Honda Clarity to get electric, plug-in hybrid versions

Honda is taking a page out of Hyundai's books, announcing plans for electric and plug-in hybrid variants to join a hydrogen fuel cell version of its Clarity sedan.

Following the launch of the Clarity fuel cell vehicle (FCV) in the United States in late 2016, electric and plug-in hybrid versions will go on sale in 2017, according to Honda, making it the industry's first vehicle to offer those three choices on one model platform.

The plan echoes that of the Hyundai IONIQ, which will be available with an industry-first three electrified options—full electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid—when it hits the market.

Honda said the Clarity Electric "will be the first affordable, midsize, five-passenger battery electric vehicle (BEV) to offer premium content and features."

Expected to be the volume leader for the Clarity, the plug-in hybrid version will boast an electric driving range "in excess" of 40 miles, or more than 64 kilometres.

"The Honda Clarity Series will provide customers with a well-equipped, premium, midsize vehicle with range of ultra low-carbon powertrain options to suit their lifestyle needs," Honda executive John Mendel said in a statement.

"This Honda trio of dedicated, advanced technology vehicles, along with the expanded application of two- and three-motor hybrid systems to our core models, represents a strong commitment to Honda's future and will help create a new volume pillar for electrified vehicle sales."

The Clarity trio, along with the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid, are part of Honda's plan to have electrified vehicles account for two-thirds of its global vehicles sales by "around" 2030.

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