Clarity with limited access to charging

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Andym, Mar 2, 2018.

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  1. Andym

    Andym New Member

    Thinking of the clarity, but for various reasons will probably only have access to a charger 7-8 months of the year as I have to park on the street at times. Before I buy, any opinions if it is still a good option given this limitation or should I just buy a regular hybrid that will end up with better MPG?
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  3. Hi.Ho.Silver

    Hi.Ho.Silver Active Member

    Under your circumstances I would buy either the soon to be released 2018 Accord Hybrid or the 2018 Camry Hybrid. Both get better mileage than an uncharged Clarity.
  4. Kendalf

    Kendalf Active Member

    Or if you can wait and a slightly smaller interior is acceptable perhaps wait and see what the 2019 Honda Insight has to offer.
  5. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    If I were in your shoes I'd take a good look at the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV. Very high mpg on gas, with a 30 mile range on EV. You can't lose, and it's a nice car. It would have been my second choice after the Clarity. Ioniq is priced right too.
  6. ab13

    ab13 Active Member

    Depends on your driving requirements, also you don't get any tax breaks for a regular hybrid.
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  8. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Charging at the curb is a tough proposition. Hard to get the power out there and even with the correct sized extension cord you have the hassle of putting it away and possible theft of your charger.
    Best choice of all is to move where you can charge in garage or next to house.
    Then buy a Clarity!
  9. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Maybe look at how many miles you would drive when you can plug in vs your total miles. The Accord hybrid looks like it is maybe 15% higher economy on gas. Also consider tax breaks, etc.

    A note about the Hyundai PHEVs as someone mentioned, is they don't have electric heaters. If you live in a cold climate they will run the engine if you turn the heater on, so the engine will run a lot more in the winter.
  10. marshallwa

    marshallwa New Member

    If you can use up the tax credit, then it's pretty much a wash with the two Hondas. If you can get an additional state tax credit/rebate, then the Clarity looks even better.

    I would drive the various vehicles. Often buying a vehicle involves more then just dollars and cents.

    I would look into what's available from public and private charging stations in your area by going to PlugShare's and ChargePoint's web sites.
  11. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    Honestly, if you don't see your situation changing in the near future I would just go with a straight hybrid. When your situation does change the PHEV selection will probably be even better as far as range goes, so win-win.
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  13. Andym

    Andym New Member

    Thanks for the responses. Moving is unfortunately not an option, and I asked my city in St. Paul MN about putting a charger on my curb but they said no. I was planning to wait to try the Accord but prefer the style and drive of the Clarity so was wondering if it is reasonable to just think of it as a nice, but not the most fuel efficient, hybrid for 4 months of the year and a PHEV the rest of the year.
  14. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    That works too. It is a nice car, especially for the money.
  15. Kendalf

    Kendalf Active Member

    The main issue with driving a PHEV constantly without charge is that the ICE is not directly coupled to the axle via a normal transmission. Only in certain situations (mainly on the highway) is the ICE driving the wheels directly; at other times it is powering a generator that charges the battery, which then drives the wheel. With no charge in the battery, you'll find that the ICE is quite noisy when the car is stopped or during normal city driving, as it is running at a relatively high RPM to generate sufficient charge to power the main electric motor. Try test driving a Clarity that is completely drained of battery charge and you'll get an idea of what I'm talking about. An uncharged PHEV loses a significant amount of the driving comfort, as it simply is not meant to be driven in an uncharged state for normal city driving.

    In contrast, a normal hybrid will have the ICE coupled to the drive wheels via a normal transmission (either auto or CVT) and you'll have the normal RPM curve with low RPM at idle and at slow speed driving.
  16. I'm in a slightly different boat than OP. I live in a condo-- and the HOA has denied my request to use the 110V outlet in my parking space (the state I live in gives me no rights to a charger). There is a charger at a supermarket across the street for 10 cents a KW is my understanding-- but a 2hour limit. Almost all of my driving is on the weekends of highway driving -- and was wondering if using the HV charge mode on the highway along with using the pretty cheap supermarket is worth it.
  17. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    I would just use the charger across the street. It should only take around 2 hours to fully charge the car anyway so why waste gas in hv charge mode?
  18. megreyhair

    megreyhair Active Member

    I think in your case, a regular hybrid might be a better choice. But then with the $7500 in tax rebates does bring the Clarity price down to a regular hybrid price level. I guess you need to ask yourself what are you really looking to get out from the car, high MPG, PHEV capability,overall price,etc

    On a side note, I was looking into the Ioniq and Niro PHEV before looking into clarity. Both of those PHEV CAN'T recharge from the ICE. The electric motor can't be use for charging. They can only charge from the plug.
  19. JimW

    JimW Active Member

    I agree that without access to charging, a PHEV does not make sense. Since we all want to run on electricity all the time, you will find that you will top off the battery at any chance. I have free level 2 charging at work, so plug in the morning, even though I only used 15% of battery on my 5 mile commute. I plug in at home on the weekends, because I never know how many miles I may end up driving on a Saturday or Sunday.

    The other reality is that we have no idea of the market value of our PHEV's in 3-4 years. It is highly likely that there will be BEV's and PHEV's with much longer EV range by then, making our EV range seem obsolete. However, we are all betting that a luxurious Honda (quality, reputation) with great gas mileage in HV mode will still have good value even if only considered as an HV vehicle. Getting the $7500 fed credit made that calculation make sense for me.

    By the way, when purchasing, I asked the dealer about Honda special lease terms. They laughed because the lease residual value was so low - Honda does not think these cars will be worth much in 3 years. An Accord Hybrid would be higher residual going by the book.
  20. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    The whole point of a PHEV is the P part. If you can't plug-in, you can still buy a regular hybrid. Unfortunately, you won't be able to buy a Clarity hybrid. However, next year Honda is supposed to reintroduce the Insight hybrid. So that's a possibility. Plug ins are kind of transitional between hybrid EV and full EV. Sooner than later, PHEVs will drop the ICE and become BEVs. We're still in a transitional phase - but we could be there for another generation or so at the rate things seem to be going right now.
  21. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    I keep hearing a lot of manufacturers talking about all these EV cars that are supposedly coming in 2020. That seems to be the year they are keying on, but it is coming up quick so I will believe it when I see it.
  22. Thanks for the replies people. I tend to drive cars for 10 years. I think of the Clarity as a possible hedge against really high gas prices. Would folks suggest a lease of a Volt (if the terms are good) until the next generation of stuff comes up?
  23. prestoOne

    prestoOne Member

    trying to buy a square peg for round hole, need advice.

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