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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 Ringold on 11/15/2007 11:05:00 AM , Rating: 2
600 x 36 = 21,600 - 12,000 = 9600 for a car that after 3 years you don't own, can't fuel many places, and have little forward visibility on how much this fuel will even cost.

Not to mention zero utility outside of a certain radius from a hydrogen fueling station. This basically necessitates a second vehicle. Reliability, of course, is also unknown.

Conspicuous consumption (individuals willing to dump money to obtain a luxury) is necessary to get many industries up to speed.. but really sort of hard to make the cost efficiency case for this one.

Not to mention, the legalese surrounding terms like "tax credit" can mean anything from a real 12k off your tax bill to 12k off your taxable income. Not to mention the sort of wealthy individuals buying one could make a lousy move on the stock market and end up with a tax loss -- and thereby get nothing out of the credit at all.

You get one of these right now because it makes you feel warm and fuzzy, not because an accountant says its a good move.


RE: waste of money
By SeeManRun on 11/15/2007 11:40:53 AM , Rating: 4
Internal combustion engines have been around for 100 years. You want a new technology that solves all the problems of that proven technology in only a few years? Give it some time, its a starting point. I doubt the very first automobiles were affordable either. People probably had horse and buggies, and said the exact same thing about the horseless carriage; too expensive, and certainly much more than the hay costs for your horse.


"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007














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