Honda to Lease $64,000 Clarity FCV Next March in Japan

The cost is higher than the $57,500 price in Japan of Toyota’s rival Mirai sedan, which can be leased in the U.S. for $499 per month.

October 27, 2015

3 Min Read
Clarity has 300mile range similar to Toyota Hyundai FCVs
Clarity has 300-mile range, similar to Toyota, Hyundai FCVs.

Honda unveils its latest production hydrogen-fuel-cell car today at the 2015 Tokyo auto show.

The 5-seater will be called the Clarity, the latter part of the name Honda used for its last production FCV, the ’08 FCX Clarity, and be available for lease beginning next March in Japan.

Honda says in the first year on the market it will lease the car to local government bodies and businesses, collecting data before it begins leasing to individuals.

Sales of the car will be “sequentially evolved into the U.S. and Europe,” with Honda earlier saying a late-2016 U.S. and German introduction was likely. The base price of the Clarity will be $64,000 (¥7.66 million), including a consumption tax.

That’s higher than the $57,500 (¥6.7 million) price in Japan of Toyota’s rival Mirai sedan. The cars are roughly the same length, 192 ins. (4,895 mm), but the Clarity is wider and shorter in height.

Honda delayed its next-gen FCV from 2015 to 2016, but the specifications of the production model are similar to those of the concept detailed in November 2014.

While Honda says the Clarity is estimated to travel 435 miles (700 km) between fill-ups, that figure is based on the automaker’s internal tests using a Japanese test cycle. Range in the U.S. likely will be closer to the 300 miles (483 km) Honda has been saying, and which Hyundai’s Tucson FCV and the Mirai also achieve.

 “The tank can be refilled in approximately three minutes, realizing the ease of use equivalent to that of a gasoline-powered vehicle,” the automaker says in a statement. “Furthermore, the high-output motor with maximum output of 130 kW (174 hp) realizes a direct, highly responsive and exhilarating driving experience with excellent quietness at the same time.”

The refueling time is based on a hydrogen-station charging pressure of 70 MPa and an ambient temperature of 68° F (20° C).

As with the concept shown at the 2013 Los Angeles auto show, Honda says the Clarity has a 33% smaller fuel-cell stack than the FCX Clarity. However, stack output now is said to be “more than” 100 kW (134 hp), up from “around” 100 kW last year.

Stack power density is 3.1 kW/L vs. the FCX Clarity’s 1.85 kW/L.

Honda compares the compactness of the new fuel-cell’s powertrain to its own 3.5L V-6, making for an under-hood placement of the powertrain in a “sedan-type vehicle for the first time in the world.”

The Japanese automaker will offer a device, the Power Exporter 9000, that can convert the car into a generator, with seven days’ worth of electricity for an average Japanese household.

The Clarity will be available in three colors, two with a contrasting roof and all with a platinum-gray interior: premium brilliant garnet metallic/black roof, white orchid pearl/black roof and crystal black pearl.

In the U.S., Hyundai has been leasing the Tucson for over a year, with 82 total lessees thus far, a company spokesman tells WardsAuto. The lease price is $499 per month with $2,999 down.

Toyota began leases of the Mirai last Wednesday, also for $499 per month but with a bigger downpayment of $3,649. The No.1 Japanese automaker also is selling the car in the U.S. for $57,500 before government incentives.

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