Honda’s hybrid and electric cars have been around for years. But there’s one you may not have heard of: the Clarity EV. This Honda is an electric plug-in that indicates the automaker’s commitment to the environment through fuel cell development. However, this model might not be around much longer.
The 2020 Honda Clarity EV
Here’s the nitty-gritty of it: The Honda Clarity represents what Edmunds calls “an advanced fuel vehicle” that’s supposed to appeal to eco-conscious buyers. If you need to charge only occasionally, you’ll want the plug-in version because it’ll go 48 miles on the electric battery and then switch to gas mode. However, in California, you can get the Clarity Fuel Cell EV if you’re near a refueling station, giving the car a 360-mile range.
The Honda Clarity feels the same as any other midsize sedan. It’s a smooth and comfortable ride. But the acceleration and handling are merely adequate. The limited cargo space and dated infotainment system are other drawbacks. And if you’re accustomed to the taut ride of other Honda sedans, you might not like the Clarity.
Overall, if you want to reduce your gas consumption, consider the Clarity. The plug-in hybrid is the best option because it offers more all-electric range than almost all other competitors, and that’ll help avoid using the gas engine. The hydrogen model has a niche status, so it’s a harder sell for most buyers. Regardless, Honda has contributed to the future of electric vehicles through the Clarity.
Changes for 2021
In short, there won’t be an EV version of the 2021 Honda Clarity. It’s been discontinued, MotorTrend reports. But you can still get the plug-in hybrid and the California-only version, offering Jetsons-esque styling in a well-executed sedan.
Regenerative braking is one of the 2021 Clarity’s strong points, but the steering is not. Another quibble: The gas engine in the hybrid can be noisy. And as with all vehicles in the Honda lineup, the infotainment system is dated. But if you need an efficient Honda that’s larger than the Insight, the 2021 Clarity might be a good option for you.
Farewell, Clarity EV
The Honda Clarity EV was Honda’s only all-electric car in the United States. And though you’ll no longer be able to buy a new one, you can still find 2020 and older models. Frankly, its discontinuation isn’t all that not surprising, considering it goes only 89 miles before it needs recharging. If you drive, say, 20 miles a day Monday through Friday, you’ll have to charge it before the week is up. And that’s if you don’t go to the grocery store or shuttle the kids to school. That’s just too much charging for most people. And because competitors offer all-electric cars with 240-mile ranges, it’s easy to see why Honda closed the curtain on the Clarity EV.
There you have it. You can still get a Honda Clarity EV, but you’ll have to buy a used one after this year. Or opt for the hybrid or plug-in version if you fancy a 2021 model. However, the fact that you probably never heard of this car before now might be a sign that all Clarity models will go the way of its EV.