Powertrain Overview

  • What is a Plug-in Hybrid?
  • Plug-in hybrid vehicles, such as the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, are vehicles that use high-powered batteries to power an electric motor, and another fuel, such as gasoline or diesel, to power an internal combustion engine.

    They run on electric power, storing enough electricity in the battery to significantly reduce gasoline usage under typical driving conditions. When driven in EV mode, they produce zero emissions, and when the battery becomes depleted, the vehicle automatically switches over to the traditional gas-powered engine to allow for continued driving.

    Plug-in hybrids can be recharged by plugging them into an electrical outlet or charging station, through regenerative braking, or through the internal combustion engine.

  • Is the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid cleaner than gas-powered vehicles?
  • The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid emits less greenhouse gas and uses less gasoline than conventional vehicles. Getting electricity from renewable sources such as solar increases the benefit.
  • How does the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid maximize my driving range and efficiency?
  • The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid has various modes and technologies to maximize efficiency and range. There are three driving modes (econ, sport and normal), and there is regenerative braking with the ability to adjust the regenerative capture on the fly with the deceleration selectors on the steering wheel. The Clarity can also alternate between electric, hybrid, and direct gasoline engine drive depending on which is most efficient.
  • What size is the gasoline engine?
  • The engine is a 1.5L Atkinson-cycle 4 cylinder engine.
  • How fast does the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid go?
  • Thanks to the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid's 232 lb-ft of torque, it is quick off the line. In Sport mode, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid delivers enthusiast-level performance in terms of acceleration and top speed.
  • What is the benefit of instant torque?
  • The benefit is the immediate availability of all the motor’s torque from the moment you press the accelerator. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid offers up all 232 lb-ft. of torque at just above zero RPM. The result is brisk, smooth acceleration right off the line.
  • What kind of maintenance is required?
  • Plug-in Hybrid vehicles can require less maintenance than gasoline only powered vehicles. Please see your owner’s manual for details on scheduled maintenance.

Driving Range

  • What is the driving range on the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid?
  • TThe Clarity Plug-in Hybrid received an EPA all electric driving range of 47 miles and a combined gas and electric range rating of 340 miles. Your range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-page age/condition, and other factors such as vehicle load and weather.
  • How do I maximize my range when driving the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid?
  • The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid features energy-smart climate control technologies, an efficient Heat Pump, eco mode, and multiple levels of regeneration to help maximize your driving range.
  • Are there any functions in the car to help me maximize my battery range?
  • Yes, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is equipped with several eco-coaching functions, including an ECON mode adopted from other Honda hybrid vehicles. Additionally there are user controllable regeneration levels.
  • What does 'MPGe' mean?
  • 'MPGe' stands for 'miles per gallon equivalent,' where one gallon of gasoline equates to 33.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. Formulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is the standardized way to compare the fuel efficiency of plug-in electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles to gasoline-powered vehicles. EPA ratings, e.g., MPGe and range, are based on the results of various tests.

Charging & Fueling

  • How does charging work and what types of charging are available?
  • The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid has an onboard rechargeable battery that stores energy to power the electric motor. The battery can be charged by plugging your Clarity Plug-in Hybrid into an outlet at home, work or any public charging station. There are two ways to charge and both are accessible through the port located on the front left fender.

    Level 1 charging can be done by plugging your car into a 120-volt household outlet (with a dedicated 15 amp circuit), and is convenient with the Level 1 charging cord that is included with the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid. Level 2 charging requires a 240-volt charger, and is available at 36,000 charging stations throughout the U.S., or you can install a Level 2 charging station at your home.

  • How long does it take to charge the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid?
  • Charging time depends on the type of charger you select and the battery’s state of charge. Level 1, 120-volt charge takes about 12 hours for a full charge when starting at 11% charge. The Level 2, 240-volt charge provides you with a full charge in about 2.5 hours.
  • Can I plug into any wall outlet at my house?
  • The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid includes a 120-volt adaptor that can be plugged into a 120-volt wall outlet. It is recommended that a dedicated 120-volt GFCI outlet (not shared) with a 15 amp circuit be used and that a licensed-electrician confirm the suitability of any outlet used.
  • Can I charge at home without a Level 2 system?
  • Yes, you can charge the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid at home by using the Level 1 Charging cord that comes standard with your Clarity Plug-in Hybrid. By connecting it to 120-volt outlet (with a dedicated 15 amp circuit), it takes about 12 hours for a full charge when starting at 11% charge.
  • How do I install the Level 2, 240-volt charging system in my home?
  • Many brands of 240-volt charging equipment are available online and at retail outlets. You can also arrange for installation by a licensed electrician at most of these locations, or search for one on your own. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid utilizes SAE J1772 equipment, and for optimal charging performance, you should purchase equipment with 30 to 32 amps of output.
  • Does the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid need to be plugged in to use it?
  • No, you can drive the vehicle in hybrid mode with great fuel efficiency. However, to get the most out of the vehicle it is advantageous to plug it in to charge the battery. By maximizing your electric miles driven you increase your fuel economy and reduce your fueling cost. Plus, it’s fun!
  • Will "topping off” every night damage the battery?
  • No, "topping off" will not damage the battery.
  • Can the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid charge itself?
  • Under certain conditions, the driver can choose to use the gasoline engine to add charge to the vehicle. If the battery charge is less than 57%, pressing and holding the HV button on the center console for two seconds will lock in hybrid drive and use one of the electric motors to charge the battery up to 57%. The vehicle is also able to add some charge through the regenerative braking system during deceleration.
  • Is Clarity Plug-in Hybrid able to run when the battery is empty?
  • TWhen the battery charge is at a minimum, the vehicle is still able to run in hybrid mode.
  • Does the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid use regenerative braking to help recharge the battery?
  • Yes – lifting the accelerator (coasting) and applying the brakes converts the electric motor into a generator. As the motor slows the vehicle, it produces electricity at the same time. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid has four driver-adjusted levels of regeneration, controlled by the Decelerator Paddle Selectors on the steering wheel.
  • How does weather affect the performance and battery life?
  • The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid’s battery technology was designed with thermal stability in mind. However, inclement weather may generally affect the battery performance of all electric vehicles, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid included. Extreme temperatures also often lead to an increased use of the HVAC system, which may result in a decreased driving range.

    The available driving range for the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid may be significantly reduced when the vehicle is operated in hot or cold conditions, due to some temporary battery capacity loss and increased use of air conditioning and heating. This is particularly true with cold temperature operation. Batteries work by chemical reaction, and the speed of the reactions decrease as the temperature drops, resulting in a temporary decrease in total battery capacity. Driving range is further reduced by increased heater and other accessory use. The heater, and all other accessories, draws power from the car's high voltage battery unless the car is plugged into a Level 2 (240-volt) charging system. Reducing accessory drain will improve overall driving range. As the cold temperatures subside, these reductions in driving range should subside as well.

  • Is there a smartphone application to monitor state of charge?
  • Yes, with the HondaLink® app, drivers can remotely check the state of charge, initiate charging, remotely activate the climate control system, and more.
  • Can I schedule charging?
  • Yes, you can schedule charging through the HondaLink® app or with the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid's vehicle settings.
  • How much does it cost to use a public station?
  • There are various public charging networks for charging. The cost at Public stations vary from monthly subscriptions to a few dollars an hour to completely free. To find out how much a particular station costs, check the HondaLink® app, the PlugShare app or PlugShare.com.
  • Where can I charge the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid?
  • There are over 36,000 chargers across the US located in public locations such as malls, airports, offices, and near freeways. To find these chargers you can use the in-car navigation system, the HondaLink® App, the PlugShare app or PlugShare.com.
  • How do I find public charging stations near me?
  • The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid comes standard with Navigation and a charging station locator, as well as the HondaLink® App, which can help you locate nearby charging stations. With the HondaLink® App, you can find stations right from your smartphone.
  • What are the hours of operation at public stations?
  • Hours are generally set by charging station property owners. Use the HondaLink® app, the PlugShare app or PlugShare.com to get the operating hours for your desired station(s).
  • Does the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid need gas in the tank?
  • Though the vehicle may be driven on electricity alone, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid should never be driven without gas in the tank.
  • How much gasoline does the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid hold?
  • The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid gas tank holds up to 7 gallons of gasoline. Fully charged and with a full gas tank the vehicle received an EPA total driving range rating of 340 miles. Charging the battery often will maximize your driving range.
  • How long is the battery warranty?
  • Major Hybrid System Components are covered for a minimum of 8 years and 100,000 miles. The hybrid battery may be covered up to 10 years and 150,000 miles depending on the state in which the vehicle is registered and operated. The warranty information provided with the vehicle provides full coverage details, or you can view them here.


  • What benefits and incentives come with driving the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid?
  • Owners of the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid may qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $7500. Various other monetary incentives vary by state and may be available based on where you live.

    In addition, electric utilities may offer reduced electricity rates for EV owners. Also, several major car insurance companies offer discounts to EV owners. More potential benefits include rebates for home charger installation, free or preferred public parking, free charging at certain businesses, and reduced toll fees. Sacramento, CA, for instance, offers free parking and charging at public garages, and PG&E offers reduced rates for residential EV charging. Contact your utility and individual businesses for more information.

    Visit https://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/state for information on the incentives available in your own state.

  • Can I use the HOV lane?
  • For California residents, through January 1, 2019, California law allows single-occupant use of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV or carpool) lanes by qualifying clean alternative fuel vehicles such as plug-in hybrids and zero-emissions vehicles. Clarity Plug-in Hybrid drivers are eligible to apply for the HOV sticker through the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and under regulations, once you receive the sticker, you may use designated HOV lanes, even if you’re driving alone. Please contact your dealer or the California DMV for details.

    Other states and localities have different requirements. Check with your state or local authorities for further requirements.


  • How many people can the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid accommodate?
  • The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid comfortably fits 5 adult passengers.
  • Why are the rear fenders partially covering the rear wheels?
  • The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid has numerous aerodynamic advances that help lower the overall drag of the vehicle which helped the Clarity receive EPA driving range ratings. These advances include the underfloor ducting, bird-like back shape and air curtains on the front and the rear. The rear air curtain deflects the air around the rear wheels.
  • What is Honda Sensing?
  • Honda Sensing® is a suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies designed to work together by alerting you to things you might miss while driving.
         • Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)*
         • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow*
         • Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)*
         • Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM)*
  • Why does the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid make a sound at low speeds even though there is no engine?
  • The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid has no engine sound and thus is almost silent. However, for pedestrian safety, it generates a sound when the vehicle is driven below 17 mph.
  • Can I preset the cabin temperature of the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid- using my smartphone before I get into the car?
  • Yes, you can pre-condition the climate control system in the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid via the HondaLink® App. To avoid using up your battery charge, it helps to preset the cabin temperature while the car is plugged into a charging station.

Roadside Assistance

  • Is there a roadside assistance program?
  • Yes, free 24/7 roadside assistance is available for towing, lockout and flat tire services, in the event you need it. Service is available in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico for 3 years/36,000 miles. The navigation system, as well as the HondaLink® app, includes the number for free nationwide roadside assistance, 1-866-864-5211.
  • There is no spare tire. What happens if I get a flat?
  • Honda has included 24/7 Roadside Assistance that offers flat-tire repair, lockout assistance and towing services. Like other Hondas, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid also comes equipped with a tire repair kit to reduce the weight of the car and to help maximize the MPGe. The kit consists of a canister of sealant to plug punctures and a small electric air compressor to re-inflate the tire. The number for Roadside Assistance is 1-866-864-5211.