Clarity Fuel Cell

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by TeslaInvestors, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. TeslaInvestors

    TeslaInvestors Active Member

    Sorry folks, haven't visited this thread in a while. Yes, what @altfuelcarguy said.

    I'm driving a Clarity FC for 3 months, and am already at 4800 miles. The San Jose H2 stastion is busiest, and frequently runs out of hydrogen. There is a big truck filling the station quite often, and have to back into the pump to fill.
    I fill up mainly at San Jose and Fremont (~3 miles from my work), twice at Saratoga, and once at Sacramento and Mountain view each, both Air Linde. No problem fueling except occasional mistakes at the Air Linde stations and ending up watching the video couple times.

    Just make sure you fill up when under 70 miles. By next year, number of stations will double, so it definitely gets better.
    I'm not sure if it was there earlier, but now shows the remaining capacity of H2 at the station. I check it out before heading out to refill.

    BTW, I was just chatting with a Mirai driver yesterday at the H2 station who got it in January. I was telling him how some of my Tesla owner friends had no idea about hydrogen cars. He said "I will take a Mirai over a Tesla any day" :) I guess, some people really like the fast fueling option.

    About left side blind spot monitor: I suppose you can attach a small blind spot viewing mirror to the side view mirror in the old fashioned way.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  2. Tremor C.

    Tremor C. New Member

    The wait mentioned in is long and real. See I think Honda is leaving the door open for Mirai to charge ahead, despite the latter being inferior almost across the board (maintenance is free as opposed to ~$400 charged by Honda). I envy those of you who got their Clarity FCVs before May 2018. In talking to dealers in NorCal I've gathered that there haven't been any deliveries since May, and now apparently won't be any until April 2019... that's delay of a whole year.
  3. TeslaInvestors

    TeslaInvestors Active Member

    OK, agreed. Honda is likely losing a lot of money on this right now. Toyota, OTOH, includes Mirai most prominently in its weekly email marketing campaign. May be Toyota has its costs in better control.

    There have been some glitches in hydrogen supply in southern Caifornia. Honda and Toyota get skewered and have to add extra days of free car rental.
    At this time, I think both hydrogen supply and car supply need to grow hand in hand.

    But here is something good I learnt recently. The Clarity fuel cell has 1/2 kg hydrogen reserve, and the tank is truly 5.5 kg. People are driving 30 miles with 0 range indicated to reach fueling stations during the recent supply crisis in LA area.
    So I have been too worried for nothing. I can fill up once I drop below 50 or even 30 to decrease my number of refueling trips. Not that it's a big deal, but still.
    I wonder if true range of Clarity fuel cell is really ~400 EPA miles.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  4. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    I suspect the EPA doesn't give up when the low-fuel light comes on. You weren't getting even 300 miles of range when you first got your Clarity Fuel Cell. What's your longest run on a tankful of the lightest stuff now that you're an experienced fuel-cell driver?
  5. TeslaInvestors

    TeslaInvestors Active Member

    I have seen my range go up to 355 miles after fill up. It seems the range is better in summer. Nowadays I get ~320 mile range after fill up.
    The other poster, altfuelcellguy, had shown much higher range on his dash ( 370+ IIRC). Could be the driving conditions or something.
    insightman likes this.
  6. ekutter

    ekutter Member

    But it doesn't really matter what it says after a fill up. Have you actually kept track of how many miles you've driven on a tank? Range shown on a dash is just an estimate. The only number that really matters is what you've actually driven on a tank. Do the math yourself comparing of actual miles driven to kg used which can be precisely measured when you fill up.
  7. TeslaInvestors

    TeslaInvestors Active Member

    You are absolutely correct. But keeping track of that isn't easy, as I fill up not a regular mileage interval but depending on when I am closer to a station and not in a hurry. Also, some drives are very different than others.
    When I make day long trips, my average speed is ~80 mph and I go over many hilly freeways in East bay. On regular commute days, speed is ~65-73 due to traffic and more time in hand.

    But you prompted me to get some exercise (get off my chair) and check out the car in my driveway. In the 'vehicle energy' section, it shows my last trip was at 55.3 mpkg (wife drove on city streets). The average mpkg is 65.6. A 5 kg tank should give 328 miles with that. And fill ups are 95% -98%, not 100%.

    I also checked the owner's manual. (Link: . The first page in Information section specified tank size.

    It says 5 kg tank at 70 MPa. So now I am confused how people are getting 30 miles with 0 range.
    At 65.6 mpkg, my rrange shows ~325. So where is the spare 1/2 kg tank? Someone acting like he knows stuff said it is 5.5 kg.
    But I can't be sure. It is still little confusing how people are driving 30 miles with 0 range indicated.
  8. ekutter

    ekutter Member

    Interesting. Wonder if the 0 range with 1/2 kg left is just a software thing to try keep people from running out. Would make sense since it may take a few miles to get to the filling station. Is the hydrogen in liquid or gas form? Given the pressures, I'm guessing gas. So given temperature and pressure, it should be able to determine fairly precisely how much is left. Compared to gas cars which could report different numbers if you are going up or down. And I've had ICE cars that run out even when stating 20miles remaining.

    Also, does anybody know what the kg to gal equivalent is, similar to how ~33.3 kwh == 1 us gallon of gas. Regardless, sounds like you really are getting over 300 miles per full tank.

    I'm definitely not a big fan of fuel cells, mostly due to the inefficiency of converting electric to hydrogen, and back to electricity but it is interesting to see some real world numbers.
  9. altfuelcarguy

    altfuelcarguy Member

    The range estimate in my car does typically read 350 to 370 when I fill it up. But I have never actually measured my actual fuel usage the old fashioned way, by dividing miles traveled by the kgs of H2 it took to refill the tank. I'll make a point of doing so next time. I rarely drive over 70 mph, and much of the time it is well below that. In addition, I drove battery cars for several years before getting the FCEV and I think the techniques I used with those, such as coasting to a stop, avoiding high speeds, and taking advantage of tailwinds, in order to maximize range, have stuck with me.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Inside EVs mobile app
  10. TeslaInvestors

    TeslaInvestors Active Member

    It is definitely gaseous form in the tank; that's why that 10k psi pressure! The two hydrogen station operators Air Linde and TrueZero do deliver in two different forms.
    Air Linde transports, stores and pumps liquefied hydrogen into the car. Their stations give out lot more information and data, but is a little less user friendly to operate and need to pay attention to avoid watching the demo video. I am yet to be able to get a receipt out of their stations :)
    OTOH, Truezero pumps gaseous hydrogen into the tank. They have large user friendly display that makes it much easier to operate, IMO.

    I was hoping the car's 'vehicle energy info' will give some detailed data, like lifetime mpkg, total hydrogen consumed, etc. But didn't find anything. Honda seems to have dumbed it down for mass adoption.
    So I went back and tried to compute my car's life time mpkg the old fashioned way.

    Hydrogen cost: Wherever I have filled, it was 90% time at $16.66/kg. few times may be $16.70/kg. This has been almost a constant.

    Finding total hydrogen usage so far:
    Credit card balance
    : I called and found out the remaining balance. From this, I figured I spent $2060 so far. Dividing this by $16.66, I get 123.65 kg hydrogen.
    Dealer gave a free tank first day when the car only had ~6 miles range. So let's add another 5 kg (although he paid around $73), so a grand total of 128.65 kg.

    Miles for the fuel: My odometer is showing 8450 miles after little over 5 months. Range shows 100 miles. So, total 8550 miles.

    Dividing 8550 by 128.65, I get 66.46 mpkg.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
    Peter CC likes this.
  11. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Let's keep in mind that the EPA is almost entirely dependent on auto makers doing their own testing per EPA rules, and reporting those results to the EPA.

    From what I've read about how auto makers test their own cars, I doubt they are running them until they literally run the tanks dry. I suspect they are indeed stopping "when the low-fuel light comes on", or at least before the tank is completely dry, and estimating the remaining distance the car can drive.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  12. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Of course, you are correct that the EPA doesn't do the testing any more (the EPA testing labs are in my town of Ann Arbor and are in constant jeopardy of being shut down due to budget constraints). That's why companies like Ford get in trouble when they somehow get the tests wrong and have to hand out rebates to their customers.

    It depends on what the EPA testing protocols specify. I'd guess that everyone on this forum has gone further than Clarity PHEV's EPA-rated 47 miles on a charge. However, I don't know if it was difficult to achieve 47 miles of range during the tests specified by the EPA (which are likely performed on a dynamometer). Wouldn't Honda push the battery to its absolute limits knowing that whatever number it achieved in the tough EPA-specified tests would be easily duplicated in the real world? I doubt Honda worried about damaging the test car's battery.
  13. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Seems to be further evidence that "TeslaInvestors" is just pretending to own a fuel cell car. There is no such thing as an "Air Linde" H2 dispensing station; it's "Linde Hydrogen". Linde Gas does sell bottled air (and oxygen), but that's a separate division.


    Also, it's difficult for me to believe that a public H2 fueling station would dispense liquid H2 directly into a car. That would be cryogenically cooled fuel at near absolute zero. There are various problems with that; not only safety, but the energy requirement would drive up the cost significantly.

    From a 2014 article:

    True, you could use LH2 in a fuel cell vehicle for extra range, but there’s not a single hydrogen fuel cell vehicle or hydrogen fueling station that stores, delivers, or runs on liquefied hydrogen (LH2) fuel. Why not? The problem is with the amount of energy that is required to produce liquid hydrogen fuel in the first place. The Department of Energy, in 2009, estimates that production of liquid hydrogen fuel uses 12-13.4 kWh/kg H2, but could go as low as 7-8 kWh/kg H2. Production of compressed hydrogen fuel to 875 atm was already as low as 2.9-3.2 kWh/kg H2 in 2009, and the DOE estiamtes that it could go as low as 1.5 kWh/kg H2. Clearly, hydrogen liquification isn’t nearly as efficient.
    Full article: "Fuel Cell Vehicle Myth Five – Fuel Cell Vehicles Use Liquid Hydrogen"

    Of course, it's possible that something has changed in the 4 years since that article was published, but the physics certainly have not changed, so it's hard to see how the economics could have.

    Liquid H2 fuel for rocket boosters? Yeah. Liquid H2 fuel for mass produced FCEV passenger cars? Hmmmm... I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  14. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Actually I posted what you quoted before noticing this was a thread about a FCEV, and not Honda's Clarity PHEV. I removed the part of my post about testing the battery pack, since that's far less important for a fuel cell car. You caught a "snapshot" of my comment before I edited it.

    In a FCEV*, the battery pack is just a buffer for the fuel cell stack. I doubt it could power the car for more than a very few minutes by itself, if the fuel cell stack wasn't producing power. So that shouldn't affect range much. And I doubt it would matter much to the EPA rating whether Honda's test drivers were willing to abuse a FCEV's battery pack or not.

    *I think there are now one or more "hybrid" EVs which use a fuel cell for extended range driving, depending on a large battery pack for most of the range, but I don't think that sort of vehicle is what is under discussion here. I also don't think any of those hybrids are in regular production; I think they are all concept cars or prototypes. (What would we call such a hybrid? An ERHFCEV, or ERFCHEV, perhaps? That's more than a bit unwieldy...)

  15. TeslaInvestors

    TeslaInvestors Active Member

    OMG, Pushy caught me red handed! I don't own a Clarity fuel cell, I am an imposter :) What to do, what to do? Dig a hole to bury myself! :)
    Seriously, Pushy is so much fun in the forum.
    I misspoke, Mixed up Air Products with Linde, and typed 'Air Linde' somehow.
    But Pushy caught me on this one. I DO NOT OWN a Clarity fuel cell car. I just have a 3 year lease. No one does. Only Honda owns them all. :)

    I did use that Sacramento station and also Linde's Mountain view one. Here is an eye opener (for Pushy) document on this. Linde does specialize in LH2 (L = liquid).
    That Sacramento station is shown on page 10). That station can produce 30 kg/hour. Not bad at all; can serve upto 8 cars an hour. Max is of course 12/hr (due to refilling time of ~5 mins).

    Pushy, try the site. Here is a snippet for the West Sacramento station. Next time, try harder to disband me :) You are looking desperate for this. I promise, you will find that ultimate proof someday, only if you would pull your head out of that 2014 website that brainwashed you to go all in on being a hydrogen FUDster.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  16. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I guess all that was your rather desperate attempt to debunk my point that nobody, and I do mean nobody, is dispensing liquid H2 into production FCEVs?

    You certainly did provide some evidence that H2 is delivered to the station in liquid form. I've read of using cryogenically cooled tanker trucks for the purpose. The expense of using those is of course one of the many reasons why non-subsidized H2 costs $16-17 per kg... and contrary to what the fool cell fanboys keep saying, that price hasn't gone down any at all in the three years since the first FCEV (the Mirai) went on sale... er, lease. If anything, the price has gone up slightly.

    But dispensing cryogenically cooled, liquid H2 into your car?

    Dude, if you're looking for a way to make it appear you definitely don't know enough about fueling up a FCEV for anybody to believe you actually own one... I think you've absolutely found it. If you were looking to fritter away what very little credibility you have left... then well done, sir!
    :p :rolleyes: :p :cool:
  17. TeslaInvestors

    TeslaInvestors Active Member

    I'm not going to waste too much time arguing with an anti-fuel cell FUDster on a red herring. First you post some incorrect excerpt why liquid hydrogen can't be stored or used in hydrogen stations. Then you divert to something else.
    Those interested can check the Linde site on their ionic compressor technology. It's really cool.
    The only thing you are correct about is me not owning any Clarity fuel cell car. It makes me really sad, that the car in my driveway is actually owned by Honda. :eek::rolleyes:
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
  18. altfuelcarguy

    altfuelcarguy Member

    I filled up today. Dividing miles traveled since last refueling by the number of kgs taken on today, I get 69.2 miles/kg. Not bad for 2.2 lbs of fuel. In a 30 mpg petrocar, you'd need to burn 14.5 lbs of petrol to go that distance, and you'd produce 46 lbs of planet-warming CO2.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Inside EVs mobile app
    TeslaInvestors likes this.
  19. slowjet

    slowjet New Member

    My 6 month anniversary is coming up in couple of days. Here are the stats at the time of last fill up.

    8165 miles driven and 120.7 kg fuel used, for an average efficiency of 67.6 miles/kg, which is very close to the advertised number. The efficiency is quite sensitive to how fast you drive. My average is based on driving about 60% at < 50 mph and 30% at 50-70 mph and 10% at > 70 mph (when the bay area traffic allows). I once drove from San Jose to Sacramento and back averaging 70-75 mph and I got 50-55 miles/kg.

    Now that I have driven 6 months and 8,000 miles, do I need to get it checked at the dealer? I don't know the protocol for fuel cell. The car is fine and I don't know what the dealer would do if I took it in. Is there any documentation in the lease agreement that one should get it checked periodically? The only change in the car is that I hear the tires chirp when I corner now, which is surprising since they have only 8k miles on them.
  20. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Can you access your Maintenance Minder? I don't have the Clarity Fuel Cell Owners Manual, so I cannot direct you to the page where it tells you how to check what it tells you about your next required service.

    Here's what the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Owners Manual says about the Maintenance Minder:

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