February 12, 2016

Electric Vehicles Renewable Energy and Storage News

Honda is betting on hydrogen.

It’s strange a company as Honda wouldn’t have more in store when it comes to PHEV or pure EV but Honda has been following the allure of hydrogen.

Honda and hydrogen, what happened to the Insight? The Insight was Honda’s hybrid solution.  The FCX Clarity is Honda’s foray into the hydrogen world.  The car is much improved compared to the first iteration with a new vertical flow fuel cell stack good for a 270 miles range on a single refill of the 5,000 p.s.i. tank behind the rear seat.  Can we expect the next generation to pound closer to 10,000 p.s.i for a greater range?

So what does it do? According to the New York Times, the FCX Clarity is about the same as 2.4-liter, with around 134 horsepower and 189 pound-feet of torque, weighing close to 3,600 pounds.

What’s special about it? Honda innovates with its vertical-flow design 100-kilowatt fuel-cell stack, which is more powerful, lighter than previous designs and other feasts such as reduced load on the air-conditioning system by bringing climate control using fans in the seats to blow air cooled or warmed by thermoelectric elements.  Honda estimates the consumption to be equivalent of 68 mpg.

So what’s the catch? Well, only 3 are made, they are only leased and you’ll need to be in Southern California in order to own and drive one.

The problem with hydrogen so far has been the lack of infrastructure.  Considering the average cost of building a hydrogen station stands at around $2 to 3 million dollars each.  It might take a while before we see many around soon.  However, companies are jumping to fill in the gaps, such as Air Resources Board saying they will provide $7.7 million to help fund the opening of three more hydrogen fueling stations.