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Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle Q&A

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The latest Honda Clarity Fuel Cell vehicle is the second generation, the original was called the Clarity FCX, way back in 2002. This new model can fill up with hydrogen in under 5-minutes and deliver over 50km of range. The hydrogen is turned into electricity using a fuel cell, then the power is stored in a small battery before the electricity powers the wheels. The only byproduct of the whole process is water vapor from the tailpipe. There is currently a fuel cell leasing program in the United States for under $400 per month including fuel. In Canada there are no current plans to bring this 5-passenger hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to market. One reason is the lack of filling stations, there is currently only one public hydrogen station in Canada.

So what are we sitting in we are sitting in a fuel cell polarity okay now the clarity in canada now is the plug in extended range car we have right yes and and there’s a full electric and how come we don’t get the full electric car full electric car right now we believe the plug-in hybrid with its extended range is the the product that’s fit for canadian market

And that we believe fits what the day-to-day canadian consumers in terms of how they drive are they live with the cars with the range it has is the best opportunity it’s about what eighty three kilometres it’s seventy six kilometres how is this car that we’re sitting in different cuz i gotta say it looks just as ugly on the outside of that car have you heard

That before not ugly but different i would say you i called it ugly yes so yes it’s pretty hard to actually look at somebody that works for the company in assam do you think the cars i because you’re never going to admit it alright it’s it’s it’s interesting looking yes okay well i think a lot of people i i was impressed by the way that vehicle drove yes which

Is a big part of any car right yeah so what is different about this fuel cell what where is the fuel cell and how does it work so the fields of the heart of it is it’s basically powered through hydrogen it’s a zero emission vehicles the only offset of this car anything comes up the exhaust is of water basically it’s powered through hydrogen the hydrogen is goes

Through a fuel cell stack which releases electrons which in turns helps charge a smaller battery which then powers the wheels on this car okay so how do you start it and get it used put it in drive it’s like driving a normal car as i said like if you if i didn’t tell you it’s a hydrogen vehicle you won’t even realize it so everything is a similar as this pudding is

In drive so the range for the range for the fuel cell is 589 kilometers that’s pretty good it’s yeah it’s like a normal tank of a normal gasoline engine range basically so how many filling stations are the ring unfortunately there’s only right now one public station canada opened in bc a couple months ago a shell station in granville island so that’s the only one

In canada right now but some of the provinces including bc and quebec have planning few more in the coming years i think for british columbia they say there’s going to be six in the fourth yes four to six throughout various areas including north vancouver coupling over here and couple in victoria okay so what’s the idea behind a hydrogen car versus just a plug-in

Because people will say well why do i need to have a hydrogen vehicle i can just plug my car in overnight and get a similar kind of range as i said it’s more of a portfolio approach like we want to give all the options to the customer the market demands the advantage of hydrogen is basically as i said it’s zero emission vehicles there’s absolutely no ghg emissions

Greenhouse emissions with hydrogen plus it you don’t need a change in your lifestyle how you drive the car you fill it up at a gas station like with the nozzle it takes less than five minutes to fill it like you do your gasoline car you don’t have to wait for charging or you don’t have to plan the route if there enough infrastructure you’re just driving like your

Regular car like you’ve been doing for posterity here so you say you don’t have to worry about range because you just fill it up like a regular car but is only one station the thing is that people will say but come on there’s electricity in every home and every business there there’s electricity so if you have a pure electric cars and is it that easier for people

To get into then a hydrogen car well depending ownership is a lot lower ownership is but example some of the places where the eevee technology does come into play it’s you would need upgrade in significant upgrade infrastructure for example all these people living in downtown vancouver in apartments you cannot have more than maximum of fifty to a hundred charging

Stations and that puts pressure on the grid – okay so you say it’s zero emissions yes the hydrogen has to be made yes so how is it zero emissions a couple of forms of making hydrogen or using electricity or natural gas so yes how is it zero emissions if you’re in a province like say british columbia or quebec where they have a lot of hydro dams yes they spill water

To make electricity and then you can convert it into hydrogen yeah so there would be there wouldn’t be any pollution but how can you say that for other jurisdictions other jurisdictions there’s more multiple ways because hydrogen is one of the most abundant elements around the earth so it can be produced through electrolysis that you mentioned through power dams

And everything and it can also be produced through windmills taken out from eard and then hydrogen could be produced even as a byproduct of some of the chemical plants like sulphur and everything thereby produce hydrogen which can be easily transferred into cylinders and then taken to stay fueling stations and also using completely renewable sources like wind

Farms could be created to produce hydrogen in the long run as we get more getting more vehicles on the road so the upside really is the time to charge the car so in light your car typically needs to be charged overnight but for hydrogen you just go to a filling station three to five minutes you’ve got a full tank of hydrogen in the way you go exactly and you’re

On your way so basically it comes back to the fact that the for the customer it’s not a new learning curve in how they go about but their commute with their driving it’s just what they’ve been doing for past 80 years similar driving gear there is no special controls needed to drive the car drives like a normal it feels up like a normal car and there’s no got

No planning of the trips if there enough infrastructure you’re not thinking about how to plan your trip you can get back to driving as it should have always been like on the whim if you want to go somewhere on a long trip and not think about it you know what’s interesting we’re heading from downtown vancouver for those that know the city of vancouver and a lot of

Tourists have been here we’re heading into stanley park one of the famous parks of the world right and it was probably i don’t know when did the first clarity or the first hydrogen clarity come remember i think it’s around 18 years ago we started with fcx clarity and late 90s i drove that car here it’s a lovely park so they brought it here and they it had a special

Permit just to drive in the park it wasn’t licensed for the main roads and we drove that car around and i remember back then i’m thinking it’s such cool technology the stack was here between the seats and you could hear a little bit of a whirring noise but you can’t hear any of it like where’s the stack now in the front stack is no up in the front it has been like

Versus the last iteration the stack is 30% more smaller and one and a half was in each fuel cell is on one and a half percent more efficient so again we have like this stack the fuel stack with the ipu is now has a footprint of approximately like a v6 accord engine from the last generation it’s as big as that so we reduce the cell size at the same time increase the

Efficiency and increased as you can see the usable space five adults can easily sit in this car and use it for their day-to-day driving that’s the one thing i liked about the clarity the outside not so much but the inside and the way it drove the plug-in version great car great handling and now honda’s known for that it’s all honda’s in-house technology yes this is

All honda’s announced which we have been working for our past eighteen years you’ve seen yourself drove the fcx clarity and this is the generation that’s now ready for more mass market it’s been selling in the us for past year-and-a-half and has been very doing very good in terms of sales and the where are quite happy in california region well they’re happy how

Much is it a month because you don’t buy the car you lease it right yeah it’s a lease only program for around 350 us dollars a month i am daniel and the fuel is probably free fuel is free for the duration of your lease yeah i’d sign up for this okay so in so where’s your head office in california it’s an torrance in near la okay so it’s near land so in that area

How many filling stations do you have ah they’re approximately between 10 to 15 around that area so very well covered all the people that leased the cars are all in that area yes so that’s between it’s very well very where we provide the customers where the stations are the proximities are and and the good thing about california is they’re increasing they’re gonna

Be going up to 50 plus in coming years and could say shale or bp or chevron or any of the big oil companies with existing filling stations create hydrogen at the source yes so right in the shell in bc here it’s a collaborative rochelle and it has its own electrolyzer on on on-site it’s okay i’d say yes is there is the hope that existing filling stations are just

Filling hydrogen and along with you know gasoline and diesel as well like what’s what is the what is the gateway to stopping for them from doing it now like why don’t they start doing it now again it it is the chicken in the egg chicken or the egg basically how many cars are there or what the infrastructure is there to support it right and also it has to do with

The footprint like for some location it might make sense to have it shipped in there and depending on the footprint they have if they have a bigger facility they can have their own electrolyzer and can generate their own hydrogen on on-site but back to my point earlier they’re using an electrolyzer meaning they’re using electricity yes cigarette to make hydrogen

Which a lot of people would say would just take the electricity off the grid and stick it in a battery car but this one the battery side is smaller and is you know like mining and battery takes too much resources with this one the battery pack is the footprint of how much we are taking from the earth is less so it’s much more efficient use of hydrogen available

And to the point coming back like we are going to most of the plants the filtration are using it during off energy peak period when supply is more and they’re utilizing preventing the wastage yeah or to say of the electricity is a way to store also feel quickly exactly okay let’s get into the nuts and bolts of this car how much power do you get is it just the same

Electric motor as you get with the regular clarity so it’s a sponsor 84 horse bar with 221 torque pound-feet of torque in this one whereas that clarity plug-in hybrid is 212 horsepower at 232 you know it’s all about the seamless torque that everybody loves about an electrified car exactly yeah yeah but what i like about this car particularly is the handling it’s

Great and it’s a beautifully finished cabin that could you just do something about the outside and said it’s outside a different like it’s makes it to stand apart from the crowd and i know but basically and it’s more for aerodynamics right now and how it’s gonna get the maximum fuel efficiency of like i said in my review of the clarity plugin i said you can do

Aerodynamic you got a steer clear of ugly well the first steps is back to head office you see what we can do but the performance is the key hit in the first generation all right thank you for your time thanks for great chatting with you and thanks for the free clarity at 350 a month i’d sign up for that 350 a month all the fuel included i’d be good yes

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Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle Q&A By Motormouth