The Honda Clarity has always been a fuel-cell car, but the name is now for a series of green cars that includes the just-unveiled Plug-in Hybrid and Electric models. Joining the Clarity Fuel Cell that was launched late last year, the trio is expected to contribute to an anticipated five-fold increase in Honda’s US sales of electrified vehicles over the next four years. 75,000 units is the target.

“The Honda Clarity is aimed at accelerating the deployment of advanced electrified powertrain technology and bringing electrified vehicles further into the mainstream. The Clarity series also heralds the advancement of our Honda Electrification Initiative, representing our investment in the full spectrum of electric-vehicle technologies,” said Jeff Conrad, senior VP of American Honda Motor Co.

Each Clarity variant has unique design elements, including its own special hero colour, and differentiated front styling, headlights, tail lamps and 18-inch wheel designs. Honda promises comfortable seating for five adults; premium, environmentally responsible materials; and a smooth, quiet and refined driving experience. Things like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Honda Sensing safety tech are standard.

The 2017 Honda Clarity Electric is powered by a 161 hp/300 Nm electric motor drawing power from a 25.5 kWh battery pack. The vehicle can by fully charged in over three hours at 240 volts, and when using DC fast charging with the SAE Combined Charging System can achieve an 80% charge in 30 minutes. It features three selectable driving modes – Normal, Econ and Sport.

The Clarity EV – seen here in blue – will launch in 2017, starting with a lease programme in the US states of California and Oregon.

The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, reaching dealerships later this year, is anticipated to earn an all-electric driving range rating of 68 km, the longest of any midsize PHEV, Honda claims. Under the hood is a 1.5 litre Atkinson cycle engine to generate electricity and, under certain conditions, to act as a direct power source, resulting in an anticipated overall driving range rating in excess of 531 km.

The vehicle’s electromotive power comes from a 181 hp/315 Nm electric motor drawing power from both the engine and a 17 kWh battery pack with a recharge time of 2.5 hours at 240 volts. In addition to the three regular modes, HV mode maintains the battery’s state of charge and can be selected in conjunction with Normal, Econ and Sport driving modes. The volume seller of the Clarity trio will be available in standard and Touring trim levels.

The Clarity Fuel Cell is the ultimate zero-emissions model for those who want to take it a step further. It has an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified driving range of 589 km, the best range rating of any car without an internal combustion engine in the US.

Honda is not done with its green car plans. The company has previously announced plans to introduce a dedicated new hybrid car to the US market in 2018. The new model will be Made in USA.

GALLERY: 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid


GALLERY: 2017 Honda Clarity Electric

GALLERY: Honda Clarity Fuel Cell