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Old 01 Sep 2010, 09:00 am
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Default FCX Clarity: Honda FCX Clarity - Performance

A new, more advanced driving experience


A feeling that the acceleration will go on forever. Smooth, quiet and luxurious driving feel not found in any internal combustion engine-powered vehicle.


A distinctive driving experience created by the high-output electric motor


Along with uncompromising performance, the electric motor-driven FCX Clarity delivers a completely different driving sensation from a conventional vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine. There are no gear changes to interrupt power delivery and the torque characteristics are smooth, making acceleration seamless and robust. This is a key part of its distinctive, premium driving feel. There is none of the vibration that comes from reciprocating pistons. There is no combustion noise; just quiet, clean, vibration-free performance. Startup and acceleration times are comparable to that a 2.4-liter internal combustion vehicle of similar size.




The FCX Clarity's high-efficiency powerplant and outstanding energy management result in an exceedingly high operating energy efficiency of 60%. Furthermore, vehicle weight reduction and superb aerodynamics contribute to an approximate 20% improvement in fuel economy. Hydrogen tank capacity has also been increased, extending vehicle range by 30%.



Higher output, high torque, higher rpms and quieter operation in a more compact design


The new drive motor configuration was developed to deliver more powerful acceleration and a higher top speed, along with a quieter, more luxurious ride. The new rotor and stator feature a combined reluctance-torque, low-loss magnetic circuit and full-range, full-digital vector control to achieve high efficiency and high output over a wide speed range. The innovative shape and layout of the magnets in the rotor result in high-output, high-torque, high-rpm performance. These innovations deliver a maximum output of 100 kW along with impressive torque and power output density. At the same time, resonance points in the high-frequency range have been eliminated for quieter operation.


New rotor delivers high-output, high-torque, high-rpm performance


A newly designed rotor features an Interior Permanent Magnet (IPM) to lower inductance, improving reluctance torque to deliver high-torque performance. The magnet's high-energy characteristics also contribute to high torque and a more compact design. These innovations result in 50% higher output density and 20% higher torque density. The number of poles has also been reduced and the magnet made wider to better withstand stress, allowing the yoke to wrap around the outside of the IPM. A center rib has been installed for greater rigidity. This more robust construction allows for operation at higher rpm.


New stator contributes to higher torque and higher efficiency


The stator features a low iron-loss electrical steel sheet and

higher density windings that decrease resistance and contribute to high torque and higher output.


Number of poles reduced to eliminate resonance points and produce quieter operation


The number of magnetic poles in the rotor has been reduced from 12 to 8, eliminating resonance points within the operating rpm range. The result is outstanding quietness and higher output.



Coaxial gearbox conveys motor output directly for a major improvement in compact design


The rotor shaft in the motor features a hollow construction, with the driveshaft passing through its center in a coaxial configuration. This arrangement, unique to electric vehicles, allows the motor and gearbox to be combined into a single, compact unit, while providing highly efficient transmission of the motor's high-output, high-rpm power to the driveshaft. Innovative bearing design and fewer rotor oil seals result in lower friction for higher transmission efficiency, creating driving performance with a more direct feel.


Easy-to-use Shift-By-Wire for simpler operation


The vehicle's fixed gear ratio allows for simple operation: there's an easy-to-use shift control for forward, reverse and park that has a light touch and a short stroke. The compact shift unit features electronic control, allowing the shift lever to be installed on the dashboard. The shifter, start switch and parking switch are all easy to operate. Other operating systems are also laid out in separate zones to improve ergonomics.



Power assist and efficient regeneration with an advanced lithium-ion battery


The compact, high-output lithium-ion battery assists the fuel cell in powering the vehicle. The advanced battery provides a powerful supplement to the fuel cell stack's output, powering the motor for torquey off-the-line acceleration. In addition to increasing the total energy capacity, the battery efficiently stores energy generated by the intelligent regenerative braking system, capturing 11% more kinetic energy than the ultra-capacitor used in the 2005 FCX. Some 57% of the energy of deceleration is regenerated with the new system.


Enhanced regeneration for reduced brake operation in downhill driving


As a result of increased energy storage capacity and a broader range of regeneration control, it has been possible to implement a system that regulates acceleration and reduces the need for pedal operation in downhill driving. Assessing incline and vehicle speed, the system regulates acceleration when the driver first releases the accelerator pedal, minimizing the need for frequent braking. The system simultaneously adjusts the amount of regenerative braking to help maintain constant vehicle speed after brake pedal inputs. The function is similar to engine braking in an gasoline-engine powered vehicle, but more intelligent, smoother, and easier to use.



Superior chassis dynamics for greater comfort, safety, and driving pleasure


With double-wishbone at the front and 5-link double-wishbone at the rear, the suspension delivers smooth handling and an even ride.


Optimal geometry front and back, including carefully calibrated toe response to the suspension stroke and camber angle maximize tire contact with the road during cornering for highly responsive, stable handling. Optimization of the anti-dive angle and control of vehicle behavior during deceleration contribute to an even, comfortable ride. The lowered front suspension adds to the visual impact of the short-nose design. In addition to the implementation of a 5-link double wishbone rear suspension, forged aluminum lower arms and high-capacity trailing arm bushings and reduced unsprung weight, smoothing out bumps in the road.


Responsive electric power steering for a 17.7-foot turning radius and tight cornering


Along with a newly implemented brushless motor for increased output, the front double wishbone suspension helps facilitate tight cornering and delivers a 17.7-foot turning radius - a very tight turning radius given the the vehicle's long wheelbase. The low inertia of the motor and minimal friction of the suspension in turning contribute to smoother steering. And a tilt & telescopic steering wheel provide an optimal steering position for drivers of all physiques.


Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) integrated with electric power steering (EPS) for enhanced handling


The FCX Clarity features an integrated braking, traction control and electric-controlled steering system that works in concert to help the driver maintain control of the vehicle in emergency maneuvers and in varying road conditions. Working in conjunction with the vehicle's anti-lock brakes, Traction Control System (TCS) with slideslip control, and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), the Electric Power Steering (EPS) enhances steering force for even better handling.



  • In controlling understeer, EPS provides supplementary steering force to prevent the steering wheel from being turned too far as motor torque is reduced and as braking force is applied to the inner rear wheel by the VSA.

  • In controlling oversteer, the EPS provides steering force to help the driver counter the spin-generating moment as braking is applied to the outer front wheel to stabilize the vehicle.

  • When road conditions under the left and right tires are different, torque and steering force are supplemented to help the driver maintain stability.


Complementing the linear torque control of the drive motor, the TCS provides enhanced grip and control in acceleration


Increased motor torque responsiveness during TCS operation has made a major contribution to suppressing excessive tire slip. Improvements to the total system deliver even more precise torque transmission and improved grip for confident acceleration even on slippery surfaces, and improved control in acceleration.


Adaptive Cruise Control is standard equipment.

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