For those looking for a way to limit their impact on the environment, there has never been a better time to invest in a new car. There are electric vehicles, conventional hybrid options, and then there are so-called plug-in hybrids that blur the lines between the previous categories. The Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is an excellent example of this type of car. Is it the right choice for you?

What’s a Plug-in Hybrid, Anyway?

First, let’s address how the Clarity differs from full-electric vehicles (like the Clarity EV), or conventional hybrids, like the Honda Insight, Honda Accord Hybrid, and Honda Civic Hybrid. There aren’t all that many differences. Like other hybrids, the Clarity Hybrid uses a combination of electric motor and gasoline engine. It is not a fully electric vehicle. However, it does offer some interesting capabilities.

A plug-in hybrid has a larger battery pack than a conventional hybrid. This allows it to travel farther in all-electric mode than what you could achieve with something else. For instance, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid has an all-electric range of 47 miles. That means you can drive 47 miles before you deplete the battery’s charge and the gasoline engine switches on. In comparison, most conventional hybrids are limited to many fewer miles, and sometimes even by speed.

Once the battery discharges, there are two ways to recharge it. You can either plug it in and charge it with a 120- or 240-volt system, or drive it in conventional engine mode and let the engine charge the batteries for you. You never really need to plug it in unless you want to avoid using the gas engine. 

Is a Plug-in Hybrid Better Than an EV?

It depends on what you mean by “better.” Does a plug-in hybrid offer better range than most EVs? Yes, it does. For instance, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid has a maximum total range of 340 miles before you need to refill the tank. Does a plug-in hybrid release fewer emissions than an EV? Only if you keep it in all-electric mode. Does a plug-in hybrid fit the lifestyles of more people better? Yes, the combination of a larger battery and a gasoline engine ensures that you can use less fuel, create fewer emissions, and still have the ability to drive as far as you need to in situations that demand it.

Are All Plug-in Hybrid Models Equal?

The answer to the question above is a resounding no. You’ll find that they are decidedly unequal. Most plug-in hybrids have a much shorter EV range than the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, some by 20 or more miles.

Make the Right Choice - Honda Clarity!

If you’re in the market for a car that can help you reduce emissions, save on fuel, and green up the planet without curtailing your ability to drive long distances when you need to, test drive the Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, and see for yourself what it can offer.


Categories: Clarity