Honda just made a great case for hydrogen-powered cars

Honda clarityHondaThe hydrogen-powered Honda Clarity, coming in 2016.

Honda unveiled a new hydrogen-powered fuel cell car at the Tokyo Motor Show on Wednesday, called the “Clarity.”

The Honda Clarity requires no gas, and it only emits water vapour from the tailpipe. Honda says the car can achieve a 400-mile range, and fill-ups will only take about three minutes (that time doesn’t include how long you might spend actually trying to find a hydrogen station).

The good news is, Honda is working on a solution that would let you produce hydrogen at home. Honda calls this product the “Smart Hydrogen Station,” which would be a small device that uses high-pressure electrolysis to create hydrogen for use in your car.

Honda hasn’t said when its Smart Hydrogen Station solution will be ready for customers, but the company is already moving full steam ahead on this hydrogen concept — especially now that the company’s able to shrink down the fuel cell system to fit under the car’s hood. It’s now one-tenth the size of the fuel cell system from its hydrogen-powered predecessor, the FCX Clarity; this extra room, in addition to the car’s other benefits like its range, will help it compete.

Honda says the Clarity will go on sale next Spring. The company says it will use some of this same technology for a plug-in hybrid vehicle as well, which should launch shortly after the Clarity goes on sale. It’s expected to cost $US63,000.

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