Honda Clarity On Sale Late In 2016; Plug-In Hybrid To Get 40 Miles Of Range


The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell hydrogen fuel-cell car will go on sale in the U.S. in late 2016, and initially it will be sold only in California.

It will be followed in 2018 by a plug-in hybrid vehicle that shares its platform, which Honda says will have 40 miles of electric range or more.

These details were confirmed by Honda at an event yesterday, just prior to the opening of press days for the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.

DON'T MISS: 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Sedan: Live Photos, More Details From Tokyo

The Clarity was unveiled last month at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, and will go on sale in Japan first, earlier in 2016.

When it reaches the U.S., it will be sold only in California--the only state with significant hydrogen-fueling infrastructure at the moment.

It will initially be offered at select dealers in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Sacramento.

Honda Clarity presentation slide from 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show event

Honda Clarity presentation slide from 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show event

Enlarge Photo

Honda said it eventually plans to expand sales to other parts of California and other states--including the Northeast--as fueling infrastructure expands.

The Clarity's platform will also be used for a dedicated plug-in hybrid model, which will arrive in 2018.

Confirming previous reports, Honda said the car's next-generation plug-in hybrid powertrain will offer three times the electric range of the recently-discontinued Accord Plug-In Hybrid.

ALSO SEE: 2018 Honda Plug-In Hybrid To Offer 40-Mile Range, Use Fuel-Cell Vehicle's Platform

Since the Accord was EPA-rated at 13 miles of electric range, that means a range of at least 39 miles for the new car.

Honda will also aim for more usable high-speed operation than the Accord plug-in, which had a top speed of 80 mph in electric mode.

The new plug-in hybrid will likely be a standalone model rather than another Accord variant--and there have been hints that it will be simply another version of the Clarity.

Honda plug-in hybrid presentation slide from 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show event

Honda plug-in hybrid presentation slide from 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show event

Enlarge Photo

Honda described the plug-in hybrid as a "volume production vehicle" that will be available nationwide when it launches in just over two years.

Using common underpinnings for the fuel-cell car and plug-in hybrid allows Honda to realize cost savings across these two, relatively low-volume models.

MORE: Honda To Offer New Electric Car, Plug-In Hybrid Model By 2018

That could also be true for the all-electric car Honda also plans to debut in 2018.

The electric car was announced back in January, at the same time as the plug-in hybrid. Honda has been mum since, but the battery-electric model is thought to share the Clarity platform as well.

For more 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show news, head over to our show news hub.

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