Looking much like a next-gen Honda Accord or Civic, the production five-passenger Honda Clarity FCV fuel-cell sedan breaks cover at the 2016 New York auto show. Set to be available for lease in California by the end of 2016, the FCV Clarity is one of a number of alternative-fuel vehicles in Honda’s planned lineup.

With this version of the Clarity, Honda has made a number of improvements to eliminate the compromises found on previous Honda fuel-cell cars. For example, the fuel cell and powertrain are more compact, now similar in size to a V6 engine. This allows the unit to sit under the hood of the car, freeing up additional passenger space. Despite the smaller size of the pack, this generation is said to be more powerful, and Honda expects the EPA driving range to exceed 300 miles. Honda says that it should take just three to five minutes to fully fuel the FCV with hydrogen. 

Honda Clarity FCV Fuel-Cell Sedan rear

Aside from the advanced powertrain technology, the Clarity will feature, as standard equipment, the Honda Sensing safety system. This suite of safety gear includes forward-collision warning (FCW), automatic-emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure warning (LDW), and lane-keeping assist (LKA), among other systems.

Inside, cabin amenities include a floating eight-inch Display Audio touch screen, which will handle the audio, navigation, and energy-monitoring functions, including a hydrogen fueling station locator. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto platforms are both integrated, allowing for app-based navigation, streaming audio, and voice-controlled search capability, among other features.

Only Honda dealers in select markets within California—likely ones with a robust-enough hydrogen-fueling infrastructure—will offer the Clarity. With an estimated price of $60,000, Honda is targeting a sub-$500 per month lease price. There is a choice of colors, so long as you like white, black, or red.

Honda plans to roll out a number of new alternative-fuel vehicles this year, including a new 2017 Accord Hybrid this spring; a plug-in hybrid based on the same platform as the Clarity, due by 2018; and a new battery-electric vehicle, also due to launch by 2018. 

See our complete New York auto show coverage.