Honda Introduces 2 More Electrified Cars to Meet a Crazy Goal

EPA ratings are expected to be 111 MPGe combined. But lately it's been offering a new, roomier five-seat version.

Yet because the infrastructure required for its wide adoption is not yet in place, the company will also offer plug-in hybrid and fully electric versions of the vehicle. 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 anticipated overall driving range rating in excess of 330 miles. One of the biggest criticisms of the hydrogen-fueled fuel cell Clarity is the lack of infrastructure, but the three-vehicle approach provides economies of scale to produce the fuel cell in limited numbers. However, it's now only available in California where the foundations of a hydrogen refilling infrastructure are slowly being laid. "The Clarity series also heralds the advancement of our Honda Electrification Initiative, representing our investment in the full spectrum of electric-vehicle technologies".

Those with more green ambitions can opt for the 2017 Clarity Electric, however.

The Clarity PHEV's all-electric range is expected to be 42 miles (68 km), which Honda says would be the most of any midsize PHEV vehicle sold in the US, topping the Toyota Prius Prime and Hyundai Sonata PHEV's respective 25-mile (40-km) and 27-mile (43-km) all-electric range. That motor will be powered by a 17-kilowatt-hour battery pack and electricity generated by the gasoline engine. So within the next few years, drivers might have the choice of driving hydrogen-powered cars in places other than California. The volume seller of the Clarity trio will be available in standard and Touring trim levels.

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The 2018 Clarity Plug-In Hybrid relies on a 181-hp electric motor with 232 lb-ft of torque for driving power. The Clarity Electric will launch later this year, starting with an attractive lease program in California and Oregon. There are three drive modes - Normal, Econ, and Sport - with a HV setting that can optionally preserve the battery's charge for use later on. Lease includes Roadside Assistance, up to $15,000 of hydrogen fuel, and up to 21 days Avis luxury rental vehicle.

We have full coverage of the vehicle itself and the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain here. Like the Electric, the price tag will be in the mid-$30,000 range, but the hybrid will be sold in all 50 states.

Official range estimates for the Clarity Electric have not been officially announced, but reports based on statements made by Honda representatives and estimates based on the battery capacity predict it will be around 80 miles.

The Clarity Electric will be available only in California and OR, at least initially. and, like the fuel cell auto, it will only be available for lease, not purchase.

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