Honda FCX Clarity

The car has been around for more than 125 years. Over the years, huge developments have been made in terms of design, power, speed and safety. However the car has been using fuel from crude oil to generate its own power. This has resulted to air pollution and massive environmental degradation all over our precious planet. 

Honda FCX Clarity

The sad news is that, the very fuel our cars use is quickly running out. The result is that time has come for car companies to find better alternatives for the fuel. The first lead was hybrids, cars that combine energy from an electrical motor and a combustion engine to move. Although they use less fuel than normal cars, they still require the same depleting fuel to generate electricity. The second take was pure electric cars. In this case a huge lithium battery  is connected to the vehicle’s electric motor. It is a nice technology but with a huge problem.

Hydrogen filling pump
One would need many hours to fully charge an electric car. The third option is what Honda has demonstrated with their all new FCX Clarity, let me explain.
Start button
What the FCX Clarity has is an amazing power generating cell (battery) called a Hydrogen Fuel Cell. In it hydrogen gas is passed over a charged hydrogen electrolyte. Oxygen from the atmosphere is also passed over a charged oxygen electrolyte. Both electrolytes produce charged particles that combine to generate electricity.
FCX Clarity Hydrogen Fuel Cell
The end product is not a harmful, environmental polluting by-product but simply water. The water by-product is recycled and used to ensure the electrolyte membrane remains damp so that it can continue generate more power.
Front multifunction steering wheel
Excess water comes out of the exhaust as water vapour. Excess power from the hydrogen cell is stored in a lithium battery. The excess power is used to start-up the car and also used during quick acceleration.
Large rear boot
The end result is a smooth, powerful acceleration and quiet operation, without the noise and vibration associated with an internal combustion engine. When the vehicle is stationary, an idle stop system shuts down electrical generation in the fuel cell.
Smooth side that improves its aerodynamic capabilities
Electricity from the lithium ion battery also ensures continued operation of the air conditioner and other electrical devices. Electricity is sent to an electric motor located in the front.
FCX Clarity electric motor
The motor offers higher torque figure, high rpm and the best news of all; higher performance of 136hp and a top speed of 161km/h. Compared to full electric cars that will require many hours of charging to get by, the FCX Clarity only requires liquid hydrogen from service station.
Storage area on the rear arm rest
One simply has to drive to service station, fills up the hydrogen tank located in the same area as a normal fuel tank and after a few minutes, one is ready to go. This is not only efficient but less time consuming compared to electric cars. On a full hydrogen tank the FCX Clarity can cover an impressive 386km. 
Front electrical engine
Connected to the electric motor is a shift-by-wire transmission system. It has controls for forward, reverse and park. The switch is so easy to use and conveniently located on the dashboard. A specialized suspension that has a responsive nature ensures amazing handling capabilities.
12V power outlet
The 5-link double-wishbone suspension has also been tuned to ensure maximum tire contact at any surface and also give occupants a smooth ride. 
5-spoke wheels with plastic fairings
Although it has a complicated drive train it has the basic and most important aspects of a saloon car. It has a simple but classy front design consisting of dark chrome trim that runs from the bumper to the front powerful headlamps with LED daytime running lights. At the side it has a smooth design that lets air flow around it while the roof flows effortlessly from the front to the back.
Rear seats
The ultra-lightweight forged-aluminium 5-spoke wheels are visible at the side.  They have fin-shaped plastic fairings that help to suppress air turbulence, reduce the overall weight of the wheel and improve the aerodynamics of the car while adding a sporty touch.
Powerful front headlights
It has large doors that help to give a hint of its spacious interior. A special polycarbonate layer is applied to both sides of the rear passenger door windows to improve occupants’ overall privacy.
Futuristic cockpit
The result is excellent rearward visibility for the driver, with a high level of privacy for the rear-seat passengers. The rear design consists of a rear glass with a contoured design that replicates the rear lights design. This also helps to bring out the FCX wide look. There rear window also helps improve visibility and also boost the rear storage space. 
Extra rear glass for improved visibility
Inside there is vast space for four occupants. Silver accents and blue acrylic in the inner door handle and on audio panel give the interior a futuristic look.
Huge doors
High-quality materials like wood-grain panels on the doors and luminous black lacquer headrests combine with warm colours to give the interior a luxurious, space-age feel.
Storage area at the front
The interior is covered by biofabrics polyester materials made by fermenting maize. The texture and durability of the fabric make it perfect for use on the seats covering, door linings, console trays and seat arm rests.
Classy front look
The use of the biofabric also hinds on the use non petrol based materials in the manufacture of the FCX. The driver sits behind a floating instrument panel that gives a taste of the future. Fuel cell performance meters are also integrated in the instrumental panel.
Front dark chrome trim
A centrally located ball-shaped H2 consumption gauge keeps track of hydrogen consumption. The gauge changes colour and size to reflect hydrogen consumption as driving conditions change.
FCX Clarity H2 dial
During high consumption, the ball becomes large and amber-coloured. As consumption decreases, it shrinks and turns yellow, then blue. The hydrogen fuel and battery gauges are to the right of the H2 ball-shaped meter. The fuel cell stack output gauge and battery output/charge displays are located on the outer perimeter.
Shift-by wire transmission control
The driver grips a multifunctional steering with buttons for various car functions. Dual zone climate control keeps the air inside the FCX cool and comfortable for all occupants. The seats have temperature control systems that can either warm or cool the seats. The systems use fans to draw in air, which a thermo-electric device then cools or warms.
Seat heating system
The air is then blown through the seats to maintain the desired temperature on the seats. At the back, there is enough storage space as the hydrogen cell is not stored on the boot like the batteries of an electric car.

USB plug in located on the glove box
There are also storage spaces all-round the interior of the FCX. A top-of-the-line entertainment system is installed for the occupant enjoyment. The AM/FM/CD Audio System comes with 6 Speakers and is also equipped with MP3/Windows Media Audio system with playback capability. There is also a USB audio interface that lets one plug an external music device. 
Rear seat arm rests
The Honda FCX Clarity comes with a host of safety feature. The features include 3-point seat belts in all the four seats with automatic tensioning system, driver’s and front passenger’s seat belt reminder, front and side airbags with passenger-side occupant position detection system, collision mitigation braking system, anti-lock braking system, driver’s and front passenger’s active head restraints, side-impact door beams among other cools safety systems. 
Reinvention of the car
As a bonus the FCX Clarity also comes with a mobile power supply system that can generate electricity for a modern small house. The generator can give 9 kilowatts of power for up to 7 hours. If one has a house with less power consumption, the generator can power the house for up to a whole week.  
Convenient cup holders at the front
The FCX Clarity has demonstrated that the car has an amazing future ahead. Unlike its electric cousins, the FCX generates its own power in an efficient and environmental friendly way.
Entertainment system
The hydrogen it uses can be extracted from numerous materials and is available everywhere on the planet. It also shows that there is hope for electric cars, if they use not raw electricity but hydrogen fuel cells that generate their own electricity.
Wide rear design

What Honda has done here is what I would call the reinvention of the car. I hope other companies will follow the same path.  

At a hydrogen filing station
The FCX Clarity is only available in California and Japan at a lease price of $600 (Kshs. 51000) per month.