Following the closure of their Swindon factory Honda are ending production of the Clarity Fuel model and the Clarity plug in hybrid later this year. Their factory in Sayama, Japan, will also close by March next year.
The loss of the Clarity Fuel Cell isn’t a particularly big surprise because there are major struggles with hydrogen adoption in the US. A survey found fewer than 1,000 fuel cell electric vehicles delivered in America in 2020, which was down from 2,089 in 2019. In the past nine years, total sales for hydrogen models were just 8,931 units.
Shutting down the Sayama factory will also mean discontinuing the Honda Legend and Odyssey. However, American-market units of the Odyssey come from Honda’s plant in Alabama, so the availability of the minivan in the US is not affected by this decision.
Honda already cancelled the Clarity Electric last year and all three variants sold just 11,654 units in the US in 2019 and a mere 4,215 examples in 2020. The EV was only available in California and Oregon, and the Fuel Cell was limited to California.
The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell was the first version of the model to arrive and went on sale for the 2017 model year.
The company said: “The entire Clarity series played a valuable role in advancing Honda’s portfolio approach to electrification, which is an important aspect of our commitment to reduce CO2 emissions.
“Now, with a commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050, Honda has set a target to make 100% of our vehicles sales battery-electric (BEV) or fuel cell electric (FCEV) by 2040. We are evolving our strategy with a focus on increased application of our two-motor hybrid system to core models in advance of the introduction of our first volume BEV models in 2024.”