I love the Honda car brand as much as anyone else – possibly even more. But with the recent teaser images released of the automaker’s newest plug-in hybrid car, we aren’t sure the Japanese automaker has its head on straight. Honda has confirmed that both the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-In Hybrid models will debut at the upcoming New York International Auto Show, and we can’t say we are particularly jazzed about the news.
The Honda Clarity, Clarified
The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is currently available in the brand’s lineup, but only if you live in California. The alternative fuel technology is still not available to the mainstream, which limits where Honda can actually sell the incredibly efficient car. It doesn’t look like the hydrogen fuel cell car industry is going to take off anytime soon, so Honda came up with the Clarity EV and Clarity PHEV. I’m sure that the brand meant for these two stylish cars to satisfy the yearning of buyers in the 49 states who can’t get their hands on the wheel of the Clarity Fuel Cell model, and if that’s the case – prepare to be disappointed.
While the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell sedan offers an impressive 366-mile range rating and emits absolutely zero emissions, the Clarity EV and PHEV aren’t quite so impressive. For starters, the all-electric version of the Clarity lineup is only expected to offer a range of 80 miles per charge. The car is also expected to feature a similar sticker price as the Chevy Bolt, which manages to deliver an all-electric range of 238 miles per charge. Not even close, right? That leads us to ask the most obvious question in the world – what is Honda thinking?
Built for California
Despite the fact the Honda Clarity Electric will be sold in multiple states throughout the country, it seems that the brand had one state in mind when developing this short-range electric car. Built to meet the zero-emission vehicle requirements under California’s Air Resources Board, Clarity EV and Clarity Fuel Cell cars both seem destined for the golden coast.
The Skeptics Weigh In
Some skeptics believe that Honda strategically created the Clarity EV with a short-range all-electric capacity in order to shine some light on the fact that the fuel cell version of the car is the better choice. If what the skeptics are saying is true, in 2017, Honda is taking a major gamble. While a few buyers may see the Clarity Fuel Cell model as the better choice, others may jump the Honda ship entirely and head to their local Chevy dealer for a Bolt. That’s a major gamble to take, especially when it comes to the future viability of a new model. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out once Honda releases more information regarding the entire Clarity lineup at the New York International Auto Show this coming April. Hopefully, once more is revealed, we will have a better understanding of why a major car brand would purposely manufacture an EV with only an 80-mile range.