Battery life expectancy and cost to replace

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by kcsunshine, Jun 2, 2018.

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  1. kcsunshine

    kcsunshine Active Member

    It is probably on the back of peoples' mind but I was wondering what is the battery life expectancy and cost to replace. The Clarity's battery is like 10 times the size of a regular hybrid battery and I heard it can be expensive to replace a regular hybrid's battery. Crazy idea - I wonder if the Clarity can use a regular hybrid size battery and run like a regular hybrid down the line when it comes time to replace. It could shed about 500 lbs of weight and be more efficient. Also, does the Clarity have a timing belt to replace?
    sabasc and Johnhaydev like this.
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  3. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    The battery pack also includes battery management software connections and cooling connections and along with a different size battery, I would think that there would be compatibility issues with all the controllers.

    The Atkinson cycle engine is optimized for economy and not power so I’m not sure that it could handle being the primary motive power source even with a 500 lb weight reduction.

    No timing belt. It’s a timing chain wirh tensioner and should not need any maintenance. I really like that we have no belts to inspect/replace because all the ancillaries like fans, water pumps, a/c compressors, alternators, steering pumps are electric. Dealers are going to get a lot less maintenance money from us!
    sabasc and 4sallypat like this.
  4. WindsorBoy

    WindsorBoy New Member

    I've read quite a few articles on the question of EV battery life and I don't think it is an issue. Although there might be some degradation in the performance of the battery over time most studies seem to show that this levels out at about a 10-15% reduction in efficiency over an extended period of time.

    For reference, here's an article from 2016 on this issue:

    And here's some info on battery life associated with Tesla vehicles based on distance driven:

    As an aside, before buying my Clarity I drove a Prius for about nine years. I saw no evidence of battery degradation in that nine year span and I'm sure there were still many years of battery life in that vehicle when I traded it in. I'm planning on keeping my Clarity for about the same life span and I'll be amazed if I don't find similar performance with it.
    AlanSqB and jdonalds like this.
  5. ab13

    ab13 Active Member

  6. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    My 2006 Insight's battery died after 8 years, 2 months. If its 0.9 kWh battery costs nearly $3K to replace, I shudder to think what our Clarity's 17 kWh battery will cost 8 years and 2 months from now. Also, Honda required its dealers to purchase expensive lifts just for the purpose of removing these large, heavy batteries. Shade-tree mechanics will have a tough time trying to save money by changing these batteries themselves.

    In reality, I trust that Honda's 19 years of experience with hybrid batteries has enabled them to find ways to make their batteries last much longer. I'm sure the Clarity protects its battery by using much less of its maximum potential (pun intended) than the first Insights did.
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  8. ab13

    ab13 Active Member

    Different battery type lithium versus NiMH, and actively cooled. So one would hope no issues there. I suppose you can buy in a longer warranty state even if you live out of state, wonder how that works.
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  9. M.M.

    M.M. Active Member

    Based on back-of-envelope calculations I've run and known longevity curves for lithium-ion batteries (see a battery treatment thread here for details), I would expect people in moderate climates to start seeing a noticeable decrease in range after either 100k-150k miles or 8-10 years, whichever comes first. The battery will still be usable after that, your range will just steadily decrease. Exactly when will depend a lot on your driving and charging habits and the ambient temperatures the car is subject to.

    If you live in a very hot climate and your car is not stored in a climate-controlled area, degradation will start in maybe half to two thirds of the above guesstimates. Lithium-ion batteries do not like high temperatures, particularly when sitting with a full charge.
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  10. kcsunshine

    kcsunshine Active Member

    Since we are talking about the Clarity's battery, I was wondering what is the likelihood of having the battery stolen? I heard stories of the Prius batteries being stolen with a lot of damage being done. The number of Priuses sold is probably a lot more than the Clarity and the earlier batteries probably didn't last very long. The Clarity's battery is under the seat making it harder to remove. The Clarity is not very popular with taxis and car service. I know I worry too much.
    sabasc likes this.
  11. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I’m going to invent The Club lock for Clarity batteries and make a mint.
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  13. AnthonyW

    AnthonyW Well-Known Member

    Not likely at all. Reviewing the battery service and repair manual on Honda Service Express, it would make much more sense to just steal the car itself. The battery is actually a series of batteries put together in a modular format that requires specific tools/keys to remove. I’m sure you could pry some modules out with a crowbar but what would that accomplish. Just getting to it would be hard enough. As a previous owner of a 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid, I removed the IMA battery and added a grid charger. After looking at the Clarity battery, I would never even consider messing with it.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  14. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    The thieves would have to take the car because nobody's walking away with one of these:

  15. M.M.

    M.M. Active Member

    I would be about as worried about someone stealing the engine as the battery pack.

    It would be far more practical to steal the doors or the wheels of you had that kind of time and equipment available for the theft.
    sabasc likes this.
  16. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    What's the market for a lightly used 103-hp engine? As with most cars, it's the catalytic converters that bring the most profit for a few minutes' work. I can't remember, are our catalytic converters covered? They get very hot, so I'd expect they're not covered by the underbody aerodynamic panels.
    Johnhaydev likes this.
  17. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Right. A PHEV is designed for the battery pack to provide a significant fraction of the power to propel the car. A non-plug-in HEV is designed for the battery pack to just assist the primary ICE powertrain, to increase efficiency. Trying to convert a PHEV to an HEV would (a) require an extensive, difficult, and probably expensive rebuild of the powertrain, (b) would result in a seriously underpowered car, and (c) would almost certainly result in a car which had serious reliability issues, due to the amount of conversion compromises and jerry-rigging involved.

    These days, modifying a car's powertrain isn't just a matter of having mechanical expertise and basic engineering knowledge. These days, you have to be able to hack, analyze, and reprogram computer code, both for the car's computer and for the battery's BMS. While it's true that a NiMH battery pack doesn't need a BMS to keep the pack balanced like a li-ion pack does, it's also true that the BMS controls charging and discharging of the battery pack, so that is a function which would have to be replaced to convert a PHEV to an HEV.

    sabasc likes this.
  18. AnthonyW

    AnthonyW Well-Known Member

    Attached is a summary of the Electric Powertrain and integration of the battery. Unfortunately the links aren't active.

    Attached Files:

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  19. Ben Washburn

    Ben Washburn Member

    Suppose the battery eventually degrades all the way to 20% or something. Is there any reason you couldn't drive the car essentially indefinitely as a hybrid?
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  20. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    If it gets that low it would be considered replaceable by Honda under warranty. Otherwise it should still function as a hybrid.
    sabasc likes this.
  21. Ben Washburn

    Ben Washburn Member

    Yeah, that's really what I'm getting at. Worst case, you have a hybrid forever. In any case, I'd expect five or ten years from now replacing the PHEV battery won't be anything like it is now. You'd probably get significantly more range for half the price.
  22. One member had the HV battery replaced under warranty at no cost. The estimate was over $6K, I believe. Couldn’t find the thread.

    If the battery doesn’t degrade to warranty replacement level of ~66% within the 8-10 warranty period, it will probably remain above 20% for 20 more years. At 20% you’d still have ~10 miles of EV range. The car is a PHEV, it’s a bit different from a Hybrid that has no specified EV range and a tiny ~1KWh battery.

    Stickware has reportedly driven more than 100K miles in HV with an uncharged traction battery. I’d image that is how the car would perform with a battery that had suffered a significant amount of degradation. It just keeps going.

    No one is going to steal the battery. Enjoy the car.
    sabasc likes this.
  23. Jimmy Vo

    Jimmy Vo Member

    With due all respect, I would worry about being hit by lightning before I worry about Clarity's battery being stolen.
    Ben Washburn and turtleturtle like this.

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