Honda, pioneer of hydrogen fuel cell technology has unveiled a new Clarity Fuel Cell vehicle at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show.
For a world first, the Clarity Fuel Cell is the first ever fuel cell powered sedan to house the entire fuel cell stack and drivetrain system in the space that is usually occupied by the engine and transmission.
Inspired by Honda’s principle of man maximum, machine minimum the Clarity Fuel Cell has a 33% reduced fuel cell stack compared to its predecessor. Through minimising the space used by the powertrain, Honda is able to offer an interior space that allows five adults to be seated comfortably.
This means that the stack is now comparable in size to a V6 engine with an improved power density of 60%. Honda’s advanced technologies have ensured world-leading cell stack performance with their original wave flow channel separators becoming more advanced than ever. The cells now feature a higher output and slender shape thanks to 1mm (20%) reduction in thickness of each cell. As a result there is an increase in maximum motor output to 130 kW (177ps) and a power density increase by 60% to 3.1 kW/L.
Increasing the mass of hydrogen that can be stored, and extending the range of the vehicle is a high-pressure tank that is capable of storing hydrogen gas at 70 MPa. Together with the efficient powertain and reduced vehicle energy consumption, the Clarity Fuel Cell is capable of 435 miles on a single tank of hydrogen.
This high pressure tank can also be quickly refilled, taking around three minutes at 70 MPa and 20ºC - the same as a conventional petrol or diesel car.
The Clarity Fuel Cell offers instant and powerful acceleration thanks to its high output fuel cell stack and the power assist of the lithium-ion battery pack. Due to the continuously increasing torque provided by the high-output 130 kW (177 PS) motor, the Clarity Fuel Cell accelerates effortlessly from zero to maximum speed.
The innovative model offers the driver two driving modes – Normal and Sport. The Normal mode provides a balance between fuel economy and driving performance, while the Sport prioritises a more responsive acceleration feeling.
The exterior of the Clarity Fuel Cell has been designed to provide a striking look on the road while maintaining a strong aerodynamic profile. Features include Full-LED headlights with a sharp, slender profile and 18-inch aluminium wheels with an aerodynamic and stylish design.
Inside, the Clarity Fuel Cell offers a refined atmosphere to provide the driver with a relaxing and comfortable driving environment. The sophisticated driver interface uses Honda’s design principles of instant recognition and intuitive control. Simple and exceptionally spacious, the interior features premium materials that make driving an experience to look forward to and enjoy.
The direct response, exhilarating drive and quiet cabin together form an appealing combination. The Clarity Fuel Cell will be commercially available in Japan from early 2016. Further information on the European launch of the vehicle will follow in 2016.