LA Auto Show: Honda’s own fuel cell vehicle debuts on North American soil image

The third largest Japanese automaker is looking ready to challenge Toyota’s hydrogen-fueled Mirage and the Clarity Fuel Cell has just been introduced to the audience at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

While Honda jumped the gun years ago and introduced ahead of their larger rivals the first US-bound hybrid production model, we all know who was the one taking the laurels – namely the Prius. Now Honda has once more jumped ahead of time with the previous generation FCX Clarity that was presented back in 2008 and became the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle available to retail customers. Now the Toyota opponent is out and Honda is ready to deliver the second generation hydrogen car – the Clarity Fuel Cell. It’s practically unchanged from the Japanese JDM-specification and will head towards Californian dealerships starting somewhere in the latter part of next year. Honda has also said this time around they took a more expanded approach – so the architecture will soon be used to deliver a next-generation plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with a tentative scheduled launched for 2018 – looking to deliver more than three times the electric range of the current Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan.

Clarity’s fuel cell powertrain has a max power of 177 PS (130 kW) – no range estimates are out yet, though we’re not expecting it to match the JC08 testing figure of at least 700 km (435 miles), with the company now coming clean towards “an anticipated driving range in excess of 300 miles (483 km)”.Compared to the previous generation FCX Clarity, the new model’s fuel cell stack is 33 percent smaller and comes with a power density increase of up to 60 percent to 3.1 kW/L.