Honda launched Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Electric models to supplement the Fuel Cell version at the New York motor show, saying it would target US sales of 75,000 Clarity vehicles in the first four model years.
"The Clarity series will contribute to an anticipated five-fold increase in Honda's US 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 automaker said in a statement.
Clarity is the first vehicle line to offer fuel cell, battery electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
"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 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 said this shared "3-in-1" platform strategy will enable it to respond to infrastructure and market developments, provide customers nationwide with an ultra-low carbon vehicle that meets their lifestyle needs, and takes it toward higher volume sales of advanced powertrain products that will help reduce CO2 emissions.
Honda has previously announced plans to introduce a dedicated new hybrid car to the US in 2018. The new hybrid will be made in America.
The 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. For longer trips, the car can use its 1.5-litre Atkinson cycle four 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 (kWh) battery pack with a recharge time of 2.5 hours at 240 volts. The Plug-in Hybrid is anticipated to earn an EPA fuel economy rating of 105 MPGe (miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent) combined, at the top of its class. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid features three selectable modes – Normal, Econ and Sport. 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.
The Clarity Electric is powered by a 161 horsepower (120 kilowatt) electric motor producing 221 lb ft of torque and drawing power from a 25.5kWh battery pack. The vehicle can by 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% charge in just 30 minutes.
The model is anticipated to have an anticipated EPA fuel economy rating of 120/102/111 MPGe (city/highway/combined). Like the Plug-in Hybrid, the Electric features three selectable driving modes – Normal, Econ and Sport. It will launch later this year, starting with a lease programme in California and Oregon.
Honda began deliveries of the 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell in December 2016 in parts of California, 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% more compact with a 60% increase in power density compared to its predecessor. The more compact fuel cell and integrated powertrain, now comparable in size to a V6 engine, fits entirely under the bonnet 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, and an EPA fuel economy rating of 68 MPGe combined.