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Altair Club Cars Driving the Hydrogen-Powered 2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Driving the Hydrogen-Powered 2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

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Looking to say goodbye to gas, but the range anxiety and charge time of an EV holding you back? Maybe the 2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell might be the one for you (if you’re in California). Megan Morrone and Navigant Research Senior Analyst Sam Abuelsamid take the hydrogen-powered EV for a ride on The New Screen Savers.

This is sweet sam abul elsa maid is here he’s come for a visit with the honda clarity fcv fuel cell vehicle it’s electric and it doesn’t have a plug but hydrogen that seems dangerous completely harmless it’s the most abundant element in the universe it is a really good-looking car so how does the mileage work on that house oh this one’s got a range of about 320

Miles on a full tank of hydrogen and so where do i get this hydrogen i make it in my bathtub and yeah just a couple of electrodes in your tub and it’ll and electrolysis will generate hydrogen just don’t light anything and oh have any open flames around that no there’s about three dozen hydrogen stations in the state of california right now closest one from here

From petaluma is about 30 miles south of here in mill valley but there’s a whole string of them around the bay area and more along the coast and then down in the los angeles area so if you live between san francisco and la you can you can probably get along okay with the hydrogen vehicle anywhere farther than that for now at least it’s going to be tougher until we

Get more hydrogen stations installed and there are more being put in all the time and is this car available now it is available now it’s been available for about nine months i think now and it’s available to lease for about $399 a month from honda it is very hot out here does it have air condition it does have air canister why’s the car alright so it has android

Auto here does it also have car play it does have support for car play for those people that insist on using an iphone like yourself yeah it works works with both of them it’s got a touchscreen display it also has a navigation system of its own built in as well which you can get to from here so you’ve got the standard honda navigation system and also the the

Smartphone based systems so it’s very nice is this like sort of a high-end or just the standard there’s only one trim level available for the clarity released for the fuel cell version right now so it’s a it’s a pretty high-end trim version so you’ve got some alcantara you know much like the let’s go yeah the surface go and some of the other surface products some

Real wood trim nice leather seating and you know i um i’ve always been quite fond of the seats in honda cars so there are i found them to be quite comfortable and supportive so tell me about the clarity line this isn’t the first clarity right right so right now the current generation clarity was designed by honda to be a completely electrified platform so there’s

Three different variations of it there’s this one here which has a fuel cell you know it’s an electric car but it doesn’t have a plug so what happened what it does is it uses a fuel cell to can combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce water and electricity so it produces electricity on the fly it does have a small battery so it’s a hybrid so it does regenerative

Braking as well to improve the overall efficiency but it’s it’s an electric car there’s no there’s no gas engine there’s no combustion going on at all and then there’s also a plug-in hybrid version that has about 45 miles of electric range and then it runs as a regular hybrid and then there’s also a battery electric version that has about 85 miles of electric

Driving range so does the fuel cell cost more than a battery hybrid or less today it still costs more because production volumes are still pretty low but they’re ramping those up honda actually has a joint venture with general motors to develop their next generation fuel cell stack and they’re actually going to be producing them in michigan at a plant in michigan

The same plant where gm assembles the battery packs for the chevrolet volt is also going to be producing fuel cells for use by both gm and honda so the cost is coming down it’s and they’ve figured out ways to design the the fuel cells so they’re less expensive they use less of the catalyst that makes them so expensive so you stopped in marin on the way here which

Is about approximately halfway from san francisco how much did it looks like you haven’t feel totally up your spear halfway is that yeah oh it’s full it’s just it’s almost full right now the hydrogen is i think currently about eight dollars a kilogram which is how they sell it is because it’s a gas it’s a compressed gas they sell it by weight instead of by volume

And a kilogram of hydrogen has about the same energy as a gallon of gasoline but a fuel cell is about two-and-a-half to three times more efficient so this car gets about 60 to 65 miles per kilogram which is quite a bit quite a bit more efficient than say a honda civic and so how does the fueling process work it’s actually really straightforward you drive up to the

Hydrogen pump it looks very much like a gas pump there’s a nozzle at the where the fuel filter would normally be on most cars on the rear fender you open it up there’s a metal fitting on there you put you put the nozzle on and you pull the grip just like you would with a regular gas pump and that walks the nozzle onto the the fitting on the car and then you just

Stand there and wait for it you let go and wait five minutes or so and then it’s all done so the other fcv is the mirai mm-hmm have you driven that i have driven that i actually like this one better this one i think is better-looking it’s it’s a it drives better than the mirai does some riot you know the bar i’ve been on the market for a couple of years it’s not

Quite as much fun to drive as this one it’s got a little better performance it’s a little it’s roomier and it’s just more enjoyable to drive i think this is pure fuel cell there’s not no plug-in so if you run out of hydrogen i guess you could still say gas can’t you say yes a gas gas well what do you do you just i guess you don’t run out of gas then you try to make

Sure that you stay within range of a hydrogen filling station there are trucks that have been used for refilling vehicles you know fuel cell test vehicles that have been when they’ve been out doing development work they’ve they’ve got trucks tank of hydrogen tankers that will come out and refill you but they’re not readily available and what about the safety features

Are there are they pretty similar to standards honda’s or are there any kind of special safety features in this yeah it’s got the full honda sensing driver assist package that you would get in an accord or a civic or most other current honda models it comes to standard so you’ve got adaptive cruise control radar based adaptive cruise control there’s a lane-keeping

System so you know when you you’re going over 40 miles an hour one sex two lanes it will actually you know as if you start to drift out of the lane it will actually try to nudge you bat nudge the car back into the lane keep you in the lane so it’s not not as sophisticated as say something like tesla autopilot but it’s it’s one of the better systems i’ve driven out

Of all the different systems that are on the market so this kind of car better for someone who drives mostly on highways or around town it’s fine for both you know it’s got good performance there’s plenty of plenty of acceleration and so you can use it for pretty much any any type of driving that you do and so the tank there’s a tank in the trunk and a tank in

The backseat underneath the backseat yes so there’s two cylindrical gas storage tanks they hold compressed hydrogen at 10,000 psi a larger one is in between the backseat and into the trunk and then a smaller one is underneath the rear seat so what about the danger like is that just purely like there’s just the idea we think hydrogen bomb but that’s not accurate

There’s not there’s there’s no more danger than any other type of vehicle whether it’s a battery vehicle or a gasoline-powered vehicle said they the hydrogen storage tanks have a thick aluminum wall and then they’re wrapped in carbon fiber and kevlar so they’re really strong they’ve been tested against penetration they’re actually stronger than a gasoline tank

Or even the batteries and battery electric vehicles like like leo’s tesla safety shouldn’t be any more of a problem than it is in any other type of car all right i guess we have to go back outside in the heat now yeah look i want to see what it looks like you are driving sure okay well let’s take a look under the hood first again you can hop in and drive it so it

Looks doesn’t look a whole lot different from a conventional car and because the fuel cell stack is just basically a big rectangle so this is this is the fuel cell stack here the hydrogen comes in gets combined with air and it goes through a chemical reaction that could produces water and electricity so the only exhaust the only emissions from this car is water

Vapor you know judging by the help brown the landscape was as i was driving up here you could probably use a little more of that around here and that’s it it’s just water there’s no no other emissions from this car all right you sure you trust me to drive it thanks

Transcribed from video
Driving the Hydrogen-Powered 2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell By TWiT Tech Podcast Network

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