The new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) from Honda, the Honda Clarity, is a chameleon of sorts, in that it adapts to your driving conditions. The main source of power of the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is the battery, which can go for 47 all-electric miles.
There is also an all-electric model and a hydrogen fuel cell variant of the Clarity that came before the plug-in hybrid. The advantage of the Honda PHEV is that it offers both an electric engine and conventional engine, along with the 17-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The main electric motor is powered by the battery, and drives the front wheels. In most cases, the car is powered by the battery.
The conventional engine kicks in—automatically—as the battery charge wanes. This gas-powered engine ups the total electric/gas driving range to 340 miles. You also get the added benefit of being able to select from three driving ranges while using the gas-powered engine: Normal, ECON, and Sport modes. A second electric motor also works in tandem with the conventional engine to keep the battery powered, so when you bring this hybrid on the highway, the main electric motor is assisted by the conventional engine.
So what’s super cool about this car? Well, besides the fact that you can drive on gas or electric, or both at once, you can actually recharge the battery while you’re driving it. This decreases the number of times you’d have to stop on longer excursions, and is just super-efficient in general. The Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid also uses regenerative brakes that recharge the battery each time you apply the brakes, which puts a whole new spin on city driving.
More Vital Features of the Honda PHEV
The eco-conscious theme is applied throughout, as the cabin’s upholstery is perforated leather and plant-derived bio fabrics. There are also power adjustable seats and dual-zone climate control, along with space enough for five adults to travel in comfort. It’s worth noting the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is a five-seat sedan in a segment containing mostly hatchbacks, which makes it a foot longer than the Chevrolet Volt, the former class-leader. With the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, you also get Honda Sensing® standard. This robust safety suite has all the bases covered with Collision Mitigation Braking, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Assist on board to ensure everyone gets to their destination safe and sound.
Here’s one of our favorite parts about buying the Honda hybrid: When you purchase the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, you may qualify for up to $7,500 in federal tax credits, along with potential state benefits—so be sure to check with your tax adviser. And remember, with the HondaLink app, you can stay connected to your car from your smartphone.
So if you want a car that you can drive in three different ways, is safe and roomy, and is good for your carbon footprint, check out the 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid. Visit your local AutoNation Honda dealer to set up a test drive!