Honda rolls out fuel cell in Japan, to lease 200 first year

March 10, 2016 by Yuri Kageyama
Honda rolls out fuel cell in Japan, to lease 200 first year
Honda Motor Co. President and Chief Executive Takahiro Hachigo speaks during a press conference in the media preview of the Clarity Fuel Cell at the automaker's headquarters in Tokyo, Thursday, March 10, 2016. Honda has rolled out a new fuel cell vehicle, the first of its kind to be a five-seater. The zero-emissions Clarity may not sell in big numbers, however, given its price tag of 7.66 million yen ($67,000). (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Honda has rolled out a new fuel cell vehicle, the first of its kind to be a five-seater. The zero-emissions Clarity may not sell in big numbers, however, given its price tag of 7.66 million yen ($67,000).

Honda Motor Co. said Thursday that its Japan sales target for the first year is just 200 vehicles, all through leasing to government organizations, such as the Environment Ministry, and businesses. Honda declined to identify the businesses.

Tokyo-based Honda says the Clarity will go on sale in California later this year for about $60,000, and will lease for under $500 a month.

In Japan, the monthly leasing cost will vary according to the contract but will likely be about 100,000 yen ($880). Government green subsidies are expected to help defray the cost.

All the world's major automakers are working on fuel cells, which are being used to a limited extent in Japan, mainly through leasing.

They are super-clean, running on the energy created when hydrogen stored as fuel combines with oxygen in the air and so emits only water.

Honda, which also makes the Civic sedan, Odyssey minivan and Asimo robot, is a pioneer in .

Its fuel cell became the first certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board in 2002.

Honda rolls out fuel cell in Japan, to lease 200 first year
Honda Motor Co. President and Chief Executive Takahiro Hachigo speaks during a press conference in the media preview of the Clarity Fuel Cell at the automaker's headquarters in Tokyo, Thursday, March 10, 2016. Honda has rolled out a new fuel cell vehicle, the first of its kind to be a five-seater. The zero-emissions Clarity may not sell in big numbers, however, given its price tag of 7.66 million yen ($67,000). (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

The new model has a cruise range of 750 kilometers (470 miles) on a full tank, which is at the top for a sedan, according to the Japanese automaker.

Honda has been able to make the new more powerful, and reduce its size, allowing for five passengers, instead of the previous four.

Last month, Honda's president said two-thirds of the company's sales will be zero-emissions, including fuel cells and electric vehicles, hybrids and plug-ins by 2030.

Honda rolls out fuel cell in Japan, to lease 200 first year
A visitor takes a photo of the Clarity Fuel Cell in front of Honda Motor headquarters in Tokyo, Thursday, March 10, 2016. Honda has rolled out a new fuel cell vehicle, the first of its kind to be a five-seater. The zero-emissions Clarity may not sell in big numbers, however, given its price tag of 7.66 million yen ($67,000). (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp. started selling its first fuel cells last year. Volkswagen AG, Hyundai Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. also have fuel cells in their lineups.

Honda rolls out fuel cell in Japan, to lease 200 first year
Honda Motor Co. President and Chief Executive Takahiro Hachigo leaves after a press conference in the media preview of the Clarity Fuel Cell at the automaker's headquarters in Tokyo, Thursday, March 10, 2016. Honda has rolled out a new fuel cell vehicle, the first of its kind to be a five-seater. The zero-emissions Clarity may not sell in big numbers, however, given its price tag of 7.66 million yen ($67,000). (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

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neiorah
5 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2016
This is a great day when we can get away from fossil fuels altogether. This is a bit simplistic however it is very true, almost all energy sources that pollute are underground ie coal, natural gas, oil, and the majority of energy sources that do not pollute like sun, wind, and hydrogen are above ground.
All we have to do is get the technology developed so the yield is greater and the cost is less and we will be free from worry about running out of supply or fighting over where the reserves are. The energy from above ground will be inexhaustible.
neiorah
not rated yet Mar 10, 2016
Another great thing about hydrogen fuel cells is that they might possibly reshape our planet meaning that the moisture in the air will increase in places that it is dry like the deserts and it will allow for humidity everywhere. No more global warming from cars will at least be a start to fixing the problem we have now. In big cities like Los Angeles and Denver no more smog.
I wonder if the scientists have thought about the changes that will occur with a wetter atmosphere. We will see what happens.
big_hairy_jimbo
not rated yet Mar 11, 2016
@neiorah I LOVE the idea of fuel cells, but I'm not sure you have taken into account all the factors (hey I probably haven't either). For one, it isn't going to stop fighting over ground based resources. I'm sure fuel cells are made from stuff mined from the ground. It's just going to change what it is we fight over!! As more vehicles move to fuel cells, the demand for hydrogen increases. Renewables need to keep up with that. Which again means mining more stuff from the ground to make the renewables. Still it's a good move, but stopping fighting over resources it will not. Places with geothermal will be the big winners from this move. But do we know the consequences of using geothermal on such a massive scale? Fission and Fusion reactors will also fill the gap for hydrogen production. Looking forward to when bio reactors can do the job efficiently and keep up with the demand.
big_hairy_jimbo
not rated yet Mar 11, 2016
As for water vapour emissions and your belief it will decrease global warming (I think the term climate change is the term we use now!!!!), I think water vapour is quite a potent climate change gas!!!! I hope someone is actually looking into what a decrease in O2 levels, and increase in H2O levels means!!!! I realise combustion is also using oxygen, so maybe the effect will be balanced as machines transition from combustion to fuel cells. It might result in more rain? More floods perhaps? Land masses growing more vegetation, and therefore a change in heat reservoirs and sinks?? Maybe more invasive plant species?
This technology will certainly be a change in more ways than one.
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Mar 11, 2016
I think water vapour is quite a potent climate change gas!
@Jimbo
it is, and worse still, it has a feedback and cycle with CO2 which makes it worse, which is why CO2 is a problem
See: http://science.sc...356.full

I hope someone is actually looking into what a ... increase in H2O levels means!
they are. it is discussed in the link i just gave, and more studies are supporting that link

you can use Google Scholar to find a lot more
http://scholar.google.com/
rrrander
1 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2016
Not a problem, the price. Western countries are using middle-class TAX money to subsidize these cars for the well-heeled. To the tune of $14,000 each for electric vehicles in Ontario, Canada for one example. They should jail these politicians for theft.
finitesolutions
not rated yet Mar 13, 2016
Water vapor is not a problem: just condensate it to liquid water and drink it!
gkam
1 / 5 (2) Mar 15, 2016
Water is just a working fluid. It can be electrolyzed back into H2 and O2 in stationary applications, and can be stored in cars for such as well. Why let such pure stuff go?
Duude
not rated yet Mar 18, 2016
470 mile range on a tank that can be refilled in 5 mins and costs less than a Tesla with less range? Buh bye, Tesla

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