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Jay Leno Takes Honda Clarity for a Ride

Jay Leno Honda ClarityThere is a video of interest to hydrogen car enthusiasts on Jay Leno’s Garage website in which the late night talk show host takes a Honda Clarity for a spin. Jay also talks with Sage Marie, Honda’s PR spokesman about the technical issues surrounding the Honda Clarity.

Last summer I lobbied to have Jay Leno drive a hydrogen car and in September, he did just that by driving a BMW Hydrogen 7 and then putting out a video of his experience. The Honda FCX Clarity is the first fuel cell car that Jay has driven as the BMW is powered by liquid hydrogen and an internal combustion engine.

In the Honda Clarity video, Jay seems to be trying to reconcile the differences between the two cars as he asks Sage Marie about compressed hydrogen gas versus liquid hydrogen and if the compressed gas “boils off” after a few weeks like the liquefied hydrogen gas does. Marie points out that compressed gas has not such issue as boil off.

Leno and Marie, go on to talk about such issues as the Hindenburg misconception, how hydrogen is safer than gasoline and the merits of a home refueling system for fuel cell cars and how everyone can achieve self-sufficiency in this area.

Jay Leno then takes a test drive to refuel the Honda Clarity and finds it easier than gasoline and less messy. Sage Marie talks about the current cost for refueling with hydrogen gas, which is $5 per kilogram (a kg equal a gallon). So, filling up the Clarity, which holds 4 kg will cost $20 and the Clarity can then drive for 270 miles, which equals 68 mpg.

Jay talks about the good acceleration on the highway and how he’s going faster than perhaps he should be. Wouldn’t this have been a dubious distinction for Jay Leno to become the first person in the world to receive a speeding ticket in a hydrogen car?

It’s good to see Jay Leno getting onboard with hydrogen cars. His star power and advocacy will convince many of the merits of hydrogen. So, what’s next for Jay’s Garage? Do I hear GM knocking at the door, offering the late night talk show king their Cadillac Provoq for a spin around Burbank?

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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7 comments

  1. How serious do you think these celebrities are about making a difference to the hydrogen car market? And do the manufacturers like Honda and BMW need them to get people on board in order to break away from a dependence on gasoline?
    Here’s a vid on the BMW7 on a recent trip to Hong Kong.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ka1FzqxXzI

  2. admin

    I think the celebrities such as Jay Leno are more concerned with green vehicles in general (and the environment) than hydrogen specifically. Jay’s Garage is powered by wind, solar and steam and he also helped design an ethanol vehicle. I think that hydrogen vehicles are seen as something new that celebrities can be a part of to promote their interests in cleaning up the environment.

    Having celebrities onboard and other high profile people, helps get the word out about alternative fuel vehicles and will help break our dependence upon foreign oil.

    Thanks for the video. Now, I’m wondering how many BMW’s will be around for the 2008 Summer Olympics in China?

  3. Well the liquid hydrogen that they had in Hong Kong was brought down from Beijing, but I think the chances of seeing many ‘green’ Beemers in Beijing are slim.

    The government seem to be making the right noises about reducing pollution before the Games, though. Was a little kick up the backside when the WHO announced that the air could be dangerous to the athletes!

    It’s all about image protection for China right now. Just hope it won’t then slip dramatically as soon as the curtain falls. Urbanised China at the moment sits under this grey-brown swirl of toxic fumes.

  4. admin

    Yes, I’ve talked about this in an earier post as far as China cleaning up and adding hydrogen cars for the Olympics.

    http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/index.php/hydrogen-distribution/beijing-china-goes-green-with-hydrogen-fueling-station/

    China has also gone forward with clean coal technology similar to the U. S. FutureGen Initiative so this is encouraging. But, like you say, once the Olympics is over will China continue down this path? One can only hope.

  5. Car Registrations

    Hello friends
    Having celebrities onboard and other high profile people, helps get the word out about alternative fuel vehicles and will help break our dependence upon foreign oil.

    ========================================

  6. Car Registrations

    Hello friends
    Urbanised China at the moment sits under this grey-brown swirl of toxic fumes.
    =================================

  7. As an antique car nut I am kinda weird since I am a retired electrical engineer having a few patents in high tech electronic “stuff”. I now play with old cars and had the surprise of my life to have received a phone call directly from Jay Leno. He had acquired a Model T Ford and asked for some help. I found him to be one of the nicest people one could meet and his interest in FC cars is genuine. He is not some rich guy who owns a bunch of “neat cars” but a man who is very knowledgeable on cars in general and on the various technologies in particular. Though he called me for my expertise he was more informed about how his newly acquired Model T worked than many people who have been in that part of the hobby for years. Some celebrities may be interested as a part of their promotional efforts for themselves but I really don’t think Jay fits into that mold since he is well known in the antique car hobby as a genuine old car buff who gets his hands dirty regularly.

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