Just What is Honda Doing With Its Electric Car Plans?

Long known for its distaste of electric vehicles, Japanese automaker Honda will launch the all-electric version of its Clarity Fuel Cell Sedan — The Honda Clarity EV —  on August first this year, limiting sales to just the states of California and Oregon.

With a range of just 89-miles (143 kilometers) per charge, the Honda Clarity EV is hardly a car to get excited about, and is clearly a compliance card designed to ensure Honda meets California’s Zero Emission Vehicle mandate.

Yet later this year, Honda is expected to launch not one but two brand-new electric vehicles models. One will be a brand-new vehicle exclusively for the Chinese market, while the other will be a ‘built for electric’ model that Honda hopes to sell around the world. Both are expected to improve on the range of the Honda Clarity EV and should help Honda make up some of the ground it has lost in the plug-in marketplace since it ceased production of the limited-market Honda Fit EV back in 2014.

If Honda is working to bring more capable electric cars to market, what exactly is going on now? Why is the Honda Clarity EV even being produced? And what is Honda’s long-term goal for electric vehicles?

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  • CDspeed

    The Clarity EV seems like an after thought, that ended up looking like the poor effort it is. They must have been developing it as the second gen Clarity FCV when someone decided to squeeze two other powertrain options into it. So it suffered the same poor packaging as any other after thought EV conversion. The battery is small because it doesn’t fit anywhere else but the trunk, and they had to balance battery size with how much trunk space they were willing to sacrifice. I think conversions can be really good if the builder intends to make it a great car. It does seem like Honda realized, maybe at the last second before launch, that the Clarity EV was embarrassingly behind the competition.