In 1999, Honda introduced the EV Plus with a range of 81 miles. The cute compact launched as a lease-only car in California just in time for the start of the state’s zero-emission vehicle program. A decade later, Honda offered the all-electric version of the five-passenger Fit hatchback for three years. To date, Honda’s biggest foray into electric vehicles in the United States has been the trio of Clarity models that arrived in late 2016.
The Clarity, a large family sedan, was introduced as a pure EV, plug-in hybrid, and fuel-cell electric vehicle. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, which sells across the United States, is one of the best-selling plug-in hybrids on the market.
In recent years, Honda displayed a series of small hip, retro-styled EV concepts at major international auto shows. That culminated in the adorable Honda e roadster that went on sale in Europe in 2020. But the best days for Honda EVs are ahead. In April 2020, the company announced that it was teaming up with General Motors to produce two new EV-specific models expected in about 2023.
The Honda Clarity was introduced with three different powertrains: a pure battery-electric EV, a fuel-cell electric vehicle, and a plug-in hybrid. The first two versions were available in limited numbers in a few states, and the battery electric Clarity was discontinued in 2020. Meanwhile, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, with 48 miles of range, continues to reign as the king of all-electric distance among plug-in hybrids. Drivers with a typical commute might visit a gas station only a few times a year.
After the EV battery is depleted, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid operates like a conventional hybrid, offering 42 miles per gallon of gasoline. That’s impressive for a sedan with as much room and comfort as the Clarity. The Clarity’s cabin has a high-end feel that you might find in an Acura, Honda’s luxury brand. Its 36.2 inches of rear legroom handily beat the space provided in the Prius Prime and Hyundai Ioniq, two competing plug-in hybrid models.
The combination of the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid’s gas engine and electric motor provides 212 horsepower, making this ultra-efficient large sedan a capable commuter and a smooth highway cruiser.
The Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid has a relatively large battery for a plug-in hybrid: 17-kilowatt-hours. While many plug-in hybrids are equipped with a 3.3-kilowatt onboard charger, Honda doubled the rate of level 2, 240-volt charging by using a 6.6-kW charger.
As a result, refilling the Clarity Hybrid’s battery from empty to full using a capable home EV charging station takes as little as 2.5 hours. That makes JuiceBox an excellent choice for Clarity Plug-in Hybrid owners who need a Honda charging station.
As with other plug-in hybrids, DC fast charging is not essential for the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, and is not offered.
Honda is partnering with General Motors for its future EVs—the GM electric architecture will use state-of-the-art onboard chargers capable of faster rates, likely around 11 kilowatts. The GM design can accommodate battery packs from 50 kilowatt-hours all the way up to 200-kWh packs providing nearly 400 miles on a single charge. To charge those coming big-battery Honda EVs and to future proof your EV fast charging investment, it makes sense to buy a high-powered JuiceBox 40 or JuiceBox 48.