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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: Tax credit on a lease??
By Lord 666 on 11/15/2007 1:13:31 PM , Rating: 1
That is incorrect; the credit applies if you purchase or lease it.,,id=157557,0...

The vehicle must be acquired for use or lease by the taxpayer claiming the credit.

RE: Tax credit on a lease??
By masher2 on 11/15/2007 1:15:38 PM , Rating: 2
You have misread the law. You must acquire (purchase) the car for either your own use or to lease to others.

So if you lease the vehicle, the leasing agency could potentially qualify for the credit, but not you personally.

RE: Tax credit on a lease??
By Lord 666 on 11/15/2007 1:26:46 PM , Rating: 1
After reading your post, just checked on Honda's site itself and again you are correct.

As you point out, there might be several leasing companies (American Honda Finance included) making a fortune off this tax credit, but not passing onto the consumer or disclosing it. I don't know what a Honda Hybrid lease looks like but could it be Class Action if they don't disclose it?

RE: Tax credit on a lease??
By masher2 on 11/15/2007 1:39:10 PM , Rating: 5
With all due respect, where is this innate urge to sue coming from? The tax credit belongs to whoever plunked down the cash to buy the vehicle. If you sign a lease, you agreed to its terms. The notion of coming back later with a suit because you felt you were "owed" a credit is a bit puerile.

In any case, if a company leases the vehicle and doesn't "pass on" that savings, then some other company will, and undercut their prices. That's the nature of the free market. In fact, I strongly suspect this current $600/month rate already reflects much of that credit. I don't see how else it could include this very pricey car, plus all maintenance, AND the delivery and installation of a state-of-the-art hydrogen production facility in your own home.

Finally, you have to remember this is just a credit,and not a cash payment. For instance, a leasing agency that is currently not showing a profit will get zero benefit from the credit, making it extremely difficult to pass that on.

RE: Tax credit on a lease??
By Lord 666 on 11/15/07, Rating: -1
RE: Tax credit on a lease??
By Hoser McMoose on 11/18/2007 8:48:45 PM , Rating: 2
Given how expensive fuel cells are and the limited quantities in which this car is being produced it probably costs Honda well over $100,000 per vehicle WITHOUT taking into account the sunk R&D costs.

They are then leasing it for ONLY $600/month? I would say that they most certainly are passing that $12,000 credit on to consumes and then some!

There's no way that Honda is making ANY money off this vehicle. At best it's a hope to get a leg-up for if and when hydrogen fuel cell vehicles become popular 20+ years from now.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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