Labelling its first hydrogen fuel cell car – the first such car made available to members of the public, no less – ‘Clarity’ in 2008 ranks among Honda’s bolder recent decisions.
Doubtless, it was plucked from the marketing ether to echo the remarkable truth of the clear, semi-clean water trickling from the model’s tailpipe; because the alternative intimation is surely a reference to the brand’s strategic foresight, and its steely eyed dedication to a zero-emissions path that leads inexorably to the moral and technological high ground.
There’s no small irony in option B. Despite others joining Honda on the fuel cell bandwagon, almost a decade of progress has not resulted in much more clarity than we encountered the first time around.
As before, infrastructure – the method of conveniently refuelling a car that runs on the stuff – remains a thorny issue simultaneously pricked by a lack of willpower, interest and investment.
In London, one of the biggest, richest and most populous cities in the world, there is now a grand total of five places to pump compressed gaseous hydrogen into a fuel tank. That plainly isn’t enough.
However, that is not Honda’s fault nor precisely its problem. After all, the second generation of the Clarity, much like the first, is not about to appear in a UK dealership with a price sticker in its window.