$1.49 unleaded. It may bee time to unplug the Clarity...sigh...

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by craze1cars, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Well, it's official. My Costco is selling gas today at $1.49. I never thought I'd see it in my lifetime in my area...when I bought this thing electricity was, and still is, a relatively cheap commodity at less than 11 cents per KW. But here we are. I am now spending more money when plugging this car in, than I am if I were just to let it run on gasoline 100% of the time.

    There are only 3 reasons now to plug this car in:

    1. Because it sucks around town listening to the unrefined engine...so plug it in and pay extra as a luxury.

    2. To reduce emissions.

    3. To not touch gas pumps and die of or transmit our new and novel disease.

    All are worthy reasons. And for those reasons it'll still be plugged in and I'll pay the small premium. But my primary reasons for buying this car were the financial savings in propulsion fuel, along with curiosity of the technology. As I am now approaching 2 years of ownership the curiosity is satisfied, and now the financial incentive of using electricity as a propulsion fuel is gone...

    Sorta a bummer. Luckily wife still likes the car and it's her primary driver. So happy wife happy life. We keep it. And gas prices will probably go up. Someday. Not likely real soon though.

    One thing's for sure. This cheap gas is going to HURT ongoing EV sales, and even hybrid and fuel-saving ICE sales. Many car buyers are financially driven, and price of gas is no longer a driver.

    Edit: Bee? Oops on the typo in the title...
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  2. I can't see it as too much of a bummer.
    It's not as if the cost of running it has gone up--it's the feeling that you're forgoing the opportunity to save a fraction of a cent per mile you'd realize by burning gasoline.
    For short trips especially, I suspect you're still saving something per mile when you consider the inefficiency of a cold start.
    craze1cars likes this.
  3. Time to drop some coin on solar so you can get that 11 cents down a bit. Maybe even to “free”.

    We’re in the Pacific NW with just a ~3kW array, which offsets ~40% of our usage. So the 11 cents is closer to 7 cents. Of course it cost a small fortune to install with battery backup and 2 inverters for 240V to run the well pump. Oh well, what’s done is done.
    craze1cars likes this.
  4. LAF

    LAF Active Member

    its more than not hearing the load engine, driving EV is sublime- and worth the extra few dollars a week.
    jorgie393 and KentuckyKen like this.
  5. This may be a price point where it is cost effective to use HV Charge when appropriate in order to use EV when desired.
  6. izudin

    izudin Member

    Unfortunately, math (or economics) doesn't work that way, it still cost you $0.11/kWh to charge your Clarity :)
  7. Technically correct. However, I’m only paying for 60% of the kWh’s that we use, so the net cost per kWh is closer to 7 cents.
  8. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    Gas has dropped to .99 per gallon here, but no way I'll use gas for my short daily commute. It's too inefficient compared to EV.
    Texas22Step and insightman like this.
  9. Mr. Smith

    Mr. Smith New Member

    Here in central CA, gas is down to as low as $2.39/gl. However, PG&E raised my EV Rate off-peak from $0.126/kWh when I bought my car June 2019, to $0.169/kwH now, a 34% increase! While I'm annoyed at the electric price hike, and I like the cheap gas, I will continue fully charging even though its now cheaper to drive on gas... With work from home / shelter in place the new norm, I won't be using much of either. Stay safe!
  10. Groves Cooke

    Groves Cooke Active Member

    I like the quiet ride and I charge at work for free. Commute is such that I still have to charge at home.
    insightman and Kerbe like this.
  11. Insighter

    Insighter Member

    Isn't it better to run the Clarity in EV as far as maintenance goes?
  12. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Well that’s the myth many bought into with this car. But it’s been discussed here many times...if you are someone who goes by the book, or by the the maintenance minder, it pretty much needs the exact same maintenance whether the engine runs or not.
  13. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    The Clarity is a hybrid vehicle with a big battery (regular Honda hybrid vehicles have the exact same mechanical design with a battery 1/10 the size). Like any ICE car, you need to run the gas engine regularly to keep the fluids flowing and parts lubricated. If you want the car to last, use hybrid mode regularly to reduce depth of discharge of the traction battery (worst for longevity is charging to 100% and depleting to minimum, despite the buffers Honda put in). That way, you'll keep both the ICE and battery in peak shape for the long term. If you just want to keep the car for 3-4 years like most Americans, do whatever you want.
    Cash Traylor likes this.
  14. Insighter

    Insighter Member

    I've had a Prius Prime for a couple of years and been active on the Prime forums. I have to say I have never seen anyone suggest that discharging the traction battery is a bad idea. That is pretty much exactly what everyone does. You charge your car and when you go somewhere you drive through the full electric range and then you're automatically in hybrid mode. I'm sure it is a good idea to run the ICE with some degree of regularity, but, unless you pretty much always drive less than 43 or so miles between charges, that shouldn't be a problem. You don't want to deeply discharge your SLI battery, but the traction battery is meant to be discharged on a regular basis (like the batteries in any electric car). Of course, you don't want to fully deplete it, but that shouldn't even be possible if you have gas in your tank. Perhaps others who know more about this than I do will weigh in.
    Electra likes this.
  15. If we must divide ourselves while swerving off topic, put me in the group that charges and discharges fully.

    The car will run the ICE periodically as reported by those who run on EV for weeks on end.

    Honda recommends, in the Owner’s Manual, to fully charge the batteries after each use. When a Clarity owner can demonstrate, to my satisfaction, that they know more than the Honda engineers, I may consider their recommendation.

    Carry on.
    Texas22Step and Insighter like this.
  16. Insighter

    Insighter Member

    Sounds reasonable and in line with all I've read. Are we really going off-topic? The thread is about driving gas vs. electric and what the reasons are to use electric over gas, even if it costs somewhat more. I've recently taken rides with a couple of Uber drivers driving Model S Teslas. I asked how it can be worth driving such an expensive car for Uber. They both said it comes down to the lack of maintenance and the free charging stations. One had 250,000 miles on his Model S with no substantial repairs. That's what's making me think it's better to drive electric as much as possible (given that I'll still use the ICE a bit here and there).
  17. This is only my perspective, but if we begin debating theoretical battery longevity and charging protocol, again, we are veering away from the original topic of the day to day operating costs of gas v electricity.

    As of 1/1/2017, Tesla offered 400kWh’s of “free” charging with the purchase of a new car, which equates to about 1000 miles of travel. After that, no free lunch. Tesla’s no longer qualify for the $7500 Fed tax credit either.

    There are some free charging options, at airports for instance. Those may not always be convenient or available.
    Insighter likes this.
  18. Cash Traylor

    Cash Traylor Active Member Subscriber

    Ahh, so that is what that HV Mode button is for! ;):cool::rolleyes:o_O Ugh, but still working on burning that battery down for a new one at 7 years 11 months... goals goals! I got this car for the choice of go juice, now I can make that choice as a matter of convenience versus price.

    Insighter likes this.
  19. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Take the topic wherever you like, folks!! I started it, and I don’t object to drift...

    I am in the charge it to full every time it pulls in the garage camp. And our drives frequently exceed EV range so it gets fully depleted often as well. I’ll believe I’m shortening the life of the battery only if I shorten the life of the battery...until then it’s untested theory and noise. The logistics of maintaining state of charge between 35% and 75% or whatever range would be so cumbersome to me I simply wouldn’t want to own the car.

    As for going 250,000 miles without substantial repairs? Most cars easily do this now. ICE or EV doesn’t really matter.
  20. Dan Albrich

    Dan Albrich Active Member

    The vehicle you choose has certain strengths. If you get a big diesel pickup, then you have the ability to drive in some tough situations and haul stuff (with the obvious cost trade off). Getting a dual-fuel vehicle has strengths too. In times when gas is cheaper, you can opt to run it as a gas vehicle. And with HV charge mode, you don't even have to plugin for better hybrid mode. If electric rates become a better deal, then you may have the ability to commute electric.

    I like options, they are strength too.
    Cash Traylor and Landshark like this.

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