LOS ANGELES -- Consumers in Southern California will get the chance next summer to lease a fuel-cell car from Honda.
The Honda FCX Clarity, which was shown today at the Los Angeles Auto Show, will carry a lease price of $600 a month on a three-year lease. The lease price includes maintenance and collision insurance.
Honda says the lease program will be the first time a dealer directly retails a fuel-cell car to customers. Previous efforts have been automakers leasing fuel-cell cars to selected consumers.
The FCX Clarity's styling is similar to the FCX concept from two years ago. The four-seat sedan is powered by the fuel cell, which uses a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity. The FCX Clarity also has a lithium-ion battery pack.
The car is based on Honda's new V Flow fuel cell platform. The platform holds the fuel-cell stack in a center tunnel the runs between the front seats. The car has a single, 5,000-psi hydrogen storage tank.
Honda says the fuel-cell stack cranks out 100 kilowatts, compared with 65 kilowatts for Honda's previous fuel-cell stack. The FCX Clarity has a range of 270 miles, Honda says.
Honda officials would not comment on planned production volume for the FCX Clarity. They say the effort is a way to gauge market demand for fuel cell cars.
When the FCX Clarity needs service, the customer will drop the car off at a Honda dealership. The car will be trucked from the dealership to a Honda fuel cell service site in the Los Angeles area, and then returned to the dealership when the maintenance is completed.