Honda Automobiles: Hydrogen-Powered Honda FCX Clarity Will Serve as Pace Car for the 2011 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

The Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell-electric vehicle will serve as the pace car for the 2011 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, March 25-27. This is the first-time a hydrogen-powered vehicle will pace an IZOD IndyCar Series race in the United States. As the pace car for the opening race of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar season, the FCX Clarity will lead a competitive field through the challenging 1.8-mile waterfront circuit located in downtown St. Petersburg.

The Honda FCX Clarity is a sleekly styled hydrogen fuel cell-powered sedan currently available on a limited retail basis in Southern California. The vehicle is a key part of Honda’s efforts to successfully develop, certify and market zero-emissions vehicles. Propelled by an electric motor that runs on electricity generated in a fuel cell, the FCX Clarity’s only emission is water, and its fuel efficiency is three times that of a similar-sized gasoline-powered automobile. The FCX Clarity’s performance and acceleration are comparable to a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine with an EPA certified range of 240 miles. The compact and powerful Honda V Flow Fuel Cell Stack allows for unprecedented spaciousness and a futuristically stylish, low-slung design and spacious interior.

The FCX Clarity will perform pace car duties at several races throughout the weekend including the IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights events and Acura Sports Car Challenge. Additionally, the FCX Clarity will lead the IZOD IndyCar series cars at the annual Festival of States Parade taking place on Thursday, March 24 in downtown St. Petersburg. The FCX Clarity previously served as the official pace car for the 2008 Indy Japan event held at Twin Ring Motegi in Tochigi, Japan, on April 17, 2008.

Additional FCX Clarity Facts:

  • Customers pay $600 per month for three years to lease the FCX Clarity from Honda, which covers maintenance costs. This lease program is the world’s first large-scale retail initiative for fuel cell electric vehicle technology.
  • Refueling the FCX Clarity takes less then 5 minutes.
  • Hydrogen is a domestically sourced alternative fuel which can be made via electrolysis of water, reformed natural gas or renewable biomethane made from waste.

Honda Fuel Cell-Electric Vehicle Firsts:

The original FCX became the first EPA- and CARB-certified fuel cell vehicle in July 2002. The FCX was also the world’s first production fuel cell vehicle, introduced to the U.S. and Japan in October 2002. Additional highlights include:

  • The FCX was the first fuel cell vehicle to start and operate in sub-freezing temperatures (2003).
  • The FCX was the first fuel cell vehicle placed in the hands of an individual customer (July 2005).
  • Honda becomes the first auto manufacturer of a dedicated fuel cell vehicle on a production line specifically for hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles (2008).
  • Honda becomes the first manufacturer to create a fuel cell vehicle dealer network (2008).

For more information on the FCX Clarity, please visit For information on the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, please visit

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