Honda Clarity Fuel Cell still on track for US launch this year

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell still on track for US launch this year

Honda has reaffirmed its promise to deliver the Clarity Fuel Cell sedan in the US before the end of the year.

The Clarity will arrive as hydrogen-powered rivals struggle to establish a foothold, years after the FCX Clarity first tested the waters in California. Its closest rival, the Toyota Mirai, recently experienced a significant lease discount to just $349 per month to invigorate sales.

The California Fuel Cell Partnership currently lists just 21 refueling stations open to retail customers across the entire state, a significant jump from a year ago but still cause for concern.

Hydrogen is widely expected to continue growing as an alternative fuel, but the technology has been overshadowed by the rise in long-range electric vehicles. Some automakers appear to have ramped up hydrogen development investments nearly a decade ago when prices of fuel cells and batteries were both extremely high relative to an internal-combustion powertrain with comparable range.

General Motors plans to bring the Chevrolet Bolt to market before the end of the year, delivering 238 miles of all-electric range for $37,500 (before gov incentives). The Mirai handily beats the Bolt’s range, cruising for 312 miles on a single tank of hydrogen, but its cheap lease belies a $58,365 sticker price. If sales numbers are any indication, Toyota‘s 710 Mirai deliveries through Q3 suggest buyers are still wary.

Honda announced the Clarity Fuel Cell’s US launch status as part of its National Hydrogen Fuel Cell Day celebrations. The company remains optimistic that hydrogen will continue to expand.

“Honda believes that hydrogen can play a critical role in addressing global climate change and accelerating progress toward a more sustainable, ultra low-carbon mobility future,” said Steve Center, Honda’s VP of environmental business development.

The company has not yet announced pricing details or a specific launch date for the Clarity FCV’s California debut.

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