Mon 12 Jul 2010
Since the Honda FCX Clarity was unveiled in 2007 there has been considerable interest among alternative energy fans, and critics, to see how practical the hydrogen fuel cell automobile would be in the long run. So far, it hasn’t done too bad at all, in fact it has received worldwide recognition as one of the best hydrogen cars in its class.
How the Honda FCX Fuel Cell Works
This alternative fuel vehicle uses compressed hydrogen as its onboard fuel, instead of gasoline. It does this using an electric motor to run on electricity that is generated by a fuel cell stack that uses hydrogen as an energy source.
Although hydrogen is not a natural energy source (it doesn’t occur naturally on Earth and is generally made from methane or other fossil fuels) it can be made using wind or solar power.
Fuel cells have generally been considered impractical two reasons. First off, they were expensive to produce, making them less than cost effective. Secondly, because most fuel cells tend to have an internal vapor environment, if temperatures were to reach below freezing, the fuel cell tended to freeze up – making it where the fuel cell (and you car) couldn’t start up.
According to Honda their FCX fuel cell stack has been designed to withstand sub-freezing temperatures and is proven to have dependable cold-start performance.
Highlights of the FCX
The Clarity has a 267 mile driving range, which is more than a 50 mile improvement over past models. This makes it the perfect car to drive in, and around, the city for work and other commuter type tasks.
There is also a motor-controlled traction control system (TCS) for traction on slippery, or snowy, roads – assuring peace of mind while driving in less than perfect conditions.
Its 134 horsepower electric engine has 3,056 rpm torque and reaches an estimated top speed of 93 miles an hour, slightly less than a normal gasoline car, but good for an electric automobile.
The safety features include 3-point seat belts in all seats, dual-stage and dual-threshold front airbags (SRS), side curtain airbags, Anti-lock brakes (ABS), tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), child-proof rear door locks, emergency trunk release, driver and front passenger seat belt reminder, and daytime running lights.
Some of the exterior features that come standard are a security system and remote entry system with trunk release.
For comfort and convenience, the Clarity offers dual-zone automatic climate control, a satellite linked navigation system, Bluetooth hands-free link, rear and front beverage holders, remote start key, power door locks, and a 12-volt power outlet.
Unlike other fuel cell stacks, the Honda Claity FCX has no CO2 or other harmful emissions.
Clarity Get’s Accolades
For many of the above reasons the Honda FCX was named the “World Green car” in 2009, showing just how far it has passed the rest of the cars in its class, and making it stand out as one of the best hydrogen vehicle option available right now.
Home Hydrogen Station
Additionally, Honda has prepared a hydrogen refueling station that makes refueling a convenient. This station is small enough to put in the garage and not only produces energy for use in Clarity’s fuel cells, but also supplies electricity and hot water to the house as it does so.