Clarity Fuel Cell: Surprise Maintenance Costs

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by qtpie, May 24, 2018.

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  1. qtpie

    qtpie Active Member

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  3. M.M.

    M.M. Active Member

    It is not. That maintenance is very specific to a fuel cell, and has to do with the method by which they are cooled.

    The PHEV has no fuel cell, and therefore has no such unusual requirements. Just the standard maintenance procedures for a gasoline engine (oil, filters, coolant, spark plugs, etc) and some extra coolant for whatever system(s) maintains the temperature of the battery, electric motors, etc.
     
  4. TeslaInvestors

    TeslaInvestors Active Member

    I'm not sure why this is a surprise to Edmunds. Did they just think it will keep running forever without any maintenance?
    LOL, I thought they are the car guys!

    Before I placed my $1000 deposit for Clarity FCEV, I asked this specific question: And how much is the annual maintenance cost?
    The rep took couple of days, then got back saying it is around $400 a year. If it is way different from this, then I'll whine.
    But I have a feeling this could be every 12k mles, not every 1 year.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  5. Kendalf

    Kendalf Active Member

    I'm part of a FB Clarity FCV group, and up until a few months ago there was some concern about the high cost of the A1 service. In addition, there was significant variation in the cost between dealers, with a low of $250 and a high that I saw of nearly $1000 for the same service. A number of owners raised the issue officially with Honda and Honda has apparently issued statements to its dealers setting a more consistent and reasonable price for this maintenance (~$350 on average now).

    What peeved a number of early owners was that the dealer made no mention of these specific maintenance requirements, making it sound as if the car would require as little maintenance as a BEV, so that many were unpleasantly surprised when they received the A1 service invoice.
     
  6. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    This rather high maintenance cost specific to the FC Clarity along with the high cost of hydrogen (without the “free” card that somebody is paying for) is why H2 FC vehicles will never be economically sustainable. FC is a great technology but unless H2 production costs take a dramatic down turn, it is a dead end, even in Cali.
     
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  8. TeslaInvestors

    TeslaInvestors Active Member

    So are BEVs. Without the $7500 federal credit and plethora of other incentives around the world, BEVs will die a fast death.

    Hydrogen production costs aren't that high when produced at large scale. Check out this interactive map. It is about $5/kg when produced by electrolysis.
    https://www.nrel.gov/hydrogen/production-cost-analysis.html

    h2_prod_cost.PNG
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  9. TeslaInvestors

    TeslaInvestors Active Member

    More on hydrogen production costs via electrolysis. $1-$3/kg.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_economy#Current_hydrogen_market
     
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  10. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately you have to pay the retail cost of H2 and factor in when the behind the scenes subsidies will run out. Even worse, you have to factor in the infrastructure costs for doing this for the whole country. This will surely drive up the cost. Even now it only makes sense when you can get $15,000 of free hydrogen.
    I’m not trying to knock H2 as it is a fantastic technology (non polluting and with high energy density), I’m just being realistic.
    I’d love to see it catch on, but just don’t see how it is currently economically viable.
    All EVs get tax subsidies so I don’t see that as a valid argument. It’s that the FC currently requires a high fuel subsidy (compared to EVs) and would need a phenomenally expensive amount of infrastructure added. While the EVs will need much less costly additions to the existing electrical infrastructure. Especially if you can get a lot of off peak night charging. The electrical grid is well established; the H2 would have to start basically from scratch. And every pundit and industry source I’ve read is predicting EV growth and not FC growth.

    So if you were forced to, which horse would you bet your life savings on, FC or EV? I think I already know the answer to that one.
     
  11. TeslaInvestors

    TeslaInvestors Active Member

    Consider that a H2 car fills up to 99% in 5 mins vs. a BEV that takes hours, at best couple of hours. How long will the super expensive Teslas take to charge to 99%? And what's the battery degradation curve when you charge the Tesla batteries to 100% each time? Here I am comparing to Tesla, as it is the gold standard in fast charging right now. How much will people be willing to pay to get out in 5 mins vs. hang around for hours to recharge while they are in a hurry to go somewhere?

    The infrastructure costs are overblown because of this. One H2 pump can fill up 12 cars in an hour, vs. Tesla SC that will only charge one car to 80-90% in the same time. This alone means you need that many fewer H2 pumps.

    Here is something from hydrigen council on infrastructure costs to refuel. Average pump cost/car is $1000 to $2000.
    Agree with the current retail cost. I think, the high cost right now is to repay the station owners and current way of trucking in the hydrigen. With higher volume and matured infra, hope is that the prices should come down. With high volume, a pipeline to supply it to th fillign stations should lower the cost also.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
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  13. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    You’re right that economy of scale would work in H2’s favor on the future infrastructure; it’s just that I don’t think we can get there. It’s sad that it’s the old “I won’t make it and I won’t buy it until the infrastructure is there and we won’t build the infrastructure until you make and buy the cars”, so nothing happens.
    That’s why I think EVs will take off and FCs will not. Unlike FCs, EVs (especially PHEVs) will work with present infrastructure (lack of adequate public charging stations) due to the ability to home charge which FCs will never have. So in this instance, the EVs can become so numerous as to drive the infrastructure where FCs can’t.
     
  14. TeslaInvestors

    TeslaInvestors Active Member

    I don't think you are right about this. People are willing to buy the latest generation H2 cars. There is a one year waitlist for Clarity FC in California.
    If the car is compelling, then people will lease/buy it. Clarity did that, and soon the Hyundai Nexo will do that with its more powerful stack and 370 mile EPA range.
    I drive a Clarity FC, and don't face any refueling concern.I made some long trips to Sacrameno and back. I don't need a million H2 stations. I just care for the ones along my routes. And I have a few.
    I actually miss the excitement of starting to look for some unoccupied charging spot everyday at my work! Nah, just kidding.
    H2 driving is just too uneventful.

    Japand has already reached 100 H2 stations, which I think covers the entire country (but I haven't verified). Same with England. It's a small country, so I think the H2 stations already enable all driving within England. Probably Germany is same.

    California needs 5-6 more stations to enable travel to common destinations like Las Vegas, and up north to Seattle. If Nikola Motors really sets up the stations along the freeways for its H2 trucks, then cross country travel will become easy for all FCEV drivers .They have said (unlike Tesla) that they will allow all FCEVs to refuel at the stations they operate.
     
  15. marshall

    marshall Active Member

    1. Honda's web site says the FCEV is lease only. So how is one suppose to buy it?
    2. You said" I still think, leasing is better, since hydrogen still costs too much to pay by yourself after 3 years."
    3. And yet I read this comment. "The Mirai, on the other hand, is sitting on the lot. We might have to settle on the Mirai. Scheduled a test drive tomorrow."
     
  16. TeslaInvestors

    TeslaInvestors Active Member

    Right. I meant buy/lease/drive.

    Yes, Mirai is no longer competitive with the Clarity FC, that's why it is sitting.
    It is still selling some I suppose, that's why Toyota is not lowering the lease price. I believe the next gen Mirai will fix its current issues, and will sell/lease more.
    If Clarity wasn't there, I might have leased it too. It isn't a bad car. But it is second class compared to Clarity.
    All the Mirai drivers I talked to at refueling stations were quite happy. One said, her husband commutes to San Franciso sometimes, so the HOV + long range comes in handy. The seats are way more comfy than Bolt, and the lease/buy price is way cheaper than Teslas.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  17. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Teslainvestors, I’m glad it’s working out for you, but what happens when the 3 years of “free” H2 runs out?
    And it’s not even an option for 99% of us. Granted, you can’t beat the technology but it’s just not economically feasible.

    I’m willing to bet you one H2 fill up in your car vs the equivalent charge in mine that in 10 years it will be EV and not FC that dominates. If this forum is still going in 10 years and you win, I’ll be more than happy to pay up and pump H2 with you. If it goes down, I’ll pm you my email.
    The gauntlet has been thrown down, sir.
     
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  18. It could be so you must beware of any circumstance & if you have any queries to ask for then visit us.
     
  19. Agzand

    Agzand Active Member

    You could say the same thing about EVs 10 years ago. Technology will solve these problems much faster than you think. The good thing about hydrogen is that it can store energy and it is scaled at much lower cost than batteries. Let's say you need to store 100 kWh in a battery, it will cost $5k. Now if you need to store 100 mWh (1,000 times the energy), it will cost $5m, give or take. With hydrogen, if you store 100 kWh it might cost, let's say $20k, and to store 100 mWh it could cost $100k (all numbers are hypothetical to show my point). To double the range of a BEV truck from 500 mile to 1000 mile, you need $50k in batteries, for a FCV truck, you might need $1k in a few extra tanks. Anyway I don't know if it will be viable in medium term, but I won't rule it out just because someone who has invested in alternative technology says otherwise.

    I think hydrogen is more viable for large applications, for example trains on long non-electrified tracks and cruise ships. Once you have the fuel cell, you can just add tanks and scale the range up at low cost.

    Also keep in mind that even for passenger cars, a FC can be a range extender, if you have a 15 kWh battery, you will use little hydrogen in day to day commute, and you will have a silent range extender for long range.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  20. Help me out here.

    Isn’t a great deal of Hydrogen derived from fossil fuels?

    How much energy is required to produce enough hydrogen to propel a car 100 miles?
    Is it a net negative endeavor?

    Aren’t there different pressures at which some pumps can add fuel? Our friends have a Mirai and they’ve told us some pumps can only add enough fuel to go ~140 miles rather than ~280.

    Wasn’t there just a hydrogen fiasco recently? As in, none available.

    Doesn’t it cost about $80 for enough fuel to go ~240 miles. That would buy 20 gallons of gas in CA, which would propel a 25mpg car 500 miles. In most parts of the country, with less expensive gas a 25 mpg car could go 700-800 miles on $80.

    Just curious. These FCV’s seem to have more negative attributes than BEV’s.
     
  21. DucRider

    DucRider Well-Known Member

    Yes, indeed.
    The primary advantage they have over BEV's is the significant bump in ZEV credits. CARB has, for many years, given greater incentive to Fuel Cells than any other technology. The secondary advantages are a familiar model (pull up to the pump, fill the tank, hand over $$) and speed to "recharge". Oil companies and consumers tend to like this business modle (for differing reasons).
    That being said, even with their Mirai offering in CA, Toyota recently wrote a $52.3 million check to Tesla for ZEV credits. While the Prius Prime sells relatively well, they earn TZEV credits (which are only allowed to be used to fulfill part of the total ZEV credit requirement).
    Honda has been buying from Fiat/Chrysler
     
  22. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Hydrogen for fuel cells. Love the energy density, but currently and near term there’s little else to love. The production, transfer, and storage costs make it economically unsustainable. And then throw in the high cost of fuel stack replacement after warranty. Not ready for prime time for personal transportation yet. IMHO, it would take a Federally mandated nationwide switch to a Hydrogen economy to make it work. Not gonna happen any time soon.
     
  23. Sounds like a perfectly stupid idea, so it should be headed our way soon.
     
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