Honda truly believe in the power of steam, as the Japanese car maker known as much for its visionary advertising as it's environmentally-savvy vehicles officially starts to manufacture and assemble 200 of the planet’s first hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars for commercial use over the next three years.
However the only body part on the hydrogen fuel cell infant that comes into contact with water was the zero emission cars’ exhaust pipes. Which occasionally dribbles H20 vapour and H20 vapour alone.
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The concept has been mulled over for the last time, the final calculations done, the PR machine is primed, so it’s all systems go for Honda as it christens its maiden FCX Clarity this week and hands over the first three to eager, readily-photographed owners.
19 years in the developmental stages, the four-door, four-seater small family car offers three times the fuel efficiency of that of a conventional, fossil-fuel burning petrol car according to Honda’s ‘people in the know’, affording the FCX Clarity’s owner/driver 270 miles carefree journeying, before they need to start panicking about just where they’re going to refuel. Although we'll touch on that later.
How Honda FCX Clarity zero emissions work
Anyway, whilst brushing our hands through our luxuriant bouffant, here’s the science bit.
Ultra-green FCX gains all its energies from a hydrogen-generating fuel cell stack which it sips from the moment it springs into life. This fuel cell stack is the FCX’s smoothie-maker if you like, where hydrogen and oxygen are whisked together as a raw chemical energy, (that reacts to one another in an electromechanical manner) and ends up blended into an eco-feasible electrical power source that vitalises the Clarity.
Once it’s been distributed to its 134bhp motor that drives the FCX’s wheels, thus encouraging forward and reverse motion. And the continuation of the human race.
And how’s that you ask?
Well, because the only by-product of that internal process, that fusion of like-minded automotive power all-togetherness, is aqueous. Adam’s Ale. H20. Water. In vaporized form at that.
Sadly for Europe, Honda have no plans as yet to let us in on the zero emissions act, instead solely concentrating on the American and home markets. FCX Clarity customers in Southern California will be amongst the first to lease the £290 per month vehicles over a three year period – which includes maintenance – from July this year, followed by Japanese later in the autumn.
Quite how successful the initial wave will be depends largely on the expansion of hydrogen fuelling stations across America in particular, given that there are only three known outlets currently. Japan fare slightly better with 12.
Stars and their eco-stripes
Ever quick to adopt a new cause to pin their name to, headline-grabbing Hollywood stars like Jamie Lee Curtis have already expressed interest in the FCX. Leonardo Di Caprio and George Clooney adding to the roll call can only be around the corner we assume.