As announced Thursday by American Honda Motor Company, Honda engineering has dropped its hat into the expanded electric vehicle (EV) range competition, following BMW, Tesla and other manufacturers dedicated to a not so distant zero exhaust emissions future. According to the maker, Honda has committed to a 3-option platform for Clarity — including expanded “electric only”(40 miles) plug-in gasoline/electric hybrid range.
Although briefly eluded to by Honda’s John Mendel in Detroit and then New York in 2015, Honda initially committed to expanding plug-in electric, hybrid gasoline/electric, and dedicated hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) by model year 2018.
Now, slightly ahead of schedule, the Atkinson Cycle 4 cylinder gasoline/electric 2017 Accord hybrid returns to market in the spring of 2016 with the Clarity FCEV not too far back in the rear view mirror.
Expanded Clarity platform lineup
According to Honda News, the Tokyo based world car manufacturer will expand the Clarity platform to offer fuel cell electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid electric, and extended range battery electric options, all built on the Clarity world-platform. I experienced the 2017 Clarity FCEV in Los Angeles and was impressed by its styling and future forward, technically advanced near autonomous driving environment.
The electrification of Honda
As announced earlier in the year by John Mendel, Honda continues on a forward trajectory as to the development and expansion of a viable compressed hydrogen refueling network, and a joint venture with General Motors to develop a viable mainstream cost effective fuel cell “stack.” in the interim, Honda and Acura division has committed to the expanded electrification of the lineup through gasoline/electric hybrid technology and regenerative braking.
Back in March, Acura announced a turbocharged gasoline/electric hybrid 2017 MDX SUV, sharing some of the same technology presented in the 2017 Acura NSX hybrid super car — the first SUV in Acura’s lineup to feature next generation gasoline/electric hybrid technology and advance SH-AWD electric motor assisted torque vectoring.
With the predicted explosive growth in the mainstream electric vehicle segment, as indicated by Tesla 3 record pre production purchase reservations, it looks as though Honda is right on development and production track for an alternative propulsion emissions free future — not too far down the road.