So, the New York International Auto Show plays host to the Clarity plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicle. The cars are known as the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Electric, with the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid to arrive as a 2018 model and the Clarity Electric to join the Clarity Fuel Cell as a 2017 model.
But that range number not only puts the Clarity Electric behind the company's discontinued Fit EV (82 miles), it also puts the vehicle at a disadvantage at a time when most affordable EVs are pushing 100 miles per charge or more. The Volt can travel 53 miles (83 km) on a full battery. It is kitted with a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine, which can generate 181 horsepower along with 232 pound-feet torque. Here the electric motor is less potent than the PHEV's but the battery packs more juice: the electric motor is rated at 161 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, while the battery pack churns out 25.5 kWh. A full charge is expected to take two and a half hours on 240-volt power. It is projected to take 2 ½ hours to recharge the pack using Level 2 (240V) charging. Honda expects this PHEV to earn an overall EPA fuel economy rating of 105 mpg-equivalent.
The Clarity Electric is likely to be sold only in California and the other states that have adopted its stricter emission rules, including its mandate for sales of certain numbers of zero-emission vehicles. Many EVs sold in the US can travel near or beyond 100 miles (161 km) on a full charge, including the Nissan Leaf and new Hyundai Ioniq.
The launch of the expanding Clarity family is part of an overarching strategy at Honda to transform approximately two-thirds of its of global lineup to electrified vehicles by 2030. The Ioniq now has the best combined MPGe among U.S. EVs, 136 MPGe.
The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, listed as a 2018 model, is the only one of the trio that combines a battery, an electric motor, and a combustion engines. Being a hybrid, it will offer drivers greater flexibility in fuel choices.
"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 Co., Inc., at the company's auto show press conference.
Cabins are outfitted with "premium and environmentally responsible materials", Honda says, noting each version of the vehicle has unique front styling, headlight, tail lamps and alloy-wheel designs. The higher-volume plug-in hybrid also will get two trims, a base and Touring.
Honda's been on a hot streak the last four years: It sold 4.7 million new cars in 2016, a new record.
When you think hybrid, you usually think Prius.
The electric variant of the vehicle will be sold in California and all other states, which have signed a mandate agreeing to better pollution emission regulations. Also, the CR-Z sports coupe in the U.S.is a hybrid-only model.