► European debut for Honda’s £60,000 hydrogen-powered Mirai rival
► Highly compact drivetrain coupled along with higher range
► Arrives in the UK in September, however in ultra-reasonable numbers
In its 2nd European debut, Honda additionally wheeled out its Clarity Gas Cell at the Geneva motor show. That slightly gawky styling hides not anything short of technical miracle – the Clarity is the initial Gas cell-powered auto to home its entire Gas cell stack and drivetrain unit under the bonnet, resulting in an uncompromised five-seater layout.
Thinner cells, enhanced aerodynamics
Speaking to CAR, Kiyoshi Shimizu, the Clarity project leader and Thomas Brachmann that leads the powertrain development, confirmed that cell thickness in the stack was low by a complete 20% to lessen the total stack dimension by a third, devoid of impacting when it come to the cells’ 173bhp performance. Sharper aerodynamics additionally played a crucial role in maximising performance and efficiency.
Even much more impressively, the raise in hydrogen carrying capacity – now 5kg kept at 700 bar in a pair of carbonfibre-wrapped aluminium tanks – has actually boosted range to a diesel-bashing 435 miles. Refueling takes a mere 3 minutes.
Still much more effective compared to fossil Gas power
Critics have actually rounded when it come to hydrogen-powered cars siting the Higher levels of electricity required to develop the hydrogen, which is usually derived from traditional fossil-fuelled energy or nuclear stations. however Brachmann believes it’s still much more effective to usage hydrogen compared to to burn petrol or diesel.
So, an environmentally ultra-effective five-seater saloon along with decent performance and a London to Glasgow range. What’s not to like? Well, finding somewhere to refuel, for a start. Despite a eye-glazing lot of complex inter-governmental physiques and initiatives aiming to accelerate the painfully slow-moving progress of a hydrogen offer infrastructure, spearheaded by the UK and Denmark’s HyFive project, improvement is glacial – by 20twenty there will certainly be no much more compared to 65 refuelling stations in the UK.
Low sales, Higher costs
Matters are compounded by the combination of the large investment Honda has actually earned in hydrogen technology, the Clarity’s ultra-reasonable production run, and its eyebrow-raising £60,000 fee tag. No surprise after that that by completion of 2017 Brachmann expects merely 10 cars to be sold in the UK.