In Tokyo, Japan at the Narita Airport, several Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicles are starting to offer rides to passengers into various parts of Tokyo. Honda is teaming up with HySUT (a research association) and All Nippon Airways to give more exposure to this hydrogen car.
According to Integrity Exports, “…the route from Narita into Tokyo is going to give the Clarity a great workout on a variety of roads, from the faster more free-flowing expressways, to the congested urban stop-start of traffic light hopping that is the typical driving in Japanese built-up areas.
“Whereas lease cars will often be used as commuters and so spend a lot of their day sitting idle in parking spaces, the Narita service is going to make much more stringent and constant demands on the Clarity, which I am sure will provide a wealth of data for Honda technicians to mull over.”
Honda has stated in the past that they will be leasing 200 Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell cars to various passengers over a 3-year period. One of the qualifiers for this transaction is that customers live near one of the few hydrogen fueling stations in the Los Angeles, California area. This also limits the real world testing of the automobile.
The customers leasing the vehicles at $600 per month are usually not in their cars all day long putting the vehicle through its paces. By using the Clarity as a shuttle vehicle at the Narita Airport, it is sure to get more of a workout and provide more data to Honda engineers than the lease cars.
Hopefully, this data derived from this exercise will help Honda with the 2015 commercialization date they had committed to a couple of years back.