Considering Clarity, 200 mile commute

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Chip Baum, Nov 13, 2023.

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  1. Chip Baum

    Chip Baum New Member

    I commute 1-4 days a week 100 miles each way. I am considering used Clarities. Plan to charge nightly at home on 120v, not sure if I will be able to at work. Does this seem like too much of a stretch? 8 miles of the commute is city, the remaining 90+ are highway. I'm in Florida, so it's generally flat, but need to cruise around 75 mph to keep up with traffic. Also considering pure Hybrids, Insight (and Prius if I have to...). Cost of EV still a bit high, so not considering those.
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  3. The Clarity can do 75 on a flat highway with the AC on all day long. The problem is that the Clarity is big and heavy compared to other more efficient hybrids so it doesn't get the best highway mpg. Also, it doesn't hold much gas. If you are doing 200 miles per day you'll have to fill up every other day. I think the typical range for the Clarity is about 380 miles. Since you'll be spending a lot of money on gasoline you might be better off with a more efficient hybrid. I hate saying that because I am a big fan of the Clarity. But if you could access a level 2 charger at work, especially if it was free, that might sway the calculation in favor of the Clarity.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2023
    Robert_Alabama likes this.
  4. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    I tend to agree with BrianRC. Unless you can charge at work, I'd recommend a conventional hybrid, maybe the Accord hybrid. If you can charge at work for free, then I'd change my tune and recommend the Clarity. Pure EV wouldn't make sense (in addition to the purchase cost you mentioned earlier) to you if you can't charge at work as you can't recharge it at 120V overnight. So if you did go EV, you would have to put in a 240V circuit to be able to comfortably drive 200 miles per day. I'd probably recommend 32A charging (40A circuit) to get close to 20 miles/hour recharge rate, just to give you a buffer to get the full 200 miles recovered in recharge overnight. And you will probably find some days where you really want/need more, like 40A (50A circuit).
    BrianRC likes this.
  5. 1-4 days is better than 5. Expect the Clarity to get 36-40mpg at 75mph. You’re going to burn at least 4 of the 7 gallons on each round trip, even if you use all or most of the EV range as well. If you can charge at work, you could get 2 round trips per tank.

    The Clarity is eligible for a $4000 used car tax credit, if all necessary conditions are met. That will buy a few gallons of gas. I don’t profess to know what the MPG ratings are for every non-plug-in hybrid, but 40mpg for the Clarity is probably similar to most regular hybrids.

    If you opt for a Clarity, I’d recommend the Touring model. The drivers seat has more adjustments and is considerably more comfortable than the Base model.
  6. Daniel M W

    Daniel M W Member

    I went through a similar situation as the one you describe, and I will say that for these conditions, is better to have a traditional hybrid than a plug in hybrid or even a regular gas car with good gas milleage. IMHO the Clarity will not be the ideal vehicle for the task. As mentioned cruising at 75 all time gas mileage will be around 38- 40mpg, and you will have to run HV mode basically all time. With a combined range of about 320 miles and a gas tank of 7 galons, you will have to fill up every other day. At that opportunity I ended up driving a hyundai elantra (only gas) obtaining around 37mpg.
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  8. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    I have always gotten 45 mpg at 65 mph when in HV mode.
    @Landshark estimate of 36-40 seems reasonable for 75+ mph.
  9. It really boils down to priorities. What is most important?
    Fuel economy?
    Cost of the vehicle?
    Frequency of fuel stops?
    Ride comfort?
    Proximity to a service department?
    Is a 40-45 mile EV range useful to you on non-commute days?

    A 200 mile commute is not a stretch for the Clarity.
    BrianRC likes this.
  10. Landshark makes a good point. If I was regularly doing a 200 mile daily commute my number one priority would be ride comfort. Compared to smaller, more efficient hybrids (like a Volt), the Clarity really excels in comfort. It’s longer than average wheel base and 4,000 lbs. weight provides for an excellent, smooth ride on the highway. It is reminiscent of big Mercedes and Jaguars I’ve owned in the past. The cockpit is very roomy with fully adjustable heated leather seats (though they oddly lack a lumbar adjustment). The leather steering wheel is a nice touch too. And it’s pretty quiet with a descent sound system. Maybe worth sacrificing some mpg for some creature comforts.
  11. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    Where hybrid cars shine is in city driving where the lower speeds and stop n go maximize their fuel economy compared to an ICE car. Where ICE cars do well are in long, open highway drives where you stay in high gear. Fuel efficient ICE cars like the Civic and Camry do nearly as well on the freeway as their hybrid counterparts, especially at higher speeds like 75 mph. They can easily last 250-300K or more when driving at those speeds whereas hybrid cars often need a $5000+ battery replacement at 150,000k miles. For someone who has a long, open highway commute, a fuel efficient non-hybrid ICE car is probably the most economical way to go.
    bpratt likes this.
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  13. Hey @Chip Baum, this video is spot on in addressing your original question...
  14. Using gasoline to travel long distances and getting 35-45mpg depending on flatness and speed in a 4200 lb comfortable vehicle is nothing to sneeze at. If you decide on a hybrid buy an Accord.
    Robert_Alabama likes this.
  15. The only inaccurate information in the video is in regard to the tax credit. The video may have been made before the $4000 tax credit was available for used electrified vehicles.
  16. Actually, the other questionable bit was he said he was using LKAS and the vehicle was staying in the lane.
    BrianRC likes this.
  17. LOL! Absolutely. I can't recommend enough the system for the Honda Clarity.
  18. neal adkins

    neal adkins Active Member

    Lets look at the numbers...your first and last 10miles is city. Thats leaves 180 miles for highway of wich about -15 miles will be on electric = 165 ÷40= 4.1 gallons of gas for 200 miles. So around 48 mpg for your commute. Then you will have option to drive on ev mode when off work wich will bring up your overall fuel efficiency depending on how much you drive in ev mode while not working. Honda's reliability and the comfort of you car is also worth alot.
  19. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    OP probably bought a used Model 3.
  20. neal adkins

    neal adkins Active Member

    I like the claritys flexibility ( not having to charge) and it exudes great engineering and quality. Still very pleased with mine. I feel like its a rare find in todays car market. My mpg is averaging above 110 because mostly city driving.
  21. That could be why we haven’t heard back. A Model 3 wouldn’t make it to work on a consecutive day with L1 charging at home and no charging at work. He’s probably stranded on the side of the road with a dead cell phone that he can’t charge from the dead car.
  22. We’re averaging about 2500mpg this year. Last gas purchase was in January and we’ve put on about 7500 miles while using less than a half tank, about 3 gallons.

    PHEV’s as a group are more flexible than either an ICE or BEV. We just drove the Jeep 4xe from Oregon to Michigan in 3 days. Eight hundred miles the first day, 850 the second and 620 on the third day. The first 2 days were about 12 hours, the last was 9 hours. We averaged 24-27mpg at 80mph or better.

    The hotel in Evanston, WY had a row of Tesla charging stations that was void of Teslas. The first Tesla we saw on the entire trip was as we approached the south side of Chicago.
    neal adkins likes this.
  23. neal adkins

    neal adkins Active Member

    That's getting it done with that mpg! Tesla is a little too expensive for my liking and electricity can be expensive

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