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Honda rounds out Clarity series with Electric, Plug-In Hybrid models

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Late last year, Honda released the first in its trio of zero-emissions vehicles with the Clarity Fuel Cell. Today, at the New York Auto Show, the Japanese automaker has introduced its two siblings, the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-In Hybrid.

The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is the only of the three mid-size sedans to launch nationwide. Its 17-kWh battery pack will provide an expected 42 miles of all-electric driving range, and recharge in about 2.5 hours on 240 volts. Its electric motor provides 181 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque. Its 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine generates electricity and provides extra motive power when needed, and allows an extended total driving range expected to exceed 330 miles. The plug-in version offers three driving modes – Normal, Econ, and Sport – plus an HV mode that maintains charge. Expected EPA mile-per-gallon-equivalent rating is a combined 105 MPGe.

The Plug-In Hybrid, which will be the volume seller of the three, will come in standard and Touring trim levels. It will go on sale later this year in all 50 states starting somewhere in the mid-$30,000 range.

The Clarity Electric features a 25.5-kWh battery pack, and a 120-kW (161-hp) electric motor producing 221 pound-feet of torque. Driving range will be limited, with previous reports suggesting about 80 miles. It charges in a little over three hours at 240 volts, or to 80 percent in 30 minutes on a DC fast charger. It's expected to get 120 MPGe in the city, 102 MPGe highway, and a combined rating of 111 MPGe. The Clarity Electric offers the same Normal, Econ, and Sport driving modes as the PHEV. The Clarity Electric will also start in the mid-$30,000 range, with leasing beginning in California and Oregon later this year. The Electric will be limited to those states, with the possibility of expanding to other markets at a later date.

Taking the Clarity series as a whole, Honda is targeting 75,000 sales in the first four years, which should help push the automaker toward its goal of having two-thirds of global sales coming from electrified vehicles by 2030. "The Honda Clarity is aimed at accelerating the deployment of advanced electrified powertrain technology and bringing electrified vehicles further into the mainstream," says American Honda Motor VP Jeff Conrad. Honda also plans to launch a new dedicated hybrid, to be built in America, in 2018.

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