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The Honda FCX Clarity is a hydrogen fuel cell automobile manufactured by Honda. The design is based on the 2006 Honda FCX Concept. The FCX Clarity demonstrates electric car qualities such as zero emissions while offering 5 minute refueling times and long range in a full function large sedan. It went on sale as a 2008 model year vehicle.

Limited marketing of a fuel cell vehicle based on the concept model began in 19 June, 2008 in the United Statesmarker and it was introduced in Japanmarker in November 2008. The FCX Clarity is available in the U.S. only in the Los Angeles Area, where 16 hydrogen filling stations are available, and until July 2009, 10 drivers have leased the Clarity for US$600 a month which includes collision coverage, zero-cost maintenance and roadside assistance. Honda believes it could start mass producing vehicles based on the FCX Clarity by the year 2020.

Specifications

The vehicle's electrical power comes from a 100 kW Honda Vertical Flow (V Flow) hydrogen fuel cell stack and is supplied on demand. Just like a hybrid car, free energy captured from braking and deceleration is generated by the Motor/Generator which is stored in a 288V lithium ion battery.

The electric motor is based on the motor in the EV Plus, rated at and torque @0-3056 rpm. The range on a full hydrogen tank (4.1 kg @ 5000psi) is 280 miles (~450 km), with fuel efficiency of 77/67/72 miles (~124/108/116 km) per kilogram of hydrogen in city/highway/combined driving.

Production

The FCX Clarity is currently produced in Japan, at the Honda Automobile New Model Center (Takanezawa-machi, Shioya-gun, Tochigi Prefecture). The fuel cell stack itself is produced at Honda Engineering Co., Ltd. (Haga-machi, Haga-gun, Tochigi Prefecture). Honda planned to produce 200 vehicles within 3 years.

Running Costs

According to Top Gear, in 2008, 30 litres of hydrogen costs the same as 30 litres of gasoline in California. Also, the FCX Clarity's power plant is much simpler than an internal combustion engine, so it does not need to be serviced as often.

Tax credits

On 25 July, 2007 the United States Internal Revenue Service announced that the Honda’s FCX had met the requirements of the Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit as a qualified fuel cell motor vehicle. Purchasers of the 2005 and 2006 Honda FCX are eligible for a $12,000 Section 30B(b) credit, but consumers are not currently allowed to purchase the vehicle, as it is still available only for leasing, however only in Southern California, where public hydrogen refueling stations are available.

The leasing program began in July 2007 at a price of $600.00 USD per month for 3 years which includes collision coverage, all maintenance and roadside assistance. Honda announced Power Honda Costa Mesa, Honda of Santa Monica and Scott Robinson Honda as the initial dealers, which were chosen for their proximity to hydrogen refueling stations.

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