Honda FCX Clarity and the future of automotive industry

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Here follows an interesting media information regarding Honda’s FCX Clarity which gives to the world a general idea for the future of automotive industry.

Honda – driving for the next hundred years

Over one hundred years have passed since the birth of the automobile. As we look for better ways to create and harness energy for transportation, Honda remains focused on creating sustainable mobility.

We are looking toward the next hundred years and exploring the challenge of new fuels and powerplants. We’re working to keep the dream of personal mobility alive for generations yet to come.

It’s the realisation of a dream. And the beginning of another.

We want to create cars that make people’s lives more fun, and develop technologies that bring new value to our customers and society. That is what Honda and its engineers are after-to share the value that the automobile has to offer with people around the world. Therefore we have put our own ideas to work creating exciting new technology: taking the lead and taking the initiative, we are aiming to create the future of the automobile.

At the same time, we recognise that the planet faces urgent problems, such as global warming, atmospheric pollution and resource depletion; and that the automobile is having a significant impact on our environment. We want to help preserve a healthy environment to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy mobility. We recognise our responsibility to face these problems squarely and are taking up the challenge of developing more environmentally responsible technologies.

Fuel cell electric vehicles, which run on hydrogen and emit no CO2 or other harmful emissions, may be the key to securing a bright future for the automobile in society. Honda became the world’s first carmaker to put a fuel cell car on the road with regular customers, delivering the Honda FCX to fleet users in the United States and Japan in 2002. We have continued to improve performance, range and efficiency, overcoming the daunting challenge of cold weather operation and delivering vehicles to additional fleet users and private individuals. We have been working constantly, with a clear focus on the customer and real-world deployments, toward the full-scale commercialisation of fuel cell electric vehicles worldwide.

Now we are ready to make another great leap forward, introducing a fuel cell electric vehicle that delivers superior environmental performance and is fun to drive. The FCX Clarity embodies Honda’s innovative spirit, environmental vision and uncompromising approach to product quality and performance. This all-new Honda fuel cell electric vehicle addresses environmental issues in a comprehensive fashion, with elegance, integrity and a level of driving performance that customers expect from Honda. The automobile of the future is here today.

The automobile holds the potential for limitless dreams and excitement in the future. The FCX Clarity represents the beginning of that future. We hope you will continue to look to Honda with anticipation. For us, the challenge has only just begun.

Sachito Fujimoto FCX Clarity Project Leader

Sachito Fujimoto joined Honda in 1981. He worked on the development of engines for the Accord, Civic and other models before becoming part of the fuel cell vehicle team in 1999. He served as the Project Leader for the powerplant and as Assistant Large Project Leader for both the 2000 and 2003 FCX models. In 2003 he was appointed Large Project Leader for the 2005 FCX. Fujimoto is currently Large Project Leader for the FCX Clarity.

Honda is working to ensure that future generations can enjoy mobility, and fuel cell electric vehicles are a key component of these efforts.

As part of its initiative to reduce the environmental impact of automobiles, Honda is making cleaner and more environmentally responsible vehicles.

Honda has always been proactive and innovative in its approach to the reduction of atmospheric pollution. With the introduction of the CVCC engine in 1972, Honda became the world’s first automaker to comply with the stringent exhaust emissions regulations of the 1970 US Clean Air Act without the use of a catalytic converter. And Honda has continued to work to improve the emissions performance of all its vehicles. Addressing the problem of global warming, Honda has worked to reduce CO2 emissions by improving the fuel efficiency of its conventional engines, introducing a world-class natural gas-powered vehicle in the US, flexible fuel vehicles for Brazil, highly efficient diesel engines for Europe, and developing hybrid vehicles.

The ultimate expression of the electric vehicle concept: how Honda’s fuel cell electric vehicle works

A fuel cell vehicle has a hydrogen tank instead of a petrol tank. In the fuel cell, hydrogen is combined with atmospheric oxygen to generate electricity. The fuel cell is more like a tiny electric power station than a battery. Since the electricity required to power the vehicle’s motor is generated onboard using hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen, no CO2 or other pollutants are emitted in this process. It is the ultimate in clean performance-its only emission is the water produced as a by-product of electricity generation. A compact and efficient lithium ion battery stores electricity generated during braking and deceleration in regenerative braking. The battery works in concert with the fuel cell stack to power the vehicle.

Hydrogen has the power to change how energy is used for the good of the planet
Hydrogen can be extracted anywhere.

The fuel cell vehicle produces electricity to drive its electric motor. The fuel it uses to produce that energy is hydrogen. Hydrogen is not found on its own in nature, but exists as a component within many different materials from which it can be extracted. Currently hydrogen is generated mainly from natural gas, but it can also be extracted from water via electrolysis, using electricity produced from such renewable energy sources as solar, wind and hydroelectric power. Hydrogen is an energy carrier that can be derived from renewable and low-carbon energy sources without overseas shipment or the risk of spillage.

Is it better to convert electricity to hydrogen first, or use it directly? What is the difference between an electric vehicle and a fuel cell electric vehicle?

If electricity is generated from a renewable energy source to produce hydrogen, but then that hydrogen is used to generate electricity in a fuel cell, why not just use the electricity directly to power the vehicle? Through the extraction, delivery and storage of hydrogen we can take advantage of the benefits the fuel cell electric vehicle offers beyond efficient electricity use. A hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle can be refueled quickly, and it can have a range equivalent to that of a petrol-powered car. Moreover, the fuel cell system and other powerplant components can be made powerful, lightweight and compact, permitting a freedom of layout that creates packaging and design options never before possible in an automobile.

Aiming for a sustainable-energy society free from dependence on fossil fuels.

In an ideal hydrogen cycle, hydrogen produced from water via electrolysis using solar, wind, hydroelectric and other renewable energy sources would be used in fuel cells to generate electricity for use in cars and to meet other energy needs. The water produced as a by-product of this process would then return to the rivers and oceans before once again being converted into hydrogen via electrolysis. By realising such a renewable, water-to-water energy cycle, it may be possible one day to create truly sustainable energy supplies, freeing society from dependence on non-renewable and carbon-based energy sources.

It’s difficult to store large amounts of electricity. An effective approach is to generate electricity using hydrogen-and on demand.

A conventional battery-powered vehicle requires a continuous supply of electricity generated by a powerplant in order to fulfill anticipated needs-for example, by converting heat from the combustion of fossil fuels or from vehicle braking. One advantage of hydrogen is that it can be compressed or liquefied for delivery via pipeline or for storage in tanks. Tank storage, in turn, allows a fuel cell to produce electricity whenever it is needed. Hydrogen can also be produced using solar, wind or hydroelectric energy, depending on the viability of these forms of energy production in a given region, ensuring a stable supply of hydrogen from renewable energy sources.

The fuel cell electric vehicle: superior energy efficiency along with quiet, powerful performance.

Fuel cell electric vehicles, which operate on electricity converted from hydrogen, deliver the ultimate in environmental responsibility- and more. They also excel at propelling the vehicle with minimal loss of energy, generally exhibiting more than twice the energy efficiency of a conventional petrol-powered car and superior mileage. The new FCX Clarity takes that performance to the next level, achieving more than three times the energy efficiency of compact, petrol-powered Honda cars, which are already recognized for their excellent combustion efficiency, and double the energy efficiency of a petrol-electric hybrid vehicle.

And this high efficiency is maintained even at low output, resulting in reduced losses and outstanding fuel economy. What’s more, the electric motor’s distinctively smooth, powerful acceleration and quiet performance, free of the vibration associated with engine-powered vehicles, delivers an entirely new kind of driving experience.

Putting fun and style into the future of the automobile

The fuel cell electric vehicle is the ultimate in clean performance. But Honda believes cars should always be fun, too-the stuff of dreams. So when Honda set out to develop a fuel cell electric vehicle, the goal was to make it a car that delivers driving and aesthetic pleasure as well as outstanding environmental performance.

Honda has led the way in developing and improving fuel cell electric vehicle performance. Now the company is moving on to the next phase, exploring the enormous potential for layout versatility that is made possible by the fuel cell powerplant. This flexibility gives the fuel cell electric vehicle a new appeal that can set it apart from the internal combustion engine vehicle. That is why Honda engineers have cleared away all preconceived notions of automobile design, challenging themselves to discover the new possibilities that can only be realised with the fuel cell electric vehicle.

The development team chose the word “free” to represent the design approach: free from preconceptions, free from common assumptions.

* Free the earth from environmental burden and from limits on where vehicles can be used
* Free people to experience exhilarating acceleration and a feeling of comfort and spaciousness that transcends vehicle categories
* Free the automobile to evolve in form and design

The team’s goal was to create the next generation in automotive pleasure, with design and driving performance unattainable in today’s vehicles.

First, Honda engineers set out to achieve the next advance in fuel cell stack design. The result was the V Flow FC Stack, which delivers outstanding improvements in lightweight, compact, high-output performance. The team also made the fuel cell system, drive motor, hydrogen storage and other powertrain components more compact. We took advantage of the fuel cell electric vehicle’s unique layout possibilities to create a revolutionary new platform with a low centre of gravity for sporty, stable driving performance. And the electric motor drive provides a distinctive sense of power and a feeling that acceleration will go on forever for an all-new dimension in driving feel.

Honda has created a new era in personal mobility: the FCX Clarity. The future of the automobile is about to change-and become a whole lot more fun. Honda has embarked on the next stage in the development of the fuel cell electric vehicle.

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