Honda is giving us more details about its new Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle which will launch in select California markets this year.
The automaker says we’ll see the five-passenger hydrogen-powered sedan hit the road before the end of 2016 and it will be priced around $60,000. Leasing one will run you “under $500” a month, which is in line with leasing either a Toyota Mirai or Hyundai Tucson FCV.
Clarity should have an estimated driving range of more than 300 miles.
The automaker says it “expects limited volumes in the early stages of production.” The first markets to get it will be San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orange County, where the country has the best hydrogen station infrastructure right now.
Both Honda and Toyota are spending money to help speed up the construction of the hydrogen stations in California, but it is slow-going. There are less than a dozen publicly accessible hydrogen refueling stations open now in California. In December, Toyota had to send mobile hydrogen fuel trailers to dealers so its Mirai customers could refuel.
“Did we expect more stations to be available by the end of 2015? Absolutely,” Coleman said in an interview with Bloomberg. “We felt like this was a sensible interim step to help supply hydrogen fuel to Mirai customers that are out there on the roads right now.”
The platform of the Clarity Fuel Cell will also be the base of a next-generation Honda Plug-In Hybrid vehicle slated for launch by 2018.
Honda says it features a second-generation i-MMD plug-in system with a better battery and more power. Honda says the improvements will “more than triple the 13-mile all-electric range” of the previous Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan.