seats and a big one in its trunk.
The two tanks combine to give a 435 miles range. What more, you can use the vehicle to power your house for a whole week using Honda’s Power Exporter 9000 gadget. For newbies in hydrogen technology, this drivetrain works by mixing compressed hydrogen with oxygen to create electricity and water. The electricity is channeled to a lithium-ion battery pack which is placed beneath the front seats. The electricity is then sent to the electric motor which spins the front wheels of the vehicle.
The car just takes 3 minutes to refuel at a pressure of 70 MPa almost the same time it takes a petrol-powered car. However, infrastructure will be the biggest challenge for this vehicle since there are only few hydrogen stations and far between in the US.
Price and release date
The vehicle will be available in select fuel cell dealers California (Los Angeles, Sacramento, Orange County and San Francisco Bay) in late 2016 due to limitation of hydrogen stations.
As hydrogen fueling stations expand, the automaker will avail it to other states too. Honda has not released its pricing details but judging from its competitors and taking the price in its local market in Japan, the 2016 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell will have a starting price of around $ 60,000.
When it hits the market, the 2016 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell will contend with the Toyota Mirai (the first mass-market fuel cell vehicle in the world) and Hyundai Tuscon FCEV.
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