Honda’s new FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicle has finally entered production after the car was first previewed as a concept as far back as 1999 when the FCX-V1 prototype was revealed in Tokyo. Honda’s fuel-cell technology has in fact been in development for more than 19 years and the first production cars were presented today to three U.S. buyers at Honda’s dedicated fuel cell vehicle factory in Japan.
Lease sales are scheduled to begin in July in the U.S., and in Japan this autumn. The combined sales plan for Japan and the U.S. will be approximately 70 cars per year, with a total of 200 units over three years. Customers will follow a three-year lease term, at a price of $600 per month including maintenance and insurance.
The fuel cell stack in the FCX Clarity is produced by Honda at a separate plant. It uses an electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to convert chemical energy into electrical energy to power a motor that drives the car’s wheels, and emits only water. Fuel economy is rated at the equivalent of 68mpg (3.46L/100km) from its 5,000psi hydrogen tank, giving the FCX Clarity a range of 270 miles (435km) between fill-ups.