Clarity PHEV: real-world energy efficiency

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Kieran973, Mar 12, 2018.

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  1. Kieran973

    Kieran973 New Member

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post on this thread, but I've been reading it intensely for the last week or so and learning a lot.

    I was wondering whether anyone has any knowledge - either as data or anecdote - about the Clarity PHEV's energy efficiency in the real world. I read the entire thread about all-electric range, but what I'm specifically asking about here is efficiency - I'm particularly curious about speed vs. miles/Kwh (in EV mode) and/or speed vs. mpg (in HV mode). As an example of what I'm talking about in data form: Wayne Gerdes over at compiles some really awesome speed vs. energy efficiency graphs on all kinds of cars. Here are just a few, in case people haven't seen these elsewhere:

    Hyundai Ioniq HEV Blue:

    Hyundai Ioniq Electric:

    Toyota Prius Prime vs. Toyota Prius II Eco:

    Honda Civic:

    The reason I'm asking this question is that I'm thinking about buying a PHEV but I live in an area with high electricity rates. I'm also considering the Prius Prime and Ioniq PHEV, but for a number of reasons, the Clarity PHEV is at the top of my list. And so I'm trying to get a handle on what to expect in terms of average mpg in HV mode and average miles/kWh in EV mode. For example, if the Clarity PHEV averages 3.5 mile/kWH while the Prius Prime averages 5.5 miles/kWH, then at 20 cents/kWh, and driving 15,000 EV miles a year, the Prius Prime costs roughly $300 less per year to drive or $3,000 less over 10 years. Plus, it's still not clear to me how accurate the Clarity PHEV's 40 mpg EPA highway rating is. The latest generation Civic is also EPA rated at 40 mpg highway, but this is a drastic under-rating: I'm currently driving the latest Gen Civic, and in the summer, I can easily average 50+ mpg on a whole tank if I do mostly highway miles. In fact, yesterday, in 35 degree weather, I did a 250 mile highway trip with a lot of steep elevation changes and just by keeping the car between 55 and 65 mph, I averaged 47 mpg. The Civic is a fuel efficiency monster on the highway if you drive it right, but I'm worried that, given the Clarity PHEV's 4,000 lb curb weight, it's perhaps not very efficient at 50-65 mph, either in HV or EV mode.

    Anyway, any info people could share on this would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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  3. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    We have over 4,000 miles on our Clarity but truthfully the engine hasn't been on long, perhaps 4-5 hours max since we bought it Dec 5th. My best input to you is at 55-65 mph I'd be getting about the EPA estimate of 42 mpg.

    If you have high electricity rates would a solar system work for you? We installed solar in December just for the house, it wasn't sized to charge a car too. But after 2 months what we are seeing is our electricity bill is about 1/3 of what it was last year, and our car gas bill is nearly zero. We will be adding two more solar panels to even improve on that. By-the-way our local rate is $0.15/kWh 24/7.

    The other thing is if you take a lot of short drives during the day you may be able to recharge between drives. The car charges very quickly. Ours has never taken more than 2 hours and 5 minutes to charge from dead empty. Most of the time we don't burn through the whole battery and recharge happens in about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  4. It’s been 30-40 degrees here and my commute is mostly highway. With the heat on 66 and driving 65 average I get about 52 per charge. When it warmed up a couple days I was getting 50+ per charge. On gas I would say about 40-45. Around town I definitely get better on the battery but probably wouldn’t with gas.

    2600 miles since Jan 30th. They gave me maybe 5 gals of gas and I’m still at 60 miles range in gas. Still haven’t seen a gas station!
  5. Tailwind

    Tailwind Active Member

    Bought my Clarity 1/29/18. Have put 1400 miles on it and only used 1/2 of the first full tank of gas that came with it.

    As to electric use, Kieran's question about kW/mile is very hard to answer. The all electric range displayed by my car is very dependent upon temperature. I've seen it be as low as 36 miles when it's really cold (mid teens for a high temp) and as high as 54 on warmer days (high was middle 70s). I also find that the predicted range on the display to be accurate. If it says I will get 42 miles when I get in the car in the morning, it gets within 1 to 2 miles of the number displayed before the engine starts.

    Like Kieran, I was driving a 2014 Civic EX-L. In 3-1/2 years and 34,500 miles, I averaged 37.2 MPG. Highest was 52.9, lowest just above 31. The car was rated 31 city/39 highway, so I figure I beat the EPA estimated mileage pretty good.

    I wonder how I will compute the gas mileage for this car. I have no way to keep track of which miles are gas and which are electric to be able to make a calculation as I did with my Civic.
  6. prestoOne

    prestoOne Member

    Driving type and the distance for that driving type is missing (highway vs city stop/go). So is the weather temperature range you are driving at. Can you plug in at work. Is it relatively flat where you are? Like to use the A/C or heater?
    If you are going long distances the Prius Prime is rated to stomp on the Clarity by 20% when it comes to fuel efficiency when combining the EV + Gas being used up in one trip. There is no getting around it, it will be the more efficient car.
    If you are trying to justify your purchase by predicting what you are going to end up spending on fuel you need to find someone with the same driving habits as you to stand a chance at this.
    If you want to be a good global citizen carpool first.

    Still waiting for my car to appear but in my area in the dead of winter on a brand new car the #V range is about 27 miles. Gas efficiency I can't tell you.
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  8. Sorry. Just noticed that cold temp range is 42, not 52
  9. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

    Unlike most on this thread we have used "a lot" of gas in the Clarity as my wife has taken the car on a couple of trips of about 325 miles each direction. Starting with a full EV charge both directions she has averaged about 47 mpg for the round trip of 650 miles mostly at 65-75 mph. Note that about half the trip each way is in mountains and rolling hills and they have been taken in cold weather so I would guess the mileage might be a little better in warmer temps.

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
  10. LAF

    LAF Active Member

    Clarity may give you 20% less efficiency on long trips but the ride is different as night and day. As a previous Prius owner which I loved, moving up to a Clarity makes a huge difference in comfort and low road noise. And after rebates it costs almost the same.
    currypotter likes this.
  11. prestoOne

    prestoOne Member

    With all the pluses of the Clairty over the Prime I did the same:
    -In Ontario the Clarity cost $2K CDN less than the Prius Prime after rebates
    -Significantly less road noise from what I can gather from different sources.
    -In the winter or in 8 years the Prime won't make the daily drive on all electric, Clarity will.
    -5 seats in the Clarity (I often do need 5 seats)
    -More comfort, Android whatever I am told is better too.

    Prime has better towing, better long range fuel economy, better hatch/trunk and Toyota's rep is better.
    I think they really messed up with evolving the Prime for competing in 2018 a bigger battery and 5 seats would have had me in a Prime even if their gas mileage had to drop.
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  13. Leo Potsiadlo

    Leo Potsiadlo New Member

    Hi everyone! While I really would rather purchase an all-electric vehicle...Bolt or e-Golf...I love my 2014 Honda Accord so I am considering Honda’s Clarity. My main question is with a daily round trip commute of 30 miles...mostly 55 mph... can I drive the car using NO electricity at all?
  14. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

    I think you might mean no gasoline at all? If it's gasoline then the answer would be temperature dependent, but most likely you could do the 30 miles with no problem - the lowest range I've seen on the forum was 25 miles in sub zero weather and I've seen highs in the 50s. In North Carolina with temps as low as the 30s I've reglarly gotten 40+ miles on a charge.
    If you mean can you use the car with "NO electricity" then yes, you could do that also.

  15. Yes. On gas only it should get around 40/45 mpg. But for a 30 mile commute at that speed you will have no issue doing it on one charge.
  16. Leo Potsiadlo

    Leo Potsiadlo New Member

    How embarrassing! Yes I did mean “gas”. So it is possible to drive the car gently so that the gas engine does not kick on. Sounds great. Thanks for you “kind” response.
    Teslawannabe and K8QM like this.
  17. Mikep00

    Mikep00 Active Member

    My brother-in-law is an awful driver; very lead footed. Loves to feel the Clarity’s acceleration even when it isn’t need. They use way more gas then needed

    Based on that poor driving style, in current Ottawa, Ontario weather, he has been averaging 1,000km to a tank of fuel, charging the battery nightly. His daily driving has never drained the battery more than 75%.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  18. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Just to be clear, Clarity PHEV will need to use gas at some point (it can never be a no gas vehicle, buy a BEV if looking for that). However, it can use no gas at moderate tempuratures for long periods on a commute like yours, as long as temps are in the low 40s F or warmer and you don't use the electric heater a lot. Use "Econ" to avoid starting engine on accident.

    I have used 80 gallons of gas and 1845 kWh of electricity to drive 7100 miles, in cold winter so much less efficient, expecting better in summer. Still, this is roughly 6 cents per mile, and I see this as worst case as my range has been 25 to 35 miles. I fully suspect 50+ once winter is over, probably less than 3 cents per mile on EV.
    Tony Vo likes this.
  19. Klim

    Klim New Member

    My experience for real mpg is: about 60 miles ride, full car (about 800 lbs in passenger weight), going average 75 mph in HV mode gave me just above 39 mpg (as measured by the vehicle). I think it is pretty good and would be much better if I was going closer to 60-65 mph.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  20. Just had a couple days where I was getting over 50. Got 53 yesterday with the a/c on! Was very happy, but it's so nice today.... On the motorcycle. That 55mpg just doesn't seem as good as it used too.

    Rolled 4k and have used 8 gallons.
    PHEV Newbie likes this.
  21. kkiran

    kkiran Member

    I really wish Honda pr video an API of sorts like Tesla does. We can glean a lot of info in terms of driving habits and perhaps access remote features better.

    I have only 488 miles so far and still have 3/4th the free dealer gas! My average is 44miles and I like to push it just enough to not kick in ICE. Nice, peppy ride!

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  22. KenG

    KenG Member

    What charger how many amps and what is the circuit breaker rated at? Thanks!

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  23. DVoran

    DVoran Member

    Leo, my commute is similar to yours; 19 miles one way and all but 6 miles on highways with speed limits between 60-70 mph. During the winter months I was not able to make the round trip on EV alone (the engine would kick in for about 3-5 miles of the trip). However, whenever the temperature is above 18C (65F) I've been able to make the trip with a bar or two left to spare. Of course kicking it into sport mode or driving a bit too aggressive at speeds over 70 mph will torpedo staying in EV for the entire trip.
    On the other hand I have driven well over 45 miles through town using the regenerative paddles and having a little fun seeing how much I could eat out without holding up or lagging behind traffic.

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