Honda Clarity Electric & Plug-In Hybrid To Launch In 2017

1 year ago by Eric Loveday 45

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show

Honda has officially announced that its Clarity will spawn a series of alternative-powertrain vehicles, including a pure electric and a plug-in hybrid version.

The announcement was made earlier today:

“Honda today announced that the upcoming Clarity Fuel Cell will be joined by two additional variants, the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, launching in the U.S. in 2017. The addition of two new Clarity vehicles, based on the same platform underpinning the new Clarity Fuel Cell, makes Clarity the first vehicle in the industry to offer fuel cell, electric and plug-in hybrid technology on one model platform…”

Honda didn’t divulge a whole lot of details, but the automaker did at least state the electric range for the plug-in hybrid version:

“Following the U.S. launch of the Clarity Fuel Cell in late 2016, the Clarity Electric will go on-sale in 2017. The Clarity Electric will be the first affordable, midsize, five-passenger battery electric vehicle (BEV) to offer premium content and features. The third vehicle in the Clarity series, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, will launch in all 50 states later in 2017 and will be the volume leader in the series, seamlessly combining an all-electric driving range in excess of 40 miles with a hyper-efficient gasoline-hybrid extended range mode.”

No pricing information is available at this time, but Honda does suggest that these will be “premium content” vehicles several times in the press release, so we’re thinking that equates to a car on the expensive side for Honda.

John Mendel, executive vice president of the Automobile Division at American Honda Motor, stated:

“The Honda Clarity Series will provide customers with a well-equipped, premium, midsize vehicle with range of ultra low-carbon powertrain options to suit their lifestyle needs. This Honda trio of dedicated, advanced technology vehicles, along with the expanded application of two- and three-motor hybrid systems to our core models, represents a strong commitment to Honda’s future and will help create a new volume pillar for electrified vehicle sales.”

It’s believed that sales of the electric Clarity will be limited to CARB states initially, with other states added if there’s sufficient demand.

More info on the Clarity is available through Honda’s dedicated Clarity website here.

Press blast below:

Honda Takes Bold Step with Honda Clarity Series; Fuel Cell, Battery Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Variants to Leverage Common Platform

•Clarity Fuel Cell gets two electrified siblings – the Clarity Electric and the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid – both launching in 2017
•New trio of Clarity vehicles provide unparalleled choices to customers through three different electric powertrain options
•All Clarity vehicles will offer spacious, five-passenger seating, premium features and interior appointments; consumers can learn more at http://www.automobiles.honda.com/Clarity

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

DETROIT, April 21, 2016 – Honda today announced that the upcoming Clarity Fuel Cell will be joined by two additional variants, the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, launching in the U.S. in 2017. The addition of two new Clarity vehicles, based on the same platform underpinning the new Clarity Fuel Cell, makes Clarity the first vehicle in the industry to offer fuel cell, electric and plug-in hybrid technology on one model platform, offering Honda customers an expanded array of electrified vehicle choices to suit their individual tastes and driving needs.

Following the U.S. launch of the Clarity Fuel Cell in late 2016, the Clarity Electric will go on-sale in 2017. The Clarity Electric will be the first affordable, midsize, five-passenger battery electric vehicle (BEV) to offer premium content and features. The third vehicle in the Clarity series, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, will launch in all 50 states later in 2017 and will be the volume leader in the series, seamlessly combining an all-electric driving range in excess of 40 miles with a hyper-efficient gasoline-hybrid extended range mode.

With elegant exterior styling, the Clarity series of vehicles will also offer spacious interiors outfitted with premium, environmentally-responsible materials and thoughtful, stylish design cues. The Clarity series will also feature advanced technologies, including Display Audio with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ as well as standard Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive technology.

“The Honda Clarity Series will provide customers with a well-equipped, premium, midsize vehicle with range of ultra low-carbon powertrain options to suit their lifestyle needs,” said John Mendel, executive vice president, Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “This Honda trio of dedicated, advanced technology vehicles, along with the expanded application of two- and three-motor hybrid systems to our core models, represents a strong commitment to Honda’s future and will help create a new volume pillar for electrified vehicle sales.”

All of the Clarity models will leverage the platform that has enabled the Clarity Fuel Cell’s low, wide and aerodynamic proportions and spacious five-passenger cabin. This shared platform strategy also enables flexibility in responding to infrastructure and market developments, and the ability to provide customers nationwide with an ultra-low carbon vehicle that meets their lifestyle needs while expanding the market for Honda advanced technology products. The first of the Clarity Series to launch will be the Clarity Fuel Cell, Honda’s most technologically advanced vehicle ever, slated to begin deliveries to customers in select California markets in late 2016. The Clarity Fuel Cell will have a targeted monthly lease price of under $500.

Technological innovations to the Clarity Fuel Cell include a fuel cell stack that is 33 percent more compact than its predecessor with a 60 percent increase in power density compared to the outgoing Honda FCX Clarity. The more compact fuel cell and integrated powertrain, comparable in size to a V-6 engine, now fit entirely under the hood of the car, allowing for a more spacious cabin with seating for five adult passengers. The new Clarity Fuel Cell is anticipated to receive an anticipated U.S. EPA driving range in excess of 300 miles, which provides for a refueling time of approximately three to five minutes, roughly equivalent to customers’ experience with gasoline refueling.

In addition to the Clarity series, a reengineered 2017 Accord Hybrid will go on-sale this spring, delivering both top-of-class power and fuel efficiency in a midsize hybrid sedan, as Honda seeks to grow sales of electrified vehicles – hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. On a global basis, Honda is aiming to have electrified vehicles account for two-thirds of its vehicles sales around 2030.

Customers interested in the Clarity vehicles are encouraged to visit http://www.automobiles.honda.com/Clarity where they can receive more information and sign up for the opportunity to become a Clarity Fuel Cell customer.

About Honda
Honda offers a full line of reliable, fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive vehicles with advanced safety technologies sold through approximately 1,000 independent U.S. Honda dealers. The Honda lineup includes the Fit, Civic and Accord passenger cars, along with the
HR-V, CR-V and Pilot sport/utility vehicles, the soon-to-be-launched Ridgeline pickup and the Odyssey minivan.

Honda has been producing automobiles in America for 33 years and currently operates 18 major manufacturing facilities in North America. In 2015, more than 99 percent of all Honda vehicles sold in the U.S. were made in North America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

Honda Commitment to the Environment
Based on its vision of “Blue Skies for our Children,” Honda is working to advance technologies that address society’s environmental and energy concerns. Honda is targeting a 50 percent reduction in its total company CO2 emissions on a global basis by 2050, compared to 2000 levels.

Honda will introduce a new 2017 Accord Hybrid and the launch of the Honda Clarity starting in 2016, which offers a hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell vehicle, followed by a new Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-In Hybrid in 2017, as the company strives to realize significant growth in sales of electrified vehicles.

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45 responses to "Honda Clarity Electric & Plug-In Hybrid To Launch In 2017"

  1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    Alternative Headline:
    “Honda Takes Note of Mirai Disaster, Sees Writing On Wall, Shifts Compliance Approach.”

    1. Brandon says:

      Yes, and at least for the all electric version, offer some competition to the Hyundai Ioniq.

    2. JimGord says:

      Absolutely correct !

  2. Rightofthepeople says:

    So Honda doesn’t think Georgia or other non-Carb states are important enough to offer the BEV for sale here. Got it, thanks, I will remember that when I go buy my next vehicle.

    1. Spider-Dan says:

      Based on what happened with the BEV rebates turning into a BEV tax, it seems like even Georgia doesn’t think Georgia is important enough for BEV sales.

  3. Mister G says:

    It’s about time Honda…pull your head out of your arse and make EVs.

    1. Aaron says:

      Um, Honda Fit EV? Yes, a compliance, lease-only vehicle, but it is electric.

      Of note, Honda STILL hasn’t said what they’re going to do with the Fit EVs after the leases are done.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        The Fit EV is no longer available and has not been available for a while.

      2. MTN Ranger says:

        After the leases are returned, they are getting crushed.

      3. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Honda offered “extended” lease program for people who got a chance to lease one.

        So, it will allow current lease owner to extend their lease for another 2 years for even lower price.

        I call it “extended testing program”…

  4. David Murray says:

    I don’t see this as all that good of news. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Clarity is essentially hand built. So if they are sticking with that vehicle, what are the chances that they’ll be making any significant quantity of the PHEV or BEv version? My guess is both will be compliance cars, probably selling 100 a month.

    1. bukweet says:

      +1

      “It’s believed that sales of the electric Clarity will be limited to CARB states initially, with other states added if there’s sufficient demand.”

      Compliance car.

      1. Brandon says:

        The PHEV will not be compliance tho it seems. Quoting from the press release:

        “The third vehicle in the Clarity series, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, will launch in all 50 states later in 2017 and will be the volume leader in the series, seamlessly combining an all-electric driving range in excess of 40 miles with a hyper-efficient gasoline-hybrid extended range mode.”

    2. PHEVfan says:

      I think they are hoping to increase the overall demand for the vehicle line, which would allow them to put it on a mfg line rather than each one being “hand built”. Time will tell.

  5. mustang_sallad says:

    Even at tiny compliance car volumes, you know it’ll still outsell the fuel cell variant 5 to 1. It’ll have to if they need to meet their ZEV targets and people still aren’t buying fuel cell cars.

  6. tftf says:

    Open secret since January 2015 when this strategy was revealed…

    http://world.honda.com/worldnews/2015/4150113FCV-Concept-North-American-Debut/index.html

    Today was just reiterating the same.

    1. Brandon says:

      Thanks for the link tftf.
      This newer press release states the approximate range of the PHEV version… that’s about the only difference I’m seeing.

    2. Shane says:

      Looks like the new presser moves the launch to 2017 from 2018.

  7. kdawg says:

    “seamlessly combining an all-electric driving range in excess of 40 miles with a hyper-efficient gasoline-hybrid extended range mode.”
    ———
    Yay. Finally a Japanese PHEV with a decent AER.

    1. John says:

      I wonder if it’s using any Voltec parts?

      1. Kdawg says:

        Good question. Do we know who’s supplying the battery cells?

      2. Samwise says:

        Given Honda has been building production hybrids (and EV’s in low umbers for that matter) for quite some time now I would assume it uses variations on whatever they are already using, can’t see them needing to go off to another manufacturer for anything unless they are already doing so.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          GM and Honda just signed a partnership recently.

          One part of the detail is that GM will sell Voltec to Honda and Honda and GM will share FC technology together.

          So, it is possible that this is based on the Voltec considering that Volt get 53 miles and a larger car would only get 40 miles.

    2. Speculawyer says:

      But are those 40 EPA rated miles or 40 ridiculous Japanese rated miles?

      1. Samwise says:

        They are called kilometres…

  8. G2 says:

    Just. Sad.

  9. Taser54 says:

    wow! This group is a bunch of negative Nancies.

    It’s as if you can’t be happy for electrification progrees.

    1. jelloslug says:

      This is not progress. This is just an engineering experiment that is being used to satisfy CARB requirements.

  10. bro1999 says:

    The first non-GM vehicle to feature Voltec tech?

    The Gen 2 Volt’s guts in the larger Clarity…I could see that giving a range of 40-ish EV miles.

    1. Paul Stoller says:

      That was my first thought upon reading this, considering the deal the two companies had recently signed.

  11. Mike says:

    notice no range for the BEV – who wants to bet it will not be 200 miles or $35K, especially given the “volume leader” as the PHEV

    1. Lou says:

      Yeah, I am betting 105-115 range for the BEV. Only available in CARB states, will be more expensive than either the Bolt EV or the TM3. I hope I am wrong, but doubt it.

      1. Brandon says:

        I agree. It will probably have a pack size close to 30 kWh. I wonder if it will come with CHAdeMO or with a CCS fast charge port.

        1. Shane says:

          Why not Tesla’s Supercharger? If Elon gave away patent rights then …

    2. Priusmaniac says:

      Could be a competition for the new Nissan Leaf.

  12. Rick Danger says:

    “Honda Takes Bold Step with Honda Clarity Series”

    This is Honda’s idea of “bold” in 2017??

    …riiiiiiiiiiiight…

  13. Speculawyer says:

  14. Josh says:

    Introducing the new Honda Compliance, coming as soon as requirements increase to a state near you that has follows CARB.

  15. Eco says:

    Is the plug-in hybrid using a (smaller) fuel cell for it’s range extender?
    A 10~15kW SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell) could use gasoline, LPG (propane), LNG, CNG, diesel … almost all common hydrocarbon fuels … and even hydrogen if it’s available.

    1. Brandon says:

      It will be gasoline it looks like. Quoting the press release:

      “…an all-electric driving range in excess of 40 miles with a hyper-efficient gasoline-hybrid extended range mode.”

  16. PHEVfan says:

    Good to see Honda is finally getting the message. Go all in or go home. I was convinced they were going home when they only went the compliance route for the Fit EV and Accord PHEV, and then let them die.

    1. bro1999 says:

      Don’t be mistaken: this is still a compliance play. It’s just not a 1/4 a$$ed compliance play like Toyota and the first PiP.

  17. ILETRIC says:

    As far as this particular fuddy-duddy-looking future EV, my buck stays in the bank – for now.

    Honda has been spiraling since 2000 when they deep-sixed the Prelude. Soichiro is turning in his grave. Innovators vs. Imitators? That slogan no longer applies to Honda Motor Company.

    BUT! If you make an EV, 200-mile is now a benchmark, and I promise to buy if cruise control is at 4 o’clock (like Accord ’92).

  18. JimGord says:

    What is that some rational thought creeping into Honda?
    Two problems:
    1) Playing catch up to the EV revolution already well underway
    2) Dumping the Clarity design that rivals the Mirai as worlds ugliest car

  19. Honda Clarity Series, key thought is CHOICE! Choose the technology that works for you, a good thing. “New trio of Clarity vehicles provide unparalleled choices to customers through three different electric powertrain options”. Happy Earth Day.