There's a new hydrogen fuel-cell kid in town.
Well after Hyundai and Toyota launched their own fuel-cell cars in California, the first 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell sedans to be leased to retail customers were delivered yesterday in a small ceremony.
Like the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell and Toyota Mirai, the Clarity Fuel Cell is available only California, as the Golden State is the only one with sufficient hydrogen fueling infrastructure.
The first six cars were handed over to customers at Honda's Torrance, California, campus, allowing the company to make good on its promise of putting the Clarity Fuel Cell on sale before the end of 2016.
All six customers had leased Honda's previous fuel-cell vehicle, the FCX Clarity, which was introduced in 2008 in California as part of a limited-scale pilot program.
The Clarity Fuel Cell is actually the third Honda fuel-cell car for Jon Spallino, a private securities investor.
First 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell deliveries, Torrance, California
He owned an FCX Clarity, and was also the first individual customer for the car that preceded it, the 2005 FCX subcompact hatchback.
Both the FCX and FCX Clarity were limited-volume vehicles leased customers in order to provide real-world feedback for further development of fuel-cell vehicles.
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The other customers who took delivery of some of the first Clarity Fuel Cell sedans yesterday include: Jack Cusick, assistant principal of Newport Harbor High School; Jackie Keller, founder of NutriFit LLC; Jim Salomon, president of Questar Construction; Karen Thorp, deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County; and Terry Tamminen, CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
The 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell is now available to lease through 12 California dealerships, including six in Southern California, five in the Bay Area, and one in the state capital of Sacramento.
2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell
Honda leases the Clarity Fuel Cell at $369 a month for 36 months, with $2,868 due at signing.
That includes an allowance of 20,000 miles per year, up to $15,000 of hydrogen fuel, roadside assistance, and 21 days of Avis Luxury car rentals, within the state of California.
The Clarity Fuel Cell boasts the longest range of any zero-emission vehicle—hydrogen fuel-cell or battery-electric—currently on sale, at an EPA-rated 366 miles.
Plug-in hybrid and battery-electric variants will arrive within the next year to be sold alongside the fuel-cell model.