Clarity Plug-In Hybrid's First Birthday

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by insightman, Dec 2, 2018.

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  1. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Exactly one year ago, our wonderful Clarity Plug-In Hybrid arrived:


    The first Honda Insight was a fascinating car as it taught me how to drive efficiently and turned me into an amateur hypermiler. I logged every mile and every gallon burned.

    Nineteen years later, Honda brought us the marvelous Clarity Plug-In Hybrid. It is also a fascinating car to drive, but in a much different way. Both the Insight and the Clarity PHEV reward drivers with a light foot, but the Clarity PHEV makes the choice of route and strategic stoplight timing less important.

    Honda certainly could have done a better job explaining how they designed the Clarity PHEV to be driven to achieve maximum efficiency and driving comfort (eg. no "angry bees"), but this great forum has stepped up to fill in the information gaps left by Honda's Owners Manual and online videos (I won't go into dealers' lack of understanding about this car).

    Some people don't like having to think about which of the Clarity PHEV's modes to use or when to use the minus (-) paddle to decelerate instead of just pressing the brake pedal. The Clarity PHEV accommodates those drivers because it is a car anyone can just get in and drive.

    However, the Clarity PHEV rewards involved drivers by allowing them to minimize their consumption of gasoline while enjoying one of the most comfortable cars on the road. Understanding how to best balance the usage of gas and battery charge enhances the satisfaction obtained from the Clarity PHEV.

    Because logging gas consumption became a habit with my Insight for the past 19 years, I continue that practice, but I never bother to analyze those numbers with our Clarity PHEV. Unlike the constant striving to extract every possible mile-per-gallon from my Insight, the Clarity PHEV uses so little gasoline that I never think about it (I blithely choose to ignore how much electricity it uses). Sadly, it has made my sportier, but gas-guzzling, Insight less fun to drive.

    So, rather than pose some difficult question for the experts on this forum to solve, or complain about things that Honda left out of this unique automobile, I decided to start a happy thread. A thread where Clarity PHEV owners can describe the things they like best.

    Thank you, Honda Motor Company, Inc., for making your Clarity Plug-In Hybrid available in my state for such a reasonable price. It's the best car I've ever owned.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
    LegoZ, qtpie, Kailani and 12 others like this.
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  3. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Challenge accepted. Only it will be hard not to make the list a mile long. Of course I like the savings from 90%+ of my driving bring on electricity alone (w no range anxiety), but I’ve found two things I really appreciate that I hadn’t considered at purchase.
    First is the silky smooth and quiet acceleration with no engine or tranny noise and no gear shifts. Second is not having to pump gas every week in all kinds of weather. I fuel up in the comfort of my garage and without any smell or spills.
    The Clarity has spoiled me rotten. I’ll never buy a gas engine again. I’m literally pumping more gas for my lawnmower than for my car. And when the mower and weed-eater and blower die, I am seriously considering going electric for all of them. I can’t wait to get my 10.5 kW solar PV finished and then it will be almost like driving for free.
    Last thing: I like the price point (w full tax credit) of the Clarity that let me get it AND a very nice solar PV system for less than a Tesla and with no waiting and with money left over. Every year I would have waited on the Tesla would have cost me a $1,000 in gas savings.
    Gotta love this car!!
  4. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    I'm totally with you Ken and Insightman. Wednesday is our 1 year date with the Clarity. It turned over 20K miles yesterday. Its the nicest, quietest, most comfortable, smoothest, and spacious car I've ever owned.
    insightman likes this.
  5. ClarityDoc

    ClarityDoc Active Member

    I'm a relative newbie at 6 months, 4300 miles, 6 gallons of gas (total - just one fill-up), and still getting 50+ EV miles per outdoor charge with temps dropping below freezing (I know, I'll see a bigger drop once winter in Baltimore gets bitter).

    In addition to the benefits highlighted above (especially the buttery-smooth driving experience), I was surprised by how much my wife the non-technophile likes this car. She didn't drive it for the first couple of months perceiving it to be "complicated" (and she likes her CR-V a lot), but we had a situation where she needed to drive the Clarity and loved how "normal" it was - she just got in and drove. All who have a life partner understand how satisfying this is. Even her mother likes the ride - particularly seat comfort - front and back.
  6. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    We take our dog on twice daily walks to a local park less than 2 miles from the house in any weather. We love the near instant electric heat/defrost and the fact we don’t worry about warming up an ICE (so to speak!). What a warm car!
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  8. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    It's a little hard to articulate this . . . but I find it amazing that Honda has developed a car that anyone can get behind the wheel and enjoy a great driving experience, but at the same time it's complex enough to support this forum for those of us who want to explore its internals and understand what makes it tick. I have really enjoyed learning about the car. There are still mysteries out there. I may never understand it all, short of spending a few hundred hours analyzing the actual programming . . . and that has to be one of the most closely guarded secrets in corporate America.
  9. Candice

    Candice Active Member

    Although I did not buy my Clarity until Feb, it was in December that I first did some research in alternatives to my never-appearing Model 3. I read an article about the best electric vehicles and that is when I first heard about the Clarity. I loved how it looked instantly compare to the other ugly options. I started doing internet searches and came upon this forum and the first post I read was from @jdonalds. I loved how positive everyone was even though there were many questions. I don't like change but for some reason, switching to a PHEV seemed easy because of all of the information I learned on this forum. I went to the local new car show and sat in the Clarity in Feb. The dealer I met at the car show knew quite a bit about it so I bought it from him. He helped to answer my newbie questions even though much of his information was a little "off" now that I know more about the car. After I drove the car for a month or so, I had so many more in depth questions and I couldn't remember the name of this forum, so I did an internet search of "clarity" and "jdonalds" and found it again. It is amazing how people you have never met can have such an influence over your life.
    Remarksman, Kestrel, MPower and 3 others like this.
  10. LAF

    LAF Active Member

    I would get the battery mower now- they are great- almost as fun to use as the Clarity is to drive. Quiet, aways easy to start at the touch of a button, light, no gas to by and store, no polution and easy to pickup and store anywhere.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  11. Atkinson

    Atkinson Active Member

    It's smooth, it's electric, it drives nice.
    Five stars.
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  13. David Towle

    David Towle Well-Known Member

    Overall there's really nothing I don't like about my Clarity. I've had it a month and a half, put 3000 miles on it, and love the ev smoothness, the room, the appearance both in and out, and probably most of all the cost! I really hadn't been planning on buying a new car at all till I found out how nice it was and how little the net cost was. What I didn't think about initially was how much fun it would be to learn about and understand and try to maximize my mpg.

    Unfortunately one good aspect may be coming to an end for others:
  14. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    I’ll add that I agree with @KentuckyKen about the Clarity spoiling me with so little gas use. It helped inspire me to go with an electric riding mower, electric push mower, electric weed-whacker, electric chainsaw, and just this week an electric snowthrower. And tomorrow we are having a contractor come to look at doubling (or more) our current 3Kw solar system. The car is addictive. I may need help. :cool:
    MPower and KentuckyKen like this.
  15. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Nice to hear Candice. It's the car that sells itself. I'm really quite pleased with it. The little quirky things just make it all that more interesting.
  16. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member


    My garden equipment is all battery electric. No mixing gas and oil for 2-strokes, no gas cans around the house, no carburetors to adjust, no pulling a rope to start an engine, no fumes, no oil, no filters, no cords (well almost). All batteries are charged using roof solar.
    - B&D 40V blower / Vacuum. I like it so much I bought a second one and keep one in blower mode, the other in vacuum mode.
    - B&D 18V hedge trimmer. Works quite well
    - B&D 18V lawn edger/trimmer.
    - B&D 18V 6" Lopper (small chain saw)
    - B&D 18V pole saw (10" chain saw)
    - B&D 36V lawn mower (8 year old battery still working fine. Does front and rear yards on a single charge)
    - Skill AC powered blower / Vacuum (for fall when the small blower/vac just doesn't do the job)

    I've had to replace the 18V NiMH batteries about every 3rd year. The 40V lithium batteries are working well after 2 years.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  17. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I am green (pun intended) with envy. I will be following your lead and phasing out the gas tools as they age out or I may try selling them if I can get a decent price.
  18. David Towle

    David Towle Well-Known Member

    All the lawn mowers I've seen so far give less than an hour per charge, I need a bit over 1.5 hours to do my 2/3 of an acre with a 21" mower. Anyone have one that will go that long? Or just buy a 2nd battery? I won't do it until my current mower goes to heaven, its from 1984 and working fine so it might be awhile yet.

    I'll never be rid of gas cans, my market gives gas discounts good on 20 gallons so what doesn't fit in the Clarity or our other car goes into cans for later fills.
  19. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Being a Honda fan, we have 3 Honda cars, a Honda lawnmower, and a Honda snowblower. Now that the Clarity PHEV's infected me with E-lust, I wish Honda would bring their electric lawnmower to the US (as well as the cute Urban EV).


    Attached Files:

  20. David Towle

    David Towle Well-Known Member

    Yes that is cute. Is it a kei car? They keep getting bigger.
  21. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Not as tiny as a kei car, Honda's Urban EV is reportedly a sub-compact car about 153 inches long. What I posted was InsideEV's speculative rendering (I changed the color) of the PEV Honda's preparing to sell in Europe next year and Japan in 2020. Here are photos of the camouflaged test mule spotted in Europe after that speculative rendering was rendered.
  22. Dan Albrich

    Dan Albrich Well-Known Member

    My wife and I have had the car since late September. We still "fight" over who gets to drive. Love it.

    With regard to electric everything else- heck yeah! I bought the 56V E-Go system. Started with the mower-- awesome. My other favorites are the chainsaw (and yes it really works well), and the leaf blower.

    I have to drive vehicles for work. We have 3 different work vehicles, all conventional gas of course. One Honda (fit). Its funny how "clunky" gas cars and trucks feel to me now...

    Remarksman likes this.
  23. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Totally. When I drive the 4Runner and stop at a red light the engine, a gas guzzling V8, still keeps running!!! By the time I start the 4runner and back it out of the garage the Clarity could travel 10 miles on the fuel used. No Brake Hold either. What a monster. But it does tow the boat so...

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