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Honda Clarity Goes on Sale in Japan, But Only 200 Units a Year

12 Mars 2016 - Autoblog

Honda Clarity Goes on Sale in Japan, But Only 200 Units a Year

Honda has officially started leasing its Clarity hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to select customers in Japan, and the sedan should arrive at a few dealers in California late in the year.

Once the model is available in the US, expect the Clarity to be the natural challenger to the Toyota Mirai FCEV.

The Clarity boasts an electric motor with 174 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. In Japan's JC08 test, Honda claims the sedan can travel the equivalent of 750 km, but that evaluation is more lenient than its US equivalent. The automakers expects the sedan to receive an EPA-estimated driving distance of over 300 miles. Prices in Japan begin at the current equivalent of $67,800. However, examples here should retail for around $60,000 and lease for under $500 a month. The Toyota Mirai is similar to the Clarity in major categories, including an EPA range of 502 km and leases for $499 a month. The two of them should have quite a fight.

Honda plans to limit Clarity production to 200 units in Japan for the first year, and only government agencies or businesses can lease them there. After the company collects impressions from these clients, it intends to make the sedan available to individuals. The decision only to lease the Clarity at first evokes the early days at of electric vehicles when companies like General Motors used the strategy to get the EV1 to customers.

One thing that could give Honda the edge in the upcoming hydrogen fuel cell battle is its history in the market. The company first offered them with the FCX and later followed up with the FCX Clarity. By this point, the automaker should be well acquainted with the process.

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