Clarity without charging

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Siddhesh, May 20, 2018.

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  1. Siddhesh

    Siddhesh New Member

    Hello All,

    I am pretty new to the PHEV and have been doing some research. I do have a few questions before i make a decision. Also i live in a apartment so charging my car daily is not going to be convenient, but i do have a level 2 charging at my office parking lot and i go to office around 3 time a week.

    So few basic questions

    1. Lets say i do not charge my car at all, will it just be more like a hybrid car and i still get around 42/43 MPG ? For a total driving range of approx 300 miles?

    2. I read on Honda's website that in HV mode, i can make the car run on gas and charge the battery upto max 57%. Any idea how many miles usually it take to charge the battery from lets say 10% to 57%? Considering its pleasant outside between 65 and 75.

    Appreciate any response and insight
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  3. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    1. Yes, as long as you start with some charge; preferably around half.

    2. You can do this but you may experience high rpm which some say sounds like angry bees and may be unpleasant at less than hwy speeds. And manual doesn’t recommend it for city driving. Don’t know how many miles this takes as it will vary with speed, conditions, driving style and parasitic loading like heat or A/C. The manual says about 1 hour at hwy speeds. Also, if your planning on doing this regularly it will have some impact on mpg/economy and engine wear but I don’t know how much. Others may.
    Off the top of my head, I would think that trying to regularly use HV Charge instead of Home charging would not be a viable option.

    Here’s an excerpt from the manual:
    HV Charge
    To enable HV Charge, press the HV button until the HV Charge indicator turns on.While the vehicle is in HV Charge, the High Voltage battery will continue to charge until the battery charge level display reaches 12 segments. Once the battery reaches this level, the vehicle switches to HV. You can cancel HV Charge before the battery reaches 12 segments by pressing the HV button.When the vehicle is in HV Charge, priority is given to the charging of the High Voltage battery. While the battery is being charged, the engine may run at a higher RPM than usual. The time it takes for the battery to be charged to 12 segments varies depending on driving conditions.The high voltage battery can be charged to 12 segments in after about 1 hour of high-speed driving. HV Charge is not recommended for city driving or other driving situations when you need to stop frequently or drive slowly. In these situations, press the HV button again to disable HV Charge. If you are in HV and approaching a destination where the vehicle can be charged, you can turn off HV and use the remaining battery power to drive.

    Hope that helps. You really have to sharpen your pencil to calculate whether it make more sense to go PHEV or regular hybrid when charging at home is difficult. You also need to consider whether you will be moving any time soon to where at home charging will be easier.
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
    Domenick likes this.
  4. Roy2001

    Roy2001 Member

    I don't think it is a good idea to drive a 4000-pound vehicle with a 1.5 liter Atkinson engine regularly. It is not designed to drive like that. I think Honda expect you put 80% of the milage with electricity.
  5. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    IMHO, your intended use pattern is not a particularly good fit for a PHEV. I suggest that you consider the Accord Hybrid or Camry Hybrid for vehicles that may fit your use pattern much better. I think you would be much happier with the behavior of those vehicles for your use. The Clarity PHEV seems to be designed primarily as an electric vehicle with a range extending gas engine (albeit a nice one) and secondarily as a hybrid gas/electric vehicle with a plug. Using a Clarity with the hybrid battery mostly depleted all but the 3 times a week you could charge it would leave you with potentially odd drivability behavior because the little gas engine would be working hard much of the time.
    Chooch, Vezz66, dstrauss and 2 others like this.
  6. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

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  8. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    After you experience the joy of EV driving in your Clarity, you'll become spoiled and regret every HV mile you're forced to travel. Then you'll have to take out a mortgage to buy a house so you can start every day with a fully charged battery. To pay for that mortgage you'll have to work more hours. You'll be so tired during your commute, you won't get the full enjoyment out of EV driving, but the Clarity's Lane Keeping Assist will help you get home safely despite your fatigue.

    I'm planning to switch from my beloved but aging 2006 Insight to the 2019 Insight. I'll park it in front of our one-car garage where my wife's Clarity lives. Sometimes she will be in too much of a hurry to move cars and she'll take the Insight. Then I'll get some seat-time driving her Clarity.

    The Insight will be a sportier car that gets up to 55 mpg in the city (disappointingly, only 51 mpg city for the Touring trim, which is heavier with its bigger wheels, power seats, and moonroof). And it's a very good-looking car, perhaps the handsomest Honda. So there will be compensations for its very limited 1-mile EV driving range.
    DC1, atr, AndyBA and 1 other person like this.
  9. spaj223

    spaj223 New Member

    Clairty is the only major phev with 7kw charger bulid in. it means that you can do the full charge in 2.5 hr. with level two charge. If you have the volt, you have to charge it more than 4.5 hrs.
    This is so important when you take a trip.
    Do you want to wait that long to charge your car out of town?
    (as previous post said, when you drive in ev, you never want to go to hv)
  10. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Our 40-amp EVSE took only 2:05 to recharge the battery the one time we used up all the ions. A question for Clarity owners with the Honda-recommended 32-amp, 240-volt EVSEs: How long does it take for a full recharge? Did I waste my money going for the extra amps?
  11. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

    If I’m not mistaken the Clarity has a maximum charge rate of 6.6KW which at 240V is about 28 Amps. So, anything over that would be overkill. OTH running on a higher rated supply means cooler operation and possibly a longer lifespan plus you’ll be ready for whatever may come down the road in the future.

    insightman likes this.
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  13. M.M.

    M.M. Active Member

    The manual specifies 32A as the maximum; I have a 30A Siemens L2 charger and I can charge from empty to full in around 2:15. The 40A is definitely overkill, although you could think of the extra 10A as future proofing.

    Regarding driving the Clarity without home charging:

    It seems kind of pointless to me; you're basically spending an extra $5,000-10,000 on a big battery pack, then lugging several hundred pounds of battery around that you're not really using. Unless you think there will be an opportunity to charge at home (even on 120V) in the near future, you would probably do better with a high-efficiency non-plugin hybrid that costs less and probably gets better gas mileage.

    Also, a comment on charging off the gasoline engine: This can be useful if the battery is empty and you want some reserve to climb a long hill, for performance, or for battery health in long-term storage, but it's guaranteed to reduce your gas mileage. Round-tripping energy from the gas engine through the battery is less efficient than using it as directly as possible.
    insightman likes this.
  14. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

  15. Emanuel Green

    Emanuel Green Member

    It's worth noting that with the US federal tax credit, you would get $7,500 off on your taxes, which makes it about the same price as a non-PHEV vehicle. (I bought mine for under $25k out the door, if you include the tax credit!).

    Also, the OP mentioned that s/he has charging available at work 3 times a week. At least for me, with a 13-mile commute, that would be enough to drive on EV mode about 80% of the time, which I think is still worth it.

    Siddhesh, how long is your commute and what sorts of other driving do you do?
  16. kcsunshine

    kcsunshine Active Member

    I have a very similar situation. I don't have home charging because I live in an apartment building but I get to charge at work for free. I go to the office 3-4 times a week. The round trip is too long to run on all battery. I was in the market for a regular Accord Hybrid but Emanuel makes a good point that the $7500 federal credit helps make the decision lean toward the plug in. The Accord Hybrid has a much longer range than the Clarity. I worry about what if I change jobs or location. If that happens and I can't charge at all, I'm stuck with a heavier vehicle that only has about a 250 mile range which is not terrible but not great. I haven't bought yet. I think it is harder to resell a plug in car which will reduce the resale value unless gas skyrockets.
  17. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    I would at least wait until the new Insight comes out next year before you make a decision. That may be the better fit for your situation.
  18. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    The Clarity's charger is listed at 30 A and 220 volts, which means 6.6 kW. However, it is really rated at 30 A, so if your voltage is 240 volts, as most places are in US, it will charge at 7.2 kW. A person wants to buy a 30 or 32 amp charger to maximize it.

    In US, chargers and loads are rated at some worst case load voltage, but the circuits are rated at no load voltage.

    For example, some people say 110/220 volt, this is the load rating, what your device will probably have printed on it. The circuit in the house is 120/240 volt, meaning the voltage you should see using an rms volt meter. My voltage charging the Clarity is 244 volts. It really doesn't drop at all. Someone with a really long line from the transformer might have lower voltage when the car is charging. 6.6 kW is really your worst case power on a 240 volt circuit, if your voltage sagged to 220 volt.
  19. Timothy

    Timothy Active Member

    Just to be different, I'd say the Clarity could work well for you depending on the distance of your commute. I still have not installed my planned home EVSE just because it's been so easy (and free) to charge at work. My commute is about 2 miles each way and my wife's is about 3 miles. I generally charge twice a week. The only time we've put gas in it was to go out of town to visit family. The Clarity is a very nice car to drive. I'll be taking it on its first very long trip this weekend (600 miles rt for daughter's graduation). I'm actually looking forward to the drive. I'll likely put in a EVSE eventually but I'm in no rush and it's never been an issue.
  20. Siddhesh

    Siddhesh New Member

    Thank you everyone for the comments and insight, very helpful.
    So in my situation i can see myself moving in a condo/house in a year or so. My commute to office is not that bad, its 40 miles round trip. So i can drive 3 days on all ev and the rest on hybrid may be?
    My biggest motivation is the $7500 credit, which might go away soon.
    Any idea about the release date for insight? i thought it was sometime this year in summer
  21. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    I just Googled it and you appear to be right, it is supposed to come out this summer, which seems really quick to me, but that is great for you!
  22. kcsunshine

    kcsunshine Active Member

    When you say might go away soon, is it possible for them to take it away mid-year?
  23. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

    Not likely - and Honda is nowhere in the ballpark of 100,000 units. Search the forum (or google) a bit and you can find a bunch of articles with the approximate numbers for the various auto makers.


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