On occasion, we journalists are allowed to step through the virtual time machine and sample a manufacturer’s greatest hits of yore. You’ve got seen the stories new M3 versus BMW’s museum piece E30 original. Well, Honda has its own collection mostly regular previous cars that should’ve been beat to hell earlier, however instead are sitting there in showroom condition. There is a teal ’90 Accord wagon with dope plastic wheel covers with my name everywhere it.
But today, that time machine’s going the other way. Sure, the headline and badge reads 2017 Honda Clarity, however it certain as heck looks feels and drives like a 2022 Honda Accord. The dimensions would be consistent with a next-next-generation midsize sedan, the design is familiar but evolutionary advanced, and the cabin is different enough without being concept-car bonkers. It’s powered by hydrogen. That’s obviously its most futuristic element.
Honda Clarity Fuel Cell – Specifications
Honda’s latest hydrogen fuel cell powertrain is also why the Clarity feels less sort of a low-volume science project of these days and a lot of sort of a regular automotive beamed in from tomorrow. Fall behind the wheel and it accelerates like an electrical car with no odd noises or sensations.
The steering, the brakes, and the handling in general are Accord normal. Look around the cabin and you will see 5 seats uncompromised by odd bulges disguising powertrain components. Much as the real cars of 2015 did not fly, the ones from 2022 are not likely to be that different.
Honda Clarity Fuel Cell – Battery Packaging Improvements
However, a hydrogen fuel cell car like the Clarity is so different. Instead of a gasoline engine, there is a stack of fuel cells packaged within a metal housing roughly the size of a desktop computer. Within it, hydrogen and oxygen are chemically combined to make the electricity required to move the car. Much like a regular hybrid, an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack augment that acceleration, and as you might recall from basic chemistry, the byproduct of combining H2 and O is water. No smog-causing or climate-changing emissions.
Acknowledged, however that technobabble ultimately describes one of the many enhancements developed for the new fuel cell Voltage control Unit, or FCVCU, that together permits for the new Clarity’s packaging improvement and increased normalness.
You see, the old electric motor, gearbox, and power control unit might have been under the hood, however the fuel cell was located vertically between the front seats. This, paired with a giant hydrogen tank in the trunk, meant that the car’s passenger compartment and general usability were compromised by its powertrain.
All of the componentry that was previously below the hood has been tilted forward 90 degrees, allowing for the new, more compact fuel cell to be sandwiched horizontally between it and that new FCVCU above. Altogether, it’s roughly the same size as an Accord’s V6 powertrain, and though the small lithium-ion battery pack technically still resides under the front seats, the cabin is no longer compromised.
The driving position is at a normal height, there is a regular center console boasting Honda’s usual clever packaging, and importantly, there are 5 seats, instead of the four provided by the previous Clarity and the Toyota Mirai.
Honda Clarity Fuel Cell – Price
Of course, a more premium Honda midsize sedan with a hydrogen powertrain does not come low-cost and available only totally loaded, its advised retail worth is $58,490 Dollars, however since you can only lease it, the real number to consider is $369 per month with $2,868 due at signing. To put that in the only aspect possible, a Toyota Mirai is $349 per month with $2,499 due at signing and a 12,000-mile limit. You get the same tax rebate and free hydrogen.
After driving each cars consecutive, the Clarity’s value premium appears to be worth it. Not only is it more normal to drive, it is also bigger and can go further on a tank(s) of hydrogen (366 miles versus 312). Taking that original electricity and putting it into an EV’s battery pack sure appears more efficient.
Honda Clarity Fuel Cell – Experience
Honda would represent, but, that hydrogen element offers an ownership involvement nearer to what we are used to with gasolene, specifically, three-to-five-minute fill-ups versus waiting at a Chili’s for a half hour as your Tesla supercharges while being cleaner and less reliant on foreign sources than gasolene. Valid points to make sure.
Honda are releasing a Clarity EV and Clarity Plug-In Hybrid later in the year. Such will surely find further houses than the Clarity fuel cell Vehicle, and though they will not have quite the same made in2022 driving experience, they will nevertheless retain the same premium feel, uncompromised cabin and According of the future appearance. In different words, you will not need hydrogen to sample the greatest hits of tomorrow.