Honda Automobiles / FCX Clarity
2006 Honda FCX Debuts New Fuel Cell Stack Technology Enabling Extreme Cold Weather Operation
The 2006 Honda FCX, the world's most advanced production fuel cell vehicle, is once again breaking new ground with power supplied by Honda's originally developed fuel cell stack (Honda FC Stack) capable of starting and operating at temperatures as low as -20C (-4F) with improved performance, range and reduced build complexity.
Aside from minor changes in graphics, the overall exterior remains unchanged from the 2005 model, which is when the FCX received significant engineering upgrades, such as the capability to operate at below freezing temperatures, and remain operational at high temperatures up to 95C (203F). For the first time on a fuel cell powered vehicle, Honda has installed a navigation system that is capable of providing directions and information on currently available hydrogen refueling stations. Given that Honda recently delivered a vehicle to a retail customer, this marks the first navigation system capable of guiding a retail customer to use California's "Hydrogen Highway."
Honda developed the FC Stack that made its debut in 2005, with a metal separator structure that is easier to manufacture and reduces the number of necessary components by 50 percent, with the aim of increasing stack longevity and reducing manufacturing costs. This system also includes an aromatic electrolyte membrane that reduces manufacturing costs and increases the range between cold and warm temperature operation. Power output for 2006 has carried over to 107 horsepower and 201 foot-pounds of torque. The FCX offers excellent performance capabilities.
The hydrogen-powered Honda FCX is the only fuel cell vehicle certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and U.S. EPA for everyday commercial use. CARB has also certified the FCX as a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV), and as a US EPA Tier-2 Bin-1, National Low Emission Vehicle (NLEV) with a range of 190 miles and seating for four people, making it practical for a wide range of real-world applications.
Honda undertook fuel cell research in 1989 and has been road testing vehicles in the United States since 1999. Honda has also been a member of the California Fuel Cell Partnership based in Sacramento, Calif., since 1999.