A Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV), like the Clarity Fuel Cell, is a long-range all electric vehicle that uses a fuel cell stack to create electricity on demand.
Although it’s an electric vehicle, there is never a need to “charge” the car with a plug. Instead, it is simply refueled in 3-5 minutes at a hydrogen station. Since the Clarity has a 366-mile range rating,* the time between fill-ups is similar to what you would experience in a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle—except the Clarity produces zero emissions. In fact, the only byproduct of this power source is water vapor.
Hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant element in the Universe. While it is found everywhere in nature, there are also many sustainable ways to produce hydrogen for refueling Fuel Cell Vehicles. Methods range from electrolysis of water using renewable power to reforming biogas, a renewable resource.
A Fuel Cell Vehicle generates electricity using a process that combines hydrogen and oxygen inside its fuel cell, and emits only water.
More specifically, hydrogen ions flow through a catalyst, splitting off its electrons. The electrons then flow along a wire from positive to negative, generating useable electricity, while the balance of hydrogen ions pass through a membrane and regroup on the other side, combining with oxygen to form water. The electricity generated by the electrons goes through a conductor to create on-demand electrical currents as the accelerator is pressed, offering varying amounts of power desired by the driver. Benefits include zero emissions plus a smooth and quiet driving experience that is also highly responsive due to the electric motor.
While all three powertrains use an electric drive motor, there are several differences that allow each vehicle to suit various lifestyles and driving uses.
Fuel Cell Vehicles typically have range ratings of 300 miles or more and refueling times under 5 minutes, along with a highly-efficient fuel cell to create the on-demand electricity for power, with no emissions.
A battery electric vehicle (BEV) obtains its power from electricity stored in highly-efficient and powerful batteries that require recharging via a power outlet. A BEV also produces no emissions, and has range ratings that can vary from 50-315 miles, depending on battery capacity. Recharge times can vary from 1-10 hours.
Plug-in Hybrid vehicles use a traditional gasoline engine as well as an electric motor with a battery to allow all-electric driving capability. By utilizing this hybrid powertrain, the vehicle can be driven fuel-efficiently for long driving distances. When driven in EV mode, it produces zero emissions. The battery can be recharged from a power outlet much like a battery electric vehicle.
The advancements in the new Honda Clarity Fuel Cell are the result of 20 years of Honda research and development.
One of the biggest engineering breakthroughs of the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is that the entire fuel cell powertrain fits under its hood. This frees up valuable cabin space for a spacious interior that fits 5 passengers, whereas some other fuel cell vehicles can only fit 4.* There’s also ample cargo space, due to the thoughtful placement of the hydrogen tanks.
Compared to other fuel cell vehicles, the Clarity Fuel Cell features a luxurious, comfortable interior made from approximately 80% eco-conscious materials.
It’s also smoother, quieter and more exciting to drive, due to its independent suspension, aerodynamic 18-inch alloy wheels and specially-designed sport tires. A flat underbody, contoured shape and air ducts ahead of the wheel openings enhance aerodynamics and reduce turbulence, helping the Clarity receive an EPA range rating of 366 miles—over 50 miles higher than its competition’s—and best-in-class fuel efficiency.*
Additionally, the available HondaLink® App connects you to a world of online content both inside and outside of your Clarity Fuel Cell. Stay in touch with its many features, including real-time vehicle fuel level and range, and the ability to pre-condition cabin temperature from outside the vehicle. The HondaLink® App comes equipped with StationFinder, which locates the nearest approved hydrogen fueling station, gives you the station’s current status and can provide you directions right to it.
The premium interior fabric materials of the Clarity Fuel Cell feel so luxurious you’d never guess they were made from approximately 80% eco-conscious materials and recycled products. From the headliner to the carpet, the Clarity Fuel Cell is just one example of the initiatives set by Honda for creating sustainable, zero-waste products and manufacturing processes.
No, however, water vapor is the natural—and only—byproduct of fuel cell technology. The Clarity Fuel Cell can however run on hydrogen that is created by electrolyzing water using renewable electricity.
Many steps are taken at both hydrogen station and vehicle levels, which include hydrogen sensors, adherence to safety standards and electronic shut-off valves, to help ensure safety performance.
Hydrogen itself is lighter than air and disperses quickly into the atmosphere, and when handled responsibly and with proper care, it is no more dangerous than other common vehicle fuels.
Like all Honda cars, the Clarity Fuel Cell has been designed to have a high level of safety performance.
Honda has spent the last 20 years developing and redefining fuel cell technology. Our engineers mounted the hydrogen fuel tanks securely in the sub frame. Tanks are designed to meet numerous stringent global safety standards and constructed with a high-tech aluminum wound in carbon fiber, making them incredibly strong and impact-resistant. Additionally, the Clarity Fuel Cell comes equipped with the Honda Sensing™ suite of safety and driver-assistive technology features, including Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™),* among others. Clarity Fuel Cell also utilizes the next-generation of the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) Body Structure for improved frontal crash protection.
While a fuel cell vehicle has much of the same basic driving functionality as a gasoline-powered vehicle, there are several things that set the Clarity Fuel Cell apart.
Honda has taken its rich history in motorsports and combined it with Fuel Cell Technology to bring you a vehicle that is fun to drive. Clarity Fuel Cell has excellent performance and handling thanks to its high-torque electric motor, weight distribution and multi-link rear suspension. Rolling on 18-inch aerodynamic alloy wheels with exclusive low-rolling resistance sport performance tires, the electric motor generates rapid acceleration the moment you press the accelerator. This power on demand provides smooth take offs and an overall quieter drive. For more responsive acceleration, switch to Sport Mode with the touch of a button.
Your Honda dealer will help you set up the easy-to-use HondaLink® App with StationFinder that will locate all the approved hydrogen fueling stations, and can map you to your nearest or most convenient one. You may also refer to the California Fuel Cell Partnership website to find active and upcoming hydrogen fueling stations.
Fueling your Clarity Fuel Cell is as simple as fueling a traditional gasoline powered car and can be done in 3-5 minutes. Your Clarity dealer can provide simple instructions for refueling, and most hydrogen dispensers also provide on-screen training prompts to guide you through the fueling process.
When you first pull up to a hydrogen dispenser, you will be prompted to follow each successive step. While most dispensers will have two available pressures, and the Clarity is capable of using both, be sure to select the H70 pressure option to help maximize your range. When fueling is complete, you will be prompted to disconnect the nozzle and carefully return it to the dispenser. Your total will be deducted from your fuel payment card*.
Similar to a traditional gasoline powered car, the fueling process will take just 3-5 minutes.
Clarity Fuel Cell was designed with a large fuel gauge, plus audible and visual low fuel warnings, and a range-to-empty meter that shows available miles to help you avoid running out of fuel. However, in the rare case this happens, our 24/7 Roadside Assistance has you covered and will transport your car to the nearest hydrogen fueling station at no cost to you. Call 866-372-5139 for assistance with this or other roadside assistance needs.
The Clarity Fuel Cell is available for lease at $369 per month for 36 months* with $2,868 due at signing. The lease includes several unique benefits, including up to $15,000 of hydrogen fuel for the 3 year lease term, and up to 21 days of complimentary Avis luxury car rentals*. To learn more about the benefits of leasing the Clarity Fuel Cell, click here.
You must live within close proximity to hydrogen refueling station(s) and be a qualified lessee. Reach out to your authorized Honda Clarity Fuel Cell dealer for more information or to address any exceptions you think might allow you to qualify.
The Clarity Fuel Cell is currently only available in California, and eligibility is based on your proximity to one or more approved hydrogen fueling stations in the northern and southern CA station network through one of our participating dealerships. We recommend that either your home or work zip code is within proximity to a participating dealer and hydrogen fueling station(s). Click here to find out if you live in a qualifying area. Reach out to your authorized Honda Clarity Fuel Cell dealership for more information.
The Clarity Fuel Cell is available in three color combinations – Bordeaux Red Metallic exterior with a Platinum Gray Leather interior, White Orchid Pearl exterior with a Black Leather interior, and Crystal Black Pearl with a Black Leather interior.
All 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell lessees are eligible for a Clean Air Vehicle sticker, which allows single-occupant drivers to use HOV lanes in the state of California. Dealers may have applied in advance of the vehicle lease, so be sure to ask your dealer if they have done so. Otherwise, vehicle lessees must submit an application to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. For more information, visit http://arb.ca.gov/msprog/carpool/carpool.htm.
Maintaining the Clarity Fuel Cell is just like maintaining any vehicle, and your owners manual has the necessary maintenance items and schedule handy. When it's time for regular maintenance on your Clarity Fuel Cell, the Maintenance Minder™ System will alert you through a visual icon on your instrument panel. Standard maintenance will include services such as checking numerous systems on your car, including fluids, your fuel system, your brake system and tire pressure.
At this time, the Clarity Fuel Cell is only available for lease in California.