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2018 Honda Clarity PHEV Review --> Discontinued

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The 2018 Honda Clarity is the brand’s latest purpose-built hybrid. It follows in the path of the two generations of Insight, but unlike the two Insights, this one has its sights set a little more in the mainstream.

This one wants to be your family car, not your compact commuter. So how does it stack up as a midsize sedan and as a fuel economy champ?

This isn’t the first car to wear the Clarity badge. The first was a funky fuel cell-only car that sold in very limited numbers from 2008 to 2014. This one will be available as a fuel cell vehicle and a full EV in certain U.S. markets, on top of the plug-in hybrid that will be available everywhere.
Read more about the 2018 Honda Clarity PHEV Review at
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Honda discontinues fuel cell car Clarity on weak demand

June 16, 2021

TOKYO -- Honda Motor will stop production of the Clarity fuel cell car this year, the automaker said Tuesday, as part of a broader push to trim underperforming models.

Honda has also decided to stop making the Legend, its high-end gasoline-fueled sedan, as well as the Odyssey luxury sport utility vehicle. Realigning global manufacturing operations, the Japanese company will focus on electrics to advance toward its goal of selling only zero-emissions vehicles by 2040.

The automaker first rolled out fuel cell vehicles in 2016. But the lease-only Clarity's relatively high price of 7.83 million yen ($71,200), coupled with a dearth of hydrogen-fueling stations, dampened demand for the model. Honda sold only about 1,900 units worldwide.

Sales of the Clarity plug-in hybrid, introduced in 2018, will be discontinued as well.

The Clarity, Legend and Odyssey are all assembled at the Sayama plant near Tokyo
, which is slated to close in the fiscal year ending March 2022. Honda has decided not to move their production elsewhere once the plant has shut.

Honda entered into a partnership with General Motors for fuel cell vehicles in 2013. In 2017, the companies set up a joint venture to produce battery systems for fuel cell and other vehicles. Honda plans to continue partnering with General Motors in developing fuel cell vehicles, and will consider rolling out new models.

Other automakers that produce fuel cell vehicles include Hyundai Motor and Toyota Motor, which launched a new version of its Mirai fuel cell sedan in December. Although considered a key component of decarbonization strategies, the hefty price tag and scant hydrogen-fueling infrastructure have kept the vehicles from gaining popularity.

Some experts believe automakers will now focus on adapting fuel cell technology for buses, trucks and other commercial vehicles instead.

The Legend first appeared on the scene in 1985 before briefly falling out of production in 2012. The model came back as a hybrid version in 2015, but the current fifth-generation version sold only 216 units last year, a far cry from its peak of roughly 20,000 vehicles in 1991.

During the previous fiscal year ended March, Honda released a limited-edition Legend that was the world's first production vehicle certified at level-three autonomous driving. However, volume was restricted to 100 units and only available for lease.

Honda will discontinue sales of the Legend, but it is considering releasing models equipped with advanced self-driving technology.

The Odyssey was first launched in 1994 as a pioneering Japanese minivan, helping Honda rebound from a business slump. The Odyssey proved popular among families and sold 126,000 units in 1995. When the Odyssey received a high-end face-lift, it lost out in competition with the Toyota Alphard and similarly priced models.

Honda Clarity Going Out Of Production Due To Weak Demand: Report

Jun 16, 2021 at 9:26am ET

Honda responded with this lengthy statement confirming the Clarity's discontinuation:

The entire Clarity series played a valuable role in advancing Honda’s portfolio approach to electrification, which is an important aspect of our commitment to reduce CO2 emissions.

Now, with a commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050, Honda has set a target to make 100% of our vehicles sales battery-electric (BEV) or fuel cell electric (FCEV) by 2040.

We are evolving our strategy with a focus on increased application of our two-motor hybrid system to core models in advance of the introduction of our first volume BEV models in 2024.

Consistent with this strategy, Honda will conclude production of the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Fuel Cell in August 2021. This will ensure we have the Clarity Fuel Cell available for lease through 2022, and Honda will continue to support our Clarity customers in the marketplace.

FCEVs will play a key role in our zero emissions strategy, which is being advanced by our joint manufacturing and development agreements. We continue to make significant investments in fuel cell infrastructure and battery technology.
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Well, this is disappointing.

I had seriously considered buying the Clarity PHEV before purchasing my 2018 Accord. I was even planning to install a 240 volt charging station in my garage.

The Clarity Touring had most of the latest technology, amenities and conveniences being offered on the Accord Touring trim. This was going to be my way of transitioning from an all gasoline engine to an electric vehicle. I wasn't ready for a battery-electric or regular hybrid, so a plug-in hybrid was ideal for me.

There were only a few amenity "must have's" that the Clarity didn't offer, but I was OK with that. However, I made the "mistake" of taking an 2018 Accord 2.0T Touring for a test drive and decided I'd buy the Accord for now, and wait for the Clarity to offer my "must have" amenities.

Oh well, I'll just have to wait and see what EVs Honda offers in the future, although I'm not so keen on their partnership with General Motors.
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