Article on the future of PHEVs.

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by KentuckyKen, Apr 3, 2019.

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  1. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Here is a link to a recent article by PluginAmerica on their take on the future of PHEVs. An interesting article, but their main points are that PHEVs are not new ground up designs and that they have ranges under 30 miles. Of course this ignores the Clarity (again!!) and they make no mention of it. Let’s leave lots of comments about the Clarity and shame them into acknowledging its virtues and maybe even doing an article on it.
    Texas22Step and Robert_Alabama like this.
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  3. David in TN

    David in TN Well-Known Member

    I think I fell asleep after reading the following: "It looks as though all-electrics might be the future of the EV..."

    Kinda makes me wonder about the journalism know-how behind a statement like that.
  4. Tangible

    Tangible Active Member

    Well, of course they "might" be. It's a truism that once EVs reach a certain range and recharge time (a factor ignored in the article) there will be no need for PHEVs, which do have the drawback of mechanical complexity and a greater need for driver involvement in trip planning.

    Where the author shows the greatest ignorance is his claim that PHEVs can't run effectively on electricity alone. He confuses that desirable ability to combine the power of the ICE and the electric motor with a necessity. I consider it a personal failure when my ICE turns on in my Clarity, and I'm not a pokey driver.
  5. SThomas219

    SThomas219 Active Member

    Crazy thinking. While I would rather use a Hydrogen/Plug-in EV than a gas one. That is way in the future if ever.

    I was disappointed in Ford's 2020 Escape PHEV coming in at an estimated 30 mile range. You need, at least, 45-50 especially in cold weather when the batteries are reduced in range.

    I still feel a SUV PHEV with 75 to 100 miles in range would be a big seller. Great for daily commutes/errands for most people and ready to go for long trips.
    Texas22Step, The Gadgeteer and Mesa like this.
  6. coutinpe

    coutinpe Active Member

    It seems that, in the times we are living in, knowing zero about a subject is no disqualification to write about it...
    Texas22Step and KentuckyKen like this.
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  8. DucRider

    DucRider Well-Known Member

    I happen to agree with the article. The added expense of and complexity of an ICE plus largish batteries for decent AER will become cost prohibitive. The amount you pay in reduced efficiency and added maintenance would pay for the occasional rental in the outlying case of 400 miles of EV range not being sufficient.

    It is inevitable that battery costs will continue to decrease, but the cost of the ICE and related components will not (mature technology to say the least).

    This article is not stating that there is no market for PHEV's today, but that the market will continue to decline in the future. And yes, some will continue to want/need a PHEV over a BEV, but the cost differential is likely to reverse at some point and a PHEV will become the more expensive option.

    That so many of the issues/complaints about the Clarity (and other PHEV's) are related to the ICE, transmission, etc is at least somewhat of an indicator of the weak point. The Clarity, in all it's iterations, is almost purely a compliance car (the FCEV and BEV are the very definition). While the PHEV version is sold outside of Section 177 States, it would not exist if the TZEV credits were not valuable to Honda.

    Every time I read a post about how little gas people used in xx miles/months, it reinforces the idea that if they had "real" EV range (say 300 miles), the necessity for the ICE would be very close to nonexistent. Is this true for all owners? Certainly not. And PHEV's have their place. But as EV technology and infrastructure develops, that use case will continue to decline and offerings by manufacturers will follow suit. I don't expect to see any offerings in the 100 mile electric range neighborhood, but do hope to see a few more that hit the 50 mile mark (which comfortably covers most commutes in all weather).
    ken wells likes this.
  9. Texas22Step

    Texas22Step Well-Known Member

    But, a big advantage that Clarity has is a longish pure EV range around 50 miles, yet the ability to charge easily using readily available AC power in just (max.) 2.5 hrs, whether at home or a public charging station. But, while most homes have electric service adequate to accommodate a 40A L2 home EVSE, they simply do not have electric service to support L3 "fast" DC charging at home, at least without quite expensive changes to their entrance panel, etc. And this situation will likely continue for a very long time.

    Of course, companies like PlugInAmerica, who plan to make their living by fielding paid commercial L3 DC charging stations outside the home, state their belief in this mode of recharging (although perhaps "hope" may be the better word), one wonders whether the ultra long range BEVs can actually dominate the market with an existing L2 EVSE infrastructure in homes that even if properly equipped to charge a BEV that has a DC converter on board would likely take 9+ hours for a charge.

    IMHO a home L2 charger for quick and relatively inexpensive Clarity-style 2-hour charges (sometimes costing zero if there is already home solar available too) combined with the nearly universal existing external gas station infrastructure may really the "right" long-run combination that would largely achieve everyone's goals of much lowered emissions & higher "mileage," combined with preservation of the huge investment in the current fueling infrastructure external to the home -- while accommodating the very high percentage of drivers who don't need more than Clarity's EV range for the vast majority of daily trips.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  10. DucRider

    DucRider Well-Known Member

    DCFC is completely unnecessary at home. An overnight charge on a 40A circuit will yield ~300 miles. Much, much more than 99% percent of users will need on a daily basis. The DCFC infrastructure will allow for longer travel on road trips or those rare days where 3-400 miles of "around town" driving is not enough.

    Most people with a 400 mile EV would need to charge overnight no more than once or twice a week to completely cover their daily driving needs.

    The average vehicle miles traveled per day is 58, with an average trip segment of less than 11 miles (cited as a case for "around town" L2 to "top off")
    (more info than most will want)

    And PlugInAmerica is not a charging provider (probably confusing them with Electrify America the VW arm resulting from Dieselgate).
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
    ken wells likes this.
  11. Roger Lambert

    Roger Lambert Member

    Not by my calculations. The cost of rentals for long trips several times a year completely destroyed the economics of a BEV. Considering that the Clarity qualified for full Federal, state, and local rebates and also was available for a $200.00 per month lease - nothing else even came close. For me.
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  13. LAF

    LAF Active Member

    its not only range that matters- its that you may have to wait 40 minutes to refuel your all EV car! Until refilling is as fast as gas, PHEVs should be a nice alternative.
    insightman and jdonalds like this.
  14. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Well-Known Member

    Yep, I think we can all pump 7 gallons of gas in less than 40 minutes. :)
  15. vin seeram

    vin seeram Member

    Like a lot of people said, the biggest hurdle for pure EV adaption is charging infrastructure and recharge times. 250 miles range is good enough for me , if I can recharge in 15mins. More V3 charging locations will get us there.
  16. DucRider

    DucRider Well-Known Member

    If you had a 300+ mile EV, that would only matter on long trips. Very few PHEV owners regularly travel more than 300 miles in a day (and you come out to a full "tank" every morning)

    And while a bunch of people seem to have gotten their knickers in a twist, we are talking about the future of PHEV's. No need to feel like anyone is insinuating you made a poor choice for the current state of the market and your particular needs. As battery tech advances (and prices drop), it is inevitable that a PHEV becomes more expensive than an EV with equivalent range and market share will decrease.

    The attraction of virtually no scheduled maintenance (other than tire rotations and cabin air filters) combined with the convenience of having a full tank every morning and the added performance a pure EV brings to the table make a PHEV much less attractive.

    It is quite common to see members of this forum brag about how little gas they use (i.e < 3 gallons in over 6,000 miles). Not a lot of argument in that use case that the ICE is required when that is achieved with a nominal 48 mile range. There was no long road trip involved that would have required extensive charging. Imagine if the range was over 5 times that. At some point the security blanket of the ICE is no longer needed.

    And yes, there are people with a very real need for a PHEV in the current market. I personally spend significant time (and money) promoting plug in vehicles of all types, and often recommend a PHEV as the best solution for someones needs - today. I do expect, as the linked article states, that PHEV's will be overtaken in the marketplace by BEV's.
  17. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    I somewhat feel the marketplace should make the decision. As long as enough people will buy PHEVs, they should make PHEVs. When the marketshare shifts so heavily to BEVs that PHEVs no longer have enough demand to justify production, then get rid of PHEVs. I personally believe the death of PHEVs should be a relatively significant amount of time into the future (years), but I guess time will tell. I don't put much stock in the opinions of others as to what I should buy or consume, that is more up to me and the menu available at the time of purchase/hunger. Generally, the bigger the menu, the better. I do kind of hate it when others try to artificially shrink the size of the menu for their tastes, not necessarily the tastes of the general populace, or to try to convince the general populace that what they like is bad and that it should be taken off the menu.
  18. DucRider

    DucRider Well-Known Member

    Robert, I have not seen a suggestion that PHEVs be restricted or removed from the menu. The article and (my personal opinion) feel that exactly as you lay out will happen - the market for PHEVs will continue to grow slower than that for BEV's there will be fewer choices as manufacturers shift their focus the higher volume vehicles.
  19. RickSE

    RickSE Active Member

    I’m curious what the tipping point is on phev vs bev. Once a reasonably priced bev gets 300 miles then it will be a hot seller. But a 200 mile bev for >$40k? Can’t see me picking that over the Clarity (and I didn’t or I’d be on the bolt forum). I also don’t think I’d pick it over and ICE. My preference, yes, but I don’t see 100k bolts out there. Ford came out with the escape that gets 30 miles on battery - which means 20 miles in winter. That isn’t good enough either. If Honda and Chevy can put out 50 mile PHEVs why won’t other manufacturers?
  20. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    @DucRider, maybe you are right. It just seemed to me like the article had a little too much "up with BEVs, down with PHEVs" slant to make me happy and I reacted to that a little. It did close with "What is certain is that if plug-in hybrids are going to continue to be a viable electric offering, the electric range must be significantly more than most current models. There are at least 20 plug-in hybrid models on the market today that get well under 30 miles of electric range; electric ranges below 30 miles just don’t cut it anymore." I actually agree with that pretty strongly. For me, I really like the range in the "near 50" mile area for a PHEV. That pretty much guarantees at least 80% battery usage to cover all my travel needs/wants. Above 50 miles doesn't do a lot for me, but obviously I'd take it if free. But I'd rather have a PHEV than a BEV right now (given all current conditions including pricing) or I'd own a BEV, simple as that. I'll probably keep that position until the infrastructure gets in place to make recharging relatively painless and riskfree (and of course cheaper to buy and own than PHEV).
  21. Texas22Step

    Texas22Step Well-Known Member

    Well, whatever the outcome of a BEV vs. PHEV vehicle architecture discussion, within the PHEV market the Clarity is definitely a value stand-out, IMHO. Here are the numbers, updated to April 2019:

  22. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    PHEVs are still transitional vehicles in my mind - even though we've now had one or another here since early in 2012 when the first Prius Plug-ins went on the market. In the intervening years, we liked what little we saw of the EV world and decided that it made sense to buy a full BEV - but only if we also kept some kind of traditional fuel back-up. So without having to give up too much, the Clarity fit the bill better than just getting a 100% gasser. When Leaf and a few others with 100 mile or so range were the only BEV options besides Tesla, it might've made less sense to invest in a non-Tesla BEV - but now that the range for many of these cars has risen so dramatically, it does make more sense for many people to hop on the EV train. But in many areas of the country - particularly in rural parts of the country and especially out here in the wide open West where distances between stops can be hundreds of miles - full electric vehicles are not going to make much sense for a long time. Once the infrastructure grows and the range of BEVs opens up, there won't be much need for PHEVs anymore. However, until that day comes, these cars are quite viable and definitely serve a segment of the market …
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
    MPower likes this.
  23. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I, too, think that the future of the automobile is with BEVs, and not PHEVs. However, I understand why that's not going over well in the segment of this forum dedicated to the Clarity PHEV. Heresy! :eek:

    But I think that PHEVs will become obsolete only when the average BEV can be charged for 300+ miles of driving in 10 minutes or less, and there are a sufficient number of EV ultra-fast-charge stations nationwide (or in Europe, continent-wide) that the average BEV driver won't have much more difficulty finding one than he has in finding a gas station today. All that certainly won't happen in the next 5 years. So near-term, at least, the market for PHEVs isn't going to fade away.

    Furthermore, I think it's entirely possible that there will remain a long-term market for PHEVs in regions where electric power is either not widespread or not reliable enough to charge a car on a daily basis. So the BEV market may lag far behind in third-world countries. And if I was to, for example, go on safari in Africa, I certainly wouldn't choose a BEV to drive or ride in!

    * * * * *

    It certainly does seem that an article comparing BEVs to PHEVs which ignores the only PHEV in production (now that the Chevy Volt is dead) with an EPA-rated range exceeding the distance of an American driver's average daily commute (which is ~40 miles), is rather poor coverage of the subject. I don't know if that's a case of ignorance or not, but the article certainly does a disservice to its reading audience.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019

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