2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Arrives At Select U.S. Dealerships

APR 5 2018 BY MARK KANE 26

After nearly one and a half years of limited availability of the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell in California, the Japanese manufacturer introduced the 2018 model year version.

2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

While we don’t see any changes in the specs, pricing or market rollout (see the offer in late 2016 here), we are wondering where the hydrogen fuel cell cars are going.

There are only 12 selected dealerships in California (just like it was over one year ago) that will lease the Clarity Fuel Cell, still without the option of purchase.

The car is rated at 366 miles (589 km) of EPA range and costs some $369 a month for 36-months (after $2,868 due at signing). The deal includes hydrogen at participating stations worth of up to $15,000.

Read Also – Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Boasts EPA 366-Mile Range Rating

According to our stats, Honda leased less than 1,000 Clarity Fuel Cell vehicles so far:

  • December 2016: 8
  • 2017: 431 (17.6% out of 2,455 Clarity model)
  • 2018 through March: 426 (12.8% out of 3,317 Clarity model)
  • Total: 865

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell sales in U.S. – March 2018

2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell
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Press release:

2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Arrives at Select Dealerships

  • Clarity Fuel Cell qualifies for $5,000 state rebate
  • Model eligible for California Clean Air Vehicle Stickers, allowing single occupant HOV access
  • Clarity Fuel Cells 366-mile driving range rating is the highest of any zero-emission vehicle

2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

The 2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell arrived at select Honda dealerships today, competitively lease priced at $369 per month. With a spacious and sophisticated five-occupant interior, advanced alternative-fuel powertrains and long list of standard features, including the Honda Sensing® suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies, the Clarity series was chosen as Green Car Journals 2018 Green Car of the Year and Edmunds Most Innovative Car in its 2018 CES Tech Driven Awards.

“Customers interested in being part of the electrified future have a great choice with the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell,” said Steven Center, vice president of Connected and Environmental Business Development at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Hondas approach is to create electrified vehicles that people want to drive – with appealing styling, a premium and spacious cabin, and an engaging driving performance.”

Coupled with the 2018 Accord Hybrid and the recently announced 2019 Insight, the Clarity Fuel Cell, Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid represent the next generation of Honda vehicles, as the company advances toward its aim to grow electrified vehicle sales to two-thirds of global sales by 2030.

The Clarity Fuel Cell is competitively lease priced at $369 per month for 36 months with $2,868 due at signingi with California customers eligible for a $5,000 rebate.iiThe 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 access to a luxury vehicle from Avis while in California,iii 24/7 roadside assistance, and eligibility for Californias Clean Air Vehicle Stickers, allowing single occupant HOV access.2 In addition, the Clarity Fuel Cell has the highest EPA driving range rating of any zero-emission light-duty vehicle in America, including fuel cell and battery electric vehicles, with a 366-mile range rating and fuel economy rating of 68 combined MPGe (miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent).iv The Clarity Fuel Cell has a refueling time of approximately three to five minutes using 70 MPa refueling stations.

2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Retail leasing of the Clarity Fuel Cell is available through a network of 12 approved Honda dealerships in select California markets, including six dealerships in Southern California (Los Angeles and Orange County areas), five in the San Francisco Bay Area, and one in the Sacramento area. Honda will continue to invest in its fuel cell vehicle dealer network as the network of public hydrogen fueling stations expands.

i. Includes down payment with no security deposit. Excludes taxes, registration, license and dealer fees. For well qualified lessees. Subject to availability to California residents on approved credit through Honda Financial Services. Closed end lease for 2018 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 Group H luxury rental car (rental must initiate and end California). 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 ends July 31, 2018. Please see your authorized Honda Clarity dealer for complete details. Accessories sold separately. See Honda Clarity Fuel Cell dealer for details.

ii. Customers may qualify for the California State rebate of $5,000 and/or the California Clean Air Stickers. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/decal; https://cleanvehiclerebate.org/eng/eligibility-guidelines

iii. Luxury vehicle rental from Avis Group H; rental must initiate and end in California.

iv. 69 city / 67 highway / 68 combined miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) rating; 366-mile driving range rating. Based on 2018 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.

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26 Comments on "2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Arrives At Select U.S. Dealerships"

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Boon & doggle = Boondoggle.

If there ever was an evidence of how stupid and nuts the politicians are, one need not look further than Hydrogen FCEV subsidy / perks. How is this a clean car when the car will be thrown away after just 3 years of use when free fuel period runs out? People are not going to pay 10 MPG equivalent that H costs retail to drive an Accord or Corolla.

I wouldn’t really expect Politicians to be as educated on this topic as enthusiasts like the people that read websites like this. After all, many politicians were called many things for supporting electric vehicles years ago. However, it still surprises me that car makers like Honda or Toyota still see a future in this technology.

One doesn’t have to be an enthusiast to see that 16/kg is going nowhere. Only a nut would think otherwise. Granted, there was hope in early days that it price may go down soon, but not now after, what, 10 years since Clarity FCX became available in SoCal. Stupid and nuts.

One doesn’t have to be a Toyota executive to see that $16/kg hydrogen is going nowhere. But you’d think they’d know that. Or maybe they do know that. Maybe there is a reason why they continue to invest in the technology. Maybe they think the cost could be reduced with increasing volume. Oh and look, you can already purchase hydrogen for under $10 in some places. http://www.airproducts.com/Company/news-center/2017/03/0306-air-products-california-fueling-stations-offering-hydrogen-below-$10-per-kilogram.aspx

Why people on this site have this extreme hatred of hydrogen, I’ll never understand. I have a hunch, however.

Oh, there’s a whole host of reasons, but the main one is that they’re nowhere near close to market ready and the manufacturers pretend that they are.

In order to be successful, HFCV needs to be cost-competitive with ICEV because it has a total dependency on public refueling infrastructure.

In contrast, if you can charge at home, you can own a PEV and never use public refueling station. (Our Volt has been charged _once_ at a public charging station, and that was just because we happened to be in a paid lot with free charging.)

People here hate hydrogen because Elon Musk has made a fairly compelling case for why pure electric cars are superior to hydrogen fuel cells.

In a post EV revolution world in which the internal combustion engine is dead, it seems to me that the road trip charging infrastructure for pure EVs will likely be completely inadequate. Even if roadside chargers increase 100-fold, how many future Leaf and Bolt owners are going to want to sit at crowded DCFC stations and add a meager 90 miles of range very 30 minutes?

In such a world, hydrogen could possibly offer the convenience of quick refueling on the road. I can see a possible future in which battery electric vehicles will have smaller batteries (maybe 50 to 100 miles AER) and have hydrogen fuel cells as the range extenders.

You are assuming no advancements in battery technology. In a few years batteries will have 300-500 mile range on a 10 minute charge time.

Fuel Cell cars are going no where. I started out being excited about them but the more I dug into the technology and fuel transportation problems I switched over to battery electric.

We currently have advanced to a reasonably acceptable point in which commercial chargers can charge vehicles at 50kW/hr. And yet, there are hardly any out there in the wild when I check PlugShare for my area. Even with advances in charging, there still needs to be widespread deployment of fast chargers. Absent that, there is potentially an opportunity for hydrogen to provide quick refueling as an expensive convenience in the future. Travelers would pay extra for the convenience of quick refueling when on the road.

It seems likely that charging companies can still outcompete hydrogen but nobody has a crystal ball here.

So we have some fast DCFCs and practically no H2 station at all. Now which one do you think is more practical? Install the rest of required DCFC cheaply or start over and install costlier H2 stations everywhere instead?

Politicians are idiots. And at this point, I don’t see an obvious future for hydrogen fuel cells.

But if Honda and Toyota see a future path for fuel cells, I’m sure it is based on a detailed and careful analysis. I am certain that their internal experts have studied the economic proposition much more extensively than me or any of the wannabe experts here that routinely and confidently tell us 150% of what they know.

BTW – You are not a ‘150%er’.

Not to mention that its 68 MPGe rating is only a wheels to road calculation and doesn’t account for the real calculation which would include upstream emissions. Its well to wheel g/CO2 per mile will be worse than a Toyota Prius Eco.

Meanwhile if I go to fueleconomy dot gov and compare side by side a Model 3 LR with upstream emissions charging up on the WV grid vs. a much less powerful Toyota Prius Eco the Tesla M3 still produces less g/CO2 per mile. 180 gs for the M3 vs. 190 gs for the Prius Eco.

CARB is the driver for the Hydrogen Highway and one person – Professor Joan Ogden at UC Davis – is California’s prime researcher/supporter of FCV vehicles. She apparently has the CARB board’s ear.

She has authored or contributed to a good chunk of the research and papers that manage to create numbers and arguments that rationalize FCV’s on both an environmental and economic basis.

At least, that is what I find when I dig into hydrogen’s history.

If you can handle wading through some annoyingly-unpolished quasi-public-radio-hosting banter, the internet radio program link below includes a segment starting about 34 minutes into the program where they interview Prof. Ogden. You can make your own conclusions about the arguments after hearing it “right from the horse’s mouth”.


Notice in the picture that the owner has decided not to park it in the enclosed garage for safety reasons.

It is not a FCEV, it is a HFCV. Unless it plugs in it is not an EV.

Fixed. It was an honest attempt to get the title within the appropriate amount of characters. The whole article says Fuel Cell instead of FCEV. I reworked the title. Thank you for catching that!

“….2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Arrives at Select Dealerships….”.

This is only if your world begins and ends in California. And near the west coast as well. Plenty of news for a vehicle which by definition CANNOT sell well, since as Yogi Berra would probably say,
“People don’t go to those new Fuel Cell Dispenseries anymore”, since they only exist where the Head of CARP wants to drive her Fuel-Celled vehicle.

Now on the other hand, the PHEV version of the Clarity is, and in the future, should sell like hotcakes since its a great midsize, can go a respectable 47 miles AER, and probably has HONDA reliability.

47 miles is not respectable it is golf cart range LOL CONNECT THE DOTS ON CLEAN AIR WAKE UP

If 47 miles makes you laugh out loud, how does 89 miles with no range extender strike you?

The Clarity BEV is the joke here. Unfortunately, that additional 42 miles of range with no plan B is bad joke.

Love the Yogi humor! Yogi could not have said it any better or funnier. Thanks.

BTW – 47 miles AER usually equates to 80 to 90% of miles being driven using only electricity. I certainly respect that.

Love my Clarity PHEV. Do almost all of my travel on electric and the occasional/monthly trip where I use a few gallons of gas. The car is super comfy and has lots of great features like ACC and lane keeping standard.

This just in. The California Energy Commission just announced that they plan to award a grant of $8 million to:

“Equilon Enterprises LLC (dba
Shell Oil Products US)”

For: ” Renewable Hydrogen Fueling at Scale for Freight (H2Freight)”

You read that right. Shell Oil. I kid you not.

The Cities of Long Beach and LA also will get $8 million each for port freight electrification work.

Your tax dollars at-work.


Did you miss the part about “Renewable Hydrogen Fueling”? Renewable energy doesn’t sound so bad to me. What’s your beef with Shell anyway? Unless if they were part of the climate change denial machine that we know Exxon to have been part of.


Honda Fuel Cell does not come with free service. My 1st service cost me $450 at 5000 miles.