Corporate / Executive Remarks
2007 Los Angeles Auto Show Remarks by Dan Bonawitz
Good morning everyone, and thank you Mr. Iwamura.
This is an important day not only for Honda ... but the entire industry.
Today, we give our new fuel cell vehicle a name ... to herald a vehicle so substantially different from the model it replaces.
And because of the clear progress we have made ... and continue to make ... in taking fuel cell technology from the research lab to the real world.
We have made a fundamental breakthrough in fuel cell technology with the Honda V-Flow platform ... a technology that enabled us to create something previously unachievable in a fuel cell vehicle
... a sedan with outstanding levels of performance, range and comfort.
And when we begin deliveries of the FCX Clarity next summer, it will happen without special permits, without daily visits by engineers in white lab coats, and without the imposition of limits on its use by the customer.
This is an advanced technology vehicle unlike anything else being offered in the industry today.
The FCX Clarity is a sleek, elegant and futuristic sedan that speaks with real authority to the future potential of the fuel cell vehicle as a mainstream technology.
When the FCX Clarity is launched next year, it will be the first commercial vehicle powered by lithium ion battery technology....
With substantially higher output than existing commercial technology ... and a battery pack that is 50% smaller and 40% lighter than the ultra capacitor on the existing FCX.
The FCX Clarity's single hydrogen storage tank has about 10 percent higher storage capacity, yet supports a driving range of 270 miles ... that is up to 30% higher than the current FCX's 210 miles.
The FCX Clarity's powertrain ... including the electric motor, the vertically-oriented fuel cell stack, and lithium ion battery pack ... is 45% smaller than our current FCX ... or roughly the same size as a hybrid powertrain.
And because the values of clean, safe and fun are fundamental to every Honda vehicle, the Clarity will meet all government safety standards.
There is nothing "experimental" about this car.
When we talk about safety, we back it up with certification just as we do with any other vehicle.
Same with fuel efficiency.
No talk about internal test data.
The Clarity's fuel economy will be EPA-certified and displayed right on the window sticker.
And it will be up a full 20 percent from the current model FCX ... we expect approximately 68 miles per gallon combined fuel economy.
That's roughly 2 times the fuel economy of an accord, and 1.5 times the economy of a comparable hybrid model.
Clean, safe and fun, the Clarity turns out 100 kilowatts of high-torque power for a truly new and exhilarating driving experience ...
A forward-looking take on Honda's fun-to-drive dna. Mid-to high-range acceleration is vastly improved from the current model, with more than a 25 percent improvement in the power-to-weight ratio, in part from a roughly 400 pound reduction in fuel cell powertrain weight.
And while our California customers may not appreciate this so much, the FCX's breakthrough ability to start and operate in sub-zero temperatures has been further improved ... to minus 22 degrees fahrenheit ... about the same level as a gasoline car.
It will also perform reliably in extreme heat, as we have proven with our existing vehicle through deployments with our customers in southern California and Las Vegas.
What our customers will certainly appreciate is a level of style and advanced, premium content designed to make the FCX Clarity appealing for more than just its rational environmental merits.
Even the interior is more environmentally responsible... with interior surfaces made of plant-derived Honda bio-fabrics.
And it is these virtues that we think will ultimately make the FCX Clarity a very compelling proposition with people who want to be on the absolute cutting edge of clean, efficient and gasoline-free automotive technology.
But, as Mr. Iwamura alluded to earlier, we are not here just to show you a car... we're here to demonstrate our vision in action.
Tomorrow, we will be conducting VIP ride-and-drives right outside this hall.
I encourage each of you to take a few moments tomorrow to visit with us outside of the west hall on Gilbert Lindsay drive and to see what some other constituents for this technology have to say about the Clarity.
With deliveries beginning early next summer, we are planning for a 3-year lease program with a price of $600 dollars per month.
I know you will have questions about sales volume.
But we will not be talking about our volume plans until closer to the launch date, next summer.
But please understand, we are absolutely committed to a 3-year program of customer deliveries aimed at long-term and continuous use that will put our technology to the only test that really matters ... how it works with real people in the real world.
As part of this customer-focused effort we will develop a service infrastructure that provides customers with the best balance of convenience and dedicated fuel cell service support.
We will do this by working with our dealerships as our customer's frontline.
Then Honda will perform all required work at a dedicated service facility that will be located in the greater Los Angeles area.
This is a symbol of how serious we are about the future of fuel cells.
In terms of retail customers, we will focus on individuals who live near hydrogen refueling stations in Santa Monica, Torrance and Irvine ... and whose driving habits support regular, daily use and a variety of driving conditions. There will also be a number of fleet applications where there exists a centralized refueling capability, such as already exists with our current fleet customer base.
For the future of refueling ... And with an eye toward wider deployment of our fuel cell technology in the future ... we are continuing to advance our experimental home energy station technology.
This fourth-generation is now 75 percent smaller than the first-generation system, while reducing co 2 emissions by 30 percent and energy costs by half for a typical household in California.
The home energy station produces hydrogen from natural gas while generating heat and electricity for the home.
This device has been installed at our local Honda R&D facility, alongside our existing solar-powered hydrogen station.
Finally, as a further affirmation of our commitment to fuel cell technology ... And the progress achieved through the first generation Honda FCX ... I'd like to recognize a visionary leader who two months ago became our 3rd individual customer.
He's someone well known to all of you, the former secretary of the California EPA.
In fact, his knowledge and experience with alternative fuel technologies and his role in helping create California's hydrogen highway makes him a perfect addition as a Honda fuel cell vehicle customer.
I'd like to ask Mr. Terry Tamminen to stand.
Thank you, terry ... both for your decision to become an FCX customer ... snd for your leadership and commitment to help advance more environmentally responsible transportation.
And Terry is seated alongside two other members of our Honda fuel cell family, our two other retail customers: Sandy Spallino and Q'orianka Kilcher ... As early adopters you are not only our customers, but partners who are helping us pioneer this advanced technology.
Thank you for being here.
To the men and women who have helped create our all-new FCX Clarity this is a very emotional day.
But at Honda, passion and emotion are not something we wear on our sleeves ... it's something you find in our products.
So, please come up and take a closer look at Honda's vision ... and action... for the next 100 years of personal mobility.
Thank you and enjoy the rest of the show.