Curious sales

Discussion in 'Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles' started by bwilson4web, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    My understanding is that some, if not most, Mirai purchases are for testing fleets. Before there were any commercially produced fuel cell cars such as the Mirai, those government agencies and research groups that ran FCEVs had to make them (or pay someone else to make them) as conversion vehicles, or at least that's my understanding. There were about two dozen non-public H2 dispensing stations in the U.S. before the California Fuel Cell Partnership affiliates started building them in California, and that suggests about the same number of agencies and research groups running (small) fleets of fuel cell cars.

    These days, those fleets are probably getting their cars from Toyota, Honda, or some other source. So fleet sales may explain why there seems to be a lot of month-to-month variation in sales of FCEVs.

    Now, what I don't understand is why there are still dozens of gov't agencies and/or privately funded research groups still throwing money away on testing hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles. You'd have thought that this was an experiment that had run its course decades ago. What more can there possibly be to learn there?

    There may be a future for FCEVs, if they can use some fuel other than compressed hydrogen. That is, if they can run on a practical fuel. So there might be a reason to continue research along that line. But it seems to me that spending money on testing or development of hydrogen-powered FCEVs is just throwing good money after bad.

     
  2. tps5352

    tps5352 New Member

    I've just started examining this data. Very interesting, thanks for posting it. But I may have found a mistake...?

    Is there a problem with the goodcarbadcar.net site (Source 2) 2019 monthly numbers for the Honda Clarity fuel cell car (Clarity FCV)?

    The claimed total (January to October) of 9,994 Honda Clarity FCVs "sold" in the USA (from Source 2) seems high. Recall that there are three very similar-looking versions of Clarity (all three started being offered in 2017): fuel cell, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric. The fuel cell Clarity is only available in California. Has Source 2 combined "sales" numbers for all three versions, since numbers for the other two Clarity versions are not separately listed? If so, fuel cell version numbers will be much smaller--I'm thinking something like 200 or less a month? I imagine that the plug-in hybrid is far and away the most popular version. Also, the fuel cell car cannot be sold, only leased (for three years), if that matters. Does Source 2 even include lease numbers in its tallies? Is it possible that the 9,994 number only includes hybrid and battery Clarity cars, which can be purchased.

    The total of all FCEV sales (counting Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai models, I assume) in California (I assume the data are for California) for 2019 (Jan.-Oct.) of 1,798 from Source 1 also suggests that a mistake was made in the Source 2 website.
     
  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I don't know. You might contact the web site for details. A similar problem would exist with multi-drivetrain models that share the same name. For example, the Hyundai IONIQ.

    Bob Wilson
     
  4. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I don't know, but congratulations on applying critical thinking and asking the right question!
    :)
     
  5. tps5352

    tps5352 New Member

    Just so you know, I did contact goodcarbadcar.net but have not heard back. However, this website:

    http://carsalesbase.com/us-car-sales-data/honda/honda-clarity/

    confirms my suspicions that the claimed total of 9,994 "Honda Clarity FCVs" sold in 2019 (Jan. to Oct.) on the goodcarbadcar.net website actually includes all three Clarity versions (battery, hybrid, and hydrogen). Too bad the data are lumped together. I believe the plug-in hybrid model is by far the most popular version. And who knows whether Clarity fuel cell lease numbers are even included in their monthly "sales" table? (The plug-in battery and hybrid Clarity versions can be sold; the fuel cell car only leased.)

    Meanwhile, the 2019 fuel cell car sales figures provided at https://cafcp.org/sites/default/files/FCEV-Sales-Tracking.pdf (as referenced by Bob Wilson in Post #1 of this Thread) indicate total U.S. fuel cell car sales of only 1,798 in 2019 (Jan.-Oct.) for all makes-models (including the more popular Toyota and the Hyudai). So 2019 Clarity fuel cell sales(=lease) numbers are probably small and nowhere near the 9,994 claimed by the goodcarbadcar.net website.

    In addition, a pie-chart at https://www.dieselforum.org/vehiclesales/u-s-vehicle-sales-dashboard shows that fuel cell cars make up only the tiniest portion of the current U.S. alternative-fuel sales effort (made up of sales of diesel, plug-in hybrid, hybrid, battery, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles). But in their defense, remember that in the U.S. consumer fuel cell cars are still an experiment primarily limited to California, by intention. Meanwhile, in Japan and Europe...
     
  6. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member

    Understand I take no joy in low fuel cell car sales or leases. Rather, it is the by-product of hard, economic realities:
    • ~$2M for each station in California requiring substantial subsidies
    • 3x the cost per mile compared to BEV
    My understanding are CARB credits for fuel cell vehicles are 3x that of an equivalent BEV. But the subsidized infrastructure and post credit costs are not very attractive.

    Bob Wilson
     
  7. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    Mirai sales for November are 98, Hyundai and Honda versions are typically about 20 to 30 per month but no stats yet. Just going by Mirai, sales peaked in 2017 at 1838, down slightly in 2018 at 1700 and this year looks like it will come in below 1600 (1449 currently).

    Mirai used car sales for November are 27, so higher than average but far below October's 56. I know I previously reported October as 60 sales, but some were returned to the dealership or moved to another branch so just temporarily de-listed. Average prices falling, currently around a much more reasonable $17k. This makes the purchased used versions closer in monthly payments to leased new versions after taking into account the new ones get 3 years free H2 fuel.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019

Share This Page