2017 Honda Clarity Lease ... what are your thoughts?

I know the topic of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can open a can of worms on viability, green credibility, infrastructure, conveniences and inconveniences vs BEV’s, and all sorts of other objections. Since I live in one of the main target markets (Los Angeles) I am comfortable with the existing local infrastructure and plans to build out more stations.

All I want to discuss are just pure lease numbers, especially relative to the main competitor, the Toyota Mirai. The Honda Clarity has a standard manufacturer’s lease and dealers supposedly will not mark up, but I don’t have full details for the lease calculator.

I tried working backwards by plugging in some unknown variables like MF and Residual %. Can someone with knowledge of Mirai lease figures offer a comparison?

Advertised Clarity Lease numbers
MSRP: $89,547 (from CarGurus)
Sales Price: $58,860
Months: 36 months
Monthly: $369/month plus tax
Down payment: $2868 ($2499 down payment + first month)
Mileage allowance: 20,000 miles/year
Post-Sale Rebate (CA): $5000 cash rebate
Sales tax: 9.25%

Money Factor: 0.000001 (basically 0% APR)
Residual %: ~49%
Acquisition fee: $595
Doc Fees: $80
DMV/Reg Fees: $400

Final Leasehacker Calculator Results
Monthly Payment (Excl. Tax): $363
Monthly Payment (incl. tax): $397
Drive Off: $3,615
First month’s payment incl. tax: $397
Down payment: $2,499
Registration and doc fee: $480
Tax on cap cost reduction and fees: $239
Leasehackr Score: 25.4 years
Disposition Fee: $350
Total Lease Cost: $12,459

You forgot to include the best part! Up to 15k in hydrogen is included in the cost of the lease. In other words, you’re very likely to pay zero for fueling this car during the duration of the lease unless you drive the wheels off of it.

Figure it costs $100 in hydrogen per fill up and you’ll get 300 miles per tank full if you drive it like you stole it.

I’m kicking this around, too. Seems like a very economical and interesting way of commuting.

1 Like

You’re totally right, it effectively cuts out the cost of gas you would have if you had a traditional ICE car. For me I spend about 200-250 a month on gas, so having Honda foot the fuel costs over 3 years effectively makes the lease payments only $150-200/month. For how much tech and space you get versus the Mirai, it seems like a steal.

I’m still waiting on the Woodland Hills Honda dealer to call me back when they have a demo to drive on an extended ride. I drove the Clarity at the auto show and it was nice, but wasn’t really able to get a feel for the car in the 4 minute ride around the block. It was comfortable, but would definitely want to get it on the highway and some traffic situations.

I found a compelling article on the true cost of hydrogen if it weren’t subsidized by the automaker: https://www.edmunds.com/toyota/mirai/2016/long-term-road-test/2016-toyota-mirai-hydrogen-is-ridiculously-expensive-or-free.html

Really makes the case hard for fuel cell vehicles that aren’t subsidized for fuel costs. Until the infrastructure matures, that cost per kg of hydrogen is outrageously expensive. If Honda didn’t offer that credit, I wouldn’t even consider it and I suspect that’s why they eat that cost as loss leaders for the long term game.

The Mirai comes in a little cheaper -

$349/mo + tax = roughly ~$380/w tax
$2499 + taxes/fees (~$1000) drive off = roughly $3.5k

Rough total cost = $17180 or $477/mo

Both get $5k back from CA (equiv $138/mo) = $339/mo effective total

And free fuel ($100-200/mo depending on your driving) = $139-239/mo total

Add $20 or so for the Clarity vs Mirai, seems like a total no brainer to me if you’re in the market for a car and live near a station. I haven’t driven either but I’d assume it’s as nice as anything that you can get on the road for under $250/mo.

Can’t do a 15,000 mi/year lease with Mirai, which was a dealbreaker for some folks. Hopefully that’s different with Clarity.

The standard mileage on the Clarity is 20,000 miles. I don’t think you can change that down to 15,000 either but it is more generous for a bit more per month but also with better range and more seating/interior space.

Here is the breakdown from my actual lease:

Amount due at least signing: $3729.75
capitalized cost reducation: 2499.04
sales tax : 218.67
advance monthly payment: 401.29
initial title fees: : 384.00
initial registration fees: 102.00
document processing: 80.00
electronic registration: 29.00
California Tire Fee 8.75
Doc Charge Tax 7.00

Gross capitalized cost: 59055.08
capitalized cost reduction: 2499.04
adj capitalized cost 56556.04

residual value 44804.70
depreciation 11751.34
rent charge 1532.66
total of base payments 13284.00

lease payments 36
base monthly payments 369.00
monthly sales tax 32.29
total monthly payment 401.29

20,000 miles per year/ 20 cents per excessive mile

vehicle insurance no more that $1,000 deductibles.

21 days of car rental and you receive the initial $1,500 temporary fuel card until the permanent card comes in the mail.

In California $5,000 rebate.

I guess the question I would ask is, how does this lease compare to a Volt LT after factoring in fuel costs? If you drive a lot for your commute (so that you can fuel the darn thing), then maybe the H car is better.

For such a high mile lease I bet it’s still better than the volt for ‘more’ car (from a bells and whistles standpoint).

wow! Costs $100 to fill up a tank of hydrogen?! That’s pretty steep. Unless that drops significantly in the coming years, I highly doubt fuel cell is gonna be able to compete with electric cars. Just out of curiosity, how long does it take to refill a hydrogen tank? That’s the only possible benefit to fuel cell over electric that I can possibly think of.

Time to fill up with hydrogen is roughly 5 minutes.

Ah thanks for the info. I guess that would really be the only benefit over electric right? Although with a electric you can refill at home.

1 Like

Yes you can but to a point. I think i am at max capacity for electric right now. I charge two EVs in the garage and one halfEV outside garage door. To charge one more car outside I need to run another charger outside :frowning: Kind of a good problem to have, but driving to one and only Hydrogen fueling station in San Diego to fill up the Clarity every time you need fuel?

yea, I was thinking the same thing. Seems pretty pointless.

The Clarity is definitely not worth it if there is no fueling station near or on the way of your daily commute. But it is quite fun to drive.

The cheapest Hydrogen fueling station I found so far was $15/KG at the AQMD location in Diamond Bar. The Clarity takes about 5KG. With my commute, I get ~65 miles/KG. With the provided $15K worth of fuel and the 5K from the Clean Air rebate, it was worth it for us to lease this vehicle.

There was a wait list. But I only waited about less than 2 months before they called me up to sign the paperwork. Good luck on your decision.

Looks like there is no guarantee to receive the CA Clean Air Rebate due to the funding budget limit.

New proposal is 3 billion. Hopefully it gets funded.

The current cheapest is $9.99 at Air Products stations. But the $15,000 will cover all the fuel cost for 3 years before you have to come out of pocket.

1 Like