Honda FCX Clarity emits water vapour only

Honda, the company, might sell more cars than it ever did under the leadership of Soichiro Honda, but the company that bears his name is no longer the company that marches to the beat of a different drummer.

Much of its range breaks little fresh ground technically, but not this. Most definitely not the FCX Clarity.

The FCX Clarity is the first production hydrogen fuel cell car, although it’s only offered on lease to customers in the US (specifically southern California), Europe and Japan. The reason for this? Those are the only places in the world where there are hydrogen fuelling stations.

At its very core, the FCX Clarity is an electric car. There’s an electric motor that pumps out 100kW (132hp) of power and 256Nm (189lb-ft) of torque, and a lithium-ion battery pack. Unlike a regular electric car, though, the FCX doesn’t requires hours connected to mains power to recharge.

Instead it has a tank that can store 4.1kg of compressed hydrogen. This hydrogen is then fed into a fuel cell stack that combines the hydrogen with oxygen taken from the atmosphere to produce both electricity and water. The electricity generated is used to power the electric motor or stored in the aforementioned battery pack for later use.

Honda estimates a range of around 240km (150mi) on a full tank of hydrogen.

Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]