Honda chief executive Takahiro Hachigo told Automotive News the automaker is planning to increase its alternative-powered car sales from both the Honda and Acura brands.
The plan, which includes delivering more than 1 million green cars in the US by 2030, seems ambitious when you consider the company is on track to deliver fewer than 5000 hybrids this year; however numbers will steadily rise with new hybrid models to be introduced within the next few years.
Honda has also been a pioneer with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and has taken the next step with that technology with the launch of the 2017 Clarity sedan in the US, which the carmaker claims has the best range of any non-hybrid electric vehicle of 589 kms.
“The zero-emissions family road trip is no longer science fiction", said American Honda's VP of the Environmental Business Development Office, Steve Center.
"Not only does the Clarity Fuel Cell fit five passengers and refuel in three to five minutes, it offers customers a driving range on par with gasoline-powered cars.”
The fuel cell powertrain was made as compact as a V6 engine and all fits under the bonnet allowing for a spacious cabin that seats five adults comfortably – unlike hybrids and EVs, fuel cell vehicles don’t have batteries stored along the chassis.
Also making the Clarity more commercially viable is the expected price tag of around US$60,000 when it goes on sale in California later this year.
While there are no plans to sell the Clarity in Australia, its success or failure in California will be closely watched with Toyota and Hyundai testing similar technology here.