11 February 2011

2011 Honda FCX Clarity

Overview
The aim of the electric car is to give consumers a vehicle with a decent driving range and reduced emissions. The FXC Clarity meets such an aim; it is a vehicle that delivers 73 miles per gallon, it emits water vapors only, and it can cover 270 miles. The FCX Clarity by Honda may have some limitations, but the vehicle is serious evidence that fuel cell technology can indeed prove beneficial.The FCX Clarity hosts a powertrain consisting of a battery, a fuel cell, an electric motor, and a storage tank for hydrogen. The fuel cell creates electricity from the reaction between oxygen and hydrogen. This electricity powers the motor and the wheels. The battery stores excess power from recovery systems as the regenerative brakes and the fuel cell.The Clarity sounds like a dream vehicle, but at this point, it's only offered in the state of California for a three-year lease at $600.00 a month. It must be serviced at the headquarter Honda facility in Torrance and it has to be fueled at stations selling hydrogen in the area.

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Test drivers say the FCX Clarity feels much like a Honda Accord on the road.  Some say the electric steering gives the car a slightly artificial feel, without much driver feedback.  But most are shocked by how normal it feels to drive a car without a conventional engine or transmission.  Some say that, without the noise of internal combustion, the ride is eerily quiet.

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The Honda FCX Clarity was designed without the constraints of a traditional car layout.  There is no engine, only a much smaller electric motor.  There is no fuel tank, only a vertical fuel-cell stack and a lithium-ion battery housed beneath the seats.  The result is a car with a teardrop shape that somewhat resembles the Toyota Prius, with a less prominent hood and larger windshield.  Reviewers say the shape is beautiful.  It is also larger in person than it appears in photographs, according to some.  It is available only in a deep garnet red.

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Reviewers are overwhelmed by the spaciousness of the Honda FCX Clarity's interior.   It is built of materials selected for their low ecological impact, including corn-based fabrics.  A unique air conditioning system is built into the seats, rather than the dashboard and frame.

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Neither thehas ever crash tested the Honda FCX Clarity.  It comes standard with six airbags, stability control and brake assist, and some unique safety features designed to mitigate any risks caused by its use of hydrogen for fuel.

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Because of the experimental status of the FCX Clarity test fleet, the vehicles are not covered by a conventional warranty.  Instead, Honda provides all service, maintenance and repairs through the three Southern California dealers authorized to lease the Clarity, throughout the 3-year lease period.  No reliability data is availabl

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