By SolarCars | April 25, 2012
Honda has linked to their fuel cell EV FCX Clarity some electrical outlets, and also built a hydrogen fueling setup powered by solar energy. This turns the FX Clarity to a 0 emission generator running on solar power and water.
Cars running on hydrogen fuel cells might not be getting as much attention as they deserve compared to battery electric cousins, but it does not mean that Honda stopped working on their FCX Clarity. Roughly four years after it was unveiled, the carmaker modified the FCX Clarity to have a box of outlets that allows the car to be a 9 kilowatt generator.
Honda also built a hydrogen fueling station in Saitama, Japan which makes hyrdogen from water and the sun’s energy. It is a test facility which if it yields good results will allow the FCX Clarity to drive with zero emissions or serve as a generator.
While hydrogen fueling stations commonly depend on hydrogen that has been reformed as natural gas somewhere, the one in Saitama makes use of water electrolysis in a high pressure system to make hydrogen. The electricity being used by the system comes from a mix of solar power and electricity drawn from the grid which in combo can make 1.5 kilos of hydrogen in 24 hours. The produced hydrogen per day can give the FCX Clarity a range of 90 miles.
After the tsunami devastation last year and the resulting nuclear accident at Fukushima, a good number of Japanese car manufacturers have been using their electric vehicles as portable generators. The FCX Clarity might be the first car running on hydrogen to serve as a generator but it just follows the Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi MiEV which was earlier turned into a turn to power box on wheels.
Honda did not release a lot of details about the project which started its test run last month. At the moment, the FCX Clarity only acts as an emergency power supply but it should not be surprising if we will see it linked to a setup of smart grid where the plug in vehicles will act as back up power supplies during moments of high power demand.