While it’s been clear for quite a while now that Honda is in no rush to embrace electric vehicle technologies, the news that the all-electric Honda Clarity will reportedly possess a range of only 80 miles per charge still surprised me a bit.
Yes, the upcoming all-electric Honda Clarity will only possess around 80 miles of real-world range, according to Automotive News — which makes it pretty clear that the model will be sold simply as a compliance car. But who will even buy it?
It should be remembered that pricing for the model will reportedly (this is unconfirmed) begin at $35,000 — quite high for a model with only 80 miles of range, isn’t it? The similarly priced Chevy Bolt has 238 miles of range, according to the EPA, and the Tesla Model 3 will reportedly receive a rating over 200 miles as well. But even current versions of the Nissan LEAF, BMW i3, Ford Focus Electric, Hyundai Ioniq Electric, and other models have far more than 80 miles of range.
Automotive News notes: “it leaves Honda to tackle a tough problem: how to build a cutting-edge brand image around its Clarity line of electrified vehicles with a battery EV whose range barely tops that of a Nissan Leaf circa 2010.”
Adding another bewildering statement to the mix: “The shortfall is not a failure of its engineering, Honda says, but the unavoidable result of its choices.” Is Honda really so far behind that it could believe that? Or is it just an absurd attempt at anti-EV spin? Here’s more of the Automotive News reporting:
“The automaker defined two parameters that were nonnegotiable: the physical size of the Clarity platform — which the EV shares with the Clarity plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell models — and the cost of the battery-electric version. … With those hard points, Honda didn’t leave itself any leeway to fit a longer-range battery, which would have been heavier and costlier.”
The vice president of environmental business development at American Honda Motor, Steve Center, commented: “A pillar of the Honda brand is affordability, and if Honda came out with some obscenely priced long-range electric car, what does that do for the brand? Most of our customers would not be able to acquire it.”
What a bunch of fluff that is. How does the company expect to compete with GM (Chevy), Nissan, Hyundai, Tesla, etc.?
Pricing for a brand new Tesla Model 3 will begin at $35,000 — the exact same price requirement that was reportedly put on the Honda engineers. Why would anyone buy an 80-mile Honda Clarity when they can get a Model 3 for the same price? For that matter, why get a Honda Clarity EV when you can get a Chevy Bolt for essentially the same price?
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