Honda to release the FCX Clarity, first hydrogen fuel cell car for consumers

Honda to release the FCX Clarity, first hydrogen fuel cell car for consumers

Soon southern Californians will have yet another claim to fame.  The new Honda FCX Clarity will be available for lease later this summer. The FCX Clarity is the first hydrogen fuel cell car for consumers, but don’t count on getting your hands on one.  Honda will only be releasing 200 vehicles over the first three years.

The Clarity, which emits nothing but water, runs on the hydrogen equivalent of 68 mpg for a total of 385 miles per fueling. The vehicle uses a lithium-ion battery and has the capacity to reach approximately 100 mph.

To coincide with the release of the car, Honda launched both print and television campaigns last year. The print ads feature a single letter from H-O-N-D-A, all made from a different substance representing the hydrogen qualities of the car.

The television campaign brings to life two different scenarios.  In the first commercial, “Mafia Men” shoot one another with water pistols, and in the second TV spot, a group of people are seen working together and solving problems.  At the end of the commercial, which is known as “Problem Playground,” this group of people builds a Honda FCX Clarity.  Do either of these ads sound familiar?

So how come only a limited number of vehicles will be released?  One major reason is that hydrogen fuel stations are scarce.  To help solve this problem, Honda has been working directly with Plug Power, Inc. since 2003, to bring hydrogen fuel stations to consumers’ homes.  In 2007, Honda released the Home Energy Station IV, which helps consumers fuel their homes along with their cars.

I certainly hope John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda, is right when he said that the release of this new car is “a monumental step closer to the day when fuel cell cars will be part of the mainstream.”  With the growing demand for environmentally safe products, Honda has taken a large leap forward.

Although they are releasing only a limited number of vehicles, Honda will certainly raise the eyebrows of the competition, and I’m sure we can expect to see more vehicles running strictly on hydrogen in the future. Toyotahas always been in fierce competition with Honda, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar Toyota car in the next couple of years.

Amen to eco-friendly driving!

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