Although it's been a year since its introduction, only 10 examples of the Honda FCX Clarity are presently on the road. Still, Honda says it is on track to meet its early sales goals for the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
Honda hopes to ultimately offer the FCX Clarity to consumers by 2015, but until it is able to bring the production costs to an affordable level (to say nothing of developing an accessible fueling infrastructure), it is leasing the cars to select customers in California and Japan. Honda had hoped to lease 200 examples by 2012, and contrary to the low figure, claims it's still on pace.
"We would like to maintain the target for 200 cars," said Sachito Fujimoto, the chief project manager for the FCX program. "I would like to make fuel cell vehicles for the ordinary motorist. I would like to make the age of the fuel cell cars begin in earnest as early as possible."
Fujimoto told Automotive News that Honda has tackled a number of issues preventing such vehicles from reaching the market, but still has an arduous task ahead.
"The four stages of the five in total are behind us," Fujimoto said. "We're now at the beginning of the last and the steepest path to the top."
Issues surrounding the materials and process used in assembling a fuel cell stack, along with promoting a refueling infrastructure, are Honda's biggest issues. Fujimoto suggested the latter would be solved only if fuel cell vehicles are sold to the general public.
Source: Automotive News