Honda’s FCV Concept brings ‘Clarity’ back into the fuel cell fold

Honda just refuses to be outdone.

One of the brand’s biggest competitors, Toyota, is smack dab in the middle of its 2016 Mirai FCV unveiling, and the Fit automaker just dropped a hydrogen vehicle of its own in Japan.

The Honda FCV Concept looks very progressive as most concepts do, with a sleek, futuristic face and sharp lines throughout. But looks are just looks, and what really matters about this car is what’s propels it forward.

The Japanese FCV features a newly developed hydrogen fuel stack that is 33% smaller than the unit used in the old Clarity FCV. The system produces over 134 horsepower, and like all hydrogen cars, produces nothing but water out the tailpipe.

Honda FCV Concept

One note of interest is range, because Honda claims the FCV will be able to travel over 435 miles on a single tank of hydrogen. That’s 135 miles more than the Mirai, and the brand also says it can be refueled in three minutes as opposed to Toyota’s five.

There’s also an external power feeding function on the fuel cell car, which allows the vehicle to function as a small, mobile power plant, siphoning electricity to homes and other infrastructure if a dire situation occurs.

The concept previews a road-going model that will be on sale in Japan by the end of March 2016, with showrooms opening in the U.S. and Europe soon thereafter.

Toyota’s Mirai, which goes on sale in Japan in April 2015, will beat Honda to the production punch by a fair margin. However, Honda’s hydrogen variant is arguably the better looking of the two, and will undoubtedly benefit from an increased hydrogen fueling station presence that is still developing today.

Stay tuned for updates as the battle for hydrogen supremacy continues.