Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Sedan Makes North American Debut in Los Angeles

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Honda’s second-generation fuel cell vehicle is making its North American debut at the 2015 Los Angeles auto show. Fitting as the new Honda Clarity Fuel Cell sedan will initially go on sale in late 2016 in Los Angeles and Orange counties, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Sacramento with sales throughout the rest of California and other select markets to follow. Pricing for the Clarity will be competitive with other cars in the segment. In other words, it will be priced similar to the Toyota Mirai, which starts at $57,500 before any federal or state incentives. Honda says the new Clarity represents two decades of fuel cell innovation as well as more efficient packaging. The Clarity offers more interior space, efficiency and real-world performance compared to the FCX Clarity it replaces. “Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are a zero emissions technology that Honda believes in, and has worked to advance for more than 20 years,” said John Mendel, executive vice president, American Honda Motor Co., Inc, in a release. “Vehicles like the Clarity Fuel Cell are potential game changers because they offer an uncompromising, zero emissions customer experience, with utility, range and refueling times on par with today’s gasoline-powered cars.” Compared to the FCX Clarity, the fuel cell in the new model is 33 percent smaller, yet has a 60-percent increase in power density. Honda says the new compact fuel cell powertrain is roughly the size of a V-6 engine and fits entirely under the hood. The Clarity Fuel Cell sedan has room for five passengers. Estimated driving range is said to be more than 300 miles, while refueling will take around three minutes at a pressure of 70 MPa. In our brief drive, we found the Clarity Fuel Cell sedan to drive much like Honda’s mainstream sedans: the compact Civic and midsize Accord. That’s a good thing. Like those cars, the new Clarity will be available with the automaker’s latest technology including the Honda Sensing suite of safety and drive assist features, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and LED exterior lighting. Exterior colors include black, white, and the show car’s signature red exterior. It will ride on a set of 18-inch alloy wheels. Additionally, Honda announced that the platform underpinning the Clarity Fuel Cell will also serve as the foundation for a next-generation Honda plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) that will launch nationwide by 2018, with more than triple the all-electric range of the Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan. Honda sees hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as one of the most promising pathways to address climate change by reducing CO2 emissions of transportation. Honda has announced a company-wide goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2050, and the Clarity Fuel Cell is a one of a series of bold steps towards achieving that goal Honda will use the Clarity Fuel Cell sedan’s underpinning for the next-generation PHEV Honda that will go on sale nationwide by 2018. The new car will feature a two-motor hybrid plug-in system that is said to “more than triple the 13-mile-all-electric range of the current Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan. Source: Honda