The Honda Clarity has existed in some form or another since 2008, but the electric and plug-in hybrid versions of the car have only been around since 2017. It is currently Honda’s only fully electric car offering in the US, and it looks like it’s going to stay that way for the time being with the recent news that the Honda e will not be sold in the US due to a lack of demand. So why does the only car Honda is willing to sell in the US look like it is straight out of the late ’90s?

Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit, but am I the only one who thinks wheel-cover designs on cars look terrible? I know I’m not because they came onto the car scene in the ’90s with cars like the Honda Insight, and quickly disappeared in newer models.

Honda Clarity Electric Car from the side
2019 Honda Clarity
2000 Honda Insight
1999 Honda Insight

When talking about Electric Car’s, we obviously aren’t just going after cars that look good. But, if a car looks ugly, it is less likely to be adopted widely, which in turn affects the adoption of electric cars in general. It’s been a problem with other cars such as the early Nissan Leafs before their redesign.

Why do some electric cars look so ugly?

There are multiple reasons for the ugly electric cars that have popped up over the years.

One reason comes down to car manufacturers wanting to make a statement with how a car looks. For a recent example of this, look no further than the Cybertruck. Many think the Cybertruck is an ugly-looking vehicle, but the free marketing Tesla got from their reveal of the Cubertruck will probably influence marketing for years to come.

Another reason, and this reason applies to Honda’s Clarity Electric, is for aerodynamics. Aerodynamics are extremely important for electric cars, as any little bit of extra range you can squeeze out of a battery means more sales of the car. It also means more energy efficiency, which is a truly good thing to strive for in cars

As long as electric cars continue on a trend of growth in adoption, how these cars look really doesn’t matter. But maybe EV adoption could grow faster with better car designs. Look at what honda is doing in Asia and Europe with the Honda e for example, now that looks like a car I’d like to get into.

Honda e prototype
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