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Honda's FCX Clarity -Hydrogen Fuel Celled


Honda's new zero-emission, hydrogen fuel celled FCX Clarity rolled off a Japanese production line and is headed to southern California, where Hollywood is already abuzz over the latest splash in green motoring.

The biggest obstacles standing in the way of wider adoption of fuel cell vehicles are cost and the dearth of hydrogen fuel stations. For the Clarity's release in California, Honda said it received 50,000 applications through its Web site but considered only buyers living near hydrogen fuel stations in Torrance, Santa Monica and Irvine.

Although Honda Motor Co. (HMC) was the first Japanese automaker to launch a gas-electric hybrid vehicle in the U.S. in 1999, it has been outpaced by the dominance of Toyota's (TM) popular Prius.

Toyota announced in May that it has sold more than 1 million Prius hybrids, while both the Honda Insight and the hybrid Accord have been discontinued due to poor sales.

The FCX Clarity is part of Honda's plan to keep pace with rivals in green technology. It also plans to launch a gas-electric hybrid-only model, as well as hybrid versions of the Civic, the sporty CR-Z and Fit subcompact.

The Fuel Cell
Fuel cells produce electricity that can be used as a clean alternative
to gasoline. The fuel cell stack in the FCX Clarity converts hydrogen
(H2) and oxygen (O2) into electricity.
FCX Clarity is powered by an electric motor. The car you drove to
work today is probably powered by an engine. The big
difference is that the motor in the FCX Clarity gets its
energy from electricity, instead of from gasoline like most
cars today. So while the FCX Clarity has the power of an engine,
it also offers the uniquely clean, quiet ride of a motor.
Auxiliary regenerated energy is supplied by a lithium-ion battery pack, increasing the vehicle’s efficiency and range.

All of the advanced components in the FCX Clarity have been fine-tuned for ultimate performance in this Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) of the very near future.
Honda has developed a compact lithium-ion battery that serves as a supplemental power source in the FCX Clarity.

The FCX Clarity, which runs on hydrogen and electricity, emits only water and none of the gases believed to induce global warming. It is also two times more energy efficient than a gas-electric hybrid and three times that of a standard gasoline-powered car, the company says.

While electric vehicles are powered by a battery alone and must be plugged in to recharge, hybrid vehicles combine a gasoline-powered engine with an electric motor. You fill hybrid vehicles up with regular gasoline and they do not need to be plugged in. A fuel cell vehicle does not need to be plugged in to recharge and it does not use gasoline.

Fuel cell vehicles are powered by electricity generated onboard by combining hydrogen with oxygen by the fuel cell stack. From tank to wheel, the FCX Clarity is twice as efficient as a hybrid-electric vehicle and three times more efficient than a conventional gasoline vehicle.

Today, automakers are more concerned than ever about finding solutions to the problems of air quality and climate change, and Honda is leading the way. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has a Web site with information about various incentives and initiatives in this important area:


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