Honda will soon be entering the electric car arena with the introduction of the Clarity EV this spring. But as Automotive News has learned, the Clarity EV will have a big disadvantage right out of the gate.
The Clarity EV will only offer a range of 80 miles on a single charge. This puts it well behind nearly all of the electric vehicles on sale.
- 2017 Nissan Leaf: 107 mile range
- 2017 Ford Focus Electric: 115 mile range
- 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric: 124 mile range
- 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf - 125 mile range
- 2017 Chevrolet Bolt - 238 mile range
Why the limited range? Honda explained to Automotive News the decision came down two parameters that were non-negotiable: the size of the Clarity's platform - underpins a fuel cell and upcoming plug-in hybrid - and keeping the starting price around $35,000. With these two points, Honda's engineers were hamstrung from putting in a larger battery. Still, Honda is trying to put a positive spin on this, saying they believe they have found a sweet spot in the EV marketplace.
"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," Steve Center, vice president of environmental business development at American Honda Motor.
"These people want a battery car and they know what they do and where they go. They're very rational and they don't need to lug around or charge up a 300-mile-range battery because that costs them electricity."
But how many of those people are out there? Studies within the past year or so have shown that while most people would be able to get away with an electric vehicle providing a range of under 100 miles, the fear of range anxiety rears its ugly head.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)