Honda’s perception of electric vehicles is quite different from all other car manufacturers. We can’t say whether it is better or worse, yet we must say it’s much more complicated and pretty exotic. The Japanese car manufacturer has introduced the interesting 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell that is essentially the EV. However, in contrast to Tesla’s models that need to be charged, this mid-size sedan uses hydrogen only.
The system is really ingenious, but has one big flaw at the moment. This is because there are very few specialized stations, so the car has rather limited radius of movement. Initially, Honda’s Clarity Fuel Cell will be offered in California, but this will definitely change if the car becomes some success. Well, we think it will, and here is why:
2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell: Drivetrain
The 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is powered by an electric motor that draws power from a fuel cell. However, the system also includes a lithium-ion battery pack that collects energy from braking and unused energy created by the fuel cell. The accumulated energy will be released only when the car really needs some additional power. The drivetrain setup isn’t too powerful, but there is enough power without any doubt. There will be around 174 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. The drive is going to be on the front wheels only. A 0-60 sprint will be around 9 seconds, but this isn’t too important. On the other hand, its hydrogen capacity provides 434 miles of range. This further means that the Clarity could achieve around 300 miles of EPA-rated range. This is almost good as Mirai’s 312 miles.
Styling and Features
This green car looks pretty unique, but there are a few checkpoints that indicate that the Japanese carmaker played safe this time. Essentially, the overall design has a lot in common with the Accord and Crosstour. The bestselling nameplate is so evident in the front, while the fastback rear hatch shows Crosstour’s influence. Moreover, the interesting 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is 193 inches long, which appears to be the exact footprint of the Accord as well.
The interior styling is quite interesting too. The vehicle sports five seats, but we strongly recommend you to sit down in the front, because you will get more space and climate-controlled seat. The steering wheel is pretty familiar, because it’s borrowed from the current Accord. It features tilt and telescoping. The dash is looking very futuristic, but it also sports some quite familiar details. The interface seems pretty similar to the Honda Fit EV. It includes a three-dimensional display that has some additional features like meters for hydrogen consumption and battery level.
Estimated Price and Arrival
The hydrogen-powered Clarity will be available very soon, most likely during this month. They haven’t said anything regarding the price, but we think it will cost around $60,000.
Except of the 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell, Honda will also introduce the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-In sometime in 2018. These two will have pretty the same design, but totally different drivetrains.