Honda steps up with new green car strategy

Honda’s green car strategy has taken criticism over the past few years for its inability to keep up with the venerable Toyota Prius. Well, the automaker is stepping up with their introduction of the new Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in hybrid recently – at the New York Auto Show.

The new Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in hybrid will be sold alongside the Clarity Fuel Cell, which is already on sale. With all three models, Honda hopes to be able to sell at least 75,000 Clarity vehicles in the first four model years. The Clarity will also help Honda reach its goal of having two-thirds of its vehicles electrified by 2030.

The Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid will have a 42-mile electric driving range, which is still shy of the Chevy Volt, but longer than the Toyota Prius Prime. Once the battery is depleted, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid uses a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine to give it an overall driving range rating of over 330 miles.

The Clarity Plug-in hybrid’s electric motor generates 181-horsepower electric motor with 232 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a 17-kilowatt hour (kWh) battery. It will only take 2.5 hours to fully recharge it using a 240 volt outlet. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid will have EPA fuel economy rating of 105 MPGe.

The Honda Clarity Electric is powered by a 161-horsepower electric motor with 221 lb.-ft. of torque that is mated to a 25.5-kWh battery pack. The Clarity Electric will only have a driving range of around 80 miles, but it can by fully charged in just over three hours at 240 volts or up to 80 percent in just 30 minutes using a DC fast charger. The Clarity Electric will have a 111 combined MPGe rating.

The Clarity Electric’s driving range is a bit disappointing, since we now have other electric cars with a much longer driving range. Still, Honda expects the Clarity Plug-in hybrid to be the sales volume leader out of the three Clarity models.