Honda FCX Clarity Beauty for beauty’s sake latimes com

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Honda FCX Clarity

Honda FCX Clarity: Beauty for sake

Honda’s striking, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle may be the expensive, advanced and impractical car built.

By Dan Neil Los Angeles Staff Writer

February 13,

I’ve driven lots of I’ve wallowed like a oligarch pig in the gorgeous mud of a $1.6-million Veyron. I’ve spit fire across the midnight at the wheel of a Lamborghini.

I’ve gape-mouthed peasants aside the chrome cowcatcher grille of a Royce Phantom.

Yet I have driven a car half as advanced, as as blind-with-science as the Honda FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicle.

Nor one so expensive. on that in a moment.

But first, get this out of the way: Hydrogen technology won’t work in It’s a tragic cul-de-sac in the for sustainable mobility, being to game the California Air Resources rules requiring carmakers to zero-emission vehicles. Any way you look at it, is a lousy way to move cars.

Face it: Fuel-cell technology has eclipsed by vastly cheaper, advances in batteries and plug-in vehicles. To knit together the barest network of H2 refueling would cost billions. in any case, the fuel itself, produced by cracking natural gas or water (consult your chemistry texts), represents a energy return on investment.

illustrative math: It takes 60 kilowatt-hours of electricity to gin a kilogram of from water. The FCX Clarity’s holds about 4 kilograms of H2 and gives it a range of about 270 on 240 kWhs.

The all-electric Tesla has a 53-kWh lithium-ion battery and a of 220 miles. So the Tesla’s per-mile in electricity are roughly one-quarter they are in the FCX Clarity.

Should partisans care to debate questions — and go down Zeros over the Mariana — I’ll meet you on the on honor. Calculators at dawn.

If any other company but Honda this thing out, barf with skepticism. But is dead earnest about and it is only its relentless, year-after-year in this technology, and the extraordinary Honda throws at it, that me think that the company something I don’t — that and the army of PhDs at its

Yet as I see it, there are only two reasons to the car. First, major must begin complying California’s mandate that sell 7,500 zero


Of the 200 FCX Honda intends to build, it lease almost all of them in California. (Interested customers can for a lease online at www.fcx.

The carmaker won’t say what the cost for the vehicle is, but I estimate $400 million, which out to $2 million per vehicle. That my four-door test car the most automobile I’ve ever by a margin of about one whole 430.

The second reason Honda have had for building the FCX Clarity: invested in this project to waste. The car’s state-of-the-art cell can be amortized in Honda’s power generation division company makes awesome And since a fuel-cell vehicle is an electric vehicle with a heart, all the technology — the aerodynamics; the powerful, quiet and 100 kW (134 hp) electric motor; the new coaxial gearbox — can be into future electric and electric projects.

Honda FCX Clarity

Perhaps by questions of practicality and cost is the — and it is a fact — the FCX Clarity is the most beautiful car to wear the big H on the nose. It’s gorgeous, a big garnet-red teardrop from the cheek of the future, a stanza of robot-written poetry.

The reason the FCX Clarity could such a compelling shape is it didn’t have to be molded the big, immovable lumps of a sedan. There’s no gas engine up so the cabin could extend forward like a mid-engine The large and steeply raked falls away from the and the roof-supporting A-pillars are exceptionally

The result is a wonderful cab-forward a panorama you won’t see anywhere but on the back of a motorcycle.

Likewise, the small fuel cell (about the size of a desktop PC) between the front seats, and the battery and hydrogen tank over the rear axle, the cabin has room to stretch The FCX Clarity is huge on the inside, Lincoln-Town-Car huge, and the trunk is a 11 cubic feet. The whole is in singlet of wind-swept modernism.

To underscore the car’s eco-friendly Honda uses petroleum-free and bio-based fabrics to construct the and it really is wonderful stuff. textures abound, including a wainscoting of walnut on the dash and God only knows what all costs.

When I think all the tooling used to build a 200 cars, I feel faint.

The bewitching thing about the FCX is the instrument panel. The 3-D display on an animated ball. When you are efficiently, with gradual and long coast-downs to recharge the the ball is small and blue and

When you start horsing the ball gets big and yellow and as if to say: You’re wasting stupid. Do you even know hydrogen costs?

How does the FCX drive? Exactly as you’d an electric Honda Accord to: smooth, flawless in operation, and lively. The whack-bang of an internal-combustion with the myriad second-order and gear whine, is supplanted by the murmurings of distant electrons, and so the of the car is serene, even tranquilizing.

Behold, the grand and lovely of the FCX Clarity. It’s hard to something so wonderful, so I won’t. bring me one that I can plug in.

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