Honda FCX Clarity Overview

Arriving in the summer of 2008, the 2009 Honda FCX Clarity touts itself as the world's first nuts-to-bolts fuel-cell production car. Many years in the making, the FCX Clarity is a much-revised version of the FCX concept from 2005. Only slightly heavier than the Honda Accord, the sedan runs on an electric motor powered by a fuel-cell stack that converts hydrogen and oxygen into electricity and emits nothing but harmless water vapor. Fuel economy and horsepower ratings are comparable to gas-powered sedans.

The entire powertrain setup is also comparable in size and weight to a gasoline engine, which means the FCX Clarity can ditch the clunky bubble car look and offer a roomy interior and sleek, streamlined exterior. This is possible thanks to the efforts of Honda engineers, who have spent the years since the 2005 concept's debut designing lighter and more-compact components and arranging them in a more evenly distributed layout.

Early word from reviewers is that the FCX Clarity handles like a gas-fueled sedan, with Accord-like acceleration and power and a noticeably quieter ride. It will be offered initially only in Japan and Southern California, due to the lack of hydrogen refueling stations. Right now, the high manufacturing cost limits the production numbers to just under 200, available as leased vehicles only.

Updated by Anonymous