We know it will go on sale in the US next spring. We know it will have an estimated range of over 300 miles. We know it will start sales in California, since that’s where the hydrogen stations are. But perhaps the one key details about Honda’s new fuel cell vehicle that we are learning today is the name. It will be the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell.
That should ring a few H2 bells for hydrogen vehicle fans out there, since the fuel cell vehicle that Honda has been leasing since 2008 was called the FCX Clarity (and the hydrogen test vehicle before that was the FCX). Naming the new vehicle – known until now as the FCEV – the new Clarity draws a clear line through to Honda’s hydrogen history. This is a completely different message than the one that Toyota is sending with the name for its upcominghydrogen car, the Mirai. In Japanese, Mirai means future.
It is also interesting to note that Honda is not going to target regular consumers with the Clarity during the first year, at least in Japan. Honda says that it will work “mainly” with local governments and business customers that have shown an interest in hydrogen technology and will begin sales to individual customers “later.” The five-seat Clarity Fuel Cell will come in three colors: Premium Brilliant Garnet Metallic, White Orchid Pearl, and Crystal Black Pearl.
Honda says that the price, in Japan, will be 7.6 million yen, including consumption tax. That equals $63,610 in the US, but we all know these prices cannot simply be converted like this to arrive at the US MSRP. Still, now we have a guideline. At this time, Honda does not plan to sell the vehicle, since, the Clarity will be “currently available exclusively for lease sales.”
We got to take a brief drive in the FCEV this past week, and you can read more about the technological advances in the new Clarity (the smaller fuel cell stack, the powertrain packaging, etc.) here. The fact that Honda consistently calls the new car the Clarity Fuel Cell (as opposed to simply the Clarity) gives us reason to think that the upcoming PHEV and all-electric models will not only share a chassis, but also perhaps a name. Clarity EV, anyone?