• Is 2017 Honda Clarity Hydrogen-Powered Car the Future of Green Motoring? [Review]


    2017 honda clarity fuel cell car

    The 2017 Honda Clarity is an electric car with a significant twist. Instead of having to be plugged into the electric grid to recharge a large battery, the 2017 Honda Clarity uses a hydrogen fuel cell to charge both a 1.7-kilowatt battery and power the front wheels.

    This means that it takes the 2017 Honda Clarity about 3-5 minutes to fill up instead of hours to recharge. Better yet, since the fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to form H2O, the only emission that comes out of the Clarity’s tailpipe is water.

    2017 honda clarity fuel cell car

    What could be cleaner and less polluting? There’s a catch of course. The hydrogen used to power the 2017 Honda Clarity is made through processes that create unwanted carbon. I found this out when I recently drove and reviewed Honda’s newest and most green car. Check out the video review below.

    2017 honda clarity fuel cell car

    In this special TFLcar sneak peek video review I can’t talk about driving impressions but I get the skinny on everything else that makes the 2017 Honda Clarity the most technically advanced car ever produced by Honda.

    If you are like myself – and you love new and advanced technology – you’ll like the new hydrogen-powered Clarity. How can you not love a technology that NASA uses to power spacecraft? It is incredible and unfortunately not attainable for most of us. In fact, no one can buy the Clarity. Honda is only leasing the 2017 Honda Clarity in California through 12 Honda dealerships. The lease is $369.00 per month for three years and there’s already a wait at least 100 people deep.

    2017 honda clarity fuel cell car

    Why?

    Perhaps because Honda will give you a $15,000 debit card to go along with the car to buy the very expensive hydrogen you’ll need to power your car of the future.

    Check out my sneak peek video below for many more interesting details about the 2017 Honda Clarity or click HERE to watch how to fuel-up this hydrogen car.

    Please let me know in the comments below if you think that hydrogen is the fuel of the future for new cars. Is it the future of green motoring or is it just an evolutionary dead end?


    Roman Mica
    Roman Mica
    Roman Mica is a publisher, columnist, journalist, and author, who spent his early years driving fast on the German autobahn. When he’s not reviewing cars or producing videos, you can find him training for triathlons and writing about endurance sports for EverymanTri.com as our sister blog’s publisher. Mica is a former broadcast reporter with his Master’s Degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He is also a presenter for TFLcar’s very popular video review channels on YouTube.

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    17 thoughts on “Is 2017 Honda Clarity Hydrogen-Powered Car the Future of Green Motoring? [Review]

    1. THANK YOU for asking the hard question about the energy required to produce hydrogen. However, as with the Toyota Mirai review you did not ask the other hard questions, which are:

      The air temperature in about half of the United States gets below the freezing point of water for extended periods of time (weeks or months on end), sometimes FAR below the freezing point of water, for extended periods, as is the case where I live. In those states, will hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have their exhaust systems freeze up, blocking them and shutting down the vehicle? Will they dump water on the road which will quickly freeze and turn the road into an extremely dangerous black-ice situation?

      How do vehicle manufacturers which produce hydrogen fuel cell cars answer those questions?

      As someone who lives in an extremely cold state, I REALLY want to know the answers to those questions.

      Thank you so much for such a great web site!

      1. Toyota has done extensive cold weather testing on the Mirai. See this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YOUgMFHp5g

        Li-Ion batteries have a problem with cold weather, you get less range.

        And to answer the question of where does the hydrogen come from, see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb7LgbJJGhk

        California’s hydrogen stations must, by law, get 1/3 of their hydrogen from renewable resources. Search “True Zero” for one of the builders. Hydrogen + batteries is the future. A company called Nikola Motor plans to build >350 solar powered hydrogen stations across the US in the next few years, and that will change everything.

      2. I’ve attended test drive events for both the Honda Clarity and the Toyota Mirai. As for the Clarity, the Honda rep claimed that the amount of liquid water emitted through the exhaust system is comparable to the condensation produced by a car’s air conditioner: in other words, not very much at all.
        The Mirai is a bit different in this regard. It does produce some water during operation (0.8 liter per 10km driven, according to a review on Wired), and even has a button on the dash which allows you to purge the exhaust system of excess water. Still, not enough water to cause a problem in cold climates IMHO, even if there were lots of Mirais on the road.
        Both cars have been extensively tested and perform well in all climate conditions, from extreme heat to extreme cold, with no problems whatsoever.

        1. I don’t know. If hundreds or thousands of cars on a freeway are squirting water on the road at -20°F or colder, it will freeze to the road in literally a few seconds (5? 10 at most.) I wouldn’t want my driveway turning into a skating rink either.

          If my legislators ban HFC vehicles on the road in the winter, at the very least I’ll be tempted to support them on that.

          It’s a legitimate concern for which I haven’t found any meaningful discussion by the manufacturers. Several have said their HFC vehicles run just fine in extreme heat and cold, but not what their effects are on the road in extreme cold. It is an obvious question, but they don’t seem to want to talk about it.

          1. All a
            fuel cells produce less h2o than an equivalent power ICE (there is no difference between the Mirai and the clarity in this regard the Honda sales guy is an idiot, the amount of water produced is a direct function of the power produced and has nothing to do with the fuel cell design).

            There is no issue with cold weather operation. Toyota is selling the Mirai in Norway where temperatures of -40° are common. The fuel cell internally is hydrophobic so the water does not stay in the cell where it could otherwise cause damage.

            Btw, I own (not lease, but own) a Mirai, and I have 24,000 miles on it.

    2. This is a very cool idea I’m not a tree hugger don’t care about saving piguins however I do think this is cool I think this can definitely help the smell of places like LA New York riverside ca Atlanta were the air you smell usaully will kill you,so in term of this I love it bring it on nice job Honda the car looks nice except the back wheel wells look ugly but it’s better looking then the Prius

      1. The time to save penguins and polar bears have past. Folks should look at zero-emission vehicles now not to save animals but to keep the coastal regions of the world above water level for future generations.

        1. It’s Population control I’m doing my part lol zero emission cars are for tree huggers with all do respect but I see your point lol kinda

    3. First you have to frack to get the NG. Then you have to use a ton of energy to scrub the NG into pure H2. Then you have to compress the gas. Then you have to deliver it to a fuel station. Then you use it in an incredibly inefficient PEM fuel cell…only to turn the wheel with an electric motor anyways!!

      Buy an electric car. Fuel cells are still fossil fuel cars (steam reformed natural gas). The car companies are aligned with the energy companies and they are gong to try and stop the electric car development and the democratization of energy. They are going to try and confuse us with these fuel cell cars and sell them as “clean” or “green” and tout the pure hydrogen they run on….but all the while what they are trying to sell you is a natural gas powered car and the natural gas it runs on. Not to mention….Fuel cell cars still require big batteries to run effectively.

      If one is powering their house with natural gas…then I can see a fuel cell having a place, as much of the energy it creates comes in the form of heat. So one could power their house and heat their water as the same time…but in a car the fuel cell wastes all the heat making it incredibly inefficient.

      Buy electric cars! Electricity is the future of energy. Fuel cell cars are a scam.

      1. All you need to make H2 is water and a windmill! California has a sensible approach to this issue, namely, require a certain percentage of H2 to be produced in a renewable manner (currently 33%) with the rest coming from natural gas, then increase the renewable percentage over time as the H2 fueling infrastructure becomes more established. Some H2 fueling stations in CA are already 100 percent renewable, or will be soon. There’s a lot of carbon free renewable energy out there just waiting to be harnessed, so why not use it to take advantage of the long range and quick refueling that FCEVs provide?

    4. Well put but eletric cars are as my son says wack .tuck your gentlemen parts in and buy a hybrid or eletric car if you want to do that real men go vroom weather it be a civic or versa mustang vette Lambo these cars at least give a feeling electric is the worst feeling it’s the diff between eletric steering and reg power steering most of us want feeling sounds not engine noises that go threw speakers sounds vibrations smells that’s the best part of driving not caring weather you get 40 or 4 miles pergallon God bless choices

    5. People complaining that they should just use electricity: How are you going on a road trip? Hydrogen is perfect. They can build a hydrogen pump at every gas station across the nation. You can fill up the Clarity in 5min and go another 366 miles! You need to spend over an hour to charge an EV battery and you still can’t go 300 miles!

      As far as burning natural gas to create Hydrogen…Natural gas creates far less pollution than burning gasoline. And in the future better tech to separate Hydrogen from water can be created.

      Yes, Hydrogen is expensive. But Honda and Toyota are paying for it to try to start demand for Hydrogen. If there’s enough demand for Hydrogen…the supply will increase and the price will drop. It’s simple economics and you get a car that only puts out water as an exhaust. This is so brilliant and all the people bashing it astound me.

      On top of all this: If you actually look at all the Fuel credits (don’t have to pay for fuel for 3 years!), rental car offers (Want a free Luxury rental car for your vacations over the next 3 yrs?), road side assistance (don’t need AAA), and government subsidies that come with the Toyota Marai or the Honda Clarity: you’re getting a luxurious car for almost free for 3 years from either Honda or Toyota. Anyone else like getting a great deal on a high end product?

      The simple fact is I want to refill a car within a few minutes that is environmentally friendly. I don’t want to have to sit around for hours waiting for a charging station to open up and then over another hour for my car to charge while I’m trying to get somewhere. EV are fine if you just commute from home a few miles and back home to charge your car again. But if you really want to go anywhere far…EV’s still suck. Fuel Cell cars actually have the ability to refill within a few minutes and keep going. That’s brilliant.

      As far as the Tech on creating Hydrogen: here’s a link showing that the Florida Solar Energy Center is already using Solar Energy to create Hydrogen from water!
      http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/consumer/hydrogen/basics/production-solar.htm

      The ability to create an infrastructure of hydrogen pumps in already existing gas stations makes so much sense. You don’t even need to use natural gas to create hydrogen.

      If someone wants to drive to a nearby national park, the mountains to going mountain biking or skiing or the beach to catch some waves…bam! They can fill up in 5 min and continue their journey!

      How will you ever do that with EV’s? Unless they start selling / crediting battery exchanges so you pull into a station, pull your car’s battery out and replace it with a fully charged battery? That might be reasonable if they could make battery’s interchangeable and easy to pull out and replace!

      It’s not that I’m anti EV! It’s just that I don’t get why we have to settle for limited range / very long charging times.

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