Report: All-Electric Honda Clarity To Have Just 80 Miles Of Range, Priced Around $35,000


Honda Clarity Electric: 80 should be good right? (Fuel Cell version shown)

Honda Clarity – Fuel Cell Version

Honda already sells its fuel cell version of the Clarity, but the automaker previously stated it would offer both a pure electric Clarity and a plug-in hybrid version in the near future.

Now, it seems we have a bit of new info on the pure electric version of the Clarity.

According to Automotive News, who cites Steve Center, vice president of environmental business development at American Honda Motor, the upcoming electric Clarity will have only 80 miles or so of range. If true, that’s a huge step backwards in the wrong direction as other inexpensive electric cars are now offering 100-plus, or even 200-plus miles of range.

Honda says that there’s a reason for this short amount of electric range. Since the Clarity rides on a relatively small platform a big battery won’t really fit. Furthermore, Honda says its target price for the electric Clarity is $35,000, so to keep pricing down, a smaller pack will be fitted.

This seems like some major BS to us, but Honda insists that the vehicle’s range is restricted by those two parameters (small platform and target price). Perhaps they’ve never heard of the small, 238-mile Chevrolet Bolt that sells in the ballpark price range of $35,000.

Honda Fit EV

Quoting Center:

“A pillar of the Honda brand is affordability, and if Honda came out with some obscenely priced long-range electric car, what does that do for the brand?”

“Most of our customers would not be able to acquire it.”

Center added:

These people want a battery car and they know what they do and where they go.”

“They’re very rational and they don’t need to lug around or charge up a 300-mile-range battery because that costs them electricity.”

Hmm…these people. Probably not the best choice of words there. He’s referring to electric car buyers who aren’t prone to range anxiety. Center added that the Honda Fit EV was well received and that nobody really complained about its short range (82 miles). Center says most of the negative complaints against the Fit EV were linked to its small size, which the Clarity solves by being “a whole lot” bigger than the Fit EV.

Let’s go ahead and call the Clarity EV what it is now…a compliance car.

Source: Automotive News

Categories: Honda

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100 Comments on "Report: All-Electric Honda Clarity To Have Just 80 Miles Of Range, Priced Around $35,000"

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*crowd boos*

RIP Honda 🙁

Dead on arrival.

Also “DAI”, Dead As Intended. Suddenly, I remember the very same Accord 2.0 series hybrid costing $10,000 more, if you went with ~6 extra KWh of plug-in storage.

“And the award for Most Expensive Per Kwh goes to Honda”.

Marketing is all over the map on EVs.
Rather than find out what people want they guess. LEAF, Focus EV and Spark get less than 80 mile range but most people drive less than 40 miles per day. The conventional opinion is they need at least 200 miles but won’t pay the price.

Uh, did the company that butchered the Oscars last night handle the press release for the Clarity and dropped a “1” off the front of “80” my mistake?

Assuming not, what a joke. Who’s gonna buy an 80 mile piece of crap for $35k??

“A pillar of the Honda brand is affordability, and if Honda came out with some obscenely priced long-range electric car, what does that do for the brand?”

“Most of our customers would not be able to acquire it.”

So either Honda’s customers are poor or cheapskates.

Wow, way to go Honda.

I admire his candour, just not his Clarity !


Honda forgot that a car, especially a new technology cat is by and large an aspirational purchase.

If you want affordable, reliable and more space than a Fit, there are plenty of used Accords that fill that need.

Is there a minimum EV range or Minimum number of EV’s a company has to sell in order for something to be a compliance car in the US ?

I believe that 100 miles (not official EPA range, but some other rating scale that is more generous) is what is needed to net 2 CARB ZEV credits starting in 2018. A BEV with an EPA-rated 80 all electric miles is 100+ on that other rating scale (US-06..something like that).

So the Clarity will check the box that will let it net 2 ZEV credits per sale. Combined with the fool cell Clarity, Honda won’t have to sell any Claritys outside CA. Compliance car special!

Giving even more support to the Clarity being a pure compliance car is the the fact Clarity Fool Cells can only be leased, not purchased….even in CA where the few hydrogen filling stations exist.

Even the fugly Mirais can at least be purchased outright.

Interesting that the Hyundai Tuscon Fool Cell is also lease only, no option to purchase at lease end. These manufacturers might as well write “CA compliance car special” in the fine print.

CARB-ZEV credits per vehicle – Model Years 2018-2025: Starting Model Year 2018 (enacted 2016): Range per Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) per UDDS test protocol: Actual credit value is 1% of UDDS range plus 1/2 credit Example – 249 miles UDDS * 1% = 2.49 + 0.5 = 2.99 This vehicle earns 2 credits No fast fueling credit (2012-2017 only) No hydrogen “super credit” (2015-2017 – 9 credits) 350 miles range —- Credit per vehicle: 4 (presumably, any 100kWh EV like Tesla Model S-100D would easily meet this threshold, plus all hydrogen cars) 250 miles range —- Credit per vehicle: 3 (Bolt EV, Tesla Model 3, Nissan LEAF w/60kWh) 150 miles range —- Credit per vehicle: 2 (2017 VW eGolf, BMW i3 w/33kWh, LEAF w/40kWh, Hyundai Ioniq, 2017 Ford Focus Electric) 50 miles range —– Credit per vehicle: 1 (Honda 80 mile EV, Fiat 500e, LEAF w/24-30kWh) ************* Model Year – ZEV Credit Percent Requirement 2012 ———— 0.79% 2018 ———— 2.00% 2019 ———— 4.00% 2020 ———— 6.00% 2021 ———— 8.00% 2022 ———– 10.00% 2023 ———– 12.00% 2024 ———– 14.00% 2025 ———– 16.00% The 0.79% ZEV credit rule (model years 2012-2017) for Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) sales means that a qualifying auto… Read more »

I think that soon or already a new regulation went into effect, and ZEVs credits will count by state that adopted that mandate.

Previous regulation was that sale in any state was good everywhere. But that had unintended effect that sales where limited to CA.

Correct….EXCEPT Fool Cells ZEV credits can still “travel” in 2018 and beyond. So as long as a manufacturer sells enough Fool Cells in CA, they won’t need to sell ZEVs anywhere else.

0 * any number is still 0. It doesn’t matter how many ZEV credits it gets per sale if they don’t sell any. I doubt that any of these will show up on dealer’s lots. The PHEV version will sell just fine, although it’s not as good as a Volt it’s close enough that with the Honda brand on it ought to be successful.

There’s the CARB ZEV answer and the CAFE answer. This car reflects an expectation those policies were going to hold. I’d bet Pruitt pulls the waiver, and these responses, “traveling provisions”, etc., are a moot point. For CAFE, DonC may know more, but I believe ZEVs count for more than just averaging-in a zero for their CO2 output. Whether that goes up with range, I dunno.

They better offer super cheap leases, or their monthly sales will be in double digits at best.

They’ll offer just enough incentives to net the minimum # of sales to get the ZEV credits they need to stay compliant.

DOA except for the diehard Honda fan (few)
and or the uninformed.

in one word Pathetic!


That’s just embarrassing.

>bro1999 sez: Who’s gonna buy an 80 mile piece of crap for $35k??<

When for the same money you can get a 238+mi Bolt EV or wait for a 215+mi Tesla-3 EV??

Or buy a used 80+mi Leaf EV for $10+k??

… A crowd of people turned away … )

For EVLN EV-newswire posts use:


Before calling it a compliance car, are they going to offer it only in CA or is this going nationwide and/or global? If going global even to a degree, it might be a test for their next EV, though I don’t see why anyone would pay $35K for 80 miles range when FFE, eGolf, etc. that cost $29K will have close to 120 miles range.

I just checked the Honda website….you can lease a used Fit EV in CARB states for $199 a month, 24 months, $0 down, unlimited miles, and even comes with collision insurance coverage. And you get a free L2 charging station to boot.

This is not a compliance car! In order to comply a car will actually have to sell in certain numbers and those numbers are larger than zero.

I had the same thought. I mean, people won’t buy this at that price point, and Honda must know that. Selling little to none make for poor compliance car. But lease few to test how Honda engineered EV perform in the real world in preparation for their next EV seems more plausible. If they sell/lease in cold areas, hot areas, wet areas like GM did with SparkEV, test car would be a better term.

Maybe it’s a wishful thinking, but I hope Honda will do better next round after learning from this one.

They clearly intend to rely on their hydrogen car, sold only in California and maybe a sprinkling in the northeast, to meet all their Zero Emission Vehicle regulatory compliance. Each hydrogen car will earn for credits and will be exempt from being sold outside of California.

Whether they sell 1000 of these 80 mile range cars, or two, since it only owns one credit each… I don’t think they really care.

In speaking with a Honda USA employee here in Southern California, the craziest is strong for hydrogen. Oh, and apparently they all believe that Tesla is destined to fail.

See, that’s the thing. Why even bother with this if they don’t need it and FC is to fill their compliance goals? Only thing I can think of is that they’re testing the water, but we’ll see.

At that price point, selling even 10 cars seems way too many, let alone 1000.

Will this joke of an EV even have fast charging? Maybe Honda can at least advertise it as having the “fastest charging from 0-80!” claim. Lol

It will have CCS

They don’t plan to sell FCV Clarity in significant numbers. Few hundreds maybe only this year. It is manual production. So they can’t meet compliance goals with it. They can with next generation FC car, but their joint with GM fuel cell factory in Michigan is planned to start production in 2020 only or so.

I would say they are just testing waters with pilot production, both for FC Clarity and this battery one. It makes no sense to run full production if you are not sure how technology will perform in real life and what warranty issues will cost you. Neither battery cost is down enough for it to be competitive with hybrids right now, in 2017.

It’s 2017, not 1996.
There have been enough pilot-program BEVs (including Honda’s own Fit BEV, incidentally never available outside the US CARB states) by enough manufacturers that there’s nothing to learn from another one at this point (much cheaper & faster to buy a couple of each current BEV and reverse-engineer).

Clearly a pure compliance play (watch and see this won’t be offered , and they’re banking on the Honda name selling/leasing a couple thousand (I very much hope they manage exactly zero

FitEV was not offered in cold Canada, hot Mexico, wet Korea, insane MD (guys like bro1999 madly swapping cars). It also didn’t have DCFC. They need to do lots of field testing before they can design decent EV that GM and Nissan have lots of experience.

Still, $29K for Ioniq vs $35K for Clarity isn’t going to sell well.

Yeah, the Honda name can overcome some deficit in product delivered, but when you can get much more car for $6000 less there will not be many takers.

Honda will have to immediately offer heavy incentives to move these in any volume.

The fact that the Fit wasn’t in wide markets (as I noted) doesn’t matter — the point is exactly that there are enough other types and number of BEVs already on the roads for enough years, so Honda can learn from other carmakers’ experience without needing an additional engineering pilot program. For example, it’s now clear that:
— A multi-gear gearbox isn’t needed;
— Active thermal battery management is definitely needed
— Efficient climate controls are a necessity rather than resistive-only heating (and seat-only heating may be an option)

etc .etc.

Re DCFC, it’s a very well understood capability, with no technical risks — just a matter of economics whether to include it as standard. A Zoe-type 3-phase AC system might also be relevant for Europe.

Pfft. Assuming a price of $200/KWHR and roughly 20kwhr required to get 80miles.

With 20k getting you a top spec honda city car. What they are selling you is 4k worth of batteries for 15k.


Head in hands,… shaking head…

So, what, the clarity is the size of a smart car then?

Unacceptable if true. Which it probably is… boy, Honda. You really hate the idea of EVs dont you.

Do not even bother showing up to the party. Youll just embarass yourself.

The new Smart EV will have 100 + miles,

It’s more like this size !

You can buy a brand new 2016 Ford Focus Electric for less than $20,000 right now with an EPA rated range of 76 miles, that’s less than $12,500 after federal tax rebate. Granted these are close out prices designed to eliminate inventory but that’s almost half the price of this new Honda EV. I expect the price of the Honda EV to drop very, very fast or else Honda just won’t sell any.

That’s awesome. I actually have a friend that lives in Houston that was asking around for advice because they don’t have a huge budget but are wanting to buy an EV. I looked up deals in TX for the Focus EV and I only found one for sale that is a new 2016 with $5,500 manufacture cash with an additional $2,600 dealer discount. It’s original MSRP was $31,000. This is a great deal but the only one I could fine.

Do you know of any dealers where you are that reliably has the 2016 in stock and is offering the manufacturer deal and the dealer deal?

““A pillar of the Honda brand is affordability, and if Honda came out with some obscenely priced long-range electric car, what does that do for the brand?”

“Most of our customers would not be able to acquire it.”

LOL, remember the pathetic Honda Accord PHEV? It was priced at $41K.

It sure makes you realize how Amazing Tesla is with their new model 3. They also have nationwide Super Charging at more than double the rate of all other EVs.
Chevy with the Bolt is also way ahead of high tech Honda. Maybe they will get better as they see how big the EV market is.

PS the Honda FIT EV was smaller and had more range. Too bad they never sold more than the 1,100 needed to meet the comlpiance level.

Can anyone confirm if the myth that GM is losing money on the Bolt is true? Maybe we really aren’t in the profitable, affordable ev era yet?

I dare say they will make plenty of money from PSA when they license them to build and sell the Ampera-e (Bolt) as part of the deal to sell Opel & Vauxhall, I can see it selling in vast numbers in Europe.

Yes, apparantly PSA is very interested in the Ampera-e tech.

It’s safe to say that the Ampera-e car (or its inner workings) will live on if a sale occurs.

I’ll confirm it’s a myth. 😀

Of course the Bolt just went into production and the Bolt has a long ways to go before the investment is paid off. But, with a PE ratio of 6.18, GM is probably the most profitable automotive manufacturer in the world. The real differences between an EV and a ICE vehicle are the batteries and the drivetrain and we all know that GM negotiated a very good deal on the Bolt batteries.

I would say right now the Bolt is losing money but all indications are that GM is committed to the Bolt. In the long the Bolt will be profitable or GM will make Model or price adjustments to make it profitable. Either way GM knows how to make money and I wouldn’t worry about GM profitability.

How much difference is there in cost of the battery pack compared to say an engine, gearbox, exhaust etc etc,

There can’t be a huge amount in it can there ?

The difference is huge:

Motor+gearbox+exhaust +… (180kW) =~ 2.500€

Battery cells 60kwh =~ 60*100€ = 6.000€
battery pack 60 kWh =~ 1.2*cell = 7.200€
1 gear gearbox =~ 100€
electric motor =~ 600€
electric controller (halfbridge, …) =~ 400€

electric conponsents sum: = 8.300€

Best case assumed for ICE and electric components.

It is factory cost only. Add 50%-100% necessary to come with retail price that keeps company a bit above water.

Given that there’s an upfront development cost for any car model (even just a refresh version of an existing model), that sentence is simply meaningless unless the claim is the carmaker is losing money on the actual building (wholesale price minus cost of components & assembly/test) — which is highly unlikely.
If you’re taking into account R&D, noone outside GM knows how much that was, and in fact, a lot of the R&D spent on the Volt & Spark EV was key for the Bolt (and a lot of the same engineers were involved). As GM’s first commercial BEV, I doubt GM is expecting R&D to amortize over a single year — 3-5 years is move likely, and noone knows what it’ll sell like 3 years from now.

Compliance placeholder. Caught out the same way as Toyota, but without a high-seller like the Prius they can use to get some credits.

Honda has a licensing deal with GM to use Voltec for a PHEVs. But Honda had the Fit EV, so they can repackage stuff into the Clarity and use incentives to move it if it’s cheaper than buying credits (which it might not be given an expected increased in plug-in sales).

The Prius is not a Zero Emission Vehicle.

The only ZEV credits that Toyota is earning now in California is with their hydrogen car.

The only gasoline powered car that earns ZEV credit is the BMW i3 REx under the BEVx rules.

Honda, make this go 160 miles, put a few bells and whistles like dynamic cruise control and drop the MSRP down to $30k, and I will consider dropping my Model 3 reservation. 🙂

How many Alan’s are there on this site !

It’s my real name, lol. I can’t change that.

I wonder about the legitimacy of this announcement.

Is Honda this ignorant and numb?

It’s mine too !

And yes, they really are serious about compliance cars !

“a huge step backwards in the wrong direction”
At least they’re looking ahead!

Game Over Honda. A Used Nissan Leaf, with same 80 mile range, can be had for well under $10k here in the states.

Well, that’s just embarrassing.

They are daring to be stupid with the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt running around

Also anyone with any common sense would buy a used Nissan leaf for $6000 for a 80 mile range EV then pay 35,000 for a 80 EV. Or the would buy a Chevy Volt with 50 miles of range and a back up gas engine.

Lead balloon. They intentionally set it up to fail just so they can claim no one wants a battery car. Of course that’s a pretty stupid stunt when there are so many competing cars that are not limited like this.
If it is really true that they can’t fit a bigger battery then they could at least sell it for a 80 mile car price, i.e. somewhere in the area of $20k before incentives. Trying to get full price for half a car is never going to work.

So basically this is Honda giving the EV community the finger?

Unwise as hydrogen will fail and Honda will need a plan B…

“These people want a battery car and they know what they do and where they go,” Center said. “They’re very rational and they don’t need to lug around or charge up a 300-mile-range battery because that costs them electricity.”

OMG, that last line just shows how clueless Honda leadership is. Costs more electricity to charge a 300 mile battery? Duh! Just like it costs more to fill a 30 gallon gas tank instead of a 9 gallon one. You pay more because you get more!

This is really a complete debacle. Who is gonna buy a 80 mile range Clarity? I bet even Fit EV leasers won’t touch the thing, and would rather just re-lease their Fit under Honda’s used lease program.

He was clearly referring to the effect of increased vehicle weight.

Of course, it’ll be interesting to see how the Clarity BEV’s efficiency will compare…

Ask anyone if they’d sacrifice a few percentage points of efficiency for 2-3 times the range.

I think he means extra weight and size caused by bigger battery having less efficiency. It is true, except we’re talking minuscule amount of electricity, literally few pennies, thanks to regenerative braking.

Wouldn’t that also be true of say a 600cc Smart engine and a 5L gas guzzler with a massive gas tank ?

Not really, because gas cars don’t have regenerative braking, and all that extra weight dissipate as heat. More weight on gas car is far more detrimental than with EV.

And a large ICE gets more inefficient. A bigger electric motor doesn’t really. A 5L motor capable of 300 hp running at 15hp is way more inefficient than a 600cc motor capable of 80hp running at 15hp. The loss is “pumping losses”. Not to mention, a large motor takes longer to heat up so it runs at inefficient cold temps for longer.

So it is about a lot more than regenerative braking.

I wonder if we give them a slight pass if this winds up being a super efficient EV. For some, it will make sense. Perhaps in Japan for example.

We do have to remember that Japan is a vastly different experience and electricity is quite a problem with no access to cheap natural gas. Solar and wind are fine but not in surplus yet. And we know what happened to Nuclear.

Wait, what?
The ZOE platform is not bigger, probly smaller, yet it has a 186m range and similar price

Clarity platform is enormous, designed to fit the very cumbersome HFC powertrain.

ZOE car is smaller, but he is talking about platform.

Can’t fit more than 80 miles range of batteries in that car? Totally makes sense now! … … … They are using the same battery cells as were in my 2001 Honda Insight Hybrid and 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid!

Bye Honda! RIP.

What a bunch of Morons at Honda! Terrible decision.

Normally I can find some niche market where nearly every PHEV or EV would make sense. This one, I can’t. I’m really trying hard, and this one falls short. The only thing that comes to mind is if they want to send these through a time machine back to 2010.

I get that it’s a bigger car than the Leaf, FFE, etc. but come’on 80 miles. I can see 120 or something but 80…

Knowing that I wouldn’t want to tax my batteries all that much and say you only use 70% of that it just wouldn’t work for a lot of people I know. Still, could work as a 2nd car for local driving but then again at that price point is where I think they’ll have a problem. Especially when I can get a Hyundai with 50% more range for less $$.

“These people know what they want.” This person sure does – I’ve never bought a BEV with under 230 miles of range. But 300 is fine with me also.

But I don’t know what California Honda buyers will do. Either Honda will be right or wrong. But many here, me included, will not be one of the purchasers.


A disappointing token compliance effort worthy of Mazda or Subaru.

Was this article written in 2010 and maybe forgotten?

Less range than a 2009 iMiev!
You’re off your dial.

Park it next to the 2nd gen Honda Insight…


“Let’s go ahead and call the Clarity EV what it is now…a compliance car.”

I would say it is exactly the opposite. For CARB compliance they would had to get 200 miles and they would get to Type III with 4 credits. Now they have just Type I.5 with 2.5 credits.

I would say they are not wishing to subsidize extra battery cost/weight just for compliance and showing real price. Hopefully they will provide extra incentives for CARB states to pay back ZEV credit cost to customers.

Chevy will get my money long before Honda does. And I don’t even like Chevy that much.

80 miles range in 2017 is just a bad joke. Trying to act like that is desirable or even acceptable is just pathetic. Honda should be ashamed, but I’m sure they aren’t.

Ya my thoughts exactly. I currently drive a regular civic…’s going to be the last honda I buy for a long time.

honda is a company that has made a strategic decision that fuel cell is their priority. why are people surprised when honda introduces a BEV that seems like an afterthought?

80 miles BEV midsize sedan for $35K would have been very good in 2011!!!!!

Honda is just 6 years behind the schedule.

As a current Honda FitEV driver in NJ, I’m incredibly angry at Center’s quote about FitEV drivers. He’s completely off the mark in so many ways.

1) The Clarity will most likely have lower cargo utility because it’s not a hatchback.
2) The range isn’t an issue with the FitEV but I can get over 100 miles off highway in the summer. If the Clarity BEV starts at 80, I can only imagine how useless this will be in the winter.
3) The efficiency of the car better be higher than the FitEV, which I can get 5.0 miles/KW on but I doubt it.
4) The FitEV makes sense because the lease terms are good. 35k for this is laughable but I look forward to leasing one of these for less than $75 a month someday…

Why in the heck would I buy a car with the range of my Honda Fit EV that I bought 3 years ago? I find the range of my Fit EV to be so short as to limit the usefulness of the vehicle.

What Honda doesn’t seem to understand is that their argument doesn’t make sense– Chevy got at least TWICE the battery capacity into a car the size of the Fit EV– so this is half the capacity of what is available now in a car that is actually larger.

Not only a fail, but a LAUGHABLE fail.

My lease is up on my Fit EV. Not getting another Honda, that’s for sure.

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SO since I assume Honda will do anything to move these and get credits, we can all look forward to:

$49/mo lease for a new Honda!

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