Honda Expands Clarity Lineup With New PHEV & EV In New York

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. That might as well be Honda’s motto when it comes to its line of dedicated electrified vehicles. And here’s its latest attempt.

Following two generations of Insight (not to mention the CR-Z), Honda has adapted its Clarity fuel-cell vehicle to run on electricity instead of hydrogen. In a move similar to Hyundai’s Ioniq, the Clarity will now be offered with a choice of three electric powertrains: the hydrogen fuel-cell version launched this past December, plus the new plug-in hybrid and pure EV variants revealed today at the 2017 New York Auto Show.

The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is driven by an electric motor rated at 181 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque, juiced by a 17-kWh battery pack. There’s a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine on board as well, but that (as you might have guessed from its orientation) is there mostly to generate electricity and extend its range. “Under certain conditions,” though, it can drive the wheels directly.

The sum total is a total range estimated to exceed 330 miles (42 on electric power alone), returning an anticipated EPA rating of 105 MPGe. A full charge is expected to take two and a half hours on 240-volt power.

Alongside the PHEV, Honda also revealed the new Clarity Electric – doing away with the fuel cell and range-extenders of its stablemates entirely to fully embrace the battery EV method. Here the electric motor is less potent than the PHEV’s but the battery packs more juice: the electric motor is rated at 161 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, while the battery pack churns out 25.5 kWh.

The anticipated combined EPA rating of 111 MPGe will best the hybrid’s, but the manufacturer isn’t saying just yet how far it expects the pure EV version will go between charges.

With the fuel-cell variant (often depicted in burgundy) already offered in select parts of California, Honda will next roll out the EV (pictured in blue) later this year though still as a 2017 model, starting in Oregon and (you guessed it) California.
The plug-in hybrid (pictured above in green) will ostensibly launch later as a 2018 model, but Honda expects this version will be the most popular choice, so it’s offering it in two distinct trim levels (standard and Touring). Another dedicated hybrid model is slated to arrive next year and will be made in America.

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