Driving Honda’s Clarity Electric Sedan

honda-clarity-rear-wideWe’ve spent months now behind of the wheel of Honda’s battery-powered Clarity Electric sedan and have some strong opinions about the car. First of all, the Clarity feels downright spacious and luxurious for its segment. There’s simply loads of room inside, providing the driver a comfortable place to pilot this machine while passengers have the luxury of spreading out without fear of cramping their style, or infringing on someone else’s space. It’s a welcoming interior with comfortable and supportive leather seating, easy-to-manipulate controls, and good visibility.

We’ve grown accustomed to its rhythms over the past 2,000 miles. Those have been convenient and comforting rhythms, allowing us to plug the car in at night and start out the day with a full charge…with never a gas station on the agenda. Plus there’s the additional benefit of a favorable EV rate option that’s offered by many electric utilities that encourage electric vehicle ownership and at-home charging.

honda-clarity-chargeportThree hours is about all it takes to bring the Clarity’s lithium-ion battery to a full charge with a wall-mounted 240-volt charger. Then there’s the option of fast-charging if a public charger of this type is available, since the Clarity Electric has a chargeport that allows this option. In this case, 480 volt DC fast charging with an SAE Combo/CCS adapter takes under 30 minutes to reach an 80 percent state-of-charge, the equivalent of  71 miles of range in the Clarity Electric. Storing this energy is a 25.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that does not compromise the Clarity’s 14.3 cubic feet of trunk space.

The Clarity Electric delivers what we look for in an electric vehicle. It drives seamlessly on battery power, to the point where the only reminder you’re driving electric is the subtle sound of an electric motor, something many prefer to the muffled sound of internal combustion. The Clarity Electric’s 161 horsepower electric motor and single-speed gearbox deliver quick launches and linear acceleration. Road manners are superb, with extremely little noise, vibration, and harshness transmitted to the well-insulated cabin.

honda-clarity-straight-on-1Our journey with Green Car Journal’s long-term Clarity Electric test car continues, with additional updates coming in the months ahead.

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