The 3rd Gen Honda Clarity FCV sedan made its global premiere at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show with the intentions to expand into production model as early as 2016
The 44th running of the Tokyo Motor Show emphasises Japanese automakers’ vision towards the future as the big guns like Toyota, Honda and Nissan came blazing with their own interpretations not only on the design front but also the cutting-edge technologies, that will hew out the solutions for next generation of mobility
One among them was 3rd Gen Honda Clarity FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle), the hydrogen fuel-cell powered sedan that is set to go on sale in the opening quarter of 2016 in Japan, initially in small volumes before becoming available worldwide.
Fuel cell vehicles will use a fuel cell to create electricity to power an electric motor generally by using oxygen from the air and compressed hydrogen. Honda has been in the FCV business since 2002, and for its third generation Clarity sedan it managed to shrink the fuel cell stack by a third of its size, amidst improving the power output by more than half from its predecessor.
The reduction of the fuel-cell stack and drivetrain system sizes have done wonders as no compromise was made to the room for five adults since the engine compartment takes up space as similar to that of a V6 petrol engine.
With the range of nearly 700 kilometres and most importantly the time taken to refill is just around three minutes, unlike some of the Electric Vehicles that consume hours to get fully charged, the Clarity FCV will boast a genuine contention for Toyota’s Mirai that works on the same fuel-cell technology.
Honda’s new chief executive, Takahiro Hachigo, who is at the helm since June has openly stated that his company is looking to partner other auto manufacturers to develop next generation technologies, be it in the form of fuel-cell and electric powertrain developments, ever-increasing demands for safety improvements and so on.
Whilst denying involvement of any manufacturer yet, it is highly unlikely that the Japanese giants will proceed with equity tie-ups as similar to some of its fellow compatriots.
Mr. Hachigo’s appointment came about after Honda tried to aggressively expand sales that prompted vehicle recalls and damaged its credibility among customers. On the account of stepping up to the plate for various market needs, Hachigo weighs up streamlining model variations and also studying efficient ways to adopt modular systems if necessary.
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