Honda’s fuel-cell, hydrogen-powered Clarity will go on sale in the States before the end of 2016, starting with California.
Honda said it’s “expected to be priced around $60,000, with a targeted monthly lease under $500”. With that in mind, the Japanese carmaker expects limited volumes in the early stages of production, as deliveries will begin through certified fuel cell vehicle dealers in Los Angeles, Orange counties, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Sacramento.
The company will apparently start by leasing the vehicles, eventually moving “to retail sales with increased volumes and market coverage coincident with increasing vehicle supplies and the growing hydrogen refueling station network” – as Honda puts it.
To top it off, the Clarity’s underpinning will serve as a base for a next-gen Honda plug-in hybrid, as John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co, said:
“The new Clarity Fuel Cell and Accord Hybrid arriving this year, along with the new plug-in hybrid coming by 2018, are critical steps toward a new generation of Honda advanced environmental vehicles and a true volume pillar for Honda and our product portfolio in the U.S. The Clarity Fuel Cell is a potential game changer because it offers an uncompromising, zero emissions customer experience, with performance, utility, range and refueling time on par with today’s gasoline-powered cars.”
The hybrid variant will be a new, 50-state volume vehicle in the Honda line-up and will feature the next-generation i-MMD plug-in system which, according to Honda, will offer significant improvements in battery capacity and power. In fact, the future Honda plug-in automobile will “more than triple” the 13-mile all-electric range of the previous Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan.
In case you forgot, the Clarity is powered by a fuel cell stack with an output of more than 100kW (134hp) and an electric motor which generates 174hp (177 PS). The fuel cell powertrain is comparable to a 3.5-liter V6 in size and it fits entirely under the hood, making room for a spacious cabin.