Honda Clarity EV and Plug-in Hybrid Debut in New York
Honda grew its Clarity “series” today in New York with the debut of the new Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid. They join the Clarity Fuel Cell hydrogen car already on sale in California.
The expected volume-seller of the series, the Clarity PHEV, replaces the hydrogen fuel cell with a 181-hp gasoline engine and a lithium-ion battery pack. Honda claims the PHEV will travel 42 miles under pure electric power and achieve an estimated 42 mpg when the gasoline engine is running. The gasoline engine will mostly act as a generator, but will occasionally help drive the wheels when it’s more efficient to do so. Total range is predicated to be over 330 miles. Plugged in to a 240-volt Level 2 charger, the PHEV’s 17-kWh battery will charge from empty in 2.5 hours.
The Clarity Electric, meanwhile, will need three hours to charge on a Level 2 charger, but can be charged to 80 percent in just 30 minutes on a DC Fast charger. Even with a full battery, though, the Clarity Electric offers a disappointing range of just 80 miles, one of the lowest on the market. Honda points out, however, that the Clarity EV is larger, more spacious, and more luxurious than any other non-Tesla EV. Whether that will resonate with buyers remains to be seen.
Both cars will come well-appointed with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and the complete Honda Sense active safety technology package standard. All Clarities use bio-fabrics and plastics extensively in their interiors to promote sustainability. Both will start in the mid-$30,000 range before tax incentives, but while the PHEV will be available in all 50 states at launch, the Electric will launch in California and Oregon first before rolling out to other states.