Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Debuts In Tokyo

OCT 29 2015 BY MARK KANE 35

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show its brand new, production-ready hydrogen fuel cell car – the Clarity Fuel Cell, announced earlier this month.

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell will enter the market next year, but the production plan – at least according to Nikkei – at 400 units a year (1,500 in 2020) is too small to even consider it as an alternative to Toyota Mirai.

Clarity Fuel Cell is important because the Japanese manufacturer intends to introduce all-electric and plug-in hybrid versions, and the PHEV will have up to 40 miles of electric range.

Honda differs from the Toyota Mirai, as the downsized FC powertrain is under the hood and the number of seats is 5.

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell - Fuel-cell stack

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell – Fuel-cell stack

There is a 70 MPa pressure hydrogen tank for up to 700 km (435 miles) range on the highly optimistic JC08 test cycle (slightly more than Mirai).

Motor power stands at 130 kW, while the hydrogen fuel cells stack can deliver 100 kW. The rest of the power we believe will come in for short periods of acceleration from a small lithium-ion battery.

The price in Japan is 7.66 million yen (including consumption tax) – $63,400.

“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 .”


Honda Clarity Fuel Cell - Fuel-cell Power Train

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell – Fuel-cell Power Train

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

“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 Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

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 Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

“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.”

Beside the car and the Power Exporter 9000, Honda presented its Smart Hydrogen Station:

“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.”

Smart Hydrogen Station

Smart Hydrogen Station

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Key specifications

Number of occupants5
Cruising range (reference)More than 700km*4 (Honda internal measurement while being driven in JC 08 Mode
Refueling timeApproximately 3 minutes*5
FC maximum outputMore than 100kW
FC stack output density3.1kW/L*1
Motor maximum output130kW
Hydrogen maximum filling pressure70MPa
Energy storageLithium-ion battery
Vehicle size (length X width X height)4,895mmx1,875mmx1,475mm
Price*6 (reference)7.66 million yen (including consumption tax)
  • Body color (total 3 colors)
    -Premium Brilliant Garnet Metallic (Roof color: Black / Interior color: Platinum Gray)
    -While Orchid Pearl (Roof color: Black / Interior color: Platinum Gray)
    -Crystal Black Pearl (Interior color: Platinum Gray)
  • *1Honda internal measurement
  • *2Honda 3.5L V6 engine
  • *3Among planned production models of sedan-type vehicle, Honda internal research as of October 2015
  • *4Honda internal measurement in JC08 mode and after refueling the vehicle at a hydrogen station with charging pressure of 70 MPa which comply with SAE standards (J2601). The cruising range may vary when the vehicle is refueled at hydrogen station with different specifications, as amount of hydrogen put in the tank will vary depending on the specifications of hydrogen station. The cruising range may also vary significantly depending on conditions of usage (ambient temperature, traffic congestion, etc.) and how the vehicle is driven (sudden starts, use of air-conditioning unit, etc.)
  • *5Honda internal measures using 70MPa station in the exterior temperature of 20 degrees Celsius. Time required for refueling may vary depending on conditions.
  • *6This model is currently available exclusively for lease sales. The lease price varies depending on lease terms and plans etc.
  • *7Calculated based on the average daily electricity consumption by an average household (Researched by the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan)
Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

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35 Comments on "Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Debuts In Tokyo"

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Am I reading this right? They are going to have a Clarity Fuel Cell, a Clarity BEV, and a Clarity PHEV? If so this is wonderful! Not a bad looking sedan, and as long as the three different drive trains all look the same ouside, the determining factor will be technology and cost. So when Honda sells 400 Clarity FCVs at $63k, 14,000 Clarity BEVs at $33k, and 40,000 Clarity PHEVs at $30k – then I guess they will start to understand what people want and maybe they will abandon this hydrogen stuff.

Yeah, I suspect that is how it will play out as well.

You really think they’ll sell a mid sized BEV for $33K?

Well . . . they could build an ~80 mile EV for that price. But it is going to cost a lot more if they want better range.

33,000$ Ne Va

Why not? Nissan does today. Why can’t Honda do so 3 years from now?

Well, most people won’t be stupid enough to go for the Most Expensive Fuel Solution on the planet, aside from Kryptonite.

We need to go to the planet’s surface for more dilithium crystals cap’n.

Nice color.

Well . . . it is at least not as ugly as the Mirai.

Honda, work hard on your PHEV if you smart.

They will also have a pure BEV by 2018 (basically three propulsion systems with same design, a clever way to keep costs down until such cars become more mainstream…).

Speculawyer said:

“Well… it is at least not as ugly as the Mirai.”

Yeah. Kudos to Honda for managing to avoid the stupendously ugly air scoops on the Mirai.

But unfortunately… it’s still a fool cell car. So it’s still a FAIL.

Yeah, thankfully not as ugly as the Mirai. But what is up with that slightly covered rear wheel. Did they honestly think that looked good? Is there a functional reason for it? Because I can’t understand why they would purposely design it that way

Covering up rear wheels does improve aerodynamics. Ideally, all rear wheels would be covered. But it somehow has gotten ‘the look’ of being dorky looking . . . probably because of the cars of 30s and 40s that did it.

Someone needs to figure out a way to make covered rear wheels look good.

I know this is from 2007 but it remains relevant today.

Every time I see a cut-away view of any FCV, I see this in the back seat:

Yea, Me too…Get in a Severe Crash & KA-BOOM! Up We G0!….Why Do People refuse To See & Understand That???????


That’s what I say TOOooo F U D D

ISIS knows.

ISIS is a creation of NATO

70MPa tank, that is 10,000psi folks. Also known as a bomb.

Thank You For Clarifying that.. I wonder why the manufacturers don’t get that???? P C ????

Because its not a real thing and people need to understand that, if you dropped this car from a crane 40 feet in the air onto the tank and there was nothing left but scrap metal the tank would still be there full of hydrogen or will have safely vented it into the atmosphere during the chaos of the event. They shoot these tanks with 50 caliber bullets, burn them in a fire, drop them, do all sorts of ridiculous things to them. They are no more dangerous than the gasoline tank in your car.

No thanks Honda. Happy with my EV future.

I’m looking forward to their pure EV version though. I’ll put their pure EV on my cross shopping list when buying a Model 3.

+1, no thanks to a Hydrogen bomb in every garage. Wouldn’t drive around with one or keep it at my house.

400 units per year worldwide for the next five years.

Watching these FCV rollouts is kind of like watching someone climb up on the roof and strap on skis. You just know this can not end well.

At least there is a face saving BEV in the works.

It does appear to be the world’s slowest train wreck, and worse, the manufacturers know it !!!

If hydrogen were “it”, they’d be all-in like Tesla, building tens of thousands of cars and rolling out world wide hydrogen infrastructure. Toyota, in particular, most definitely has the cash on hand to do this.

Building 400 per year has to be painful, but they get 9 Zero Emission Vehicle credit for each car, allowing them to continue to sell those thousands of petroleum powered cars in California and other CARB states.

Plus, it must help with the EPA mileage requirements in some small way.

70MPa roughly equates to 10,000psi. Somehow that always makes me nervous.

If you reform liquid hydrocarbon fuel to hydrogen, you have no high pressure tanks.

Where is the hydrogen infrastructure?

This is a true chicken / egg problem.

Can’t really sell FCEV’s without a robust hydrogen infrastructure.

Can’t build a hydrogen infrastructure with FCEV cars.

They both have to be done at the same time, or they both fail.

That is exactly the question Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn asked almost one year ago at the Tokyo Auto Show.

FirstElement has received $27 million in grants from the California Energy Commission to construct 19 stations, and $14 million in loans from Honda.

There are nine public H2 stations currently operational in California, with a few dozen more expected to be completed by 2020.

Poor Honda on the BS Fuel Cell Wagon.
My respect for the Honda brand has plummeted.

When will Honda do the right thing and offer a proper plug in – instead of the Hydrogen Inefficient Crap to maintain the fuel companies hold.

Well, they anounced both.

If they are going to make a BEV, FCEV, and a PHEV, why not go ahead and make a PHFCEV? It would help with the problem of hydrogen infrastructure if they did. The reason they don’t, is that any customer given the choice, is going to drive on electricity opposed to any type of fuel. By building such a vehicle, it would ultimately “educate” people that are uncertain of how both technologies work and we can’t have that…..

Takes 3 minutes to refuel an H2 car and obtain another 400 miles of range, try driving a Tesla across the country or even just from northern California to southern California, hope you like hotels. Fuel companies are no different from energy companies, whether you fill up at the station or plug in at home, you are still paying a giant fuel powered corporation for energy that you have no control or influence over.