A Look at the 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid for Students in an Automotive Technology Program

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For people who want to reduce their vehicular carbon footprint, but also want to be able to travel long distances, plug-in hybrid cars are still the vehicles to beat. For short distances, they provide an eco-friendly, all-electric drive. Deplete the battery, and they switch to gasoline power, transitioning seamlessly to take drivers the rest of the way to a farther destination.

There are a number of hybrid models out there, and now, Honda has announced a new entrant to the market: the Honda Clarity Plug-In. Want a little preview of what you can expect from it? Here’s what you need to know.

Students in Automotive Technology Programs Can See the Honda Clarity Gets Pretty Good Range

There are two big issues with a lot of electric and hybrid cars: their battery-powered range is limited, and they take forever to charge up once they’re depleted. The Honda Clarity Plug-In seems to fare pretty well on both counts, though, making it a good option for people who have places to be, and times they need to be there.

All-electric range for the plug-in sits at around 67 km—easily enough for a regular back-and-forth commute—and it takes just 2.5 hours to charge the car’s battery to capacity from empty. For people who are able to plug in at home and at work, that means there’s essentially no need to worry about dipping into the gas tank on a regular day. After your automotive technology program, you might see the Clarity Plug-In become pretty popular among the hybrid-buying crowd for just that reason.

Grads of Hybrid Automotive Training Courses Might Be Surprised By Some of the Features

Regenerative braking is one of the more interesting capabilities on offer for most electric and hybrid vehicles. When braking, cars that include the technology will use the resistance caused by the slowing vehicle to generate power, which is then fed back into the battery to continue to power the car. This is a technology that can do a lot to help improve the distance capabilities of EVs, and tends to come standard. That’s why it’s doubly strange that some early reviews of the Clarity suggest the car doesn’t make use of this feature.

On the plus side, a different take could mean differences in terms of the car’s braking components, too. For graduates of hybrid automotive training courses who love to tinker with car tech, taking a look at the Clarity’s brakes could be an opportunity to do something fun and different.

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid May Fare Better Than its Siblings

The Clarity hybrid launches alongside two other models, both of which also share the Clarity name. There is a fully battery-powered electric car, and a version that runs on hydrogen fuel. Though some consider hybrid cars to be a sort of in-between step leading to those other technologies, surprisingly, the all-electric and fuel-cell versions of the Clarity feel somewhat inferior to the plug-in hybrid.

The all-electric version, for example, gets only a little more than double the range of the hybrid model’s electric range, able to drive about 130 km on a full charge. The fuel cell version, while able to go for about 589 km on a full tank of hydrogen, is only sold in some parts of California, and the lack of hydrogen fueling infrastructure virtually everywhere else means it can’t easily be taken elsewhere.

It’s a curious situation, given that cars like the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3 are arriving with hundreds of kilometers of range capability. For now, until and unless the line gets an update, the hybrid Clarity Plug-In seems like the best of its family.

Here’s a closer look at the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, as well as the Clarity Electric:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVBo0Y_Hmz8]

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