2017 Honda Clarity Fuel CellEnlarge Photo
One of the more eagerly awaited all-electric cars coming to market this year has been the 2018 Honda Clarity EV.
It's a battery-electric version of the 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell already on sale in some regions of California, powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.
But unlike most of the pure electric cars on the U.S. market, the Clarity is a mid-size sedan.
That distinguishes it from more than a dozen of the battery-electric offerings over the last five years, all of which have been small five-door hatchbacks.
But while its size and body style may distinguish it, the upcoming Clarity EV will offer just 80 miles of rated battery range, according to a report today in trade journal Automotive News (subscription may be required).
That puts it behind not only the highest-range electrics on the market, but in fact behind almost every other battery-electric car on the market.
2017 Honda Clarity prototype testing in Southern California, July 2016 [photo: Sean Alarid]Enlarge Photo
At the top of the range, every Tesla offers more than 200 miles of rated range, and the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV hatchback is rated at 238 miles.
But five other 2017 models pass the 100-mile mark: the BMW i3 (114 miles), Ford Focus Electric (115 miles), Hyundai Ioniq Electric (124 miles), Nissan Leaf (107 miles), and Volkswagen e-Golf (125 miles).
In fact, if the Clarity EV comes in at exactly 80 miles combined in its EPA range ratings, it will top only the hapless Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric minicar, at 62 miles.
READ THIS: 2017 Honda Clarity preview
Even the all-electric version of the Smart ForTwo two-seat minicar (soon to be the only version of the Smart sold in North America), is expected to come in over 80 miles.
Speaking to Automotive News, Honda says it learned a lot from its experience with the 1,100 or so Fit EV small hatchbacks it leased.
Fit EV drivers complained not about the car's range but about its "diminutive size," according to Honda's vice president of environmental business development, Steve Center.
First 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell deliveries, Torrance, CaliforniaEnlarge Photo
And, he suggested, the company is known for affordable prices, but a higher battery capacity would have made the Clarity EV unaffordable.
The all-electric Clarity is expected to start at a price of around $35,000 before incentives, though Honda hasn't released pricing as yet.
The Clarity is actually a range of three vehicles, with fuel-cell, battery-electric, and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
Honda has long said it expects the plug-in hybrid version to be the most popular of all Clarity variants.
Honda has delivered 50 Clarity Fuel Cell sedans since that version went on sale in December.
The company will provide more details on the full Clarity lineup at a media event to be held next month.
[hat tip: Jason Allen]