Can small Clarity battery last long if driving EV mode all the time?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Jimmy Vo, Aug 29, 2020.

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  1. Jimmy Vo

    Jimmy Vo Member

    Since the battery is smaller than pure BEV, it covers only 50 miles range. This means the battery charge cycles will happen every day vs BEV. With BEV, the battery is big, you charge once or twice a week. It's just the law of physic, you have a small battery, you force it to use full 100% energy every day vs big battery where you might use only 15% its energy. Since you have more charge cycles, degradation will happen. The bad thing about the small battery is degradation is a big deal. Lose 20% of 50 miles, down to 40 miles is a big deal. Whereas losing %20 of 250 miles of BEV is ok since you still have 200 miles left.

    So, my point is the car is not designed to be used 95% driving in EV mode. I saw a lot of posters brag about never fill up the gas tank, I wonder if they make mistake to buy Clarity vs BEV. I myself I question that all the time since I use EV mode more often than I thought.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
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  3. Agzand

    Agzand Active Member

    The battery is 17kWh, but the usable capacity is only 12-13 kWh or so. The 4-5 kWh is kept to reduce battery degradation. BEVs have much smaller top/bottom buffers. Also the car charges at Level 2 max which reduces stress on the battery. A lot of degradation in EVs happen during DC fast charging. Regardless it is possible to have more degradation in Clarity, but even with 70% capacity (warranty trigger) the car will be entirely functional.
    Kerbe and insightman like this.
  4. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I disagree. Honda's been making hybrid cars since 1999 and they hate replacing batteries on warranty. The Clarity Electric (RIP) was based on the same platform/technology, but had a 25.5 kWh battery (thanks @Landshark). Because the Clarity PHEV eliminates range anxiety by having a backup engine, Honda fully expected drivers to use as much of the battery as the bottom-end buffer would let them. Our Clarity has been to the gas station just once this year because it works like a BEV for our driving needs. However, we hope our country will get the coronavirus under control and someday we'll go on a trip longer than 47 miles.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
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  5. Actually, it is designed to operate in EV until the battery is depleted. Default mode is EV.

    Honda also recommends to fully charge the battery prior to each trip.

    Your scenario assumes that a driver will fully deplete the battery every time they drive the car. This is unlikely. For many, the EV range exceeds their daily driving needs.

    The charging protocol and BMS, both provide conditions that are favorable to battery longevity.

    If you think that you made a mistake by purchasing a PHEV, sell it and buy something else.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
  6. JFon101231

    JFon101231 Active Member

    OP you are also ignoring the original type of BEV before Tesla, Bolt etc. All those cars that had around 80 miles of range and many were using most if not all and then some each day. I personally had a Fit EV and in the wintertime I would use the whole battery one way to work, charge on L2 and then use the whole thing on the way home.

    As noted above, the intended use was carefully considered during design.
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  8. DaleL

    DaleL Active Member

    All batteries degrade over time and with use. I have a little over 27,000 miles on my 2018 Clarity PHEV which is almost 2.5 years on the road. When new, I could drive the car almost 60 miles in gentle driving, 45 mpg or so. Now I am lucky to get 52 miles on a fully charged battery. As a result, I believe that my battery has lost between 10 and 12% of its original capacity. From what I can determine, Honda considers normal degradation to be up to 33% over the 8 year/100,000 high voltage battery warranty period. Typically EV batteries degrade more rapidly during the first year or two of use. A 33% degradation would result in just a 35 to 40 mile EV range.

    The good news is that the Clarity is also a good hybrid car.

    "Greater-than-normal degradation is covered for 8 years or 100,000 miles, and can be determined by an authorized Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid dealer."
  9. Pooky

    Pooky Active Member

    Does anyone know what percent degradation Honda uses for the extended CARB (10y/150k) warranty? Is it still 33% or something greater?
  10. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    Hey, this is a good question. Google let me down, and couldn't locate the answer.
    But... in the process of looking, I discovered (to my surprise) that I am located in a TZEV state and have the 10y/150k coverage.

    For those like me, who don't know, here are the states:
    California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon
    Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington

    I have also attached the Honda document that shows what is covered.
    I know this doesn't answer the real question but led to a pleasant surprise for me !

    Attached Files:

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  11. Thanks for finding that MrFixit. It seems to me that if Honda doesn't specify otherwise, then the 33% degradation threshold would have to apply to the 10y50k warranty as well.
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  13. It would be implied that the same battery capacity warranty would apply to the extended 10/150 period.
  14. coutinpe

    coutinpe Active Member

    Just wondering, If I bought the car in California (TZEV state) and after two years I move to Florida (non-TZEV) do I lose that warranty?
  15. Jimmy Vo

    Jimmy Vo Member

    That's my point. For people that expect to run Clarity in EV mode most of the time will be disappointed in 2 years since battery capacity will be less and it won't cover the range like it used to be. Whereas BEV, even with big degradation, you still have few hundred of miles range left. Anyway, people have different points of view PHEV vs BEV. As for me, after one month of owning Clarity, driving most of the time with EV mode, I wish I could get a BEV instead. I was sold with the concept that you have gas as back up, but the more I think about it, it might apply to other folks, but for my case, it does not help. But it's still a great car :)
  16. Jimmy Vo

    Jimmy Vo Member

    Assuming people with BEV use DC fast charging is wrong. I have 2 friends, all use BEV. 99% of their charges are from home, just like us. Still, they also suffer degradation. Fast DC charger is for a long road trip for most people, and they go long road trip only once or twice a year. Many studies show DC fast chargers actually help if you do it once a while (Google it). So, I think DC fast charging will degrade BEV battery is a myth, unless like you do DC fast charging every day. I don't think a rational person would do DC fast charging every day :)
  17. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    I really think the bottom line with this is that with the buffer held by the manufacturer that they expect the battery to last 8 years without much impact on the usefulness of the battery (degradation just eats up the buffer). This is what I saw after driving a 2012 Volt for 8 years and 85k miles. It still had essentially the same miles per charge as it did when it was new, just was showing signs that the buffer was essentially gone. So I'd say the nice thing for PHEV vs BEV is that we may see little or no real loss in useful battery while the BEV is more likely to decline in miles per charge by the end of the warranty period (and we have the gas engine to fall back on to operate the PHEV more like a standard hybrid if we wish).
  18. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    I believe you do lose the extended warranty while the vehicle is registered in Florida. However, if you move back to California, or to any other PZEV state, and register the vehicle there you get the extended warranty back again.

    Note the car has to be certified to PZEV California emissions standards.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
  19. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    I agree with @marshall
    Here is the wording in the warranty booklet.
    It specifically states that coverage applies to all vehicles "Registered and normally driven in..."

    JFon101231 likes this.
  20. Your point keeps changing. And you’ve made some questionable assumptions along the way.

    You’ve said that you question your decision to buy the Clarity all the time (after a month) and that you wish you could get a BEV instead.

    Your point seems to be that you bought the wrong car for the wrong reasons.
  21. DucRider

    DucRider Well-Known Member

    The 8/100 or 10/150 warranties do not cover degradation, only "failure". This is also the case with BEV batteries, and some companies have specifically excluded degradation as "normal" without specifying any limits. If the car can turn on and drive 2 miles, has the battery "failed"? Tesla was among those that specifically excluded degradation, but has since added coverage to 70% during their battery warranty (period varies by model).
    It is likely that a defacto standard in a class action would be 70% unless specified otherwise (Honda is 67% on the PHEV). This is what came out of the Nissan lawsuit with the first gen LEAF.
    It's interesting to note that people tend to assume that batteries will last exactly the length of time the warranty covers, but don't apply that same logic to the ICE in their vehicles.
    BEV degradation varies as well. With out Fit EV, we saw virtually no loss of range in the close to 5 years we had it and didn't baby the battery one bit. It was charged to 100% virtually every night. Daily usage would typically end with 30% to 60% SOC (commuting) with weekends a wild card that could be little to no use or even multiple charges (it did not have DCFC).
  22. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    His assumptions may be off, but I don't think his point has changed. My thoughts where along the same as his, since my Sonata has far less range. However, at this time, we don't know how these vehicles are going to wear over the next 10 to 15 years of service.

    I think the point being that one can still drive the car as a regular hybrid with the reduced capacity makes sense. So the car still has some value in the used car market. So that kind of negates some of his premise. At this time, we will just have to wait to see how the resale market plays out

    The extended warranty, for those living in those states that are covered by it, is an advantage he didn't take into consideration, and might actually increase the value of the vehicle. Again, it kind of negates some of his premise. I would think folks would want to keep a car with that long of a warranty, providing folks know about it.

    I'm waiting for an answer from the Washington state attorney general's office to see if Washington state vehicles in now covered by the extended warranty. I've seen another Honda document and Hyundai document that stated we weren't covered. But we are now a ZEV state, so maybe things have changed.
  23. How, exactly, did you come to that conclusion?

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