Honda launches its latest hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in Japan

March 11, 2016 0 By Stephen Vagus

The new Clarity Fuel Cell is now available in Japan

Honda has officially launched its new fuel cell vehicle, the Clarity Fuel Cell, in Japan. The vehicle is available for lease in the country, with price tag of $67,000. Honda expects that it will sell only 200 units of the vehicle in the first year that it is available, all of which are likely to be leased through government agencies, such as the Environment Ministry. Honda has plans to release the new Clarity in California later this year for the price of $60,000, or less than $500 a month for those leasing the vehicle.

Honda has a history with fuel cell technology

Many of the world’s leading automakers are developing fuel cell vehicles and Honda is among the first to have released such a vehicle to the commercial market. The first generation of the Clarity began in 2008, when Honda brought the FCX Clarity to California and other markets. The availability of the vehicle was quite limited, however, due to the low number of hydrogen fuel stations that were open to the public at the time. Even now, nearly seven years after the initial launch of the Clarity model, the hydrogen infrastructure in most markets is lacking, making fuel cell vehicles less viable for consumers.

New Clarity can travel 470 miles before needing to refuel

Honda claims that its new fuel cell vehicle can travel approximately 470 miles on a single tank of fuel. The vehicle consumers hydrogen to generate electrical power, but does not produce any harmful emissions. Honda has also succeeded in making its fuel cell technology more powerful and lightweight. The new Clarity has a slimmer fuel cell system, which is housed in its entirety beneath the hood of the vehicle.

Japan is working to bolster its hydrogen infrastructure

In Japan, efforts to establish a comprehensive hydrogen fuel infrastructure have gained momentum. The Japanese government seeks to form a hydrogen society, where clean transportation is heavily reliant on fuel cell systems. As such, the government has been investing in the construction of new hydrogen stations throughout the country. As the infrastructure grows, more consumers and organizations are likely to show interest in fuel cell vehicles.