Honda unveil Clarity Fuel Cell at Tokyo Motor Show
Next generation Fuel Cell Vehicle, the Honda Clarity, unveiled at 2015 Tokyo Motor Show Best-in-class range comparable to fossil fuel-powered vehicles Clarity Fuel Cell set for 2016 introduction in selected European markets
Honda, the pioneer of hydrogen fuel cell technology, has unveiled its next generation Honda Clarity Fuel Cell today at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show.
Incorporating Honda’s most advanced technologies, the Clarity Fuel Cell is the world’s first production model of a fuel cell powered sedan to house the entire fuel cell stack and drivetrain system in the space normally occupied by the engine and transmission. The Clarity will be commercially available in Japan from early 2016. Further information on the European launch of the vehicle will follow in 2016.
World-first packaging solution
The packaging of the Clarity has been inspired by Honda’s principle of man maximum, machine minimum. Through minimising the space utilised by the powertrain, Honda has been able to achieve a level of interior space that allows five adults to be comfortably accommodated as would be expected in a conventionally powered sedan. The size of the fuel cell stack and the power generation unit have been reduced through Honda’s advanced technologies to a size comparable to a V6 engine.
Despite the compact nature of the fuel cell powertrain, Honda’s advanced technologies have ensured world-leading fuel cell stack performance. Honda’s original wave flow channel separators are more advanced than ever, while the cells now feature a higher output and a more slender shape thanks to a 1 mm (20%) reduction in the thickness of each cell. These advances combine to make the fuel cell stack 33% more compact than the stack used in the original FCX Clarity. This improvement is highly impressive as it has been achieved in parallel with an increase in maximum motor output to 130 kW (177ps) and a power density increased by 60% to 3.1 kW/L.
Honda believes that the development of a compact fuel cell powertrain that is applicable to a full range of vehicles will help usher in a widespread adoption of fuel cell vehicles.
The Clarity is equipped with a high-pressure tank capable of storing hydrogen gas at 70 MPa, increasing the mass of hydrogen that can be stored and extending the range of the vehicle. Coupled with the efficient powertrain and reduced vehicle energy consumption, the Clarity achieves a best-in-class fuel cell vehicle range per full tank of over 700 km1.
In addition, the high-pressure tank can be quickly refilled, the process taking approximately
three minutes at 70 MPa and 20oC. These and other benefits give the Clarity a day-to-day convenience customers are used to with their traditional petrol or diesel powered vehicles.
An exhilarating driving experience
Engineered to use the high output of Honda’s fuel cell stack and the power assist of the lithium-ion battery pack, a high-output motor provides power to the driven wheels together with instant and powerful acceleration. Due to the continuously increasing torque provided by the high-output 130 kW (177 PS) motor with no need for gears, the Clarity achieves perfectly smooth acceleration anywhere from zero to maximum speed.
The direct response, exhilarating drive and quiet cabin together form an appealing combination. The Clarity offers the driver two driving modes: the ‘Normal’ mode provides a balance between fuel economy and driving performance, while ‘Sport’ prioritises a more responsive acceleration feeling.
The exterior of Clarity has been designed to give an imposing presence on the road while maintaining a strong aerodynamic profile. . Full-LED headlights with a sharp, slender profile and 18-inch aluminium wheels with an aerodynamic and stylish design complete the look.
The interior of Clarity combines an advanced yet refined atmosphere designed to provide the driver with a relaxing and comfortable driving environment. The advanced driver interface uses Honda’s design principles of instant recognition and intuitive control. Simple and outstandingly spacious, the interior features premium, comforting materials that make driving an experience to anticipate and enjoy.3
Honda Clarity in Europe and participation in HyFIVE project
Honda is scheduled to launch the Clarity in a limited number of European markets in 2016. Honda is one of five automotive companies that make up the HyFive consortium, and will supply vehicles that will be part of a 110 strong European fleet to highlight and promote the development, use and viability of this new technology.
In the UK, Honda has worked with suppliers to encourage the local production and consumption of energy by establishing a solar-powered hydrogen refuelling station in the grounds of Honda of the UK Manufacturing in Swindon. This station is open to the public (subject to registration) and able to refuel any fuel cell vehicle.
Originally published October 2015.
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