Honda's Clarity Fuels Hydrogen Hype

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Honda is about to offer the hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity to "customers" on a limited long-term lease basis. For 600 bucks a month, a handful of lucky leaseholders will get to boast that their car is cleaner than Mitt Romney's closet, and fill-up… at home. According to American Honda chief executive Tetsuo Iwamura, the Clarity is a "shining symbol of the progress we've made with fuel cell vehicles and of our belief in the promise of this technology." Belief in a promise. Gotcha. Just in case you didn't quite catch the fact that Mr. Iwamura is standing in a wiggle room, AFP found an expert to throw a little cold water on Ye Olde hydrogen economy. Texan Timothy Wilkins, an attorney for the firm Bracewell & Giuliani (yes, THAT Giuliani), warns that "producing hydrogen like the gasoline scale, to fully integrated in the vehicle fleet and [provide] the infrastructure for fueling stations will take one century." As Napoleon told his generals when they informed him that growing trees along French roads to shade his troops would take 100 years, "Better get on with it then, mate." Luckily, we don't have to wait that long for a test drive report on the Clarity. Once and future TTAC'er Jonny Leiberman reports to us via podcast below.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Ihatetrees Ihatetrees on Nov 21, 2007

    Couldn't Mr Lieberman have written a review? Or is he not a free agent? I'd like to know if fuel cell vehicles can have a button that has “valves open in the mufflers, changing the sound from Howard Dean's scream to Gunnery Sgt. Hartman showing Joker his war face.”

  • Perkins Perkins on Nov 21, 2007

    canfood: I think that GM is fairly serious about hydrogen, please check out this link

  • Martin Schwoerer Martin Schwoerer on Nov 22, 2007

    @bfg9k:"I’ve seen estimates that a nationwide hydrogen fueling infrastructure could be built for $40 billion (about 4 months of Iraq war spending)" I thought the war cost only one billion a month? Anyway, I would think that the really revolutionary aspect of this car is the ventilated seats. One important (and under-reported) reason why people don't like public transport, and don't like carpools, is flatulance. A great thing about being alone in your vehicle is that you can let it rip. The new seats would greatly facilitate carpools, and thus help reduce traffic and global warming.

  • Xias Xias on Mar 13, 2008

    I think there's a lot of consumer support for hydrogen technology. Whether Honda will be able to control the costs and other problems associated with the new FCX remains to be seen. If improvements to the Prius are any indication, however, I'd expect we'll see a significant number of improvements to performance and costs in the coming years.