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Honda FCX Clarity  (Source: Honda)

  (Source: Honda)

  (Source: Honda)
Leases begin in summer 2008 at $600 per month

The gasoline-electric hybrid news has come in at a furious pace at DailyTech over the past few weeks. Honda announced its intention to bring a small, sporty hybrid to market; Fisker announced its gorgeous hybrid sports sedan and GM yesterday showed off new hybrid full-size pickups and full-size SUVs.

Honda has a new fuel efficient vehicle of its own to tout and the word "hybrid" is nowhere to be found. The company finally pulled the wraps off the production version of its FCX fuel cell prototype -- now called the FCX Clarity.

Exterior design-wise, the FCX Clarity closely mimics the earlier prototype, but now features government-spec bumpers front and back and smaller wheels. Inside, the FCX Clarity uses a gauge cluster and heads-up display similar in fashion to the current Honda Civic. Otherwise, the interior looks rather normal if you can get past the overabundance of silver-painted plastic.

When it comes to the powertrain, the FCX Clarity uses a 100 kW V Flow fuel cell stack which is 65 percent smaller than the one used on the first generation FCX. Other powertrain components include a 171-liter, 5,000-psi hydrogen fuel tank, a lithium-ion battery pack and a 95 kW (127 HP) electric motor.

According to Honda, the FCX Clarity is good for an equivalent of 68 MPG and has a range of 270 miles. Also, since the FCX Clarity is a fuel cell-powered vehicle, there are no CO2 emissions -- the vehicle's only emission is water.

"The FCX Clarity is a shining symbol of the progress we've made with fuel cell vehicles and of our belief in the promise of this technology," said American Honda president and CEO Tetsuo Iwamura. "Step by step, with continuous effort, commitment and focus, we are working to overcome obstacles to the mass-market potential of zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell automobiles."

The FCX Clarity will see limited service in the Southern California area beginning in summer 2008. Customers will sign up for a three-year lease at price of roughly $600 per month. Honda also notes that the FCX Clarity qualifies for a $12,000 IRS tax credit.

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RE: waste of money
By mdogs444 on 11/15/2007 11:00:16 AM , Rating: 2
First its $600/mo, but does not say what the down payment is...and I promise you its more than just the $2000 or $3000 Civic/Accord down payment.

Also, the tax credit its for purchasing I believe. Not sure how that works with leasing, but im positive its prorated if does.

We dont have HOV lanes in Ohio, but dont see a need for them at all around here and i live in a downtown metropolitan area.

RE: waste of money
By theapparition on 11/15/2007 12:42:05 PM , Rating: 2
TCO, is the real measure. Total Cost of Ownership, just as it sounds.

The MPG numbers seem nice, but what about the cost of the natural gas used to convert into hydrogen fuel. Last I checked, priced of natural gas in my area were going through the roof. No one has mentioned the cost for the fuel to make the fuel, plus the electricity to power the fuel making/compressing/pumping machine.

Now add any sort of tax offset (without looking up the IRS code, doubtfull of the full 12k credit), and subtract any sort of maintenence on this, factor in your driving habits, and you should have your answer for the TCO.

I doubt that this will be worth the premium in the end.

RE: waste of money
By Spuke on 11/16/2007 4:18:09 PM , Rating: 2
Can propane be used to power the home unit?

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