Three’s company: Electric and Plug-In Hybrid models will join Honda’s Clarity Fuel Cell

honda clarity fuel cell joined by plug in hybrid 2017
Last year, Honda announced that it was developing a new plug-in hybrid and a new electric car. It then revealed that the plug-in hybrid would use the same platform as the 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell, but there’s been plenty of speculation that both battery models would actually be variants of the Clarity.

That speculation proved true. Honda confirmed today that both models, officially known as the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, will go on sale next year alongside the Clarity Fuel Cell, which will launch in certain parts of California later this year.

Honda expects the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid to be the volume seller, which makes sense given the limited infrastructure available for battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell cars. The company has already discussed this model a bit, confirming a range of 40 miles on electric power, and noting that the new model will be able to operate on electric power at higher speeds than the previous Accord Plug-In Hybrid.

The Clarity will also be more widely available than the Accord, which was never intended to be a volume seller. Honda says the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid will be available in all 50 states, but wouldn’t say the same for the Clarity Electric. The Clarity Fuel Cell will only be sold in California for the time being, because the Golden State is the only one with a significant network of hydrogen stations. It will likely be the most expensive of the three, with a price tag of around $60,000.

All three variants will share exterior styling, although there might be some slight tweaks to differentiate fuel-cell, battery, and plug-in hybrid versions. Honda says each will be offered with its Display Audio system, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and the Honda Sensing suite of safety features.

Offering three green powertrains in the same car allows Honda to cut costs. It’s a much less expensive route than developing platforms for three models that probably won’t sell in very large volumes individually. While Honda is the first to try this tactic with this combination of powertrains, Hyundai is doing something similar with its 2017 Ioniq, which will be sold as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric car.

Emerging Tech

Where are they now? A look back at last year’s Top Tech of CES winners

What happened to the 14 prize-winning products we singled out as the coolest things we saw at last year's CES 2018? Join us as we take a look at what the past 12 months has meant for them.

Rumors say Apple's AirPower wireless charger may finally be in production

At its September event in 2018, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.

China’s GAC Motor cruises into Detroit with all-electric Entranze concept

Chinese automaker GAC Motor brought its all-electric Entranze concept to the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. This is the third straight year that GAC has appeared in Detroit, and the company has established a design center in California.

The 8-seat, 3-row 2020 Telluride SUV is the biggest Kia ever

It's fitting that the 2020 Kia Telluride debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, as it was built specifically to meet U.S. buyers' insatiable demand for SUVs. Kia packed the eight-seat cabin with family-friendly tech as well.

Cadillac is finally ready to take on Tesla with its own electric car

At the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, Cadillac announced plans for its first electric car. The unnamed model will be a crossover, based on a new platform to be shared with other General Motors brands.

Peloton’s tech lets truckers play follow the leader to boost fuel economy

Peloton Technology can help semi trucks save fuel by running close together on the highway. Using short-range wireless communications, the trucks get a kind of super cruise control.

Move mountains with the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty and its 1,000 pound-feet of torque

Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck boasts 1,000 pound-feet of torque -- outgunning rival trucks from Ford and Chevrolet. The new Ram goes on sale later this year.

With 341 horsepower, the WRX STI S209 is the most powerful Subaru ever

The Subaru WRX STI S209 is the latest in a series of special editions that have never been sold in the United States before. The 341-horsepower pocket rocket debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

2020 Ford Explorer branches out with sporty ST, efficiency-focused hybrid models

The 2020 Ford Explorer gets two variants never before seen on Ford's stalwart family hauler. The ST focuses on performance, while the hybrid aims for decent gas mileage. Both models will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.