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LAIAS: Honda FCX Clarity and HES IV

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Honda Debuts All-New FCX Clarity Advanced Fuel Cell Vehicle
Press Release
Photo Gallery (at LeftLaneNews)


11/14/2007 - LOS ANGELES, -

Honda today unveiled the FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show, announcing plans to begin limited retail marketing of the vehicle in summer 2008.

The FCX Clarity is a next-generation, zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle based on the entirely-new Honda V Flow fuel cell platform, and powered by the highly compact, efficient and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack. Featuring tremendous improvements to driving range, power, weight and efficiency - and boasting a low-slung, dynamic and sophisticated appearance, previously unachievable in a fuel cell vehicle - the FCX Clarity marks the significant progress Honda continues to make in advancing the real-world performance and appeal of the hydrogen-powered fuel cell car.

"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 Tetsuo Iwamura, American Honda president and CEO. "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."

American Honda plans to lease the FCX Clarity to a limited number of retail consumers in Southern California with the first deliveries taking place in summer 2008.

Full details of the lease program will be set closer to launch, but current plans call for a three-year lease term with a price of $600 per month, including maintenance and collision insurance. American Honda is also developing a service infrastructure that provides customers with the best balance of convenience and the highest quality of service. When the FCX Clarity requires periodic maintenance, customers will simply schedule a visit with their local Honda dealer. American Honda will transport the vehicle to their fuel cell service facility, located in the greater Los Angeles area, where all required work will be performed. At the completion of the work, the customer will pick up their car from the dealer.

How It Works

The FCX Clarity utilizes Honda's V Flow stack in combination with a new compact and efficient lithium ion battery pack and a single hydrogen storage tank to power the vehicle's electric drive motor. The fuel cell stack operates as the vehicle's main power source. Hydrogen combines with atmospheric oxygen in the fuel cell stack, where chemical energy from the reaction is converted into electric power used to propel the vehicle. Additional energy captured through regenerative braking and deceleration is stored in the lithium ion battery pack, and used to supplement power from the fuel cell, when needed. The vehicle's only emission is water.

Honda V Flow Fuel Cell Platform

The FCX Clarity's revolutionary new V Flow platform packages the ultra-compact, lightweight and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack (65 percent smaller than the previous Honda FC stack) in the vehicle's center tunnel, between the two front seats. Taking advantage of a completely new cell configuration, the vertically-oriented stack achieves an output of 100 kilowatts (kW) (versus 86kW in the current Honda FC stack) with a 50 percent increase in output density by volume (67 percent by mass). Its compact size allows for a more spacious interior and more efficient packaging of other powertrain components, which would otherwise be unattainable in a sleek, low-slung sedan.

The FCX Clarity boasts numerous other significant advances in the performance and packaging of Honda fuel cell technology, compared to the current-generation FCX. These include1:

* a 20-percent increase in fuel economy - to the approximate equivalent of 68 mpg2 combined fuel economy (about 2-3 times the fuel economy of a gasoline-powered car, and 1.5 times that of a gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle, of comparable size and performance);
* a 30-percent increase in vehicle range - to 270 miles;
* a 25-percent improvement in power-to-weight ratio, in part from an approximate 400-pound reduction in the fuel cell powertrain weight, for superior performance and efficiency despite a substantial increase in overall vehicle size;
* a 45-percent reduction in the size of the fuel cell powertrain - nearly equivalent, in terms of volume, to a modern gas-electric hybrid powertrain;
* an advanced new lithium-ion battery pack that is 40 percent lighter and 50 percent smaller than the current-generation FCX's ultra-capacitor; and
* a single 5,000-psi hydrogen storage tank with 10 percent additional hydrogen capacity than the previous model.

FCX Clarity Design

More than just a fuel cell vehicle - the FCX Clarity speaks to Honda's vision of the future of automobile design and performance freed from the constraints of conventional powertrain technologies. The FCX Clarity's four-door sedan platform features a short-nose body and spacious cabin with comfortable accommodations for four people and their luggage. Major powertrain components - including the electric motor, fuel cell stack, battery pack and hydrogen tank - have been made more compact and are distributed throughout the vehicle to further optimize space, comfort and total vehicle performance.

Advanced Materials and Components

In keeping with its theme as an environmentally-advanced automobile, the FCX Clarity features seat upholstery and door linings made from Honda Bio-Fabric - a newly-developed, plant-based material that offers CO2 reductions as an alternative to traditional interior materials, along with outstanding durability and resistance to wear, stretching, and damage from sunlight.

Designed to appeal to forward-thinking customers seeking the ultimate in zero-emissions, alternative-fuel vehicle performance, the FCX Clarity is also equipped with a full compliment of advanced safety, comfort and convenience features, including a state-of-the-art navigation system with hydrogen station locations, backup camera, premium audio, climate-controlled seats and Bluetooth™ connectivity.

Other improvements, such as shift-by-wire, electric power steering (EPS), and a newly-designed instrument panel with an easy-to-read hydrogen fuel-consumption display, further improve its customer appeal and ease of operation.

CO2 Emissions

The FCX Clarity's only emission is water. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions come only from the production of hydrogen, which varies by source; however, well-to-wheel CO2 emissions using hydrogen reformed from natural gas - the most widely used method of production today - are less than half that of a conventional gasoline vehicle. With the production of hydrogen from water by electrolysis, CO2 emissions can be further reduced and ultimately approach zero if the electricity used for electrolysis is generated using solar, wind, water or nuclear power.

Honda has developed its own solar cells, with half of the CO2 emissions in the production stage compared to conventional crystalline silicon cells; and has begun mass-production and retail sales of this technology in Japan for both commercial and residential use.

Fuel Cell Leadership

Based on its vision of, "Blue Skies for our Children", Honda has worked for forty years at reducing the environmental impact of the automobile, including efforts to reduce emissions, boost fuel efficiency and, now, many industry-leading efforts to advance the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle - a technology and fuel that Honda believes may hold the ultimate promise for a clean and sustainable transportation future. Honda's pioneering achievements in this area include the first EPA and CARB certification of a fuel cell vehicle (2002); the first lease of a fuel cell vehicle (2002); the first fuel cell vehicle to receive an EPA fuel economy rating (2002); the first cold-weather customer (2004); the first and still only individual retail customers (2005, 2007); and the first and still only fuel cell vehicle to be eligible for a federal tax credit.

About Honda

Honda is America's most fuel-efficient car company and a leader in the development of leading-edge technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, including advanced gasoline engines, gasoline-electric hybrids, natural gas-powered engines, and hydrogen fuel cells. Founded in Japan in 1948, Honda began operations in the U.S. in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda's first overseas subsidiary. Honda began U.S. production3 of motorcycles in 1979 and automobiles in 1982. The company has invested more than $9 billion in its North American operations with 14 major manufacturing facilities, employment of more than 35,000 associates, and annual purchases of more than $17.6 billion in parts and materials from suppliers in North America.

A consumer Web site for the FCX is available at fcx.honda.com. Media information, high-resolution images and video of the FCX Clarity (and other Honda vehicles) is available at www.hondanews.com. More information about Honda's environmental initiatives and products can be found in the company's annual North American Environmental Report which can be downloaded at www.honda.com.

1 Specifications may change prior to the certification and sales of production units.
2 Honda in-house calculation
3 Using domestic and globally sourced parts

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Honda Introduces Experimental Home Energy Station IV
Press Release
Photo Gallery


11/14/2007 - TORRANCE, Calif., -

Honda today announced that it has begun using the Home Energy Station IV at its Honda R&D Americas, Inc. facility in Torrance, California. This fourth-generation experimental unit is designed to provide fuel for a hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle, as well as heat and electricity for a home. The new system is more compact and efficient, with a lower operating cost than previous models. The announcement coincides with the world debut of the all-new FCX Clarity hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Honda's Home Energy Station technology is designed to facilitate the broader adoption of zero-emissions fuel cell vehicles, like the FCX Clarity, by developing a home refueling solution that makes efficient use of a home's existing natural gas supply for production of hydrogen, while providing heat and electricity to an average-size home.

The Home Energy Station IV can reduce both cost and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for the consumer. Compared to the average U.S. consumer's home with grid-supplied electricity and a gasoline-powered car, a home using Home Energy Station IV to help produce heat and electricity and also to refuel an FCX Clarity can reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 30 percent and energy costs by an estimated 50 percent.

"Honda is striving to address the need for a refueling infrastructure for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles," said Ben Knight, vice president of Honda R&D Americas. "The Home Energy Station represents one promising solution to this issue, while offering the added benefit of heating and powering the home more efficiently."

Working with technology partner, Plug Power, Inc., Honda began operation of a Home Energy Station in October, 2003. Home Energy Station IV represents the latest evolution of the technology with a 70 percent reduction in size compared to the first unit, making it even more suitable for household installation. By combining gas purification and power generation components, overall size reduction and efficiency gains are achieved, while enabling it to switch from hydrogen refining to power generation when needed.

For more information or downloadable high-resolution images of Home Energy Station, the Honda FCX Clarity and other Honda vehicles, please visit www.hondanews.com. Consumer information is available at www.honda.com. Edited by siegen
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Well, atleast it's better looking than the Prius. If only that was saying more... That chrome CRV inspired schnoz is interesting. The body is decent with some nice sculpting, but it has some odd proportions in places. The rear fascia is quite homely. It's not bad... but... why does alternative powered vehicles have to look so odd?

I do like the interior, though. It's busy, but It's artsy and flows. It's different, like other Honda interiors.

Edited by blackviper8891
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Well, atleast it's better looking than the Prius. If only that was saying more... That chrome CRV inspired schnoz is interesting. The body is decent with some nice sculpting, but it has some odd proportions in places. The rear fascia is quite homely. It's not bad... but... why does alternative powered vehicles have to look so odd?

I do like the interior, though. It's busy, but It's artsy and flows. It's different, like other Honda interiors.

:withstupid:

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I like the design, inside and out..kind of cool and futuristic...

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I really like the idea of the Home Energy Station. Honda seems to be leading in hydrogen.

I wonder what the actual cost is to produce one.

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I really like the idea of the Home Energy Station. Honda seems to be leading in hydrogen.

I wonder what the actual cost is to produce one.

Write down the date!

I agree with GXT.

Such home facilities could be a fine stepping-stone to a real hydrogen infrastructure. Although I'd rather see it used for fueling hrydrogen-powered ICEs than fuel cell cars.

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Honda seems to be leading in hydrogen.

GM has 100 hydrogen powered Equinox's on the road right now if I remember right. I think GM has the lead on hydrogen fuel cells and vehicles, but has not researched a means of a hydrogen filling station infrastructure. Honda may be on the right path bringing out a "home based" filling station. It's too bad that the gov't can spend $400 TRILLION on a war but refuses to put 1 dollar into building up a alternative fuel infrastructure. Edited by BuddyP
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A big, giant, way-to-go to Honda.

This seems like the first big step into a new generation of automobiles...the fuel cell, to quote Howard Hughes, is the "way of the future, way of the future."

It's only a matter of time until they get it right, and bring the cost down, but things are seemingly speeding up.

What is needed is a government who will commit to developing an infrastructure. Current politicians (without getting too into it b/c I know politics are taboo) seem to support bio-energy such as Ethanol and Bio-Diesel. This is not where things are going. Ethanol power is less efficient than gasoline (which in itself has about 20-25% efficiency) and it would require cornfields spanning areas greater the North America to achieve independence from foreign oil (which means, 50% of fuel comes from within). We need an Eisenhower-like commitment to help develop this infrastructure of hydrogen stations to not only achieve this independence, but to help the environment and strengthen the economy.

My facts might be a little off, but I hope you see my point.

BTW, where's GM in all of this? Making another pie-in-the-sky fuel cell concept? Hopefully they can throw something into the upcoming Volt...

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It's a shame GM didn't think to work on a home fueling station. Oh wait...

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2006-0...ogen-usat_x.htm

Really... how hard is it to make a small electrolysis hydrogen generator? (and of course hook it up to wind or solar power for PR)

Full details of the lease program will be set closer to launch, but current plans call for a three-year lease term with a price of $600 per month

Sounds straight out of the EV1 history books. IMO, it will mean a TON more when a company offers a fuel cell vehicle for SALE. Honda does deserve credit for this, don't get me wrong - they're making big steps in this field, and will probably keep GM on their toes.

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GM has 100 hydrogen powered Equinox's on the road right now if I remember right. I think GM has the lead on hydrogen fuel cells and vehicles, but has not researched a means of a hydrogen filling station infrastructure. Honda may be on the right path bringing out a "home based" filling station. It's too bad that the gov't can spend $400 TRILLION on a war but refuses to put 1 dollar into building up a alternative fuel infrastructure.

Yet they want vehicles to be more efficient. I hate our government.

As for the car itself, it looks funky, but some angles it actually looks quite nice. The side profile is it's bet angle I think. 1000x better looking than a Prius. The interior is also funky and very cool. Nice to see companies working on hydrogen...too bad these aren't for sale.

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BMW and GM have had hydrogen cars in the fleets for a while now...just have not sold any yet.

The Honda System, as well as the GM home system, are the greatest things I have seen modern man come up with since the breast implant. Seriously, I WANT this technology now, at my house, and getting me as close as possible to be off the grid. This home system makes so much sense it is pathetic, with the only shortcoming being a long roadtrip...which I guess can be overcome by simply renting a conventional car for the times you would be out of range of a Hydrogen fuelling station.

Folks, we are on the cusp of something great, and I for one, cannot wait.

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I saw a commercial for it today, I wonder why GM never made the effort to advertise their Equinox hydrogen fleet. It's a brilliant way to boost your green image.

Edited by Dodgefan
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I vaguely recall a Chevy commercial where the hydrogen Equinox was shown.

Oh really? I don't remember it I guess.

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Oh really? I don't remember it I guess.

If I remember correctly, it touted their developments in hybrids (Tahoe), ethanol (Impala, etc), hydrogen (Equinox), plug in hybrid (Volt), and such.
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GM has 100 hydrogen powered Equinox's on the road right now if I remember right. I think GM has the lead on hydrogen fuel cells and vehicles

GM was supposed to lease a 100 Equinox Fuel Cell fleet in Fall 2007, according to this press release, but I haven't been able to find any information about the actual release (considering it's fall 2007 right now). Has it happened yet?

Regardless of having the "largest" fleet (one-up), Honda has had fully certified lease FCX's since 2002. Also they've made an original modern looking sedan body built around the fuel cell, rather than taking an already existing product (an SUV none-the-less) and equipping it with a fuel cell system.

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I'd like to see the home refueling stations adapted to microbial hydrogen generation - no natural gas required. Couple that with hydrogen-capable ICEs and we have something!

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The Equinoxes are on the road (Project Driveway). It doesn't cost anything , but you had to be in a certain area (with access to refuelling) and fill in an application.

http://media.gm.com:8221/us/chevrolet/en/n...rojectDriveway/

"It is expected to meet all applicable 2007 U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards"

Can vehicles actually be on the road before they have been certified?

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GM has 100 hydrogen powered Equinox's on the road right now if I remember right. I think GM has the lead on hydrogen fuel cells and vehicles, but has not researched a means of a hydrogen filling station infrastructure. Honda may be on the right path bringing out a "home based" filling station. It's too bad that the gov't can spend $400 TRILLION on a war but refuses to put 1 dollar into building up a alternative fuel infrastructure.

GM's lead seems to be only in PR announcements these days: :AH-HA_wink:

Honda certainly seems to me to be ahead.

GM HP: 97

Honda HP: 134 (+38%)

GM Cold Start Temp: 13F

Honda Cold Start Temp: -22F (35F better)

GM Range: 200 Miles on 9lbs of Hydrogen

Honda Range: 270 Miles on 9lbs (10% more than last generation which was 8.25lbs) of Hydrogen (+35%)

(GM does have a bigger vehicle to move, but that is their own strange choice... I guess they couldn't fit their system into a malibu.)

GM System Weight: +500lbs

Honda System Weight: ?? (Clarity weighs 3583 lbs)

GM 0-60: 12 seconds

Honda 0-60: 10 seconds

GM Stack Size: "The fuel cell, built at GM’s research facility in Honeoye Falls, New York, is about the size of one of its inline-six truck engines turned sideways.".

Honda Stack Size: Looks smaller than that to me.... but it is hard to get good numbers for either GM or Honda.

GM: Talking about it

Honda: Doing it

Sources:

http://autos.yahoo.com/green_center-article_33/

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/09/gm...x_fuel_cell.php

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/11/honda-unveils-p.html

http://corporate.honda.com/environment/fue...=fuel_cells_fcx

http://www.supercars.net/cars/3970.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/main.j.../17/mfhon17.xml

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GM's lead seems to be only in PR announcements these days: :AH-HA_wink:

Honda certainly seems to me to be ahead.

GM HP: 97

Honda HP: 134 (+38%)

GM Cold Start Temp: 13F

Honda Cold Start Temp: -22F (35F better)

GM Range: 200 Miles on 9lbs of Hydrogen

Honda Range: 270 Miles on 9lbs (10% more than last generation which was 8.25lbs) of Hydrogen (+35%)

(GM does have a bigger vehicle to move, but that is their own strange choice... I guess they couldn't fit their system into a malibu.)

GM System Weight: +500lbs

Honda System Weight: ?? (Clarity weighs 3583 lbs)

GM 0-60: 12 seconds

Honda 0-60: 10 seconds

GM Stack Size: "The fuel cell, built at GM’s research facility in Honeoye Falls, New York, is about the size of one of its inline-six truck engines turned sideways.".

Honda Stack Size: Looks smaller than that to me.... but it is hard to get good numbers for either GM or Honda.

GM: Talking about it

Honda: Doing it

Sources:

http://autos.yahoo.com/green_center-article_33/

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/09/gm...x_fuel_cell.php

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/11/honda-unveils-p.html

http://corporate.honda.com/environment/fue...=fuel_cells_fcx

http://www.supercars.net/cars/3970.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/main.j.../17/mfhon17.xml

I believe some more information on the Honda stack is available in these videos (in particular the second one). I watched them last week and I am pretty sure the weight and size are quoted for each of Honda's 3 generations of fuel cell stacks, but don't have speakers to watch them right now.

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I believe some more information on the Honda stack is available in these videos (in particular the second one). I watched them last week and I am pretty sure the weight and size are quoted for each of Honda's 3 generations of fuel cell stacks, but don't have speakers to watch them right now.

Thanks for the tip.

Honda's fuel stack over the years:

1999:

~90HP

134L

450 lbs

2003:

~115HP

66L

220lbs

2007:

~134 HP

52L

147lbs

That 500lbs number for GM I indicated in a previous post includes more than just the fuel stack. Therefore I don't think it is direcly comparable to the 147lbs number from Honda.

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