The new 2019 Honda Clarity Fuel cell is a comfortable and lively hydrogen sedan, driven by an electric motor from 177 hp. And the exhaust emits only water.
Towards the end of the 1980s in Honda’s laboratories, the first studies on car fuel cell were started, or, to put it in Italian, with fuel cells: from a chemical reaction between the hydrogen (stored in a tank) and the oxygen (contained in the ambient air) allow to obtain electricity and, as a waste, only water. The first one feeds an electric motor (or, in some phases, recharges a buffer battery), the other is ejected in the form of droplets. Simple the principle (which is still found today in the 2019 Honda Clarity Fuel cell), difficult to achieve. Especially in a car, where you want to leave room for passengers and luggage. Just look at the first prototype Honda hydrogen, the Monovolume V0 of 1998: The components destined for current production occupied a large part of the cockpit, including the rear seat area. At the turn of 2000, other prototypes (FCX-V1, v2, V3 and V4) arrived, until, in 2005, the FCX was the first car entrusted to a private user: an American family. In 2008, however, FCX clarity found its first real customers in the USA and Japan.
With a few years of delay compared to the plans (due to the 2011 tsunami in Japan), the new 2019 Honda Clarity Fuel cell has garnered the witness of FCX clarity. The filament forms (as well as the futuristic ones) testify to the care of the aerodynamics for the reduction of consumption: Among the details, the bodywork that covers small parts of the rear wheels, while small slits in front of the latter divert the air flow to break down the turbulence during the rolling (similar openings for the front wheels are located in the bumper). On the sides of the bonnet, there are two vents: they are used in case of emergency, to dispose of any leaks of hydrogen gas.
2019 Honda Clarity Engine Specs
Unlike FCX clarity (and other hydrogen cars), the new 2019 Honda Clarity Fuel cell has a spacious five-seater cabin instead of four. The hydrogen gas cylinders (filled at 700 bar and not more than 350) are two: the largest (117 litres) is behind the backrest of the sofa, while the other (24 litres) is under the seat of the latter. The thin lithium-ion battery (1.7 kwh capacity) is located under the front seats, whose seat is actually a bit high for a sedan. Instead, the stack, that is, the fuel cell is placed inside the engine compartment (in the past it was between the front seats, vertically), where is also the converter that transforms the direct current generated by the batteries and the fuel cell in the alternating one used by the three-phase motor. The cockpit is well-cared for, besides precious materials such as leather that covers seats and seat backs, derivatives but recyclable materials. One of these is a skin-like (produced from vegetable fibres) used for the hips of the armchairs, while the Ultrasuede (which reminds the most known Alcantara) is derived from the recovery of the polyester obtained from the disposal of old cars. In this regard, 80% of the components of the new Honda Clarity fuel cell can be recycled.
2019 Honda Clarity Test
Our test took place in Denmark, around Copenhagen: the country of Northern Europe is the one with the most diffusion of hydrogen cars. As part of the HyFive project, three of the six Honda Clarity fuel cells destined so far to Europe are awarded to Danish customers (as many circulate in the UK). In Italy, on the other hand, there is no copy of this car: the remainder is lacking a network of hydrogen distributors. In Japan and the USA, however, the new Honda sedan is hired with triennial contracts. In America the fee is 369 dollars a month that you add up to 2,868 in advance (in total, you arrive at 16,152 dollars, equal to just under 15,000 euros). In these amounts, however, the hydrogen supplies are included for 1500 kg (worth about 15,000 euros), sufficient to travel about 150,000 km: a very advantageous proposal.
Board and hold the button to the right of the steering wheel, the instrument panel lights up and the 2019 Honda Clarity fuel cell is ready to go. Instead of the gearbox there are a number of buttons to enter the forward gear (drive), the “Back”, the crowds or the parking position. Another button allows you to enter the sport mode that increases (by little) the already good readiness of the three-phase electric motor and increases the recovery of energy in the slowdowns. We start in almost absolute silence (the hissing of the current converter is just right) and as soon as the road allows it to “give gas”: the thrust is very good (300 nm are more or less those supplied by a three thousand engine aspirated to gasoline or a 1.6 turbo diesel) and immediately available, as in all electric cars. During the maximum acceleration phases (the declared 0-100 is 9 seconds, the while the official peak speed is 165 km/h) The 177 hp three-phase motor receives current from both the lithium-ion batteries and the fuel cell (the maximum power supply is 140 horsepower).
New Honda Clarity Trunk
Even in speed the 2019 Honda Clarity fuel cell is quiet and comfortable: only on the draining asphalt you can hear the rolling noise of the wheels. Unlike other electric cars, the braking is well modulated, while in curves the 1800 kg of weight and the rather soft calibration of the suspensions do not make it a very responsive car. The rear visibility can also be improved. In this regard, under the rear window, large but quite inclined, there is a small porthole in the vertical part of the tailgate; Another is inside over the backrest of the sofa: in this way, if the trunk is not full up to the CAP, it is possible to have a little more visibility. Speaking of trunk, behind the backrest of the sofa, in correspondence of the larger cylinder of hydrogen, a step (about 34 cm high and 30 deep) makes it even more complicated to exploit the 344 liters of capacity. A value straddling between those of a utilitarian and an average sedan, certainly not good for a car of almost five meters. Useful, instead, the camera under the right external mirror: Every time you put the “arrow” to turn, its images are transmitted to the screen at the center of the bridge, and it is easier to notice vehicles in the dead corner of the mirror. Unreliable, however, the navigator who often wronged to recognize the position of our car, recalculating the route unnecessarily.
After two hundred kilometers of test route mainly on fast state, we go with the “our” 2019 Honda Clarity fuel cell to refuel the hydrogen: the indicator in the dashboard indicates little more than half a tank and in about two minutes we supply the 2.1 kg that we consumed. In fact, a full (5 kg) average enough for about 475 km (compared to 650 km declared by the House referred to the approval cycle): A value more than good, especially when compared with that of the electric cars “pure”, which have among other things charging time from the long grip. The cost of our supply was 180 Danish kroner, equivalent to about 24 euros. With a turbocharged car of the same category, we would have spent just over half. But we would have polluted.
- habitability. The space available for passengers is remarkable. Also, unlike other hydrogen cars, here are five places.
- Comfort. The suspensions filter well the roughness, and except on the draining asphalt, the silence reigns on board.
- thrust at the start. The electric motor ensures a good brio in accelerations, at least up to approximately 100 km/h.
- Trunk. It is not wide, and it is not exploitable because of the massive step in the lower part behind the sofa.
- details. The quality of the rigid plastics in the lower part of the plank is not at the height of the finishes of the rest of the cockpit.
- visibility. The almost horizontal window shows little. And the additional porthole is useless when the trunk is completely full.