2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell
As previously announced, the 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell will arrive in the U.S. later this year, but only in certain parts of California.
At yesterday's 2016 Washington, D.C., Auto Show, Honda said it will begin leasing cars to retail customers in select California markets "before the end of 2016."
It also said that the hydrogen fuel-cell sedan will be priced at "around $60,000," with a monthly-lease rate of "under $500."
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That's very close to the $57,500 base price and $499 lease rate for the 2016 Toyota Mirai, which is already on sale at eight California Toyota dealers.
The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell is also available for lease in California for $499 a month at selected Hyundai dealers.
Echoing statements made in November at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, Honda said the Clarity will initially be offered at select dealers in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Sacramento.
Honda Clarity Fuel Cell
Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota are limiting their fuel-cell vehicle sales to California because it is the only state with any significant hydrogen fueling infrastructure.
Initially, the Clarity will only be available for lease, although Honda claims it will "move to retail sales with increased volumes and market coverage coincident with increasing vehicle supplies" as the hydrogen fueling-station network grows.
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Those interested in leasing a Clarity can sign up for updates on Honda's customer-selection process on the company's website.
As Honda prepares to launch the Clarity, it continues to work with General Motors in a partnership established in 2013 that both companies hope will lower the cost of hydrogen fuel-cell powertrains.
A recent report from Japan claimed the two carmakers are considering expanding their collaboration, by opening a jointly-operated factory to produce fuel-cell components.
Honda Clarity Fuel Cell
The Clarity platform will also be used for a dedicated plug-in hybrid model Honda plans to launch in 2018.
Honda says that new model is a volume vehicle that will be sold in all 50 states, and will offer triple the 13-mile electric range of the previous Accord Plug-In Hybrid.
Platform sharing will allow Honda to spread the costs of the low-volume Clarity to a model that will likely sell in larger numbers than the fuel-cell car.
The same platform may also be used for a battery-electric car Honda will also launch in 2018.