2018 Honda Clarity
Honda introduced the Clarity nameplate back in 2008 with the FCX Clarity, a mid-size, five-passenger, four-door sedan equipped with a
powered electric motor. Based on the FCX Concept vehicle from 2006, the original Clarity was the first hydrogen fuel cell passenger car ever offered for general public consumption. Production of the original Clarity ended in 2014 with just a handful of units sold, but now it’s back, with Honda reintroducing the nameplate in December of 2016. The basics are the same, including the four-door sedan body style bristling with nerdy cuts and details, while under the hood you’ll find a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. Joining the H2-powered model now is two other powertrains, including an all-electric and plug-in hybrid variant, both of which were unveiled earlier this year at the New York International Auto Show.
With three options on the table, Honda hopes to bump up U.S. sales to 75,000 units over the course of the next four years, representing a five-fold increase in electric vehicle sales overall. This also coincides with goals of making two out of every three vehicles sold an electrified green alternative by the year 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. “The Clarity series also heralds the advancement of our Honda Electrification Initiative, representing our investment in the full spectrum of electric-vehicle technologies.” Can the Clarity deliver?
Update: 06/12/2017: Honda has just announced a new leasing program for the Honda Clarity Electric. Check out the “Prices” section below to learn all about it.
Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Has a Better Range Than Tesla’s Range-Topping Model S
Zero-emissions vehicles are more than just about the amount of horsepower they produce. The truth is, power often takes a backseat to range, or how far a zero-emissions vehicle can go on a single charge. To this day, the threshold seems to be 300 miles on a single charge, something that only a few cars are capable of achieving. One of these cars is the range-topping Tesla Model S P100D, which has a range of 315 miles. Another model that’s expected to break that mark is Honda’s Clarity fuel-cell vehicle, and according to the Japanese automaker, the Clarity FCV will have an EPA rating of 366 miles on a single tank, or the equivalent of 68 mpg combined (city and highway), making it the new standard-bearer for the highest range among zero-emission vehicles.
Do the math and the Clarity FCV can push 51 miles longer than the Model S P100D. More importantly, the Clarity FCV has 54 miles on its direct competitor, the Toyota Mirai FCV, which has a reported range of 312 miles. And let’s not even compare the equally new Chevrolet Bolt, which carries a range of 238 miles, 128 miles less than the Clarity FCV.
Having the highest range among zero-emission vehicles is an important selling point for Honda. It’s the performance car equivalent of horsepower, in large part because customers are most likely to gravitate towards cars that can last longer and farther on the road than their competitors. Considering that refuelling times for these cars are dropping with the advent of new technologies, range is quickly become one of the de facto numbers that prospective buyers will be looking for when they’re in the market for a zero-emissions vehicle.
The good news for Honda is that the Clarity FCV also comes with a number of interesting features, including Honda Sensing technology, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Pricing for the car has yet to be revealed, but the most common figure being thrown around is about $60,000, a tad more expensive than the Mirai FCV.
The biggest downfall of the Clarity FCV is its limited availability. Honda is only selling it in California, matching the locations of its network of hydrogen refueling stations. Only six dealerships in Southern California, five in the Bay Area, and one in Sacramento are selling the Clarity.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Honda To Expand Clarity Lineup With Plug-In And Battery-Powered Models
The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell made its debut at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, and while it’s set to become the first mass market fuel cell car to be introduced by the Japanese automaker, it won’t be the only one. Two more models will join the Clarity Fuel Cell and form a three-car lineup that will spearhead Honda’s dive into the world of electrification.
Once the Clarity Fuel Cell hits the market in California later in 2016 as a 2017 model, it will soon be joined by a battery-electric variant a plug-in hybrid version. Both models will also carry the “Clarity” name and as such will be called the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid. Specifics details are scant at this point, particularly with the EV and PHEV versions. Honda did say that the Clarity Electric will first go on sale in California whereas the Clarity PHEV will be sold across the U.S. at the same time, thus making it the volume leader among the three Clarity models.
Moreover, all three models will be packaged as premium mid-sized models, creating a distinct separation from Hyundai’s own three-car Ioniq lineup, which will be packaged as compact vehicles. Honda also said that the Clarity PHEV will have more than 40 miles of electric-only range, far better than what today’s PHEVs are capable of achieving.
The launch of the three Clarity models is the clearest and most emphatic sign of Honda’s goal to electrify all of its core models over the next decade and beyond. While it’s true that three models will be tagged as new models, their launches will be preempted by the release of the2017 Accord Hybrid, which is scheduled to go on sale in the spring of 2016.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Honda’s first mass market fuel cell car has taken a lot of different forms as it evolves into something that you can buy at a dealership. The first prototypes were shown all of the way back in 1999, then there were a number of test vehicles build from there. Another concept showed up in 2006, followed by the FCX Clarity in 2008, which was produced and leased in very limited numbers for research purposes. Then Honda showed off a concept of an actual production model at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, and the name of the project changed from FCX to FCV.
This represents a change from “Fuel Cell eXperimental” to “Fuel Cell Vehicle”, signaling that Honda is finally serious about putting the car into production, even if it does have a tremendously uncreative name. Now Honda is announcing that a production-ready version of the car will debut at the Tokyo Motor Show, along with a real name, and a few teaser photos have come out as well. The car has been toned down from the concept, obviously, but the evolution of the model is still evident in the new design. And although Toyota might has beaten Honda to market with its own fuel cell car, this is still a very important vehicle.
Updated 10/29/2015: Honda dropped the official details on the next generation Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle during its official debut at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. Sales in Japan will begin in early 2016, with Europe to follow later in the year.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Honda FCV.
To compliment the strong emphasis on green technology and efficient motoring we’re seeing at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, Honda is making its presence known with a concept hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and the latest iteration of the high-strung VTEC performance motor. It’s a product showcase that caters to both the Earth-conscious commuter crowd and performance lovers, all with that characteristic H-badge pragmatism.
With the 2014 FCV Concept car in Detroit for its North American debut, Honda is looking to round out its already impressive lineup of alternative fuel vehicles, which currently includes the 2015 Fit EV, 2015 Civic Hybrid, 2015 Civic Natural Gas, 2015 CR-Z hybrid, and 2015 Accord hybrid. U.S. availability for a production FCV is scheduled to open up sometime next year, following a March 2016 launch in Japan.
Thanks to an innovative drivetrain and a body shaped to minimize drag, the FCV is expected to come with a range of 300 zero-emission miles, with refuel times approximated at just three minutes. The fuel cell used is 33-percent smaller than that found on the outgoing FCX Clarity, which means the FCV boasts a large cabin with seating for five.
The automaker also unveiled plans for a new VTEC Turbo engine slated for debut at the end of this year. The combination of Honda’s renowned variable timing and lift system with forced induction can only mean one thing: hyper-efficient internal combustion, good for both power and mileage. We’re talking four cylinders and two liters making 300 horsepower and 40 mpg (although that’s just speculation). With $340 million invested in its engine plant in Anna, Ohio, the new VTEC Turbo should start rolling off the assembly line very soon.
Honda says it plans to offer a variety of “advanced powertrain vehicles” in the next few years, including a new battery-electric model, plug-in hybrid model, and additional use of its “two- and three-motor hybrid systems,” all scheduled for release by 2018.
Click past the jump to read more.
It wasn’t all that long ago that the idea of a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle seemed like a dead-end endeavor. The prospect of a world full of cars that consume hydrogen and emit only water has always ranked right up there with flying cars on the list of things that have always been right around the corner. The technology remained too expensive for public consumption, and when hybrids and EVs began selling huge numbers, it seemed everyone just sort of forgot about it. Except for Honda.
The Japanese company has arguably more experience than any car company in the world when it comes to hydrogen fuel-cell technology. Way back in 1999, the company introduced it first prototype fuel-cell vehicle, the FCX, and later introduced a limited-run compact hatchback FCX for limited fleet use in the United States and Japan.
In 2008 Honda launched its first pilot program for individual customers with the FCX Clarity in 2008. It was built in limited numbers and offered in parts of Southern California and Japan and Europe, where hydrogen fill-up stations were starting to pop up. Because the FCX Clarity was so expensive to manufacture (rumors suggest as much as $1 million per unit), they were only offered for lease.
The FCX Clarity program ended in early 2014, but now Honda is doubling down with a new hydrogen fuel-cell car, the FCV Concept. As the name implies, it’s just a concept for now, but Honda has committed to launching a road-ready version in 2016 as part of a wider initiative in Southern California and eventually other parts of the world. Honda has also committed to helping expand the state of California’s public hydrogen refueling station network. Heck, I even saw a hydrogen pump at a Shell station in Orange County just last week.
Updated 01/23/2015: We’ve added a series of new images from the car’s official debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.
Click past the jump to read more about the Honda FCV Concept.
Since 2009, Honda has had hydrogen fuel cell vehicles running around in Europe and in 2011, Honda joined the Clean Energy Partnership in Europe to help bring hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to the forefront. Now Honda is set to expand its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle production in a huge way by replacing the existing FCX Clarity with an all-new fuel cell vehicle in 2015. What’s more is that this car will be marketed in Japan and the U.S., as well as Europe.
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen to create electricity and the electricity is used to power the car. This means that there is literally no non-renewable fuel used and the only emissions created are water vapor. The details are still pretty sketchy on the entire project and Honda has pretty much only let us in on a little bit of information. In a statement, Honda stated that this new fuel cell vehicle will “showcase further technological advancement and significant cost reduction that Honda has accomplished.”
The latter statement is thanks to a new manufacturing process that Honda will adopt that allows it to produce its cars at the same time around the world, as opposed to staggering the production around the globe. Per Honda’s research, and general consensus agreement, this will reduce the cost of producing all Hondas, not just FCVs.
The biggest issue that Honda will run into in the U.S. is the hydrogen-delivery infrastructure. You can’t really head on down to your local BP station and top off your hydrogen tanks at will. It definitely takes a little planning and we are interested to see what Honda has up its sleeves for this. Don’t be shocked to start seeing Honda offering up filling stations at local dealerships that sell these cars.
We’ll keep you up to date on the production and details on this upcoming Honda FCV.