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Fuel-Cell Powered Honda Clarity Arrives at California Dealerships

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【Summary】The 2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell arrived at select Honda dealerships today. The new Honda Clarity series was chosen as Green Car Journals 2018 Green Car of the Year and Edmunds Most Innovative Car in its 2018 CES Tech Driven Awards.

Eric Walz    Apr 04, 2018 11:59 AM PT
Fuel-Cell Powered Honda Clarity Arrives at California Dealerships

The 2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell arrived at select Honda dealerships today. The new Honda Clarity series was chosen as Green Car Journals 2018 Green Car of the Year and Edmunds Most Innovative Car in its 2018 CES Tech Driven Awards.

The Clarity represents the next generation of Honda vehicles, as the company advances toward its aim to grow electrified vehicle sales to two-thirds of global sales by 2030.

In a fuel-cell Clarity, the hydrogen fuel cell converts hydrogen to electricity to charge the batteries which then powers the car's electric motor. The hydrogen fuel cell version of the Clarity offers an EPA 366 miles of range per tank of hydrogen—with zero emissions.

"Customers interested in being part of the electrified future have a great choice with the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell," said Steven Center, vice president of Connected and Environmental Business Development at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Hondas approach is to create electrified vehicles that people want to drive – with appealing styling, a premium and spacious cabin, and an engaging driving performance."

While the Clarity electric and plug-in hybrid versions are available nationwide, the fuel cell option is only available to drivers in California and Oregon, and as part of a $369-per-month lease deal it includes several unique benefits, including up to $15,000 of hydrogen fuel for the 3 year lease term, and up to 21 days of complimentary Avis luxury car rentals for those longer trips to areas where hydrogen filling stations are not as prevalent.

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The lease terms include an attractive mileage allowance of 20,000 miles per year, nearly double than average mile allowances for a leased vehicle. Automakers typically offer 10,000 or 12,000 yearly mileage allowances for leased vehicles.

The Clarity lease also includes 24/7 roadside assistance, and eligibility for California's Clean Air Vehicle Stickers, allowing single occupant HOV access.

The Clarity Fuel Cell has the highest EPA driving range rating of any zero-emission light-duty vehicle in America, including fuel cell and battery electric vehicles, with a 366-mile range rating and fuel economy rating of 68 combined MPGe (miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent). Refueling the Clarity takes approximately three to five minutes using 70 MPa hydrogen refueling stations.

According to the California Energy Commission, hydrogen fuel prices range from $12.85 to more than $16 per kilogram (kg), but the most common price is $13.99 per kg (equivalent on a price per energy basis to $5.60 per gallon of gasoline), which translates to an operating cost of $0.21 per mile. Honda is including three years of hydrogen fuel with their initial sales and lease offerings, which will shield early market adopters from this initially high fuel price. Fuel cells are 2-3 times more efficient than combustion engines, so the Clarity uses about a third less fuel than internal combustion engine vehicle, offsetting the higher cost of hydrogen.

Retail leasing of the Clarity Fuel Cell is available through a network of 12 approved Honda dealerships in select California markets, including six dealerships in theLos Angeles area and five in the San Francisco Bay Area, and one in the Sacramento area. Honda will continue to invest in its fuel cell vehicle dealer network as the network of public hydrogen fueling stations expands.

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California is leading the nation by funding the effort to build retail hydrogen fueling stations via the California Fuel-Cell Partnership, a public-private partnership to promote hydrogen vehicles in California. The focus has been to add hydrogen fuel at existing gasoline stations covering regions in northern California near San Francisco and Los Angeles, with additional connector and destination stations.

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