Some Clarity on the Clarity: Honda Provides PHEV, EV Details

Article updated 6/20/17 to include Clarity EV lease price and EPA fuel efficiency and range ratings. New info is in italics.

Honda Clarity PHEV
The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid.

2017 Honda Clarity Electric

Honda unveiled the other two members of it Clarity family at the New York Auto Show recently, providing some but not all of the info prospective buyers will want to know about the Clarity plug-in hybrid and all-electric models.

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The missing stuff:

Equipment lists, trim levels and pricing and EPA fuel efficiency estimates for the PHEV model.

Honda has hinted that both models will be priced in the mid $30,000s before applicable federal tax credits and any state or local incentives.

The EV easily qualifies for the $7,500 federal income tax credit and the PHEV’s large battery should put it in the same class.

As for EV range –  Honda, which clearly prefers the fuel-cell electric version of the Clarity to the upcoming battery EV, apparently is aiming the battery-powered model at a small piece of the commuter market. It’s EPA range rating is a modest 89 miles per charge.

The 2017 Clarity EV initially will be available at select Honda dealerships  in California and Oregon, beginning in August. The EV will be offered with an introductory 20,000-miles-per-year lease of $269 per month for 36 months. The lease will include 24/7 roadside assistance. The lease price includes the $7,500 federal tax credit.

–In California, Clarity EV lessees will be eligible for a $2,500 cash rebate from the state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. For households with annual income of no more than 3 times the federal poverty level, the California rebate is increased by $2,000.

–Both models will be offered only with “luxury packaging.” Each will use unique fascias, some subtle  changes in lighting and different 18-inch wheels to help passers-by tell the difference between EV and plug-in (the Clarity fuel cell electric, launched in December as a California, lease-only car, has its own fascia, wheels and lighting design as well). There also will be a special “hero” color for each model.

–The Clarity EV will have a 25.5 kWh battery. The EPA fuel efficiency rating is 114 mpg-e combined (126 city/103 highway). Range is EPA-rated at up to 89 miles on a full charge. Recharging time is just over 3 hours with the properly sized Level 2 system.

–The EV’s powertrain is rated at 121 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque.

–The Clarity PHEV will have a 17 kWh lithium battery, good for an estimated all-electric driving range of 42 miles before kicking into standard hybrid mode with the gas engine and electric motor working together; Honda anticipates an overall EPA fuel efficiency rating of 105 mpg-equivalent and more than 330 miles on a full charge and a tank of gas. The battery pack can be recharged in about 2.5 hours on a Level 2, 240-volt system, Honda says.

–The PHEV’s powertrain will be rated at 181 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque.

–The PHEV will be launched as a 2018 model late this year, with 50-state availability.

The Clarity FCEV, or fuel-cell electric vehicle, is a lease-only car, offering up to 366 miles of range on a tank of hydrogen. It was launched in select California markets in late 2016.

2017 Honda Clarity Fuel-Cell
2017 Honda Clarity FCEV.

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