The clock is ticking, but we may still see a third hydrogen fuel-cell car go on sale in certain regions of California—alongside the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell and Toyota Mirai—before the end of the year.
The 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell will be available through certain California dealerships before the year is out, its maker says.
Honda now says the Clarity Fuel Cell will be available to lease at $369 a month, for 36 months.
This lease requires customers to put down $2,499 and the first month's payment at signing.
It also includes a mileage allowance of 20,000 miles a year, and a few perks.
Honda is offering customers "up to $15,000" of free hydrogen, 21 days of Avis Luxury Rental car rentals (within the state of California), and 24/7 roadside assistance.
That contingent includes six dealerships in Southern California, five in the Bay Area, and one in the state capital of Sacramento.
Honda—along with Hyundai and Toyota—only plans to sell fuel-cell cars in California for the time being because it is the only state with a substantial network of fueling stations.
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In a press release announcing the lease, Honda said the car would arrive at dealerships "by the end of 2016," and advised interested consumers to sign up on the Clarity Fuel Cell web page "for the opportunity to become a Clarity Fuel Cell customer."
Given that Honda previously said the Clarity Fuel Cell would carry a price of "around $60,000," the $369-a-month lease represents fairly aggressive pricing.
Toyota recently lowered its Mirai lease rate from $499 a month to $349 a month (the car has a base price of $58,365).
The Clarity Fuel Cell's EPA-rated 366-mile range far outstrips the Mirai's 312-mile range, as well as the 265-mile range of the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell.
In addition to the fuel-cell model, Honda also plans to offer plug-in hybrid and battery-electric versions of the Clarity—providing the first real-world market test of consumer preferences among alternative powertrains.
The other two models will go on sale next year.