Honda FCX Clarity Hydrogen Car Tested (Verdict: Star Trek)

Illustration for article titled Honda FCX Clarity Hydrogen Car Tested (Verdict: Star Trek)

Our brothers from another mother(s) over at Jalonik got to test-drive the Honda FCX Clarity, a hydrogen fuel cell car from Honda that gets the equivalent of 68mpg in a conversion metric that (we'll be honest here) confounds us since the car uses no gas at all. So what was Jalopnik's verdict?

At one point we even found ourselves behind a Ford Escape Hybrid with a license plate that read, "NO HUMMR." I was reminded of Star Trek IV...

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Oh...this is gonna be good.

...when Kirk and the boyz warp back to the year 1986 and Bones finds a woman hooked up to a kidney dialysis machine. He feeds her some pills made from super futuristic technology, unhooks her from the apparatus and declares the then contemporary state of medicine, "Barbaric." All around us people were driving vehicles that in their minds are atop the environmental food chain. Yet they're still emitting loads of dirty old carbon dioxide (and whatever else) into the atmosphere derived from a tank full of Middle Eastern crude. Meanwhile we're zooming past all of 'em, dripping only water while nestled comfortably behind the wheel of the future.

Wow, when the diesel-lovers at Jalopnik are impressed, we're impressed. it's just too bad that only 100 will be driving around in the LA area, leased for $600/month.

Here's Honda's latest commercial that just makes us love the car more.

[jalopnik]

DISCUSSION

The reason this gets the equivalent of 68mpg is because it is using electricity to create the hydrogen. This is ultimately the reason that I believe fuel cell cars are doomed before they hit the market because an electric car can get three times the equivalent 'miles per gallon'. (What we are measuring is CO2 released to create the miles per gallon equivalency.)

If you can get a vehicle that is three time greener and will ultimately cost significantly less ('real world' cost, which for both is much higher than current internal combustion engines), wouldn't we want the one that is greener and less expensive? That is why electric cars really appear to be our future.

Add to this picture that electric vehicles can be recharged in the evening with very little impact to the current electrical grid (and the fact that we need to replace coal plants with greener alternatives), and you can see why many are declaring the fuel cell vehicle heading toward a dead end.

That said, it is impressive engineering, Honda. Hope you are working on an electric vehicle, though.