Honda Clarity PHEV Getting EV Range Boost To 47 Miles, 110 MPGe

3 months ago by Sebastian Blanco 60

More miles from better math.

Looks like the Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid will be more of an electric vehicle than previously announced. At the New York Auto Show this spring, Honda said the PHEV version of the Clarity family would have an all-electric range of 42 miles. Today, Honda sent out an email about the PHEV with a note that the Clarity is now expected to have 47 miles of range. Despite the fact that the PHEV has a gas engine for extended drives, putting 47 miles worth of battery into the car is impressive considering that the all-electric model only has a range of 89 miles.

Honda’s email says:

The new Clarity Plug‑in Hybrid is anticipated to receive an electric range rating of 47 miles on a single charge, perfect for your daily drives, with the flexibility to gas up and go on much longer journeys.

Of course, that 47-mile range is not yet set in stone. Honda’s email says that the number is an, “anticipated EPA range rating based on Honda internal data,” and that the “Final EPA range rating not available.” Similar wording is now available on the official Honda website for the Clarity series, so we expect that the 47 number is the accurate one, after the early estimate in New York.

Whatever the official range ends up being, the PHEV is going to be the best-seller in the Clarity series. The Clarity Electric went on sale in only two states, California and Oregon, and the hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell model is available only in limited parts of California – only at 12 dealerships, in fact. This despite the fact that Honda engineers continue to say that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are the end game for zero-emission driving. Honda is moving to electrify more and more of its line-up, with the stated intention to “electrify two-thirds of global automobile unit sales in 2030,” including a focus on Europe.

The Clarity PHEV is to be available nationwide, and when we spoke to Honda about the offering, they said they expected pricing to be in the “mid-$35,000” range, and available in “all 50 states”.  If that holds true along with this 47 mile range estimate, and Honda keeps them stocked, it should be a stronger seller.

Update (9/11/17): Honda has issued a press release confirming what we reported here, and adding that the Clarity PHEV gets 110 combined MPGe. The car’s gas-only fuel economy numbers come in at 44 city/40 highway/42 combined:

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Achieves Class-Leading All-Electric Range

  • Honda’s all-new, spacious, five-passenger, low-emissions vehicle earned an EPA range rating of 47 all-electric miles

 

TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Honda announced the 2018 Clarity Plug-in Hybrid earned the highest all-electric range rating among all midsize plug-in hybrids with its EPA range rating of 47 miles on a full charge.1 Launching at dealerships nationwide later this year, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid also received an EPA fuel economy rating of 110 combined MPGe1, among the top of its class, and a gasoline only 44/40/42 MPG rating (city/highway/combined).1

“We think the combination of a class-leading 47 miles of all-electric driving range rating and a large, luxurious 5-passenger package will give us an advantage in the plug-in hybrid game,” said Ray Mikiciuk, assistant vice president of Honda Auto Sales at American Honda Motor Co. “The Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid represents the dawn of a new era, setting the path to a new generation of Honda products that will bring electrified technology into the mainstream.”

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 overall EPA driving range rating of 340 miles.1

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 just 2.5 hours at 240 volts. 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.

Expected to be the volume sales leader in the Clarity series lineup, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid will be offered in two premium-contented trims, standard and Touring.

Honda Clarity Series
The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is part of Honda’s Clarity series, which includes the Clarity Fuel Cell, launched in December 2016, and the Clarity Electric, launched in August 2017. Clarity is a vehicle series offering customers an array of electrified powertrain choices in one sophisticated, spacious and comprehensively equipped five-passenger sedan, 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 seamless character of electric drive torque and acceleration. The Clarity series also features advanced technologies, including Display Audio with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ integration, and the full suite of Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive technologies.

The Clarity series is at the leading edge of the Honda Electrification Initiative, which includes the previously announced intention to have two-thirds of Honda’s global automobile sales come from electrified vehicles by 2030. This initiative includes a new dedicated hybrid car launching next year, an all-new Accord Hybrid, the Clarity series, and the expanded application of Honda’s two-motor hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains to multiple car and light truck models in the future.

About Honda
Honda offers a full line of reliable, fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive vehicles with advanced safety technologies sold through more than 1,000 independent U.S. Honda dealers. The Honda lineup includes the Fit, Civic, Accord and Clarity series 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 95 percent of all Honda vehicles sold in the U.S. were made in North America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

1 Based on 2018 model-year EPA ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your MPG/MPGe and range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, lithium-ion battery pack age/condition and other factors.

Source: Honda

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60 responses to "Honda Clarity PHEV Getting EV Range Boost To 47 Miles, 110 MPGe"

  1. super390 says:

    Well, it’s nice to know the Japanese can finally built a Volt.

    1. Bobby says:

      Ha! Well said. Still, as a Volt 2nd gen owner, I like this car at 47 miles. It has a decent interior. Also, this news could mean that Honda might reapply the drivetrain to an AWD car…maybe a small SUV (wishful thinking I know).

      1. Damocles Axe says:

        Don’t the Japanese use a driving scale that is ~30% more optimistic than EPA?

        I’m afraid that they really mean 33 real-world miles.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          You are right to think maybe it is the JC-08 standard, but in this case, the 47 miles is indeed an EPA-estimated number, they clearly state they got the number via “…2018 EPA range ratings”

          …and as OEMs perform their own EPA tests and report the numbers themselves, and the Clarity PHV arrives in a few weeks – we can probably bank on this 47 miles being the final number.

    2. Bacardi says:

      The Volt is compact, Clarity is a midsize vehicle…While impressive AER and done on a better segment than the Volt, still should have done a CRV…

    3. Viking79 says:

      Honda had an agreement with GM a couple years ago, so in all likelihood it is powered by Voltec…

  2. speculawyer says:

    It is now a far more useful car than the Clarity fuel cell car. You can charge up at home and fill-up at any gas station.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      If somebody cares about utilitarian value only, why would he needs plugin at all? To cut other people in some Californian noblemen lanes?

      Very similar size Accord Hybrid 2017 starts under $30k and is 48 mpg. Camry Hybrid LE 2018 got 52 mpg and is also under $30k. It is quite unlikely daily plugin/plug-out hassle is going to undercut these prices or save significant amount of gas money over plain hybrid.

      1. fotomoto says:

        H
        O
        V

        access.

      2. Rob Stark says:

        $7500 Federal Credit
        $1500 California Rebate
        $455 Southern California Edison Rebate

        47 AER
        42 MPG

      3. Mark.ca says:

        “daily plugin/plug-out hassle”
        You should get electrocuted by your keyboard every time you say stupid things like that…you’re hopless, dude!

        1. El Fantastico says:

          I don’t think he’s “hopeless,” but merely misinformed/uneducated/ignorant (pick your poison). “Hopeless” people are stubborn and ignorant (a dangerous combination) — you know, like Trump… 😉

          1. MAGA says:

            Expect the uniformed happened to become a very successful millionaire and gain more votes than any republican in history.

      4. Dr. Miguelito Loveless says:

        Don’t see how plugging/unplugging a car daily is a hassle, any more than plugging/unplugging my phone is. i am in my third year doing it and have never found it to be a chore.

      5. Insightman says:

        Compare plug-in/plug-out to driving to gas station, perhaps waiting in line if it’s a low-priced gas station, standing around in possibly inclement weather, worrying about your credit card getting skimmed, being careful not to spill gas on your shoes, and hoping you don’t get car-jacked while at said gas station

      6. unlucky says:

        What plug-in hassle?

        The utility of an EREV with a range like that is that you will go to the gas station a lot less. You leave the garage each morning with 47 miles range.

      7. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        “Hassle”? Hahahahaha.

        It’s 15 seconds or less per in-out for our Volt so under 2 minutes per week.

        People are willing to spend more time than that to get a coffee at a drive-through.

      8. Mark says:

        1: for many people in most daily events the car is infinite mpg. Never needing any gas at all for the entire week of commuting to work. Never once needing to stop for gas. Always waking up to a warm car and not needing to stop on the way to work.

        2: takes less than a few seconds to pull in or unplug.

        3: for people with a very long daily commute in excess of xxx miles, then of course the hybrid options would be superior. Or a diesel car.

  3. John says:

    Is the drivetrain similar to the Volt? Do you have 100% of your power available in EV mode?

    1. Mike I. says:

      Assuming the drivetrain is similar to the Accord Hybrid, the e-Motor has full power, but the battery may not be able to propel the car as fast as it could if the gas engine and electric generator were running.

      1. DJ says:

        If true that would make it exactly like the Volt. At least the Gen 1 Volt, not sure about the 2nd Gen Volt.

        I have been seeing more and more Clarities around and while it’s not exactly my styling choice do think it’s a heck of a lot better looking than the Mirai. 47 miles on a PHEV is pretty decent and makes it the car with the highest AER and 5 seats 😀

        I can’t really tell though. Is this Civic size, Accord size, or something in the middle??

        1. DJ says:

          It seems bigger than the Accord albeit with a smaller trunk?

        2. DJ says:

          Damn, makes it the PHEV with the highest AER and 5 seats I should say.

          1. SparkEV says:

            Volt Gen2 has 5 seats and longer AER.

            1. Spoonman. says:

              The Volt’s fifth seat is nearly useless. Can’t even fit the car seat I fit three across in my C-Max Energi.

              1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                “Can’t even fit the car seat ”

                It fits just fine.

                1. Spoonman. says:

                  Rear-facing? Because my daughter’s Clek Fllo hangs off of it. At this point it’s irrelevant for me (running 99% electric in my C-Max Energi) but I would like to know what car seat you manage to put in there.

                  1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                    Britax, two different models, both the older Boulevard and the newer Pioneer.

                    Not rear facing infant seat but I don’t see why the Graco base wouldn’t fit there. I haven’t tried that yet since my kids are past that rear facing age.

                    As far as mounting Britax rear facing, I haven’t tried it yet. Britax seats are naturally large which makes it even hard to fit in our midsize SUV.

            2. DJ says:

              That isn’t a seat, it’s a marketing gimmick 🙂

            3. Rob Stark says:

              4 Seats plus a Shelf for a legless person.

        3. Spider-Dan says:

          Both generations of Volt run at full speed on battery-only.

          1. John says:

            Well…technically…I think most tests have shown that a near full battery running in hold mode will deliver a quarter mile time that is a few hundredths faster with the ICE running than running on battery alone…my butt dyno has never been able to tell a difference though…

            1. DJ says:

              While in hold mode I’ve seen the power meter in mine go ever so slightly above 110. In EV only mode it only goes up to 110 and even then it’s usually 109 when it’s floored. It’s not hard to believe that a bit extra oomph is provided with the engine and battery are both contributing to it. Not a ton or anything but some.

              But ya, really a minor difference.

  4. ModernMarvelFan says:

    That is actually very appealing except for the Trunk size and exterior styling.

    But in general, the interior quality of the Clarity is nice and spacious. We will see if they keep it the same as the FC version.

    Price is the key here. If it cost $40K or higher, then it will sell as well as the Accord PHEV it replaces.

    If it truly gets 47 miles, then that is at least 13kWh usable battery capacity. Probably on a battery that is at least 16kWh.

    1. Bacardi says:

      Both the Hydrogen (which includes up to $15K in free fuel) and the EV version have heavily subsidized leases…Expect a fairly attractive one here yet it’ll probably be less appealing than the other models…

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        That is because Clarity is purely a compliance play model. Lease is good because it has to be for compliance reason.

        So, if Clarity PHEV is “normal” as far as pricing is concerned, then we know Honda wants to sell it. Otherwise, it is just another compliance play.

    2. Ed says:

      Trunk size is supposed to be 19 ft3. Which is massive for a sedan, and as large as most mid size suv’s (covered storage, to cargo area ceiling is much more for suvs of course).

  5. Kevin C says:

    I’m happy to see Honda come around and have the Prius Prime squarely in their sights.
    And help motivate GM to sell more Volts.

  6. David Murray says:

    Here’s what I expect… Honda will only produce these in token amounts like Hyundai is doing with the Ioniq BEV. I think if they were targeting a mass-produced car, they would have chosen a different style. Keeping remnants of the Honda Insight fender skirts suggests they aren’t serious about this car.

    1. Rob Stark says:

      Alleging fender skirts is a scarlett letter of compliances vehicles is the dumbest assertion I have read on insideevs in a very long time.

      My dad had a 1991 Cadillac Fleetwood with fender skirts. That was one sweet ride.

    2. menorman says:

      I think Hyundai didn’t expect a sub-200 mile EV to garner as much interest as it did, so they were totally unprepared for the ensuing demand.

  7. unlucky says:

    If this is 47 miles EPA and it provides full performance in electric-only mode (similar to the Volt, yes I know the Volt is faster in CS mode but it is fully performant in CD mode regardless) then this should be a big success.

    I do hope Honda will offer this in large quantities unlike every other plug-in they’ve ever made (and the other Clarities too). But I don’t really have a lot of hope for that. The EV and FCEV Clarities are built in small numbers, it’s hard to imagine they’re prepared to scale up for this version.

    1. Rob Stark says:

      Honda says they want to sell 75k Clarities over 4 years.

      They may be lowballing it so they don’t get egg on their faces like Nissan LEAF 1.0 and Chevy Volt 1.0 .

      1. unlucky says:

        Assuming that is 75k worldwide that’s probably 800 a month in the US.

        That’s a lot less than I hoped. But it could be much worse I’m sure.

      2. Mark says:

        Currently gas prices are not conducive for EV or phev. It takes a lot of driving to recover the cost of a EV or a phev over many of the great pretty decent mpg ice cars. The new accord or camary in a ICE version will return 30+mpg.

  8. Tom says:

    They will now enjoy a much longer window of EPA rebate than GM and Toyota. He who laughs last?

    1. Rob Stark says:

      Same 200k units plus phase out quarters like everybody else.

      Unless Trump and GOP Congress kill the PEV credit after Tesla,GM,Nissan,and Ford exhaust their limit. IMO very likely. As all American incorporated companies will have exhausted their credits.

  9. BillT says:

    If this car is priced in the low 30s and offers an Accord sized trunk I could see it doing pretty well. If it is like the Fusion Energi or PHEV Sonata and instead offers Trunk-O-Batteries not so much. Perspiring minds really want to know if/when they will offer a PHEV CRV with decent AER.

  10. Bob Smith says:

    Anyone know if the battery is active (water) cooled or passive (air)? If it is active just like the Volt and is more spacious… I could see some good sales in the commuter/backup family car segment.

  11. John says:

    At 35.000 i prefer a tesla model 3 all electric.
    Much better for the same price .

  12. Spoonman. says:

    Is this going to be sold across the country, or another West Coast Special?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      According to Honda – 50 states, this year

      I know, take that for what you will, (=

  13. guyinacar says:

    Good stuff. I see little reason why this basic, sensible design wouldn’t make it into the Lincoln, AL plants’ offerings. At 180hp, 230 foot-lbs of torque, it’s weak sauce today to power the next-gen Odyssey or current Ridgeline. But it wouldn’t take much work to increase those numbers by 25% in the next ~15months, especially if the engineers are willing to shave a little of the Clarity’s AER to get more overall horsepower and gas MPG in the trucks, like the Pilot and MDX. Then you have a credible fleet of PHEV family-mobiles at (realistic) 40mpg shuttling the kids to school, soccer, dance. The Honda unibody trucks are also entirely eligible for the Federal credit, and are American made. I like where this is going, and the Clarity PHEV is a nice start. I agree with the comment above: he who laughs last., etc.

    1. fotomoto says:

      My limited understanding is these type of hybrid transaxle designs aren’t well suited for extended towing which would be deal killer for truck buyers even if they never, ever use that feature. It’s that “what if” utility factor that propels so many truck/suv sales.

      1. guyinacar says:

        Oh, I dunno. A current ICE Odyssey yanks 3,500 lbs., depending on model year and options. BMW says my X5 PHEV is rated for a hair under 6,000 lbs towing (less on the OEM hitch), but it also boasts a rear air suspension. Honda could probably get into kids-off-to-college uhaul-towing territory with a PHEV Ody, and boat-ramp territory with a PHEV Ridgeline (which has more traction). The real challenge for Honda is that any 8 passenger light truck needs to haul two tons of human “cargo” 99% of the time, so drivers need to watch the GVWR, and not simply focus on the hitch. It’s not an F-450. As you say, it’s for occasional towing, and preferably without passengers. But that’s a respectable product, much like the BMW X5 and new X7.

        I look at the Clarity PHEV, and I like it. I also like Honda’s direction. Very promising indeed.

  14. cab says:

    Honestly, this looks like it could be the best PHEV on the market – walking the best line between range, performance, looks, price and functionality. Honestly, the first car that could be a better Volt than the Volt!

  15. Oldmalegeek says:

    Unlike a Volt full acceleration is not available in electric mode. Only 121 horsepower is available in all electric. To stay all electric (assuming enough battery) the car must be placed in ECO mode and it is not pressed beyond the pronounced accelerator detent. Both engines come on to achieve the 181 horsepower rating.

    See:

    http://blog.caranddriver.com/three-shades-of-green-bringing-some-clarity-to-the-three-honda-clarity-models/

    1. WARREN says:

      Unlike the Volt, the interior of the Clarity seems more spacious and upscale/innovative. At this time, it seem’s almost exotic. Finally a PHEV that I can recommend to my parents.

    2. Mark says:

      That would be the deal breaker with only 121hp electric motor for acceleration and regent braking power. I really got spoiled to the impressive torque and one pedal driving mode of the i3. The Bolt also has impressive driving dynamics.

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