Article on supposed Honda EV expectations

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Clarity_Newbie, Dec 26, 2019.

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  1. Clarity_Newbie

    Clarity_Newbie Active Member

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  3. Tangible

    Tangible Active Member

    A sad case of the myopia made famous by “The Innovator’s Dilemma”, wherein dominant companies spurn new technologies because of some perceived killer flaw - in this case range anxiety - and completely miss the next wave.

    Last century it was the railroads not getting into commercial aviation. This century it will be Honda and Toyota that get left in the dust by EV upstarts and the more visionary traditional carmakers.
  4. Do you hold those beliefs because Honda’s views differ from yours?

    It sounds like they have a clear vision and plan to move ahead to achieve their goals.

    What’s dysfunctional about that?
  5. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    The Honda e BEV goes on sale in Europe and Britain soon. It is more expensive, but higher-tech than the competition. However, as BEV buyers claim they'll accept nothing short of 300-mile range, this great city-car may have a tough time in the market.

    I wish my barrage of letters to Torrance had convinced Honda to sell the Honda e in the US. Honda was content to sell an average of 2,000 of their gen-1 Insights here annually. I'm certain Honda could move 2,000 Honda e cars per year in the US. Perhaps the cost of supporting a new BEV was too daunting. To reduce support costs, they could have restricted the Honda e to California, as they do with so many of their high-tech cars.

    MINI says they're bringing just 2,000 of their MINI Cooper SE BEVs to the US this year. The MINI BEV won't match the range of the Honda e and it's nowhere near as cute. When I was denied the Honda e, I ordered the MINI. Our Clarity PHEV will handle the long haul duties.
  6. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    I agree with Honda’s assessment. Battery powered vehicles will not meet the desires of the vast majority of Americans and/or the world market over the next 10 years. This site is so incredibly loaded with California mentality and politics that I believe most here have inaccurate tunnel vision regarding the state of automobile market and demand in the rest of the USA, much less the world. That statement is not intended to be derogatory in any way, just an observation from a non-Californian who spends quite a bit of time here. Regarding some of the things that are often discussed here: It is very...VERY different once you get out of the state of California....

    We need a massive leapfrog in battery technology first. Honda is smart to wait for that to occur. In the meantime they streamline and increase profits. Increase mpg across the fleet by perfecting hybridization of their fleet...keep the batteries small and cheap for now and abandon the whole PHEV concept, which is simply too expensive to build and be competitive. This ICE and light hybrid focus works exceedingly well in this entire country, and in the world. And it’s economically feasible to profit from over the next decade.

    Those who think their vision is wrong would be smart to sell their Honda stock. Those who think it’s valid should consider buying their stock.

    Re evaluate in 2030, or if/when the next battery technology allows substantially more range with lighter weight at a competitive price. Honda recognizes this at least a decade away. Until then, keep an ICE on board, and a small battery to handle idling and slow speed transport without emissions or fuel use, and maximize Honda’s profit. With this strategy everyone can continue to happily drive. The 5% of the market that California represents can be handed over to Tesla, while Honda focuses on profiting from the remaining 95%.

    Very smart business move.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
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  8. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    I'll somewhat take the other side. I'm pretty far from California. After owning 2 Volts and the Clarity, I don't plan on ever buying another gasoline only car again. From what I can tell, the vast majority that have tried Claritys or Volts tend to be happy owners and don't see going back to gasoline only, even if they have to pay a premium for PHEV. As to the cost to manufacture and associated premium for decent PHEVs vs gasoline cars, we'll see what the market can offer. The RAV4 Prime and the Wrangler should be somewhat reasonably priced, so they offer some near-term hope for increasing PHEV sales. I agree more with you on battery only vehicles taking over and how long that will take.
    TomL, bpratt and craze1cars like this.
  9. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Maybe...time will tell. You are in that 5% outside of CA. So am I. Us and others who are might tend to stay there too once we are in. But not always! Most importantly I’m simply not seeing widespread adoption, or even interest. Just seems that saving fuel is not a priority for most of the market. Obviously it is for people on this forum...but that’s a real tiny niche.

    And as a Clarity owner, unlike yourself, I just gotta point out I bought a new car for myself a month ago. It’s an ICE. Not a PHEV and not even a Hybrid. And I like driving it a whole lot better than my Clarity...but that’s a whole other story. So although I joined the PHEV fray out of curiosity, it did not wow me enough to keep my interest at next car purchase. I suspect I am not alone.

    But we are just individuals. And a few individuals does not a sales market make...Honda is looking at the masses, and their research indicates that the masses are not yet adopting, and won’t in the near term, so as a smart company they gotta follow the money.

    My crystal ball is in the shop right now...needs a new fuel cell I think. Anyway if Guido gets that thing to kick over again I’ll let everyone know what the future is...
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2019
  10. The PHCB is the way to go.
    craze1cars likes this.
  11. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    No fair on the cliff-hanger! The new mid-engine Corvette Stingray isn't out yet, so what other car could you like driving more than a Clarity and why?

    Would you have bought that non-electrified fun car if gas was $5/gallon?
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  13. ab13

    ab13 Active Member

  14. Al-clarity

    Al-clarity New Member

    it’s more likely the choice of price than taste. Many on that list are kei car which are taxed less.
  15. It is also a country that is almost entirely dependent on oil imports and has less land mass than the state of California.
  16. ab13

    ab13 Active Member

    True, but I'm referring more to styling.
  17. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Well...this is a Clarity forum, so I saw no sense in boring you with the details. But then you are my answers:

    2019 Mazda3 Hatchback Premium pkg, 6 speed manual. Replaced my 2007 model of the same which served me exceedingly well. It's a completely different class of car other than the price I paid after rebates for each car is very similar. But if forced to compare, here is what the little Mazda does better than the Clarity, or has which the Clarity does not:

    Nods to Mazda:
    Fun factor. By a factor of about 10. Zoom zoom. It's a go-kart. I'm an active driver and I simply love the handling in turns, curves, etc. It can corner like it's on rails. It's quicker too at any speed. And I love rowing my own gears.
    Headlights: Mazda got this right. LEDs are super bright...much much easier to see than with Clarity's sub-par LEDs, especially when using the brights. Also Mazda has adaptive headlights that turn left and right with the steering wheel, and a very effective auto-dimming feature for the brights. Clarity has neither.
    Memory seating which also changes the mirrors. Sad oversight by Honda to do seats only.
    Rain sensing windshield wipers. I love these.
    Bose premium 12 speaker sound system. Stunning. And the hold-down for the real spare tire is actually a tire-sized subwoofer. Very clever and effective.
    Oh yeah it has a real spare tire (compact).
    Display screen is NOT touch screen but works extremely effectively via a knob/joystick/button combo thingy...BMW style. Very slick, very convenient, very intuitive after a short learning curve, very responsive, no fingerprints on the screen, super clear and large screen, and the whole infotainment system in general just works and looks ten times better.
    Cargo space: Hatchbacks destroy sedan trunks for utility...always have and always will. The car is smaller, but it sure holds a bunch more stuff when needed.
    It's 1000 pounds lighter than Clarity...back to zoom-zoom factor.
    Adaptive cruise control from Mazda is much more responsive and natural feeling than Honda. Doesn't slam brakes last minute and catches up quicker after the path is clear.
    On-board MPG computer exaggerates from reality by only about 1 mpg. Clarity exaggerates by about 3 mpg.
    Blind spot monitoring.
    Heads up display. Freakin' awesome if you've never had a car with this feature...this is my first.
    Driver attention alert.
    Front seats are more comfortable and have more adjustments.
    Generous fuel tank and excellent fuel mileage gives me 400 mile of range between fill-ups, vs 240ish on Clarity's little tank.
    10 years from now if I still have the car, I know I can fix problems myself very reasonably. Clarity is a wild card.
    TPMS system gives detailed tire pressures at each corner, instead of Honda's generic RPM sensing system.
    Turning circle much more manageable.
    It's a smaller car.
    Interior looks sexier. Classier. Wine and black leather mixed...I get a ton of compliments on how downright cool the inside of the Mazda looks. Mine has a mix of black and wine color. One of the biggest surprises for me and for everyone that sits in the car actually is how Mazda has classed up the lowly little 3 on the inside.

    Nods to the Honda Clarity:
    Lane Keep Assist is better than Mazda. Mazda lets you drift around if you are lazy, Honda keeps you centered better. As an active driver I don't really mind or need this, but Honda does this better.
    Clarity engine is quieter when it's not running obviously. Yet louder when it is running. Mazda is always running obviously but shockingly quiet as well, even at 6,000 rpm redline shifts at WOT...Mazda engines just sing beautifully when wound out...but quietly. Lots of insulation in this model.
    Clarity ride is more luxurious.
    Back seat is bigger.
    Clarity uses a bit less $ to go a mile.
    It's a bigger car with more passenger space, and definitely the go-to for hauling more than 2 adults.
    Will go longer between oil changes.

    Would I have bought an ICE if gas was $5 a gallon? Yes. Despite constant spirited driving because it's just a lot of fun in this thing, I'm getting a very steady 33 to 35 mpg. I'm totally at peace with that. And I believe gas won't come anywhere close to $5/gallon for a long long time where I I see that as a hypothetical non-issue.

    And there you have it. Wife can keep driving the Clarity. It's her primary car and she likes it. And I will periodically get in the driver seat if we're hauling friends or family around and need the bigger back seat. But if just she and/or I are going somewhere...anywhere...for any distance...and I'm driving? The Clarity now stays in the garage and I drive my Mazda. Totally worth the extra $1 or $2 in fuel to get there, just for the enjoyment factor.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
  18. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    For those truly curious. Pics from when I brought it home...guess it was a couple months ago now that I think about it. 2,500 miles so far:
    IMG_2314.JPG IMG_2316.JPG IMG_2317.JPG
    Hoon likes this.
  19. Don’t test drive an Audi.
  20. Ryan C

    Ryan C Member

    I grew up in California and I want to stay because it’s my home. Gas spiked to $4.25 this year, constant traffic, state incentives and a massive network of free chargers makes the Clarity the perfect SoCal car. If I’m going to choose to stay here I need the Clarity to offset the costs and take advantage of the incentives. The car is already saving me a ton and I haven’t even gotten my $9k in incentives from state/fed. With that being said these conditions in CA don’t exist everywhere and I consider my Clarity a perfect niche vehicle for certain markets including mine.
    Even with how extensive the charging network in California is it still seems to be stretched thin. I think Honda is being wise and I doubt they made their decision without much thought and research. They could be wrong and may get left behind but in the meantime they’re saving me a ton.
  21. Aha!
    In Spring of 2018 my daughter was looking to replace her '00 Protégé (driven 188k miles from new) and she cross-shopped the Clarity PHEV Touring that she ultimately bought against the 2018 version of your Mazda3. These were the only two cars that she considered and the ultimate decision took two full months.

    If she had the motivation to own two cars I'm sure that she'd mirror your combination.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2019
    craze1cars likes this.
  22. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    I went to Indianapolis Auto Show yesterday with some friends. I was minimally interested in most cars so while friends were distracted by exploring or chatting with reps, I would periodically entertain myself acting as a fly on the wall making a point to observe certain things about what "the masses" seem to desire, and what interests them. I kinda confirmed my assessment of the market in this local area anyway, that Honda is making a smart move in following the market, if they want to make money:

    Among 100's of cars from all manufacturers, there was a Chevy Bolt, a Nissan Leaf, a Prius Prime, a Kona. (Naturally no Clarity...this is IN, not CA.) Not once, in a substantial amount of time observing, did I EVER see one single person even glance at these 4 electrically oriented cars. There were "regular" hybrids...Camry, Accord, Avalon, Acura SUV's, etc. These did see some light traffic, with an occasional person sitting in them and checking them out. And there were a BUNCH of pickup trucks of all sizes, SUVs of all sizes, an old school custom conversion van company, and plenty of Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers, BMW sports cars, etc. People were climbing ALL OVER these in droves. There were actual lines formed for a chance to sit in every $70K 3/4 ton pickup, and to sit in and check out the $80,000 GMC Yukon XL, and the new Corvette of course. People of all ages expressed desires to own these. All the mid size SUVs of every brand got a constant stream of attention from many who seemed to be serious shoppers, verbally comparing the Trailblazer to the Explorer to the Highlander to whatever. Surprisingly there was quite a lot of interest in the Lincolns, and as always the Jeep display was crawling with particular their new Crew Cab pickup. Subaru booth was very busy and active, seemingly more so than most other brands. As for Honda, they had "average" traffic. Their clamor was mostly around their flashy Civic Type R, and lots of people sitting in Pilots, CRVs, Accords (including an Accord Hybrid), Insight, Civics, etc. The Ridgeline was clearly shunned, as it always has been. The few EVs on the floor, of any brand, were just something in the way for people to walk around and look right past with absolutely zero interest. Tesla did not attend. Nor did Cadillac...which I found interesting since the rest of GM had a very big presence. In hindsight I completely forgot to see if BMW brought their electric...I didn't pay much attention to their display. So I don't know if it was there or if it garnered interest.

    Anyway I firmly believe this Indianapolis Auto Show to be a microcosm of the US car market in general. People want what they want, fuel mileage? Who cares? the most popular cars and trucks had MPG ratings in the teens...or were of the HD variety which are exempt from even being measured. And in general, around Indiana for sure, not one person at that well-attended auto show wanted anything to do with EVs or PHEVs. It appears to me that it will take a long long time to turn this ship, and the ICE is far from dead. Please don't shoot the messenger. I'm just sharing my observations...
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2019
  23. Bear in mind that the fuel prices, electricity rates and insurance rates you are paying are some of the highest in the nation. Where a Clarity can be found, the $7500 Fed credit is available. Oregon offers a $2500 rebate and Washington waives sales tax on $25,000 of value.

    Even if you are able to achieve 100% “free” charging and never buy gas, how much less will you be spending on fuel? My previous vehicle got 36-40mpg. It would cost about $1200/yr to drive 12K miles with $4/gal fuel. How much did your insurance rates increase compared to the previous vehicle?

    How many years of “saving” on fuel costs will it take to recover the expense of buying a new car?

    I bought a new Clarity. It was never considered as part of a savings plan. The cost was insignificant to my finances, but I realize the expense will be much greater than either, keeping the old car or buying a 5 year old, Accord, Civic, Camry, etc. for a fraction of the price.

    Groucho Marx once said, “If they’d lower the taxes and clean up the smog and get rid of the traffic mess, I really believe I’d settle here until the next earthquake.”
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2019

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