Hydrogen fuel cell cars face obstacle: few fueling stations

Honda took a bit of a hiatus from EVs after discontinuing the Fit EV a few years ago, so news of a new electric offering is naturally exciting. The company has previously announced plans to introduce a dedicated new hybrid vehicle to the U.S. market in 2018. Honda sees the battery-electric going on sale in California and OR later this year, followed by the plug-in. Power comes from a 181-horsepower electric motor, producing 232 lb. -ft. of torque and drawing power from both the gasoline engine and a 17-kilowatt hour (kWh) battery pack with a recharge time of 2.5 hours at 240 volts. In short, if you're not quite ready for fuel cell life, Honda still has a Clarity it'd like to sell you. A 25.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is mounted under the floor and behind the rear seatbacks to preserve interior room, and trunk space benefits from not having to accommodate the Clarity Fuel Cell's thick-walled carbon-fiber hydrogen tank. The vehicle can by fully charged in just over three hours at 240 volts, and when using DC fast charging with the SAE Combined Charging System can achieve an 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes. That would contribute to its larger goal of making two-thirds of its vehicles sold globally electric by 2030.

Those with more green ambitions can opt for the 2017 Clarity Electric, however.

The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, reaching dealerships later this year, is anticipated to earn an all-electric driving range rating of 68 km, the longest of any midsize PHEV, Honda claims. The Clarity Electric will launch later this year, starting with an attractive lease program in California and Oregon. It will also provide them with greater choice of choosing Clarity line up due to its offered variety. Drivers can manage battery power and ride with three primary driving modes: Normal, Econ and Sport. The volume seller of the Clarity trio will be available in standard and Touring trim levels.

A key metric for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is how far it can go on electric power alone before the gasoline engine kicks in for power or to generate electricity. Fueling stations cost up to $2 million to build, so companies have been reluctant to build them unless more fuel cell cars are on the road.




We liked the idea of a single platform with multiple electrified powertrain options when Hyundai introduced the IONIQ lineup previous year, and we had a feeling it might be something we'd see repeated by other automakers.

Hydrogen fuel cell cars have two big advantages over electric cars.

The electric variant of the auto will be sold in California and all other states, which have signed a mandate agreeing to better pollution emission regulations. Even the Electric's availability seems reluctant, as it will only be sold in California and OR to begin.

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