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At the New York Auto Show, Honda debuted the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Electric alongside the already available Clarity Fuel Cell. The company will target U.S. sales of 75,000 Clarity vehicles in the first four model years, starting this year, according to the company. The Clarity series will contribute to an anticipated five-fold increase in Honda's U.S. sales of electrified vehicles over the next four years as the company works toward its target that two-thirds of its global automobile sales will come from electrified vehicles by 2030.
"The Honda Clarity is aimed at accelerating the deployment of advanced electrified powertrain technology and bringing electrified vehicles further into the mainstream," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., at the company's auto show press conference. "The Clarity series also heralds the advancement of our Honda Electrification Initiative, representing our investment in the full spectrum of electric-vehicle technologies."
Honda Clarity Series
Each Clarity variant has a low, wide aerodynamic body with unique design elements, including its own special hero color, and differentiated front styling, headlights, tail lamps and 18-inch alloy wheel designs. Combined with elegant and advanced exterior styling, each Clarity series vehicle has a spacious interior with comfortable seating for five adults, outfitted with premium, environmentally responsible materials, according to Honda.
The company added that each Clarity variant “provides a smooth, quiet and highly refined driving experience, aided by the smooth and seamless character of electric drive torque and acceleration.”
With three different powertrains and luxury packaging, the Clarity series has wide appeal. This shared "3-in-1" platform strategy will enable Honda to respond to infrastructure and market developments, provide customers nationwide with an ultra-low carbon vehicle that meets their lifestyle needs, and takes Honda toward higher volume sales of advanced powertrain products that will help reduce CO2 emissions.
The Clarity series also features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and the full suite of HONDA SENSING safety and driver-assistive technologies.
Clarity Plug-in Hybrid
The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, launching at dealerships nationwide later this year, is anticipated to earn an all-electric driving range rating of 42 miles, the longest of any midsize plug-in hybrid, according to Honda. For longer trips, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid can utilize its 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.
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 battery pack with a recharge time of 2.5 hours at 240 volts.
The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is anticipated to earn an EPA fuel economy rating of 105 miles per gallon (gasoline-equivalent) combined.
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.
As the sales volume leader in the Clarity lineup, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid will be offered in two premium-contented trims, standard and Touring, according to Honda.
The 2017 Honda Clarity Electric is geared toward consumers who desire a spacious, comfortable and affordable sedan that suits their daily driving needs. The Clarity Electric is powered by a 161-horsepower (120-kilowatt) electric motor producing 221 lb.-ft. of torque and drawing power from a 25.5-kWh battery pack. The vehicle can be fully charged in just over three hours at 240 volts, and when using DC fast charging with the SAE Combined Charging System can achieve an 80-percent charge in just 30 minutes.
The model is anticipated to have an anticipated EPA fuel economy rating of 120/102/111 miles per gallon (city/highway/combined). Like the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, the Clarity Electric features three selectable driving modes—Normal, Econ and Sport. The Clarity Electric will launch later this year, starting with an “attractive lease program in California and Oregon,” according to Honda.
Clarity Fuel Cell
Honda views fuel cells as the ultimate zero-emissions vehicle technology and the Clarity Fuel Cell offers green early adopters the latest technology to be on the forefront of what's next, according to the company. Honda began deliveries of the 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell in December in select California markets, where a consumer-friendly network of hydrogen stations continues to grow, and has already delivered more than 100 vehicles.
Technological innovations to the Clarity Fuel Cell have created a fuel cell stack that is 33-percent more compact with a 60-percent increase in power density compared to its predecessor, the Honda FCX Clarity. The more compact fuel cell and integrated powertrain—now comparable in size to a V6 engine—fits entirely under the hood of the car, allowing for a more spacious cabin with seating for five passengers.
At 366 miles, the Clarity Fuel Cell has the highest EPA driving range rating of any zero-emission vehicle in America, including fuel cell and battery electric vehicles, according to Honda, and an EPA fuel economy rating of 68 MPG combined.