2020 Honda Hydrogen Fuel Cell Review – The Honda’s Clarity vehicle line was developed to lead the burden of bringing alternative fuel vehicles to production. The Line began as the Honda FCX Clarity and eventually became something of its own when Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Electric were added to the mix. Honda contacted us recently to see if we wanted to spend a week in the award-winning Clarity fuel cell. Naturally, we have obliged. They Sent what I oddly called “Stormtrooper Special ” As it resembles that sinister group of warriors and also emits a strange whistle every time it starts and stops the car, which seemed to remind my children of Darth Vader.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Review
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are still in the early stages of their development, assuming they will eventually ripen, and still have to overcome some important obstacles before they can compete with the battery-powered electric vehicle in The price of the vehicle. Wheel efficiency, cost of operation, ease of fuel supply and some other key metrics, but that does not mean that they cannot play an important role in the future of zero-emission transport.
As you enter the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell vehicle, you feel overwhelmed immediately with your most obvious feat: you feel completely normal. It’S just a normal modern car, loaded with navigation, a fun screen and buttons to select a gear, just where you’re expected to be. It Starts with just pressing a button, as many modern cars do nowadays, and a touch of the “D ” button is placed in the unit.
Apart from some strange hum and hum, it is handled in a very similar way to other electric cars on the market. The hum of the fuel cell as it draws oxygen from the surrounding air and pumps hydrogen from the onboard tanks makes the level of automobile activity a step higher than an electric vehicle with a traditional battery, but still well below the Average hybrid vehicle.
Stepping on the accelerator reveals a very normal feeling pedal with acceleration that could have been so easy in a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. The 174 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque that have the Clarity electric motors under the hood will not accumulate a record of 0 to 60 numbers, but neither does its Civic. That Said, the engine is more than competent in the streets and highways of the city. More importantly, it provides a smooth and enjoyable ride that is an improvement on all internal combustion vehicles that I have driven to date.
Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the Spectator. The Honda Clarity vehicle line is a modern version of the design lines Honda is known for. Clarity gives you a great boost with bold vertical LED race lights and more angular frames around the corners, making you feel bigger and more futuristic at the same time.
The nose of the Clarity Fuel Cell manages to achieve this with a bit of class, with the headlights pointing to the future without revealing how different it really is. When sliding to one side, the elegant lines begin to slide and lose cohesion, as the rear of the vehicle seems to rise at an uncomfortable angle.
The result of the large vehicle size of the Clarity line is that it leaves a good amount of space in the trunk. The fuel cell system consumes more of that than its fair share of space, but the trunk is enough for some suitcases.
The Honda Clarity fuel cell comes with an EPA rating range of 366 miles EPA per fill. In our tests, the first full filling of the vehicle resulted in a full tank range of 299 miles. The second fill was surprisingly lower, 257 miles in range.
I contacted Honda about this and the company shared some points to put the total range in context. First of all, the total range shown is a function of how the vehicle has been driven. If the driver has a supporting foot (as apparently I have), the real-world range shown on the meter takes it into account, as are battery-powered electric vehicles.
Second, Honda shared that the range of 366 miles for the Honda Clarity fuel cell includes the reserve range. The Reserve range is typically an additional range that the vehicle can travel beyond the point where the meter reaches the empty mark. It is usually retained to allow the driver to arrive at a fuel supply station in the rare case that the driver has not planned properly or has simply forgotten to fill when convenient.
Fuel cell degradation is also a factor, but the relatively low number of fuel cell vehicles deployed to date makes it difficult to assess the effects of fuel cell degradation on vehicles in Production. The little information available is wrapped in a veil of secrecy in which Honda, Toyota and Hyundai push for the widespread adoption of their fuel cell vehicles. The first studies based on data admitted as insufficient show an approximate degradation of 10% in the performance of the fuel cell for 10 years, which really is not so bad, considering everything.
Honda chose not to comment on the issue. For the sake of convenience and lack of data to support substantial claims, asignémoslo to my main foot and move on.
The fuel infrastructure for hydrogen is clearly absent at the moment. The Greater Los Angeles area has more charging stations than any other metropolitan area in the world, and a glimpse of the Hydrogen Station Finder application by Air Liquide reveals that while the amount of points on a map looks great, the reality is that many of them Stations only open a limited number of hours per day, often run out of fuel or are limited in terms of the overall availability of H2.
We set out to make some longer trips in the Clarity fuel cell and map them along a route full of fuel supply stations, from Oxnard, California, to El Monte, California. The 4 stations near the route were all depleted of hydrogen (2), closed (1) or disconnected due to a large shipment from the station the following morning (1). The fuel supply experience left a lot to be desired and opened my eyes to some of the growing pains of the hydrogen supply network, the growth pains almost impossible to see without just going out and experiencing the net.
Be aware of deeper immersion in the current state of hydrogen power in the coming weeks as we complete our research on hydrogen feeding stations.
The price of fuels is also a new world, as consumers suddenly face fuel being served per kilogram. As we have done with electric cars, translating vehicle efficiency from miles per gallon to miles per kilowatt-hour, buyers will have to translate in miles per kilogram.
With the low volumes of hydrogen stations currently operating, the price per kilogram is still quite expensive. We Spent $15.99 for the stations we visited in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. It Is worth noting that EPA’s Fuel Economy.gov uses $5.55/kg as the price of hydrogen, which drastically underestimates the cost of driving a fuel cell vehicle in the resulting calculations.
The price of hydrogen should go down over time as hydrogen production and transport technology improves, along with the station’s technology itself. For now, Honda is compensating for the need to pay $70.000 for approximately 280 miles of reach with a gasoline card of $15.000 that expects it to cover the cost of hydrogen during the first few years. With the price per mile we experienced, the car would cover approximately 60.000 miles, or 5 years of driving for the typical American.
Dollars and cents
The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is offered primarily as a fixed-term lease with $2.868 less plus $369/month for 3 years. That takes $16.152 for 3 years… But it also comes with the $15.000 fuel card mentioned above. Taking that into account, it reduces the cost of the price and allows drivers to block essentially 3 years of fixed driving costs in a zero-emission vehicle.
Of course, paying the current price of $16/kg per hydrogen is significantly higher than the cost of driving an internal-combustion vehicle, but it is expected to decrease as production volumes increase. And Yes, I know it’s a great “but ” on which the purchase of a vehicle is based, but even at today’s prices, the inclusion of the fuel card makes the purchase much more acceptable.
Either way, the Honda Clarity fuel cell comes with a rather large warning: it only makes sense if you live in an area with tons of service stations. We Currently live right in the middle of the two nearest service stations, about 30 miles away in any direction. That makes us ineligible to enter a Clarity fuel cell, and rightly so. End spending a minimum of 60 miles of reach per tank arriving and from the fuel station.
The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is a zero-emission vehicle with an attractive package. It’s Not perfect, but it points to the possibility of a zero-emission fuel cell vehicle for the masses if the technology can overcome some key obstacles, such as fuel infrastructure, fuel pricing, stability of Fuel supply and energy efficiency of the well at the wheel, to name a few.
The Driving Experience almost eliminates any learning curve that could be expected with a new technology, with the only exception of food. Making fuel is quite simple and does not require a visit to Shell Genius Bar or anything magical or difficult to learn how to do it.
We Will Have Our eyes on fuel cell vehicles and on the most challenging fuel infrastructure development in the coming years, as future-looking states like California are placed on the expensive “spear-tip” path to 50 Hydrogen fuel stations for 2020.