If you have paid any attention to alternative-fuel vehicles over the past decade or so, you have noticed that Honda has put a lot of focus in this area. The “Clarity” nameplate has become synonymous with eco-friendly automotive design, particularly with those who follow concept cars and vehicles in development. However, there is so much more to these vehicles. Let’s learn a little more about the DNA that is shared by cars like today’s Clarity plug-in hybrid.

The Origins of Clarity

Honda chose the name “Clarity” with a significant purpose. It signaled a focus on finding a solution to automotive pollution, clarity of vision in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, and more. All of today’s Clarity-labeled vehicles share a single common ancestor, as well – the Honda FCX Clarity, which was based on the FCX concept car. The FCX Clarity was relatively short-lived, debuting in 2008 and only lasting until 2014. It was powered by a hydrogen fuel cell and was made available to customers in the U.S. through a leasing program only.

The Honda Clarity

The car that we know today as the Honda Clarity got its start in 2016, two years after its predecessor, the FCX Clarity, was mothballed. The new Clarity shared the same fuel cell technology as its ancestor but received a new body style to be more in keeping with current Honda design trends, as evidenced in the Accord and Civic lines. The fuel cell variant offered a range of 366 miles and was rated as having the highest mileage of any zero-emissions vehicle in the U.S until Tesla unseated it with the Model S.

In 2017, Honda announced that the Clarity Fuel Cell sedan would be joined by two new additions, and the family grew to accommodate a Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid. The EV offered a range of 89 miles on a charge, making it a good option for driving in a city, but not well suited for longer treks. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid offered an unlimited range as it included a gasoline engine, but it also provided a longer all-electric range than other PHEVs then on the market, with a total electric range of 47 miles. The car could go 340 miles on both gas and electric before the tank needed to be refilled.

Today, all three vehicles are available to U.S. buyers. The Clarity Electric still has a maximum range of 89 miles, but fast charging technology means less waiting for a full charge. The Clarity Fuel Cell vehicle offers a range of 360 miles, and the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid continues to offer 340 miles to the tank/charge.

Drive Farther on Less

Ultimately, the Clarity family of cars traces its roots back to the FCX concept that debuted nearly two decades ago. The technology has changed, evolved, and improved, but Honda’s focus on cleaner energy, less reliance on fossil fuels, and improved performance has never shifted. If you’re interested in learning more about the Clarity family of cars, visit your local Honda dealer.


Categories: Clarity