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California first to get Honda’s Clarity fuel cell

HONDA will begin retail leasing of its new 5-passenger, hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell sedan to customers in select California markets before the end of 2016.

The company said it expects to price the Clarity Fuel Cell at around US$60,000 (RM261,000) with a targeted monthly lease under US$500.

Deliveries will begin in Los Angeles and Orange counties as well as the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento.

The Clarity Fuel Cell will anchor an expanding portfolio of advanced environmental Honda vehicles, including a reengineered 2017 Accord Hybrid, going on-sale this spring, and a new Honda Plug-In Hybrid vehicle based on the same platform as the Clarity Fuel Cell, slated for launch by 2018.

“The new Clarity Fuel Cell and Accord Hybrid arriving this year, along with the new plug-in hybrid coming by 2018, are critical steps toward a new generation of Honda advanced environmental vehicles and a true volume pillar for Honda and our product portfolio in the US,” John Mendel, executive vice president, Automobile Division, American Honda Motor said in a statement.

Honda engineers created a fuel cell stack that is 33 percent more compact than its predecessor with a 60 percent increase in power density compared to the outgoing Honda FCX Clarity.

The more compact fuel cell and integrated powertrain, comparable in size to a V-6 engine, now fits entirely under the hood of the car, allowing for a more spacious cabin with seating for five passengers.

The new Honda Clarity Fuel Cell will feature a driving range estimated to exceed 483 km, with an anticipated refueling time of approximately three to five minutes.

The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell features a low, wide aerodynamic body with clean character lines. Features include the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assistive technologies, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED exterior lighting and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels.

The Clarity Fuel Cell will be available in black, white and signature red exterior paint schemes.

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