Ever wonder how vehicles like the 2017 Honda Clarity fuel cell are fueled-up? Even if you aren’t interested in buying one, it’s still a pretty cool process to watch. Oh, you’re wondering what a fuel cell vehicle is? Thanks for asking! A fuel cell vehicle is a type of vehicle that runs on hydrogen, powered through a hydrogen fuel cell. Because of this, it only emits water out of the tailpipe. Now, I’m sure I don’t need to go into too much detail about how much healthier a vehicle that runs on hydrogen and emits water is for the environment, compared to one that runs on gas or diesel and emits carbon dioxide out of the tailpipe.
What I am going to go into detail about is the fueling process. After, there are a few things you should know about a fuel cell vehicle. But first…
The Fueling Process
Here’s the fueling process for the Honda clarity and other fuel cell vehicles.
1. Turn car off
2. Engage parking brake
3. Push H2 button (opens fuel filler door)
4. Pull cap off
5. Activate the pump, which has a tutorial if you haven’t used a hydrogen pump before.
6. Insert nozzle into the mouth of the fuel tank (it locks into place)
7. Lift lever
8. Select either H35 or H70 (depending on how much you need)
9. Begin fueling
10. Release locking lever on nozzle, return lever to the pump.
Pretty neat, huh? Not much different from a filling up your average gas-powered car, and it takes about the same amount of time.
Currently, Fueling Stations Only Exist in California
At the start of 2017, only a handful (around 21) hydrogen fueling stations exist in California. Thankfully, that number is increasing. So you’ll have to make a move to Cali if you want one of these unique vehicles.
Why only California, and why so few? The same problem that plagues the fuel cell’s green-car electric-powered brethren: it’s still relatively new technology, and hasn’t quite caught on yet. More than that, not all states have adopted emissions regulations like California.
The world isn’t ready for this type of technology yet. As consumers, we aren’t ready to give up our loud engines and tire-burning action. But, I (like many others) are a firm believer that fuel cell vehicles like the Honda Clarity are the future of the automotive market.
Faster Than Charging an Electric-Vehicle – But Also Expensive
Even more-so than electric vehicles, which are still having a hard time gaining traction, fuel-cell vehicles are also struggling to gain momentum. Undoubtedly, a big part of this is because electric vehicles take much longer to charge when compared to the fill-up time of a gas-powered car. Fuel cell vehicles? They take about the same amount of time to fill up as a gas or diesel-powered car, which is a huge plus.
The 2017 Honda Clarity, in particular, takes anywhere from 3-5 minutes to fill up. The Tesla Model S? About 30 minutes to charge its battery up to 80%.
Of course, the Clarity is also more expensive. Reports say that it will cost you about $90 to fill up the Honda Clarity’s twin hydrogen tanks. While that’s more expensive than charging an EV, keep in mind the Clarity will still travel 366 miles when it’s fully fueled. Honda will also give you a $15,000 debit card when you lease the Fuel Cell Clarity, which will help pay for the hydrogen you need.
Oh, and one more fun tidbit. The hydrogen at the hydrogen station is actually in a gaseous state; not a liquid one.
If you actually want to see the process of filling up a 2017 Honda Clarity, check out a video from TFLCar here: https://youtu.be/Rt02JOax0Xg