In a ceremony today at the Honda Automobile New Model Center in Tochigi, Japan, Honda has announced the start of production for their next-generation, hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicle, FCX Clarity. With a new dedicated fuel cell vehicle assembly line, which includes processes unique to fuel cell and hydrogen tank installation, the FCX Clarity is projected to produce a few dozen units within the next year, and approximately 200 units within three years.
Hardly mass production on a high volume scale, nonetheless, Honda's is making a landmark step by establishing the first fuel cell car to be certified for regular commercial use in the U.S. as well as creating the first retail infrastructure for customers seeking a fuel cell vehicle.
In conjunction with the first vehicle (U.S specification) rolling off the production line today, American Honda has simultaneously announced the first customers. Through a special three-year lease term at $600 per month which includes maintenance and collision insurance, film producer, Ron Yerxa of Bona Fide Productions, will receive the very first FCX Clarity in July, followed by actress Jamie Lee Curtis and actress Laura Harris, amongst others.
Additionally, American Honda has announced three dealerships, Power Honda Costa Mesa, Honda of Santa Monica and Scott Robinson Honda, each within close proximity of hydrogen fueling stations, will act as customer service points while American Honda will actually perform the required service at their specialized fuel cell service facility, in the greater Los Angeles area.
The FCX Clarity represents Honda's next-generation hydrogen powered fuel cell which produces electricity for an electric motor powering the drive wheels. With a range of up to 280 miles and combined fuel economy to 72 miles/kg-H2 (74 mpg GGE - miles per gallon gasoline gallon equivalent energy), the FCX Clarity produces only clean water vapor as emissions.
See page press release page 2 for specifications.