The first of Honda's hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the FCX Clarity, has left the production line
16 June 2008

The first Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell vehicle has rolled off the production line in Japan. The zero-emissions Honda won’t be coming to Europe yet, as Honda is initially leasing a fleet of 200 vehicles to customers in the California and Japan.Customers will pay roughly £300 per month over three years for the privilege, but drivers will be conscious of the car’s 270-mile range as there are only 3 hydrogen filling stations in California and 12 in Japan.John Kingston, environment manager for Honda UK, said: “The arrival of the first hydrogen fuel cell car is particularly significant during this time of rapidly increasing oil prices. Honda is proud to offer an alternative energy solution that could reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and the effect of motoring on climate change."Under the FCX’s skin is a fuel cell stack that uses an electromechanical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to convert chemical energy into electrical energy, which in turn powers the 134bhp motor. The only byproduct is water.

Ian Tonkin

Join the debate

Comments
8

16 June 2008

It needs to get over to the UK as soon as possible, and the Government need to get some Hydrogen Fuel Stations up and running as soon as possible! Or Honda should get the home-fill-up-stations ready for use in the UK. This car would sell at the bucket loads providing they were to price it right!

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

17 June 2008

Its going to take a lot more than right pricing to sell these cars.

It has to be economical to run and so far that doesn't seem to fit the description of

hydrogen. The most common way is to make H2 from natural gas and that is going to be a loser and will ensure we don't have energy independence.

The car also has to serviceable and safe...we have yet to see that.


I don't know what Honda plans and maybe they have everything dialed in but don't count

on it yet.

Remember, this is the same company that was not successful with its hybrid cars.

17 June 2008

I'm glad that alternative fuel vehicles are now starting to appear, but I really don't see that locally refuelled Hydrogen cars are the answer. These are basically electric cars with an on-board power station, whose fuel evaporates into the atmosphere if not used quickly.

Rather than build an expensive network of hydrogen filling stations, which will be stocked by thousands of hydrogen-carrying road tankers, why not build larger, more efficient energy converters in the form of Hydrogen-fuelled power stations, and distribute the power through an existing network, i.e. the national grid.

This would keep Hydrogen away from the general population and from terrorists, and avoid the issue which receives little attention - that of water (the exhaust) being spread across our roads. Not good in a cold climate!

The inefficiencies of distributing and storing the power on-board in batteries would surely be offset by the greater efficiency of a central energy converter. However, if we really do want to have a 'distributed power generation system', then why not have nuclear-powered cars?

17 June 2008

I look forward with great interest to see how this technology develops.

Will there be problems? Probably and not just a few, but we cannot shy away from these perceived problems.

The real initial challenge will be convincing many to ignore their preconceptions and allowing the technology a foothold to develope.

22 December 2008

'exhaust is only water...'

This equals FOG to me. One car, fine 20,000,000 might be like LA now but instead of smog: FOG.

The law of unitended consequences will prevail.

22 December 2008

In case you hadn't noticed, a fair proportion of what comes out the back of a petrol/diesel car is water vapour...you'll probably find that a typical petrol car produces more water exhaust than a hydrogen-electric car.

22 December 2008

[quote john_bon]

This equals FOG to me. One car, fine 20,000,000 might be like LA now but instead of smog: FOG.

[/quote]

I think I would prefer to breath in fog rather than smog if that was to be the case.

With fewer moving parts that a combustion engine you would think it would be cheaper to service and more reliable.

I think the only issue with this would be the production of the Hydrogen

22 December 2008

Think you should try to see the episode of top gear and listen to James Mays comments on the Honda Clarity- hes spot on and it is the future on a completely pragmatic level

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    It's got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again