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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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By tobinsmith on 11/15/2007 11:40:31 AM , Rating: 2
As for how this vehicle is refueled, Honda also is developing a home fueling station that uses a home's existing natural gas supply to produce hydrogen. The automaker now has such a fueling station on its research and design campus in Torrance.

It is supplied with a new version of Honda's home energy system, powered by natural gas, that generates hydrogen, electricity and heat for water heating, that is claimed to reduce household energy consumption by 50%.

RE: refueling
By Chernobyl68 on 11/15/2007 12:02:22 PM , Rating: 2
also, I'd rather not have a 5000 psi ANYTHING in my car. No thanks.

RE: refueling
By phorensic on 11/15/2007 3:08:20 PM , Rating: 2
Power steering systems commonly have over 1,000 psi of pressure. Rock crawlers and desert racers commonly upgrade to higher pressure systems with hydraulic rams. Buses have been running for years on CNG at 3,600 psi with the large storage tanks overhead. Rock crawlers will run a similar CNG (or lower pressure LNG) setup in an extremely abusive environment. Welding tanks are routinely filled to 2,000-3,600 psi and carted around on delivery trucks. All these examples don't seem to have many problems in their long term history.

RE: refueling
By Spuke on 11/15/2007 7:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
Direct injection engines (BMW 335i, Pontiac Solstice GXP/Saturn Sky Redline, Chevy HHR SS) have high pressure fuel injection systems (varys to over 2000 psi).

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