Honda takes a real leap forward towards a “hydrogen society” with the unveiling of their hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle, called the FCV Clarity. Their new fuel cell system costs only a tenth of earlier versions and is more compact, taking up as much space as a typical V6 engine. The Clarity can travel 700 km (434 miles) on a single charge and is priced at 7.66 million yen, or US$62,807.
Honda’s President and CEO Takahiro Hachigo said, “Compared to 10 years ago, I think fuel cell vehicles have developed significantly in terms of the technology. Ten years ago, we said fuel cells could not be driven in cold weather, for example, and that the hardware was too heavy. Today – fuel cells are equal to gasoline engine cars.”
A major concern with the new FCV remains to be the availability of fuel for the car itself: hydrogen. Hydrogen stations have been slow to rollout but Honda may have a solution by developing a compact Smart Hydrogen Station. These enable car owners to use high-pressure electrolysis to produce hydrogen at home, although no word has been given as to the date of its availability.