Honda has unveiled its next generation Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.
The new car is described by Honda as the world's first production fuel cell powered saloon car to house the entire fuel cell stack and drivetrain system in the space normally occupied by a normal engine and transmission.
Honda says new car seats five adults comfortably, helped by reducing the size of the fuel cell stack and the power generation unit to the size of a comparable V6 engine. The onboard fuel cells now feature a higher output and a more slender shape, with each cell helping make the fuel cell stack 33 per cent more compact than that used in the original FCX Clarity. This improvement has been achieved in parallel with an increase in maximum output to 177ps and a power density increased by 60 per cent.
The Clarity Fuel Cell includes a high-pressure tank capable of storing more hydrogen gas, therefore extending the range of the vehicle to 435 miles on a single tank. In addition, the tank can be refilled in approximately three minutes.
Due to the continuously increasing torque provided by the high-output 130 kW motor, with no need for gears, the Clarity achieves perfectly smooth acceleration anywhere from zero to maximum speed. The FCV include two driving modes: 'Normal' which provides a balance between fuel economy and driving performance, and 'Sport' which prioritises a more responsive acceleration feeling.
The exterior has been designed to give an 'imposing presence on the road' while maintaining a strong aerodynamic profile. Full-LED headlights with a sharp, slender profile and 18-inch aluminium wheels with an aerodynamic design complete the look.
The interior features an advanced driver interface with Honda's instant recognition and intuitive control, as well as premium, 'comforting' materials.
In the UK, Honda has worked with suppliers to encourage the local production and consumption of energy by establishing a solar-powered hydrogen refuelling station in the grounds of Honda UK Manufacturing, in Swindon. This station is open to the public (subject to registration) and able to refuel any fuel cell vehicle.
The Clarity Fuel Cell will be commercially available in Japan from early 2016. Further information on the European launch of the vehicle will follow in 2016.