The Clarity is the closest version to reality that Honda can put forward. The all-electric vehicle is powered by fuel cells, themselves supported by pressurized hydrogen.
In the back, a lithium-ion battery pack is capable of storing excess current and, if needed, provide extra power. Thus equipped, the car has an operating range of around 400 km, and best of all, it offers a driving experience similar to that of an everyday car.
A short jaunt through LA
The FCX Clarity is one of the numerous vehicles available to the media at the Los Angeles Auto Show for a brief road test through the streets of LA. We can of course forget about testing that operating range or the highway acceleration figures, but a short drive through the city streets was enough to prove the viability of this proposition.
Behind the wheel, the rather conventional dash board adds a group of instruments that provide information on the power provided by the hydrogen as well as the quantity of fuel burned. At first, the abundance of details is overwhelming, but they quickly prove useful in mastering the car.
As for the rest of the Clarity, it comes dangerously close to a standard sedan, except for a centre console made prominent by the fuel cells it houses. The lithium-ion battery pack is tucked away under the rear seats, while some of the trunk space was sacrificed to make room for the hydrogen tank.
How it works
To power the electric engine, the Clarity uses fuels cells that deliver 100 kWh of energy. These are supported by the rear batteries, which produce the same amount of power. All that with only 5,000 lbs of hydrogen pressure. This is what really sets the Clarity apart, as its rivals need as much as 10,000 lbs to produce the same power and ensure the same operating range.