On March 24, Honda’s FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will serve as the official pace car for the 2011 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida at the Festival of States Parade. In the U.S., there are about 50 select consumers who are driving around Honda FCX Clarity vehicles. It’s not the first time for an FCX to serve as a pace car though. It had already been one at the 2008 Indy Japan race at the Twin Ring Motegi course.
But now, the FCX will be a pace car at the Izod IndyCar grand prix as well as other events scheduled in that weekend, including the Firestone Indy Lights races, Acura Sports Car Challenge, and the Festival of States Parade. Of course, the FCX Clarity isn’t expected to perform on the same level as the other IndyCar pace cars, such as the Chevrolet Camaro that will work the Indianapolis 500 in May.
But the hydrogen-fueled, electric-powered sedan can certainly offer an excellent low-end torque (the result of using an electric motor for propulsion) and brisk acceleration. For this pace car assignment, it seems like the only changes are the paint job and strobe lighting so it’s likely that the FCX will perform typically.
The Honda FCX Clarity will perform the duties of a pace car at a number of races all over the weekend such as the Acura sports Car Challenge, Firestone Indy Lights events and IZOD IndyCar Series. In addition, it will direct the cars at the ZOD IndyCar series at the St. Petersburg Annual Festival of States Parade on Thursday, March 24. The FCX Clarity has also been the official pace car of the 2008 Indy Japan event at Twin Ring MotegiTochigi, Japan, on April 17, 2008.
More FCX Clarity Facts
- Honda has been leasing its FCX Clarity to customers for a term of three years at $600 per month to cover the costs of maintenance. This lease program marks the first large-scale retail initiative in the world for fuel cell electric vehicle technology.
- It only takes as fast as 5 minutes to refuel the FCX Clarity.
- Hydrogen is an alternative fuel, which can be produced domestically by means of electrolysis of water, natural gas reforming or renewable biomethane from waste.
The Firsts of Honda Fuel Cell-Electric Vehicle
The original FCX became the first fuel cell vehicle certified by EPA and CARB in July 2002. It is also the first production fuel cell vehicle in the world, introduced to Japan and the US in October 2002.