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

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

  1. coutinpe

    coutinpe Active Member

    in LA, for some arcane reason, gas prices can't fall to those levels regardless if oil prices become negative. On the Chevron by my corner it's $3.19, and the cheapo Arco next is at $2.99! Bottomline: I'm still saving driving EV, although I don't think I have exceeded 10 miles this month (sigh!).
    SandyEggo likes this.
  2. Last year, in either the OC Register or San Gabriel Valley Tribune, they listed the Fed, State and local taxes, fees, etc at 98 cents per gallon.
  3. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Not exactly. While their are maximum limits to various maintenance items, several have posted their Maintenance Minder triggered much earlier.
    For example some with high total milage and/or high percentage of HV have reported their MM triggering for oil change at 6 months or twice a year. Mine let me go to 1 week shy of a full year before I had to change the oil since I drove a little less than 8,000 miles with only about 700 in HV. Did practically the same thing the second year too. Since the MM seems to be working on total miles and not separating EV from HV, it appears that it’s quite possible to have varying maintenance intervals related to the engine.
    Cash Traylor likes this.
  4. Kerbe

    Kerbe Active Member

    In a Prime, yes - because it's a parallel hybrid, not a serial hybrid like the Clarity or Volt. The Prime is, essentially, a regular Prius with a larger battery - it's designed to run as an ICE with a "helper" electric motor. The Clarity is the exact opposite: It's an EV with a "helper" ICE that's not designed or sized to power the vehicle entirely on its own. Clarity seems to work best as a Hybrid when the traction battery is at least half-full: The little generator/ICE is intended to keep the traction battery charged and only directly power the vehicle when it's already at speed (think "overdrive") or when the heavy vehicle requires more "oomph" to climb a hill than the electric motor can provide on its own.
  5. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    I'll take Door #3 above: I hate going to the gas station and now it's even more dangerous with coronavirus jeopardy in addition to possible explosions and carjackings. Also, I love the feel of driving with all EV power.

    Sadly for me, but good for the health of the workers, the UK MINI factory has suspended operations, further stretching my decade-long wait for a MINI Cooper BEV. The MINI will complement, not replace, our Clarity PHEV, but it will always be parked behind the Clarity, making it the more convenient first-choice for local trips.

    Hmmm. Does that mean that the Clarity will be used only for trips longer than 110 miles (the range of the MINI)? No, if we'll have rear-seat passengers, the Clarity is the obvious choice over the MINI Electric. But wait. How long will it be before my wife and I can risk having passengers again?
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  6. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    I have 30k miles on mine at this point. Many engine miles...40%? Maintenance minder seems to call for rotations more frequently than oil changes, but the stupid thing asks for maintenance in general way too frequently, and it’s cryptic system forces people to guess what the heck it’s really wanting, and clueless profit driven dealers just default to “change oil and rotate tires” every single time, even when not calling for both and one of the 2 can be reset. It’s obviously programmed to maximize dealer visits.

    Compare to my pure ICE Silverado pickup truck, which seems to call for maintenance every 8k miles. Or my Mazda, which flatly calls for maintenance every 10k miles. Both of those ICE vehicles actually call for less frequent maintenance intervals than my Clarity does. This probably best illustrates the myth I was referring to, especially for people who trust the dash computer and follow it (I no longer do...too much of a pain to decipher): my Clarity begs for maintenance much more frequently than any other vehicle in my small fleet. It sure as heck doesn’t save one iota if maintenance over my pure ICE vehicles.

    Heck, my truck does 5 mile short trips constantly in my handyman business, and most of its miles are with bed full of 2000 lbs of tools and materials, and almost half the miles are hauling a 4,000 lb trailer. Long term mpg is 12.5. It is under severe service in every sense of the definition. In comparison my Clarity tools around town with one human and a purse, the engine completely shut off well more than half of the time. Long term mpg is in the 130s. Mileage driven on both are nearly identical. I maintained both on the same day once and fully reset the minders. Some 7 months later, guess which vehicle’s onboard computer calls for oil change maintenance first? That’s right...the Clarity. Someone tell me this makes sense.

    It’s annoying, and in my view a Honda failing. For this reason I just keep a paper log and do an oil and filter and tire rotation every year, while resetting the maintenance minder and doing no actual maintenance the moment my wife advises that it pops up. On my other two vehicles I actually use the maintenance minders...because they work so much better.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  7. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Here I’ll continue this little off topic drift since it’s my own topic lol.

    Someone asked about 250,000 miles. Here’s another not so rhetorical question. If I keep my Silverado, and my Clarity, for about 16 years, each will have about 250k. Without a doubt the truck will be on it’s 3rd set off brakes, original engine and transmission, and running just as well as it did when new. I know this from my last 2 Silverados that saw the same treatment. (My 1988 Silverado is STILL on the road after 32 years and 530k miles in a friends hands with 2nd engine and trans...super inexpensive swap with used parts once they get old) But I wonder what the state of my 16 year old Clarity battery will be in? How much will I have spent having it replaced? I don’t know. Doubt i will ever know unless I follow other owners. I ain’t keeping mine that long. I do know how well my old IPhones work with a 3 year old battery...like trash. And I suspect it wouldn’t even boot up with a used up 16 year old battery...just sayin.

    Which of these 2 vehicles is a better long term investment in the big scheme of things? Yes they’re wildly different with different applications, don’t need to tell me that...but how about my little Mazda 4 door, which is more comparable? After 16 years and 250,000 miles it will also have the EXACT same performance, and range, as it did when new, on the original powerplant. And it could go to a future buyer and run for hundreds of more thousands of miles. A heart transplant with a good used engine can be done economically at that time if necessary. The Clarity at that age and mileage, if it even functions on its original battery at all, will have a massive range reduction when compared to new...

    For these reasons I see my ICE vehicles as long term tools, and I see my Clarity more as a disposable appliance with a comparatively very short lifespan.

    I do like my Clarity. I’m intrigued by the technology. But STILL not actually sold on the technology of it overall, nor on the perceived environmental benefits from a cradle to grave standpoint of the lifespan of the car. Ask me again in about 14 years and I will know better where I stand.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  8. Mark W

    Mark W Active Member

    Here in CT, electricity is .20/kwh, and gas is $2.19. So I think running on gas is significantly cheaper right now. What I am doing currently is running in HV mode when traveling at higher speeds. I still don't like the way the car runs in stop and go driving in HV, so I still turn off HV for local driving. I have to admit, I never thought I would see the day where my Clarity is gas mode would cost less to run than our ultra-efficient Hyundai Ionic Electric!

    In the northeast, the cost to run advantage of EVs is now gone. If gas prices continue to drop, it's going to be cheaper to drive my CX-9 than my Ionic!
  9. Lowell_Greenberg

    Lowell_Greenberg Active Member

    See: https://www.geotab.com/blog/ev-battery-health/

    It is possible that the battery will last the useful life of the car with 100% daily discharge, but as this fact based analysis suggests, there are practices that contribute to longer life- and 100% daily discharge isn't one of them.

    For example, not factoring in buffer zones, I generally discharge 100% to 40% daily, using a combination of efficient driving and slight use of HV mode. Other than parts of Winter, I may end up filling the tank once every 3-4 months with a commute of 44 miles and daily charging.

    I drive efficiently because I give a damn about the environment- and would do so regardless of the cost of gasoline. Yet, I do balance in this equation battery longevity and overall fuel efficiency, with a typical mpge of 200 miles per gallon (not factoring in electricity costs, that are quite low where I live).

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
  10. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Interesting study in the link, but here's where it breaks down. It only goes back about 5 years! We need a minimum of 7 additional years of time to build up on these graphs before such studies mean much. I expect to see some of those curves take exponential arcs downward. And you reference above that the battery will last "the useful life of the car." Absolutely NO WAY.

    The AVERAGE life of a car being driven on the road today is 12 years. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2019/06/28/average-vehicle-age-ihs-markit/1593764001/


    US DOT says average mileage per year is about 13,500. https://www.carinsurance.com/Articles/average-miles-driven-per-year-by-state.aspx

    It could be surmised from these stats that the AVERAGE car on the road has 162,000 miles on it and is 12 years old. Most any car that doesn't suffer catastrophic accident pulling them from the road will last much much longer and be driven much much longer...as an auto appraiser during my career I saw cars REGULARLY that were 20 years old and had 300,000 and 400,000+ miles on the odometer...still in daily service. I will rough guess that 1 out of every 10 cars I inspected had 300,000+ miles and was 20 years old or more.

    As one of the 98ish% of the people on this forum who purchases NEW cars, we don't see things in those terms. We represent a very unique subset of car owners who only generally see the first 1/3 of a car's lifespan. A car's lifespan goes FAR beyond the original owner in most cases. For every 17 new cars sold in a year, 40 used cars are sold in that same year. Most car buyers purchase used...not new.

    I will submit that the battery cannot, and will not, last even the AVERAGE life of a car without massive and crippling degradation. We will know if I'm right or not in 7 more years. And very few of these batteries will come anywhere close to lasting the USEFUL life of the remainder of the car...given historical usage patterns.

    This means a movement to EVs could dramatically increase the need for car production, and disposal, and recycling. What are the environmental costs of these activities compared to ICE vehicles which can last a much longer lifespan on their original powerplant, with today's battery tech?

    Now if the whole notion of car ownership goes out the window? If a paradigm shift results in car share programs where a single fleet EV goes maybe 500,000 miles in 2 years and is then taken out of service? That changes things...a lot.

    So would a new battery technology that lasts longer...that would change everything. Lithium is not where it's at. This is why I am no longer all that intrigued by EV's and Plug-in PHEVs. In 3 to 5-ish years when I'm done with my Clarity, and ready to buy another car? If Lithium is still the battery of choice I may very likely look back to ICE. I'm not so sure we know what we're really gaining in the big scheme of things, with today's technology.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  11. From the article: “Don’t be afraid to put your EV’s in high-use duty cycles. As long as they are within their daily driving range, their battery life won’t be negatively impacted.”

    The 2 main factors that were linked to a noticeable increase in battery degradation were:
    DC Fast Charging, particularly more than 3 times per month. (Level 2 charging actually showed slightly less degradation than Level 1 charging)
    Operating in high temperatures.
  12. As always, some good points. ^^^This is just speculation.

    First, we’d have to define “useful life”.
    Second, we’d have to get at least 3 people to agree on the definition.

    The average car on the road doesn’t represent useful life, since it is still in use and has yet to be put out to pasture.

    If a Clarity needs a new battery after 10 years and 1 month of service, and the replacement cost exceeds the value of the vehicle, has the vehicle reached the end of its useful life? If so, has the battery not lasted for a period equal to the useful life of the car?

    On the other hand, is the vehicle still useful even with a battery that has degraded below the warranty threshold? Perhaps the car will now go only 30 miles on a charge rather than 47. That’s still better than a new Prius Prime.

    Personally, I believe the batteries will retain at least 70% of their original capacity after 10 years. If the car doesn’t fall apart around the batteries, I intend to drive it at least that long.

    Stand by for a full report. (In 9 years)
  13. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Agree on all...

    To be entirely truthful, I won't see this to the end. I have no expectation of even remember this forum exists in 9 years lol...
  14. DanGest

    DanGest New Member

    Considering there are gas stations in Oklahoma selling it for $0.99, even with 98 cents in taxes (and of course the federal applies everywhere) the price should be $2.00 a gallon in Cali, maybe $2.50 max. Something happened a few years ago (I think about 5 or 6 years ago) where the delta between the national average and the west coast gas prices became more and more extreme (in particular Cali, but also clearly in WA). I think it is clearly some sort of price fixing and the knowledge that people in these areas can afford to pay more.
    Mowcowbell likes this.
  15. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    To directly answer this question though. The answer is a simple No. In this scenario it's quite clear the BATTERY has died before the rest of the car has. Much like a blown engine in an ICE car. But today's 10 year old ICE cars can be given like-new life by simply transplanting an inexpensive and known-good engine from another car that has been wrecked...this is done by the tens of thousands in mechanical shops and home garages and driveways around the world every day. $1K parts, plus labor (DIY or pay maybe another $1K) in an otherwise solid car, and you're good to go another 10 years for only a $2K max investment. I've swapped a dozen engines myself in my home workshop over the years. But a 10 to 11 year old Clarity battery swap? Gonna risk a 10 year old used battery transplant with the amount labor involved? Plus cost of a new battery?

    I see 99% chance an otherwise perfectly good carcass of a Clarity goes out to pasture.

    And a Tesla or other pure EV? Same result methinks.

    To be clear, my comments are mostly reflecting EV's. Not necessarily "regular" Hybrids which MIGHT indeed still be effectively usable on their ICE after the battery is degraded as you state. But then again there is absolutely a pretty dang strong market for replacement batteries in 10 to 12 year old Priuses these days. When the batteries get weak they don't function quite right. But some are absolutely renewing them with new batteries, and are keeping them on the road. It's pretty common actually. But those are small and comparatively easy batteries to swap and inexpensive...kinda like an engine but even much easier. Clarity? I don't think that plan is gonna work...battery is too big, and too expensive. And the tooling required to do a Clarity battery swap makes it a dealer-only endeavour, which REALLY limits opportunities and prices the labor out of reach. Prius can be an easy home swap of a battery...much like an engine but again simpler. So even every hybrid is different in these regards. Time will tell.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  16. DucRider

    DucRider Well-Known Member

    The unfortunate part of that study is that they did not beak out the thermally managed vehicles in the DCFC high temp studies where that feature would be most significant. Would also be useful if the gave info on the "telematics data" they used. They most certainly used an OBD-II type device, but pulling actual battery capacity/health data from those is non-standard and must be customized for each of the ~ 25 vehicles models. Or did they use the "Guess-o-meter" as an indication of battery health?

    They also indicated that some vehicles were not included due to a small sample size - it would be useful to know the floor number of vehicles in their study, and how weighted it was towards some models (was the LEAF 60% of the 6,300? 40%? 25%?). This study should be broken into at least two. Thermally managed batteries should be reported separately than those that are not - the study itself mentions that heat is one of the primary factors in degradation and including

    If their fleet had lots of Nissan LEAF (likely) and e-Golf's, then I would expect that the combined stress of DCFC and high temp operation combined with a passive (read no) battery thermal management would induce greater degradation. Where is the study with frequent DCFC in temperate climates with a thermally controlled battery?

    My guess is that they do not have enough data to show the effects of the various factors that influence battery health. They are most definitely painting with a pretty large brush.
  17. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    More ramblings:

    From a Clarity perspective, a lot of people here seem to think that as the Clarity battery degrades, it'll just have shorter EV range and the ICE will kick on earlier, no big deal. I see this as absolutely true for a while. But this ain't a typical hybrid folks! I very much believe when the battery degrades beyond that phase, to a certain point, the Clarity will be simply unable to propel itself adequately. Acceleration capability will dramatically reduce, and while doing so the ICE will be continually screaming away at near full throttle, trying to recharge a battery that just won't take a charge. And because with Clarity there is no physical connection between engine and driveline at low speeds (no transmission), it'll be a VERY unpleasant and loud car to own and drive around town, and will have very anemic in power output. Or maybe an electrical fail-safe program will kick in and the dashboard will light up like a christmas tree "SERVICE REQUIRED" shutting everything down and you'll have to be towed to a dealer for your $9,000 to $15,000 repair estimate for a new battery because nobody else has the tooling to replace it. That's my honest prediction as these cars age...eventually it either won't work, or you'll hate driving it due to screaming ICE at all speeds. How soon? I dunno.

    With a Toyota Prius, however, for example? As those batteries have been failing now that many are 12+ years old...with some approaching 20 years old (introduced in 2001), the MPG noticeably falls and some HP is lost. Those are the only real symptoms beyond dash lights, still daily drivable. But with direct connection between engine and wheels (via conventional CVT tranny), the Prius engine alone is designed to propel the car fairly normally, even with a dead battery...it just burns more gas and loses some power which it never had in the first place. Unfortunately Clarity doesn't have the luxury of having an engine with a tranny that is designed to actually move the car. It's just a generator. So I'm quite certain the Clarity NEEDS a good battery to reasonably move it at all times. Without it, there's just not enough volt nuggets pouring into the traction motor to move the car normally. My prediction is as these batteries fail...in whatever timeframe that occurs outside of warranty, Clarities will be gone forever and pretty much nobody will resurrect them to keep them on the road, in comparison to what is happening today with the old Prius's (Prii? What's the plural of Prius anyway lol.). It's not physically or economically feasible for Clarity to resurrect the battery at that age, and the same for many other pure EVs for that matter. Maybe a reasonable repair market will appear for the glut of dying EV's in some years.

    Once again...time will tell.

    Maybe I'm wrong.

    For your entertainment -- here's how old Prii can stay on the road with good replacement batteries 'till their chassis dissolve, AND confirmation that Prii is a correct term...this dude is awesome love this 8 minute video: https://www.topspeed.com/cars/car-n...toyota-prius-has-a-dead-battery-ar177905.html
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  18. Cash Traylor

    Cash Traylor Active Member Subscriber

    I respectfully disagree with your assumptions on the performance and how the HV battery system operates. However everyone has their "beliefs" about how these systems operate. I have already commented about this stuff before, in other threads. I would recommend you review battery system performance architecture, systems, failure modes etc. Most of what you have said (full charge to full discharge) has been proven wrong in EVERY battery system scholarly journal for every industry with regard to the chemistry we are using (solid state cells, ultra-capacitor design, alternative anode chemistry are exceptions to that statement).

    I am not battery engineer, however have spent the past 18 years deeply involved in the battery system industry (IEC/UN38.3/A123 architecture applications and industrial integration) so I am only slightly more informed than most about the system we use. Honda's unpublished magic is always subject to speculation. When you use Prius as a model for discussion are you limiting those observations to only the ones powered by Lithium chemistry, or also Nickel Metal (as that is a very different failure curve). Battery University has a lot of public articles on available chemical energy storage methods. The Clarity does depend on its HV battery for primary propulsion. The generator on the ICE is not capable of "low gear" performance (ie, high power transfer to the wheels) beyond the output of the generator which is less than the total available shaft brake horsepower of the ICE. As for maintaining the Clarity post battery warranty, I am not concerned. I can already purchase Clarity battery modules at a competitive price, that will not change later and Honda has built a system that they are scaling with parts redundancy. They will be available later and likely of improved chemical storage efficiency.

    Again, I am not trying to beat anyone over the head - however there are often assumptions and comparisons that are simply non-sequitur in the Clarity threads. Often people make assumptions that the battery will wear just like all other PHEV's. This may not always hold true due to one MAJOR variable that Honda did not prepare the industry for that has be VERY evident in this forum historically. That the "dealers" did a horrible job of pre-sale maintenance on their Clarity inventory in many markets (maybe not California, that is an outlier considering order fulfillment demand). Often these cars were delivered, parked, and never charged or maintained more than the fleet common 12 volt battery tests. Dealers simply did not "speak" Clarity and many many many still don't. When I went to test drive one the sales guy pulled one around to me (it had obviously been parked a while, was dirty and hot - June in Texas) and said let's go drive! It had a completely dead HV battery and the ICE was running continually just to handle the air conditioner demand let alone motive. The short drive was fine, but really useless as it was an HV at that time, a Prius, not a PHEV that I wanted to experience. When I said, "hey the battery is dead" he said, "No it started just fine!" :confused::eek::mad:

    I have learned through this forum that my experience is not unique in normally non-EV states/locations. Now, I love my car, but it never had a 55Ah HV pack. It was built in late 2017, delivered to a Honda dealership in Dallas, and put on their inside showroom floor with the battery disconnected and the shipping fuses removed. It was never charged or moved for 8 months since leaving the factory. When the dealer plugged it in for my real test drive (the one I drove earlier was different) it was dead, so I had to come back the next day since they didn't even have a level 2 charger on premise and had to use MY level one in the trunk (something Honda specifically forbids dealers to do). It drove great, as a battery person I new there may be an issue, but I was also getting a really good deal if I got that car, at that time (there were extra State incentives at the time) so it was worth it for the price. I am watching my warranty closer than most as I know I have at least one module that is not balancing as well as the others, likely due to ESR effects from storage (equivalent series resistance) which is a major factor for longevity of any "battery system" of more than one cell.

    I have gone on long enough in a thread that isn't really relevant to my response. I just feel that there is a lot of misinformation out there that can be perpetuated based on non-relative experience and assumptions. Now, does any of this matter for the rest of the Clarity owners out there - likely not, you can worry about things ad infinitum and ruin your enjoyment of them. Like worrying about electricity being more expensive than gas or vs versa and how to change the operation of your vehicle. You have to make the assumption that financial motivations, environmental motivations, or convenience motivations are primary for any given person. I have a lead foot, drive this car like my Acura, and do not get the same eMPG/MPG as likely anyone here. I am also likely damaging my HV battery this way as well, especially in my operating environment (temperature). My ICE comes on frequently in all driving conditions as I often trigger it, as on the tollway I am in "Sport" mode - the only pure EV driving I do is with the family on board and in town. My "use case" is not unique, but likely not common. People worry about oil changes, I do not. I will likely own this vehicle for 10 years or more, most others will not. I bought this car for the total value it represented and my personal curiosity regarding Honda's hybrid solution (so I can take it apart).

    I've also realized that regardless of who starts a thread, ownership of it's content is very tenuous and fleeting. I used to moderate an electric RC flyers thread decades ago (before eRC was common place and everything was a "conversion"). All I can say is "forums are fun" as long as you let them be.

    Best wishes,

    craze1cars and insightman like this.
  19. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    Sorry to ignite the slightly off topic debate. My point was to say it's not only OK to use the Clarity as a hybrid to take advantage of cheap gas, it's good for the longevity of the car to combine the two. Let's say your commute is 60 miles round trip, half freeway, just charge to 80-90%, go EV in town and switch to HV on the freeway. That way, you'll only use only 2/3 the EV range and you always have a decent charge while in HV mode to provide full power when you need it. There's only a limited number of miles that the battery can provide (even less, if you use the heater and A/C and who doesn't?). It's a big battery for a hybrid but a tiny battery for an EV. Why not spread it out to extend the life of the car? Don't feel so guilty about burning a little gas. If everyone got out of their gas guzzlers and drove a Clarity, even exclusively in HV mode, the reduction of carbon emissions and pollution would be dramatic. The fact that you can use it as an EV some of the time is even better.
    craze1cars and Cash Traylor like this.
  20. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Off topic debate is GOOD in this case. I don't mind one bit! Forums Are Fun!!
    insightman likes this.

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