Electric cars are great but most of them have a rather large problem, the fact that they give their drivers “range anxiety” which basically means that the driver is scared to go too far because the car will remain out of juice and recharging it could take simply too much time. Some manufacturers addressed this problem by installing a large network of fast-chargers which is the case of Tesla which can recharge one of its cars from 0 in less than an hour.
In order to get past this problem, Toyota and Honda developed hydrogen fuel-cell cars that use hydrogen to make electricity for their electric motors. The advantage is that the cars can be refilled with hydrogen in as little as 3 minutes which much better than the recharge time of even the best electric cars.
What’s new for 2017?
However, there are still problems and in order to solve them, both Honda and Toyota have two special cars out there which can be bought or leased by people to use with the only requirement being that these people will offer some kind of feedback. The 2017 Honda Clarity is the successor of the previous FCX clarity and it looks to solve some of the issues of the previous model.
Firstly, there is quite a bit more space inside the cabin thanks to the car’s new platform which gives it a slightly shorter wheelbase but a slightly longer, wider and taller body.
Under the Hood
The engine of the 2017 Honda Clarity has also been extensively revised from the previous model so it is now smaller in size but more powerful, being able to offer as much as 174 horsepower. The engine still drives the front wheels so the car will get to 60 MPH in around 9 seconds which is barely average. The great part is that the fuel-cell has been extensively redesigned so it now can fit under the hood of the car and despite the fact it is smaller, it is just as powerful as before thanks to the fact Honda improved the power density in the fuel cell from 2 kW/l up to 3.1 kW/l.
The hydrogen tanks are similar in size to the previous car but this time around one of them is under the rear seats and one under the trunk’s floor. The tanks should be more than enough for around 300 miles which is quite good considering the only exhaust is pure water. The drawback is that hydrogen fuel stations are scarce around the World and most of them are now in California.
The good part is that Honda will likely provide the buyer free fuel for the first three years of ownership which would be very good for those looking to commute with the car.
Design – Inside and Outside look
Just as we said, the design of the car did change quite a bit, especially now when it also uses a different platform. The front end borrows Honda’s latest design scheme but it adds a few unique touches such as the interconnected headlights and fog-lamps, the slightly aggressive air-intakes and even the sporty-looking rear bumper.
Inside the cabin, the 2017 Honda Clarity is not only offering more space but also better materials as well as a better driving posture.
Also, the controls have been streamlined in order to make the car very easy to use and as standard it will come with Honda’s safety assists as well as their infotainment system which now supports both Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto.
2017 Honda Clarity Price
The price hasn’t been released so far but considering the previous model and what Honda’s officials said so far, it will likely cost around $60,000 or it will be available for lease for around $500/month.
The major rival is Toyota Mirai.