2020 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell will work better in the cold now

Not that Southern California -- the biggest market for the fuel cell model -- gets that cold.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
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The Clarity, which includes EV and PHEV variants as well, is one of the weirdest looking cars on the market. Partial wheel spats in 2019? Yeah, it's wacky.


Minor changes are coming for the 2020 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, which remains exclusive to California markets. In a Wednesday announcement, said the Clarity Fuel Cell will now operate better in colder temperatures when starting up.

Buyers will likely be toastier on chillier days in California, with updates to that affect cold-weather starts and better operation in severe weather conditions. Obviously, these updates are mostly aimed at Northern California buyers As a bonus, there are now heated exterior mirrors, too. Super cold temperatures and frost seem like vague issues in Southern California, but an update is an update, nonetheless.

Aside from the two minor changes, those interested in the fuel cell-powered sedan can select a new red color and every car now gets black-painted side mirrors for contrast. Those who choose the white exterior color will receive a brown interior standard.

Hit the hydrogen-powered road in Honda's 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell

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And that's about it for changes to the 2020 model year. The Clarity Fuel Cell will still go an EPA-estimated 360 miles on a tank of hydrogen and no other technical specs have changed for the upcoming model year. SoCal natives interested in the car only have the option to lease a Clarity Fuel Cell for $379 per month with $2,878 due at signing. However, lessees may also be eligible for a $5,000 rebate from the state of California.

The monthly payment will get you into an even more niche vehicle than an electric vehicle for 36 months and $15,000 worth of hydrogen fuel. Honda also provides 15,000 miles annually. Perhaps most crucially, the car grants access to California's Clean Air Vehicle sticker to make highway travel quicker.

Fueling hydrogen-powered cars remains... a tad hit or miss. This year saw a massive outage of hydrogen fuel availability in California that left many fuel cell-powered car owners stranded. Honda does provide complimentary transportation for 21 days should this happen, though.

Originally published Dec. 18.
Update, Dec. 19: Corrected to note the Fuel Cell Clarity is also offered in Northern California.

Watch this: Can Honda's hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell go mainstream?