Today, as oil prices reached a new high ($140 a barrel), Honda began producing their new advanced fuel cell vehicle, the FCX Clarity. There are only five customers so far, but Honda is setting up their first dealership network.
The first three dealerships to offer a fuel cell vehicle in the US are all located in California. They are Power Honda Costa Mesa (Costa Mesa), Honda of Santa Monica (Santa Monica) and Scott Robinson Honda (Torrance).
The first to own a FCX from Honda is film producer Ron Yerxa, who will take delivery of the first FCX Clarity in July. The remaining four early adopters for Honda's next-generation fuelcell vehicle are author and actress Jamie Lee Curtis and her filmmaker husband Christopher Guest; business owner and car enthusiast Jim Salomon; actress Laura Harris; and Jon Spallino, already the world's first retail fuel cell vehicle customer, who has been leasing the current generation FCX since 2005. Yerxa, Harris and Spallino attended the event in Japan.
Honda will begin leasing the FCX in July. Since the fuel cell vehicle is so expensive, Honda believes leasing is a better option for most people. There will be around 200 available in the US and in Japan over the first three years of production. So if you're looking to prove your 'greenness,' you better sign up fast. Only those who can re-fuel the vehicle will be eligible, so you need to live in the right area, too.
The FCX Clarity is a hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicle. It is propelled by an electric motor. The electricity is generated via the fuel cells and it is three times more efficient than a gas engine. It's only emissions will be water vapor.
The Honda V Flow fuel cell platform is powered by the Honda V Flow fuel cell stack. Significant advances over Honda's previous generation FCX include:
- an advanced new four passenger sedan design
- a greater than 30 percent increase in driving range up to 280 miles(1)
- a 25 percent increase in combined fuel economy to 72 miles/kg-H2(1) (74 mpg GGE )
- a 50 percent improvement in fuel stack power output density by volume
- a 40 percent smaller and 50 percent lighter new lithium ion battery pack
Press Release follows:
TOCHIGI, Japan, June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- American Honda Motor Co., Inc.,
today announced five of the first customers for its advanced new FCX
Clarity hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle and also provided details of the
world's first fuel cell vehicle dealership network in the United States.
The announcements were made during a ceremony for the start of FCX Clarity
production at the world's first dedicated fuel cell vehicle manufacturing
facility in Japan.
Film producer Ron Yerxa will take delivery of the first FCX Clarity in
July. The remaining four early adopters for Honda's next-generation fuel
cell vehicle are author and actress Jamie Lee Curtis and her filmmaker
husband Christopher Guest; business owner and car enthusiast Jim Salomon;
actress Laura Harris; and Jon Spallino, already the world's first retail
fuel cell vehicle customer, who has been leasing the current generation FCX
since 2005. Yerxa, Harris and Spallino attended the event in Japan.
To provide its customers with outstanding sales and service support and
as a critical step in advancing fuel cell vehicles in the real world,
American Honda announced the establishment of the first network of dealers
to facilitate the sales and service of fuel cell vehicles. The three
Southern California Honda dealers are Power Honda Costa Mesa (Costa Mesa),
Honda of Santa Monica (Santa Monica) and Scott Robinson Honda (Torrance).
"This is an important day in the history of fuel cell vehicle
technology and a monumental step closer to the day when fuel cell cars will
be part of the mainstream," said John Mendel, executive vice president of
American Honda. "Our customers and dealers share in our vision for a
cleaner and more sustainable transportation future, and share in our
challenge to embrace a new generation of automotive technology that we
think will carry the auto industry and its customers into the future."
FCX Clarity Customers
The five customers announced today were among the very first people to
share with Honda their passion for the environment and interest in the FCX
Clarity, dating back to its debut as a concept model at the 2005 Tokyo
Motor Show. The initial criteria for fuel cell vehicle ownership, including
proximity to hydrogen refueling stations, driving patterns and vehicle
needs, all played a part in Honda's customer selection process.
"Auto companies can't explore the potential for fuel cell technology as
the ultimate solution to our world's energy and environmental challenges by
ourselves. Our customers are true pioneers and leaders in the effort to
bring fuel cell technology to the marketplace," said Mendel.
Ron Yerxa, a film producer and partner at Bona Fide Productions, is a
long-time car enthusiast and advocate for the environment. He lives with
his wife, Annette Ballester, in Santa Monica, California. Yerxa first
learned of the FCX Concept vehicle from a car magazine and contacted
American Honda to share his interest and enthusiasm.
Jon Spallino, partner and Chief Financial Officer of an Irvine,
California-based engineering and construction firm and the world's first
retail customer of a hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle, is excited to
trade in his first-generation FCX for the all-new FCX Clarity. Having lived
with fuel cell technology for three years now, Spallino and his family,
residents of Redondo Beach, California, are looking forward to the all-new
vehicle's vastly improved performance, enhanced features, improved fuel
efficiency, and advanced four-door, four-passenger sedan design.
Actress and children's book author Jamie Lee Curtis and her husband,
filmmaker Christopher Guest, also live with their family in Santa Monica.
Curtis and Guest have owned other alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles, and
they continue to seek out ways to live and advocate a greener lifestyle.
Jim Salomon, a business owner and car enthusiast, resides in Newport
Beach, California with his family and will be American Honda's first retail
customer to regularly refuel at the recently renovated Irvine hydrogen
refueling station. Salomon and his family live in a home he designed and
built with an emphasis on energy efficiency as well as recycled and
Actress and green advocate Laura Harris learned about the FCX Clarity
from a friend and test drove a prototype car at the Los Angeles auto show
in November 2007. Canadian-born Harris lives in Silverlake, California, and
will refuel primarily in Burbank. Lessons learned from her usage patterns
and experiences can help pave the way for eventual market expansion outside
of the Irvine, Torrance, and Santa Monica areas.
Honda previously announced plans to deliver about 200 FCX Clarity
hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles in the U.S. and Japan to customers in
the first three years of production, with leases beginning in July. The
lease program marks the world's first large-scale retail initiative for
fuel cell vehicle technology.
First-ever Fuel Cell Vehicle Dealership Network
Reinforcing its commitment to further advance Honda fuel cell
technology, American Honda announced that three Southern California
dealerships will comprise the world's first fuel cell automobile dealership
network. Power Honda Costa Mesa, Honda of Santa Monica and Scott Robinson
Honda are each located in close proximity to hydrogen refueling stations
and will be well-positioned to support Honda's growing base of FCX Clarity
American Honda is working with its dealer partners to implement
processes for fuel cell vehicle lease, delivery and service support for the
duration of their leases. Establishing a dedicated sales network and
service infrastructure provides customers with the best balance of
convenience and the highest quality of service. When the FCX Clarity
requires periodic maintenance, customers will simply schedule a visit with
their local FCX Clarity dealer.
American Honda will perform all required work at its specialized fuel
cell service facility, in the greater Los Angeles area. Upon completion of
the work, the dealer will return the vehicle to the customer.
About the FCX Clarity
The FCX Clarity is a next-generation, hydrogen powered fuel
cell-powered vehicle. Propelled by an electric motor that runs on
electricity generated in the fuel cell, the vehicle's only emission is
water, and its fuel efficiency is three times that of a modern
gasoline-powered automobile. Based on the entirely-new Honda V Flow fuel
cell platform, and powered by a highly compact, efficient and powerful new
Honda V Flow fuel cell stack, the FCX Clarity marks the significant
progress Honda continues to make in advancing the real-world performance
and appeal of the fuel cell car. Significant advances over Honda's previous
generation FCX include:
-- an advanced new four passenger sedan design
-- a greater than 30 percent increase in driving range up to 280 miles(1)
-- a 25 percent increase in combined fuel economy to 72 miles/kg-H2(1)
(74 mpg GGE )
-- a 50 percent improvement in fuel stack power output density by volume
-- a 40 percent smaller and 50 percent lighter new lithium ion battery
Honda is responsible for the development of the world's first fuel cell
car (Honda FCX) to be certified for regular commercial use by the U.S. EPA
and California Air Resources Board; the first deployment of a fuel cell car
with a fleet customer; and the first individual retail customer for a fuel
(1) Based on official 2008 EPA estimated range and fuel efficiency