It's the hot new trend in the green car world: offer one model with multiple eco-friendly powertrians. The Hyundai Ioniq triplets come in full electric, plug-in hybrid, and gas-electric hybrid versions. Even the old stalwart Toyota Prius can have a plug or not. And now we've got more details about the latest green onslaught from Honda: the three-pronged Clarity line-up. Are they the answer to everything?
We've already driven the Clarity Fuel Cell, which launched in December 2016, but Honda made us wait until today to learn more information about the hydrogen car's siblings, the battery-powered Clarity Electric and the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid. Was it worth the wait? Well, that depends on how you feel about a PHEV with a respectable 42 miles of all-electric range, and a company that want to sell 75,000 Clarity vehicles in the U.S. in the first four model years.
We think the new Clarity models will be a solid entries in the plug-in vehicle market, especially the PHEV. It is now second only to the Chevy Volt in EV miles but is a much bigger car, with plenty of room for four, and even five can squeeze in without too much hassle.
As you can see in the pictures, each Clarity has a slightly different front end, head- and tail lights, and 18-inch alloy wheels. All three also have their own "halo colors," which we'll try to get the names of later, since blue, green, and red probably aren't the official monikers. For now, here are the details Honda has shared about the new Clarity vehicles.
2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid
- All-electric range of 42 miles thanks to a 17-kWh battery pack, "based on Honda internal testing." Total range is 330 miles.
- Expected 105 MPGe on the EPA scale.
- 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine charges the pack and can drive the wheels.
- Electric motor offers 181 horsepower and 232 foot-pounds of torque.
- Arrives nationwide later in 2017.
- Two trim levels (Standard and Touring).
- Will be the top seller in the Clarity family.
2017 Honda Clarity Electric
- No official range yet, but the 25.5-kWH battery pack makes the stories predicting a low, 80-mile range more plausible. SAE Combo DC Fast Charging available.
- 161-hp electric motor puts out 221 lb.-ft. of torque
- Expected 120/102/111 MPGe (city/highway/combined) on the EPA scale.
- Will hit the market with lease-only programs in California and Oregon later in 2017.
The Clarity series are not the end point – or even the demarcation of a short rest – for Honda's green efforts. The company will introduce a new hybrid to the U.S. in 2018, and the Clarity family is expected to contribute, "to an anticipated five-fold increase in Honda's U.S. sales of electrified vehicles over the next four years," according to the company's press release. This is all part of Honda's plan to make 66 percent of its global automobile sales be electrified in some way by 2030.
Gallery: 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid
Honda Electrified! Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Electric Unveiled at 2017 New York International Auto Show
Apr 12, 2017 - NEW YORK CITY
"3-in-1" Clarity series provides unparalleled electric drive choice with premium midsize sedan capability and three advanced electrified powertrain options
Plug-in Hybrid anticipated to earn 42-mile EV driving range rating and 330-mile extended range rating
Honda targets five-fold increase in sales of electrified vehicles in next four years
Honda today revealed its all-new Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Electric alongside the already available Clarity Fuel Cell, saying it will target U.S. sales of 75,000 Clarity vehicles in the first four model years. The Clarity series will contribute to an anticipated five-fold increase in Honda's U.S. sales of electrified vehicles over the next four years as the company works toward its target that two-thirds of its global automobile sales will come from electrified vehicles by 2030.
The two all-new electrified Honda vehicles will join the Clarity Fuel Cell, launched in December 2016, to make Clarity the first ever vehicle series offering customers an expanded array of electrified vehicle choices with fuel cell, battery electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains wrapped in a sophisticated, spacious and comprehensively equipped five-passenger sedan.
"The Honda Clarity is aimed at accelerating the deployment of advanced electrified powertrain technology and bringing electrified vehicles further into the mainstream," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., at the company's auto show press conference. "The Clarity series also heralds the advancement of our Honda Electrification Initiative, representing our investment in the full spectrum of electric-vehicle technologies."
"Electrification is the future of mobility and the future of Honda, and it all starts now with this new Clarity series," added Steve Center, vice president of the Connected and Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda.
Honda Clarity Series
As the next progression of Honda's dynamic styling for electrified products, each Clarity variant has a low, wide aerodynamic body with unique design elements, including its own special hero color, and differentiated front styling, headlights, tail lamps and 18-inch alloy wheel designs. Combined with elegant and advanced exterior styling, each Clarity series vehicle has a spacious interior with comfortable seating for five adults, outfitted with premium, environmentally responsible materials.
Offering Honda's "fun-to-drive" DNA, each Clarity variant provides a smooth, quiet and highly refined driving experience, aided by the smooth and seamless character of electric drive torque and acceleration. The Clarity series also features advanced technologies, including Display Audio with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, and the full suite of HONDA SENSING™ safety and driver-assistive technologies.
With three different powertrains and luxury packaging, the Clarity series has wide appeal. This shared "3-in-1" platform strategy will enable Honda to respond to infrastructure and market developments, provide customers nationwide with an ultra-low carbon vehicle that meets their lifestyle needs, and takes Honda toward higher volume sales of advanced powertrain products that will help reduce CO2 emissions.
The Clarity series is at the vanguard of Honda's commitment to address society's energy and environmental concerns as the company expects significant growth in sales of efficient, lower CO2 electrified vehicles. Honda has previously announced plans to introduce a dedicated new hybrid car to the U.S. market in 2018. The new Honda hybrid car will be made in America.
Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid
The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, launching at dealerships nationwide later this year, is anticipated to earn an all-electric driving range rating of 42 miles1, the longest of any midsize plug-in hybrid. For longer trips, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid can utilize its hyper-efficient 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine to generate electricity and, under certain conditions, to act as a direct power source, resulting in an anticipated overall driving range rating in excess of 330 miles1.
The vehicle's electromotive power comes from a 181-horsepower electric motor producing 232 lb.-ft. of torque and drawing power from both the gasoline engine and a 17-kilowatt hour (kWh) battery pack with a recharge time of 2.5 hours at 240 volts. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is anticipated to earn an EPA fuel economy rating of 105 MPGe1 (miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent) combined, at the top of its class. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid features three selectable modes – Normal, Econ and Sport – allowing drivers to customize their experience, maximizing efficiency or driving performance. A fourth mode – HV mode – is provided to maintain the battery's state of charge and can be selected in conjunction with Normal, Econ and Sport driving modes.
As the sales volume leader in the Clarity lineup, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid will be offered in two premium-contented trims, standard and Touring.
Honda Clarity Electric
The 2017 Honda Clarity Electric is geared toward consumers who desire a spacious, comfortable and affordable sedan that suits their daily driving needs. The Clarity Electric is powered by a 161-horsepower (120-kilowatt) electric motor producing 221 lb.-ft. of torque and drawing power from a 25.5-kWh battery pack. The vehicle can by fully charged in just over three hours at 240 volts, and when using DC fast charging with the SAE Combined Charging System can achieve an 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes.
The model is anticipated to have an anticipated EPA fuel economy rating of 120/102/111 MPGe (city/highway/combined)2. Like the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, the Clarity Electric features three selectable driving modes – Normal, Econ and Sport. The Clarity Electric will launch later this year, starting with an attractive lease program in California and Oregon.
Honda Clarity Fuel Cell
Honda views fuel cells as the ultimate zero-emissions vehicle technology and the Clarity Fuel Cell offers green early adopters the latest technology to be on the forefront of "what's next." Honda began deliveries of the 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell in December 2016 in select California markets, where a consumer friendly network of hydrogen stations continues to grow, and has already delivered more than 100 vehicles.
Technological innovations to the Clarity Fuel Cell have created a fuel cell stack that is 33 percent more compact with a 60 percent increase in power density compared to its predecessor, the Honda FCX Clarity. The more compact fuel cell and integrated powertrain, now comparable in size to a V-6 engine, fits entirely under the hood of the car, allowing for a more spacious cabin with seating for five passengers.
At 366 miles, the Clarity Fuel Cell has the highest EPA driving range rating of any zero-emission vehicle in America, including fuel cell and battery electric vehicles, and an EPA fuel economy rating of 68 MPGe3 combined. The Clarity Fuel Cell is available for the competitive introductory lease price of $369 a month for 36 months with $2,868 due at signing4. The lease terms include an attractive mileage allowance of 20,000 miles per year, up to $15,000 of hydrogen fuel, up to 21 days of an Avis Luxury Rental in California, 24/7 roadside assistance, and eligibility for California "White Sticker" single occupant HOV access. Lessees can also apply for the State of California $5,000 rebate5. The Clarity Fuel Cell is available in three colors: Bordeaux Red Metallic, White Orchid Pearl and Crystal Black Pearl.
Honda offers a full line of reliable, fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive vehicles with advanced safety technologies sold through over 1,000 independent U.S. Honda dealers. The Honda lineup includes the Fit, Civic, Accord and Clarity Fuel Cell passenger cars, along with the HR-V, CR-V and Pilot sport/utility vehicles, the Ridgeline pickup and the Odyssey minivan. Honda has been producing automobiles in America for 34 years and currently operates 19 major manufacturing facilities in North America. In 2016, more than 96 percent of all Honda vehicles sold in the U.S. were made in North America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.
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1 Based on Honda internal testing. Your mileage will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-pack age/condition, and other factors.
2 Your MPGe and range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, lithium-ion battery age/condition and other factors.
3 69 city / 67 highway / 68 combined miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) rating; 366-mile driving range rating. Based on 2017 EPA ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your MPGe and driving range will vary based on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, powertrain condition, and other factors.
4 Includes down payment with no security deposit. Excludes taxes, registration, license and dealer fees. For well qualified lessees. Subject to availability beginning December 2016 to California residents on approved credit through Honda Financial Services. Closed end lease for 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell for well qualified lessees. Not all applicants will qualify. No purchase option at lease end. Total monthly payments $13,284. Lessee responsible for maintenance, excessive wear/tear, and 20 cents per mile over 20,000 miles per year. Lease includes Roadside Assistance, up to $15,000 of hydrogen fuel, and up to 21 days Avis luxury rental car. Total due at lease signing is $2,868 plus tax and registration and includes first month's payment and capitalized cost reduction of $2,499. Offer subject to change without notice. Please see your authorized Honda Clarity dealer for complete details. Accessories sold separately. See Honda Clarity dealer for details.
5 Applicants must apply for the rebate at cleanvehiclerebate.org. The rebate is based on availability.