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Honda Clarity FCEV revealed!

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by anticitizen13.7, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    http://www.wired.com/2015/10/honda-clarity-hydrogen-fuel-cell-sales/

    The revealed product is even in a "Sig Red" color, LOL:biggrin:

    Interesting facts:
    • The electric motor and fuel cell are compact enough that they can both be under the hood of the car. This means the Clarity is now a 5-seater. The previous generation FCX Clarity had the fuel cell in the center of the passenger compartment, which obstructed the center position in the rear bench and made the car a 4-seater.
    • Electric motor is rated at 175 Horsepower
    • A dual hydrogen tank system provides 300 miles rated range. One large hydrogen tank sits behind the rear bench, and a small one under the rear bench.
    • A Lithium Ion pack (to store braking regen) sits under the driver's seat.
    • MSRP expected to be $63,000.
    • On-sale date projected to be March 2016 in Japan, and US shortly after.

    Interesting photos of the mechanical insides, and short test drive impressions here: http://beta.motortrend.com/auto-shows/tokyo/2017-honda-clarity-fuel-cell-quick-drive-review/

    My take: Definitely an improvement over the last generation (from 2008), but lack of infrastructure is still a problem. It's not that much cheaper than a base Model S, which makes it a tough sell for Honda.
     
  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    #2 ecarfan, Oct 28, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
    Only 300 miles of range, and of course in the real world it will be less than that. So really no different from a Model S 90 that carries far more and is a much better car in so many ways and has the Supercharger network for road trips instead of a handful of hydrogen stations that can only handle one FCEV at a time and may or may not be operational. FCEVs are a delusional technology.
     
  3. vinnie97

    vinnie97 Member

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    An S90 is waaaay more expensive, though, isn't it? Tends of thousands if I'm correct. I'm unfortunately not in the market for either (and especially the FCEV, even if they were giving it away).
     
  4. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    The S90 isn't necessarily more expensive in terms of TCO. Here at least, one kg of hydrogen costs 10 USD, and an FCV will get approximately 62.5 miles per kg (0.01 kg/km). So, over say 200k miles, that's 32k USD. At 8 cents per kWh, a Model S will cost around 6.4k USD in electricity for 200k miles. Servicing is another issue, I would be very surprised if the service costs aren't a multiple of the servicing costs of gas or electric cars.

    An FCV probably needs to be somewhere around 30k USD cheaper than an electric car to break even TCO-wise. And given that the Clarity costs 63k USD, that means that you could buy a Model S for 93k USD and break even. An S90 starts at around 89k USD.

    (Of course, the above assumes that actual costs are covered by the buyer. That might not be the case - it's my understanding they recieve heavily subsidized hydrogen, for one thing.)
     
  5. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    The Fcv is heavily subsidized though by Honda. Kind of distorts the comparison.
     
  6. AlexT

    AlexT Member

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    Ignoring government incentives etc. I doubt it can ever be cheaper.
    I'm not convinced hydrogen fuel cell cars will ever become a safe, financially viable nor scalable solution for vehicles.

    Some points from the article:
    It suggests (at current tech) 68 stations per 10000 cars. That's 1 station providing for roughly 150 cars.

    How do you scale that up to for example 50,000,000 new cars per year?? You'd need over 300,000 stations at 1,500,000 dollar each.
    At current station prices, that's a quite the investment... ( $ 500,000,000,000 ? ).

    My view of the near future:
    - BEV costs will go down dramatically (Total Cost of Ownership of a BEV already beats ICE/FCEV's and will improve further for a lot)
    - Solar Panel solutions will be added to BEV's (example 4-seater is already close to winning the solar challenge races 2015)
    - Range anxiety will go, as range improves and as people become more familiar with BEV's, they will realise you don't need more than 300 miles of range for an excellent driving experience. Including road trips and holidays.

    ps. I know I'm entirely biased, but storing highly flammable fuel under pressure just doesn't sound like the safest solution to me... but hey, I'm no expert.

    Sources used:
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/56247-Waterstof-of-elektrisch (Dutch)
    http://ssj3gohan.tweakblogs.net/blog/11470/why-fuel-cell-cars-dont-work-part-1 (English)


    Also (relink within forum):

    attachment.php?attachmentid=99147&stc=1&d=1445809295.jpg
     
  7. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Anyone know what kind of "mileage" this vehicle would get (l/100 km or MPG) and what the cost of hydrogen is per litre or gallon? I'm interested to know what the fuel cost to operate such a vehicle would be. Fuel cost was my #1 consideration when I bought my Model S. I would have to think that hydrogen would cost more.
     
  8. tftf

    tftf Member

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    It's not just an FCEV.

    Honda will likely use the same car design (at least rumored) to make their new 2018 PHEV and BEV cars.

    So one design and three alternative propulsion systems as variants, pretty clever to keep costs down.

    We will see in 2018.
     
  9. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    Considerably more than buying gas today. For the few people who will have these cars today, the hydrogen is free from the manufacturers. This avoids highlighting the horrible economics.

    - - - Updated - - -

    It is a way to build mediocre low volume cars when you are really unsure about the future.
     
  10. tftf

    tftf Member

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    Mediocre? Low-volume for PHEV and BEV variants?

    I just pointed out that Honda will start selling their new BEV by 2018, likely based on the FC design revealed today.

    How can you already judge a car when it's not fully revealed including specs?

    For all we know, Honda's new BEV could be on sale well before Tesla's Model 3 given Tesla's ongoing history of delays.

    Honda's announcements again prove that the EV/PHEV market will become very crowded by 2017-2020 in all price ranges.

    Isn't that what EV proponents always asked for?

    Or is every *EV without a Tesla badge judged as crappy by default?
     
  11. Zextraterrestrial

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    Is honda planning on making a BEV? (well, I guess there is the FIT) or hybrid only as Toyota currently seems to be doing
     
  12. tftf

    tftf Member

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    #12 tftf, Oct 30, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2015
    They might even work on two models.

    1) Sedan likely based on the FCEV design discussed here (BEV and PHEV, both cars coming in 2018). This was announced back in Jan 2015 by Honda: Honda to Launch Next Generation Advanced Powertrain Vehicles by 2018, Honda FCV Concept... -- DETROIT, Jan. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

    2) Sporty EV based on CR-Z: Driving this electric Honda was more fun than the new NSX - SlashGear
    This was first shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2015.
     
  13. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    I want to discuss this further, since I am an expert on Honda Motor Co. and Honda automotive products.

    Honda rarely builds anything experimental or low volume that is "mediocre". The company has had a lot of duds in the past 10 years, but this has all been in cars targeted at the mainstream, such as the Honda Insight. Honda's more experimental products, like the FCX Clarity (2008), are generally built to exacting standards and have outstanding quality and functionality.

    The problem is not that Honda is "unsure". Honda's problem is that their top management apparently cannot see past the paradigm of "car must be refueled quickly at station". This is in my observation the sole justification for the Clarity program: the car can refuel in less than 5 minutes at a station. Honda's public position on BEVs is that they are best suited to small urban runabout cars. The Honda Fit EV is an expression of this position. The Fit EV is a fantastic sub-compact that has much better refinement (better sound insulation, superior suspension setup, better acceleration & handling) than its gasoline counterpart. It also has less than 100 miles effective range, similar to a Nissan LEAF.

    The Honda plan is to offer:
    (1) PHEVs in the near term. The Accord hybrid and plug-in hybrid were the testbeds/public betas for the 2.0L DOHC Atkinson w' dual Electric Motor that Honda intends to offer to the mainstream North American market in the next few years. They basically want to make a better Volt: much better performance, similar battery range, and a lot less compromise in interior space. The theory here is that gasoline will continue to be a primary fuel for long-distance driving in the vast North American areas.

    (2) BEVs for urban travel.

    (3) FCEVs as the final outcome.


    If the Honda BEV shares the same platform as the Clarity, it will likely be a front-wheel drive car (like the Clarity, which has its powertrain up front) with similar performance to a Honda Accord.

    The key questions for Honda will be price and volume. Honda has been willing to lease FCEVs and BEVs in the past, but only in very small numbers to specially vetted customers. Even cars like the Civic Hybrid, Accord Hybrid, and Insight Hybrid, were only built in relatively small numbers compared to their gasoline counterparts: Civic sedan, Accord sedan, and Fit.

    The other issue for Honda is engineering resources. Honda is a big company, but actually quite small compared to Toyota, GM, and other major players. They have teams working on DOHC i-VTEC engines (next generation direct-injection V6... look at the new NSX), hybrid powertrains, fuel cells, electric motors, and even jet engines. People here remember that Tesla was on the brink in 2008, but the financial crisis and then the Tsunami are said to have nearly taken Honda down too. Takanobu Ito had to make some tough & unpopular decisions during this time period in order to save the company. With the company possibly spread very thin, I don't know how realistic it will be for Honda to simultaneously bring FCEVs, BEVs, and new PHEVs to market in significant numbers, all while continuing to churn out conventional cars powered by DOHC i-VTEC powertrains.
     
  14. tftf

    tftf Member

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    Honda isn't averse to EVs once battery costs hit the right spot:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/28/autoshow-japan-volkswagen-fallout-idUSL3N12R4G120151028

    The big car companies aren't sleeping, they just try to time the market. I think 2018 is a good time for Honda to sell a new BEV since 200+-mile batteries will finally be available at mass-market prices ($30-40k, see GM Bolt and Nissan Leaf 2) around that time.
     
  15. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Electrification and electric cars are not the same thing. Electrification includes hybrids and FCVs.
     
  16. rjcbox

    rjcbox Member

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    1- looks hideous
    2- "fool" cell
     
  17. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    Honda and Toyota should stop wasting R & D money on fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) and put funds toward EVs instead.

    FCVs are terribly inefficient due to all of the energy conversions required. It's so much easier to simply go home and plug in my EV, versus finding hydrogen refueling stations and waiting in line. Hydrogen has no odor and is also invisible, even when burned, so that qualifies it as dangerous.

    As others have mentioned, the cost to use electricity is less than the cost of hydrogen. It could actually be zero for electricity especially when using solar/wind energy.
     
    • Informative x 1
  18. vinnie97

    vinnie97 Member

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    Indeed, Yggdrasil, accounting for TCO, you make a good case for the more affordable S90 (but only useful to those sitting on cash reserves of note ;)). And no doubt the subsidization is mucking up the real FCEV cost, Alex.
     
  19. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    stopcrazypp is correct. Electrification is not the same as a Battery Electric.

    The quote from the article is consistent from what I've heard about the discussion going on inside at Honda:

    At present, Honda does not believe that Battery Electric powertrains are the best solution for long-range automotive transport. The management and R&D is fully behind Hydrogen Fuel Cells.
     
  20. tftf

    tftf Member

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    Honda is working on all three options, BEV, PHEV and FCEV. Here's the link again:

    Honda to Launch Next Generation Advanced Powertrain Vehicles by 2018, Honda FCV Concept... -- DETROIT, Jan. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

    Maybe you missed the recent quote from the CEO confirming this:

    Honda CEO: electric vehicles are a 'core technology'

    I very much doubt they can/will only release another short-range BEV in 2018 when direct competitors offer longer-range EVs (Bolt, Leaf 2...) at similar price points.

    FCEVs on the other hand will be made in small quantities at Honda over the coming years, even fewer units than at Toyota planned until 2020 (small fleet sales and demo units for public entities).
     

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