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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: First Post
By Lord 666 on 11/15/2007 2:26:17 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry about the first paragraph, I've been practicing my political-speak.

The upshot is that even if everyone in the nation switched to a diesel hybrid, in 2-3 decades our emissions would be right back where they started

With the recent talk of increasing fleet economy to 35mpg by 2025, the Big Three and Toyota have said it cannot be done. But if the US switches all vehicles to diesel hybrids as you state, it would give the US 2-3 decades before emissions comes back to the current leve(and implied fuel economy as you early indicate 35%+ fuel savings by using straight diesel. It would also meet the 35mpg fleet economy instantly.

However, we both agree that nuclear and hydrogen power is THE long term solution.

RE: First Post
By masher2 on 11/15/2007 2:41:32 PM , Rating: 2
> " It would also meet the 35mpg fleet economy instantly."

Agreed. However, the OP said "how about some Bluetec Disels instead. " That implies dropping hydrogen entirely in favor of sole reliance on diesels. Which of course, doesn't solve anything but a short-term problem.

> "However, we both agree that nuclear and hydrogen power is THE long term solution"

Yes, we're in total agreement on this point.

RE: First Post
By Cygni on 11/15/2007 3:48:39 PM , Rating: 2
Something of note on the subject of using nuclear power to produce hydrogen is the Sulfur-iodine cycle and high temperature electrolysis.

Currently, hydrogen is produced through steam reformation of natural gas... which unfortunately counts CO2 as its primary bipoduct (actually CO first, but CO2 after a secondary reaction). Also, using straight electrolysis to break down water is highly energy inefficient. We would be better off simply using electric cars over using large scale electrolysis.

However, future GenIV nuclear reactors could produce absolutely massive amounts of hydrogen very efficiently directly from water through both high temperature electrolysis... and perhaps further in the future, the sulfur-iodine cycle. GenIV reactors are expected online by 2030... which could prove to be the critical point for any move to a nuclear/hydrogen economy. HTE would massively boost CO2 friendly hydrogen production, and should be able to undercut the price of fossil fuel derived hydrogen by a notable margin.

Just throwin' in some more info into the pot, hah.

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