Honda Clarity Electric Goes On Sale in California and Oregon

By · August 04, 2017


2017 Honda Clarity Electric

The all-electric version of the 2017 Honda Clarity started arriving in dealerships in the past few weeks. The full-size sedan, which is only available in California and Oregon, leases for $269 a month for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing.

The spacious Honda Clarity is available with three different powertrains: a hydrogen fuel-cell version that’s been selling in low numbers since December 2016; the all-electric version now hitting the market; and a plug-in hybrid that’s expected to arrive in late 2017.

The all-electric Clarity can travel 89 miles on a single charge. That puts Honda in the unfortunate position of introducing an EV with a driving range significantly lower than the new generation of electric cars. The list of EVs with longer range includes the 238-mile Chevrolet Bolt, 125-mile Volkswagen E-Golf, 124-mile Hyundai Ioniq, and an upcoming second-generation Nissan LEAF that could offer about 150 miles of range. The Tesla Model 3 offers between 220 and 310 miles of range, depending on the model, but comes with a wait for a year or longer (unless you already make a pre-order and deposit).

The Clarity, while offering less range, is currently the sole affordable full-size sedan in a crowded field of compact EVs. The Clarity Electric utilizes a 161-horsepower electric motor producing 221 pound-feet of torque and drawing power from a 25.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Jimmy Gan, a technology consultant from Saratoga, Calif., became the first owner of the Clarity Electric on Tuesday when he took possession of his car in San Jose. “The range is perfect. Ninety miles is more than enough for me and most of the people I know,” he said.

The shortcomings of the pure electric Clarity should not distract buyers from the significant merits of the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid. Based on our drive of the Clarity Fuel Cell, we expect the Clarity Plug-in to be just as spacious and comfortable, and to offer excellent handling. With 40 miles of electric range before the gas engine is put into service, it could be a true contender for plug-in hybrid customers.

The plug-in hybrid Clarity will be on sale nationwide by the end of 2017. In terms of range in a plug-in hybrid model, the Clarity is in second place among more than 20 models. It is beat only by the 53-mile Chevy Volt. James Burrell, Honda vice-present of environmental business development, in March told PluginCars.com that the plug-in hybrid version will be the high-volume variant of the Honda Clarity.

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