When the crowds at the New York Auto Show hovered around the Honda display where the automaker launched its environmentally friendly Clarity plug-in hybrid vehicle in April, the excitement was palpable. The Clarity is Honda’s model name for the line of its most environmentally friendly vehicles.
The Clarity, which will arrive at Honda dealers nationwide later this year, will be the first vehicle in the world available in three different configurations: the plug-in model available in all 50 states, a hydrogen fuel cell version only available in California, and an electric-only model that comes with a 25.5-kWh battery, which will only be sold in California and Oregon.
For now, let’s focus on the plug-in model. The plug-in hybrid includes both a large battery and a gasoline-powered engine. It plugs in to charge like an all-electric car, but, when the battery is exhausted, the regular engine kicks in and gives a much-extended range for longer journeys. Honda estimates that the Clarity will drive 42 miles on electric power, providing it with the second best range of any plug-in. That’s good enough for most consumers to get to work, school, or the grocery store, and back home to re-charge and plug in at night. Its total battery-and-gasoline range will be around 330 miles, says Honda. The plug-in Clarity should be able to fully charge its battery pack from a 240-volt outlet in 2.5 hours.
Under the hood, it has a 17-kilowatt hour battery pack paired with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that charges the battery and can directly power the wheels as well under certain conditions.
The Clarity Plug-In will share similar interior features with its two siblings. All three will have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto amenities available, bringing your favorite smartphone apps to the car’s infotainment system. Apple CarPlay allows drivers to access their music library, directions and text messages through their iPhone. Android Auto connects compatible Android phones to provide destinations, appointments, and weather updates and alerts.
Honda engineers have also designed the new vehicle with the Honda Sensing suite of active safety and driver-assistive technologies such as lane-keep assistance. A Honda Satelite-Linked Navigation System is easily accessible to use its 3D graphics for driver directions. In keeping with its environmentally friendly touch, the entire interior of the Clarity features bio-materials all made in an earth-friendly manner, yet maintaining a premium craftsman feel. Drivers and passengers will appreciate its eight-way power driver seat with two memory settings to find and save the perfect driving positions.
The exterior of the Clarity plug-in hybrid is just as special as its interior. It’s been designed with unique full LED headlights that provide exceptional visibility and a unique light signature. Likewise, its full LED taillights offer bright illumination with a distinct appearance. Drivers and passengers will appreciate the Clarity’s smooth ride on its 18-inch alloy wheels providing an aerodynamic design for performance and brake cooling.