crazy ambitious goal to turn two-thirds of its new car sales into electrified cars by 2030 got a boost on Wednesday at the New York Auto Show, when the automaker debuted two new sedans to its lineup: The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid and the Clarity Electric, a fully electric car.
Steve Center, who’s Honda’s vice president of connected and environmental business development, says “we’re really at the beginning of the vertical” when it comes to electrified car adoption — including hybrid vehicles with gasoline-powered motors.
Honda has been on a hot streak the last four years: It sold 4.7 million new cars in 2016, a new record. If we use last year’s numbers, two-thirds is 3.1 million electric new cars sold every year. For context, there have been only 540,000 electrified cars have been sold in the United States, ever.
The 2030 goal is also closer than it seems, Center says.
“It’s only thirteen years and in auto development, that’s mañana,” he told Inverse after introducing the new cars.
The two new models are part of the Clarity series in the Civic lineup, which also includes an already-released hydrogen fuel cell-powered Clarity Fuel Cell, which saw its first deliveries in December to customers in California. Right now, there are a little more than 100 Clarity Fuel Cell cars on the road. Honda has set a target of selling 75,000 Clarity cars — fuel cell, hybrid, or all-electric — annually, starting next year. Honda wants these cars to become commonplace and fast.
Oh, About That New Honda Hybrid in the Works
Before we get to the two new Clarity models, we learned a little more about upcoming hybrid Honda first hinted at during the Detroit Auto Show in January. Jeff Conrad, the senior vice president and general manager for Honda North America, said the car will be revealed early next year (CES?), will have a two-motor system, and will be built in America. Honda has plans to make hybrid trucks, too. Conrad also said that over the next two years, more than half of the new models Honda introduces in the United States will be “electrified vehicles of one kind or another.”
“This is a challenging target, especially here in our market, where gas costs less than a bottle of water,” Conrad said of the 2030 sales goal.
Nonetheless, Conrad said: “We believe our Clarity vehicles are well positioned to meet the need of a growing group of customers, ready to take take a step up into that automotive future.”
Here are the bullet points on the new electrified Honda Clarity cars introduced:
Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid
- Five-passenger sedan
- Range: All-electric range of 42 miles; 330-mile range when using the four-cylinder engine.