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Autotrader Find: Brand-New 2017 Honda Clarity

Here’s something I didn’t really realize: If you’re in Southern California, you can just head on down to your local Honda dealer and buy a new car that’s powered by hydrogen. That would be the 2017 Honda Clarity, and this one is for sale at Culver City Honda, in the L.A. area, for $59,365.

Admittedly, I knew the Clarity available — one of the most exciting car sightings I ever had was when I saw the original FCX Clarity parked in a residential driveway in Los Angeles in 2011 — but I didn’t really know the new version could just be sitting there, as if it was a normal car. I figured they’d all be on a waiting list filled with hip Hollywood types just salivating over the chance to take delivery of such a futuristic, environmentally friendly vehicle. However, Honda says the new fuel-cell Clarity (like the one pictured here) is only available to lease right now. Later, a battery electric and a hybrid version will be offered.

At this point, you might be wondering: What exactly is the Clarity? Well, it’s Honda’s hydrogen car, and it’s not exactly a new thing; Honda has offered several versions of the Clarity to customers in California for years. I say "in California" because the only true public hydrogen refueling stations are in California, meaning it only makes sense to have one of these if you live there.

As for the Clarity itself, well, it’s a bit unusual — an oddly styled car designed to take advantage of aerodynamics but also to stand out from the crowd. It certainly does that, thanks to the angled rear-wheel cover and the teardrop shape. At $59,365, it may seem pricey compared to other environmentally friendly cars — especially since the Clarity does zero to 60 in just 8.1 seconds, meaning it can’t equal the performance of the not-so-much-more-expensive Tesla Model S — but it’s also one of the few hydrogen-powered cars you can actually buy. That’s a big deal for drivers who think hydrogen, and not battery electric power, is the way forward. Find a 2017 Honda Clarity for sale

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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