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Car and Driver: Honda Will Re-Enter the EV Race in 2017 with an All-Electric Version of its Clarity

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Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

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After discontinuing the Fit EV in 2014, Honda will throw its hat into the EV ring once again next year with an all-electric, battery-powered version of its Clarity eco-mobile. The so-called Clarity Electric will follow the hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell set to go on sale at some California dealerships later this year, and a Clarity Plug-In Hybrid variant will arrive in the U.S. later in 2017.

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Other than the assertion that the Clarity Electric will be a battery-powered five-seat hatchback, the only details Honda has shared so far are that it will come standard with the Honda Sensing suite of active-safety technologies and offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities as options. Info on the battery pack, driving range, and price are anybody’s guess. Honda did say that sales of the EV will start in California before expanding to other states based on demand. Expect the nine states that follow California’s zero-emissions vehicle regulations (Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont) to be next on the list.

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Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

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We know that the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid will be sold in all 50 states by the end of 2017 and that Honda expects this gas-electric version to be the top seller among the three Clarity variants. The plug-in has an estimated all-electric driving range of more than 40 miles, with its gasoline engine stepping in after that to function as a range extender. Both the plug-in and EV versions of the Clarity are sure to be cheaper than the California-only Clarity Fuel Cell (pictured), which bears a purchase price of about $60,000 but will be offered for lease at just under $500 a month.

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Honda isn’t the only automaker to install multiple earth-friendly drivetrains in a single body style; Hyundai is doing the same thing with its Ioniq range of hybrid, plug-in-hybrid, and EV hatchbacks. And there’s always the venerable Toyota Prius and its various gas-electric powertrains and body styles, too. Keep an eye out for how Honda will put its own spin on this idea when we find out more about the Clarity lineup later this year.

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Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

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