Fuel Economy After One Year

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Minnesota Zed, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. Minnesota Zed

    Minnesota Zed New Member

    Have recorded every fill-up apart from the very first provided by the dealership in Burnsville Minnesota. After one year, the overall average MPG is 76.7. Other than weekend (all electric) short trips, my daily commute to work consists of four - 75 mile round-trips. I toggle electric/HV mode on and off for optimal economy on work trips and always try to use-up all available electric. Past year has also included 3 or 4 trips off the electric grid where I had to rely more on gasoline. The cold winters of Minnesota destroy economy. Charging on electric with special deal from my local supplier is 4.4 cents kilowatt hour. My Juicebox generally says it charges a bit more than 13 kilowatt hours from empty to full so that’s about fifty-seven cents/day for a full electric charge. My total gasoline cost so far has been $467.23. I’ll let you do the math on the electricity. Only complaint about the clarity so far is how bad the tires are in winter, and in rain. The downside of “high fuel economy” tires is poor performance in the real world. These are the absolute worst tires I’ve ever driven on for snow and icy conditions.


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  2. petteyg359

    petteyg359 Active Member Subscriber

    Second that, but for ALL conditions. They'll screech and slide on hot dry summer asphalt trying to go from a stop light into a right turn at a measly 5 miles per hour. I got a nail in one of my tires, and when I took it to the dealer to get it replaced they didn't have any OEM tires on hand, so offered me some others. Went with a Bridgestone RE97 AS (the dealer actually gave it to me for around $120), and the traction is noticeably much better just with that single changed tire. No impact to range at all, just much nicer to drive when that tire makes the grip better.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  3. kcsunshine

    kcsunshine Active Member

    Of course they want to advertise the best MPG possible since that is the main selling point of the car hence the low resistance tires. I wouldn't push the car too much in rain and snow. I had the tires slip and screech. I want to know what is the MPG with normal tires. Anybody replace their tires due to regular wear yet? At what miles?
     
  4. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    I too have every fill-up apart from the tank provided by the dealer. Most of my driving has been commuting less than 20 miles per day. I made one trip to Dallas, and a couple of ~120 mile trips to see relatives. Those 3 trips were the only times I used HV mode extensively. I've put in 22.73 gals of 100% gas and so far have 2831 miles on the odometer. 124.54 mpg. Good grief, my Suzuki DL650 motorcycle only gets 57 mpg!

    Electricity costs .05 cents per Kwh at work, .11 cents at home. Charge 80% of the time at home, 20% at work. My electric bill is about the same as it was last year, so I can't see any difference in my electric bill due to charging the car at home.

    No complaints about the Michelin OEM tires, but I seldom see any ice or snow in Okla.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  5. 2002

    2002 Active Member

    I assume that is a time of use rate for specific times of the night? If so calculating the actual cost can be a bit tricky due to taxes. In my case in Georgia they have a very low plug-in vehicle rate you can sign up for from 11:00 pm to 7:00 am which is advertised as being four times cheaper than the standard rate, 1.4 cents instead of 5.6 cents. However that is not including tax. I calculated that including taxes the "midnight" rate is only about half off the regular rate.

    When I had just one rate it was pretty easy, just divide the total amount of that month's bill by the kWh for the month to obtain the cost per kWh including taxes. However with TOU rate you have to do actual calculations for each rate period. It wasn't broken down on my bill what percentages they use for taxes and fees but I found the information on the Georgia Power website.

    As it turns out most of the taxes other than sales tax are based on kWh and so those taxes remain the same regardless of the rate. Regular rate with tax is about 11 cents, the midnight rate is about 5 cents with tax. So about half off, not three-quarters off. Certainly can't complain though about either rate. But when comparing to gasoline I wanted to make sure that I was using the actual electric cost including all taxes.
     
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  6. David Towle

    David Towle Active Member

    MPG has ZERO meaning when you've done some of the miles in EV, unless you separate out the electric from the gas miles.
     
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  7. ZedFez

    ZedFez Member

    “Zero meaning” is a bit harsh wouldn’t you agree when provided with basic daily work commute and typical drives? Yes, not perfect by any means. Some, however, may appreciate real-world experience however imprecise.
     
  8. fotomoto

    fotomoto Active Member

    No. Anytime you're using energy that's not being included in the calculation, it's has "zero meaning" from math standpoint. IOW, if you turned in this calculation on a math exam, you'd get a zero as your score from the teacher. LOL My Gen 1 Volt also did it this way and included ev miles as gas miles.

    If, like David said, you're strictly in HV mode and never use EV, then it has some merit but even that is splitting hairs because as we've seen Honda does dip into the EV portion of the battery and not return it. Pretty much the only scenario where this works correctly is starting with zero EV miles in the battery (2 bars), zero the trip and only using gasoline/hv mode after that.
     
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  9. GV Ottawa

    GV Ottawa Member

    At the risk of starting a lengthy debate, I'll respectively disagree with you ... From my point of view, MPG or l/100km is still a valid data point if one wants to simply compare the amount of gasoline being consumed by the Clarity versus another vehicle. I totally agree that if one wants to know the "Energy" consumption then you have to factor in your hydro usage too and things get more complicated.

    In my case, I have driven 29,015 km in 13 months (mix of local pure electric driving, many long road trips using HV mode, and a very cold and snowy Ottawa winter which increases the consumption of both hydro and gasoline). Over that distance I have added a total of 676.9 litres of gasoline which works out to 2.33 l/100km mileage which is awesome compared with any other car I have ever owned.

    I fully understand that I have also consumed a bunch of hydro to charge my Clarity over the same time period, but I'm not personally interested in the total energy consumption of the Clarity versus my previous cars. The goal for my Clarity was to reduce my gasoline usage. Even if the overall energy usage is the same (or worse although I doubt that), I'd still be happy because I have used far less gasoline than in any other vehicle I've ever owned and I've not had even a second of range anxiety. I would have needed at least 950 more litres of gasoline to travel the same distance in my previous car (Prius V) and I know that my increased hydro costs to charge my Clarity have been quite a bit less than what I would have paid for the additional gasoline using my Prius V.

    Love this car!

    Cheers,
    Gary
     
  10. 2002

    2002 Active Member

    That is a good point as it highlights that there are really two reasons why someone might be interested in mpg, cost and the environment. Well also foreign independence for oil although that seems to not be the topic that it used to be (queue debate on fracking, coal, etc).

    But realistically if it's not stated, discussions on fuel usage are usually referring to cost, just based on my observation of many years of discussion on this topic in various forums. Environmental effect is clearly a worthwhile topic, but if that's what is meant it will normally need to be explicitly stated otherwise a lot of people will assume that the discussion is just about cost. We could make a comment on society about that but I'm just being realistic about how people perceive conversations when it is not stated exactly. Which is why I think it's good that you reminded that mpg is not all about cost.
     
  11. GV Ottawa

    GV Ottawa Member

    Actually in my specific case I win with cost as well. I've done the calculations and using the costs of hydro and gasoline in Ottawa, every km I drive on pure battery is cheaper than the same km I drive using gasoline. :)
     
  12. 2002

    2002 Active Member

    That is true also for most people in the U.S. unless they live in areas where electricity costs a lot more, in which case they maybe break even or I have heard of some people who actually pay more to drive electric compared to gas. Of course it also depends on the price of gas but gas is usually also more expensive in areas that have expensive electricity.
     
  13. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I’ll have to side with @fotomoto and @David Towle on this.

    Here’s my logic:
    I’ve driven 10,881 miles on 17.2 gal. Does that mean that my Clarity gets 633 MPG? I don’t think so.
    My edge case just emphasizes how inaccurate the MPG can be without taking into account how many kWhs you’ve put into that car.

    What it does mean is that I drive predominantly in EV and my combined fuel costs (gas and electric) are very, very low. Especially with the EV miles coming from that free fusion reactor in the sky. (Well, not totally free until the break even point in 8 years.)
    (“Damnit Jim, I’m a biologist not an accountant!” TOS)

    I have tracked all my kWhs but haven’t put them in a spreadsheet. However in the summer, I’m getting ~135 to 140 MPGe in EV. But since my electricity is “free”, maybe I am getting 633 MPG.
     
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  14. GV Ottawa

    GV Ottawa Member

    Actually taken literally you truly are getting 633 MPG just like I am getting 100 MPG over my 29000 km. From an energy consumption point of view though we would both very clearly be getting a different value for MPGe which combines gas and hydro.

    I believe that David and foto are pointing out that when comparing energy consumption between vehicles you have to factor both gas and hydro, and I completely agree with them too. But I still find it personally useful to compare the amount of gasoline I use with my various vehicles and clearly the Clarity is the big winner so far.

    Cheers,
    Gary
     
  15. ZedFez

    ZedFez Member

    I get it. Never should have referred to my fuel cost as MPG... but rather total spent on gasoline over the course of one year. I suspect, some were able to read through the lines at my original intent by the post.


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  16. 2002

    2002 Active Member

    As pointed out by GV Ottawa if you are looking at environmental impact not cost then yes mpg does not have zero meaning in fact it has quite significant meaning.

    However if you are looking at cost, well then maybe not mathematically zero but maybe not too far away if grid power is throwing off the result and you don't know by how much. That's when something has "zero meaning" or close to it, when there are variables involved which could be large or small but you have no way to know, or at least someone is not taking the variable into account. Not saying that is what you are doing but the comments were directed at people not taking it into account at all. No different than someone in any car reporting how great mpg they get, but leaving out that a significant part of the drive was downhill. That ignores the fact that they used gas previously to get up the hill. Now if two cars are being compared and each of them are going down the same hill then sure an mpg comparison between the two would have meaning.

    It's this not acknowledging grid EV which is what some of the previous comments are addressing, as apparently some Volt owners have bragged by telling people how little gas they use but not mentioning how much they spend on electricity to charge their car (if they even know). Now if they said "I am helping the environment I use very little gas I mostly use much cleaner electricity", then sure that is accurate. Or, "I save money because I use very little gas I mostly use cheaper electricity" then that is fine too. But apparently the message from some, at least implied is that they drive their car practically for free because they only have to put gas in the car every three months. Which can be misinterpreted by the listener, whether or not that was the intention.

    To your point if you have a repeated route and can estimate mpg by looking at actual gas consumption and also factoring in estimates of grid usage then yes although not precise it still may be a useful number comparing with other cars. It's all about understanding the data.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019 at 4:01 PM
  17. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Active Member

    These discussions are always somewhat interesting to me even though I think everyone has a different perspective. Some of us have free charging at work (luckily I am one of them), so more than 90% of my charging needs are met with truly free electricity (as far as I am concerned). Some of us have solar arrays and can use this electricity to charge the car. To them, they may see the cost of the Solar as a sunk or fixed cost and get very little value from the production if it isn't used to charge the car. Some have electricity rates that are lower and incent electricity as an alternative to gasoline, some with higher electricity rates, so not so much so. Some value the reduction in burning gasoline pretty highly from an environmental perspective, some are pretty much just concerned with economics. So if I have a point, it is this. The view of whether the miles/gallon from the car is meaningful to an individual varies very much by their perspective. For me, since I pay for very little of my electricity to charge my vehicle, I think of the miles/gallon as relatively meaningful. It gives me a quick estimate of electricity percentage usage and is pretty representative of my total costs. True, I don't spend a lot of time worrying about the environmental impact of producing the electricity, and I wish it was zero, but I think it is better than the effects from burning gasoline. So if my mpg is 200, then I roughly estimate 40mpg is true mpg for burning gasoline, and that I am running about 80% electric (5x40=200). My cost per mile is essentially 200 miles divided by the cost of a gallon of gas since my charging is essentially free. But yes, the 200miles/gal is anything but a conversion rate for miles driven only from one gallon of gasoline consumed.
     
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  18. 2002

    2002 Active Member

    I think what can easily throw people is that it's so easy with a regular car, either go with the mpg on the display or if you want something more accurate simply keep track of gallons of gas purchased and divide into the number of miles driven. A hybrid doesn't change that equation other than the instantaneous mpg can look a little wacky like when you are coasting. But you can still use the simple gas purchase method since in the end all of the power including regen comes from gasoline.

    With an EV it's just a little harder as you have to somehow track electricity usage, either by using an EVSE which tracks it or by simply noting how much higher your kWh usage is on your monthly bill compared to prior years for the same time of year.

    But with a PHEV that all goes out the window as you have to somehow try and combine gasoline and electric usage into a meaningful number. You have to become a rocket scientist as well as a professional statistician to make any sense of it. Most of use come from regular cars or maybe hybrids and think it will be the same, until you really start thinking about it and realizing that this is one hard nut to crack depending on like you said on what your viewpoint is. Most people don't expect exact numbers, but they don't realize that even coming up with a meaningful estimate is not as simple as just looking at the numbers on the display.
     
  19. 2002

    2002 Active Member

    Yes the solution to all of this of course is to be sure and work somewhere that lets you charge for free :) And solar can in some ways be considered free if the car is charging during times when solar power would otherwise go to waste, especially those who live in areas where you can't sell surplus power.

    As for the rest of us ... I think what can easily throw people is that it's so easy with a regular car, either go with the mpg on the display or if you want something more accurate simply keep track of gallons of gas purchased and divide into the number of miles driven. A hybrid doesn't change that equation other than the instantaneous mpg can look a little wacky like when you are coasting. But you can still use the simple gas purchase method since in the end all of the power including regen comes from gasoline.

    With a BEV it's just a little harder as you have to somehow track electricity usage, either by using an EVSE which tracks it or by simply noting how much higher your kWh usage is on your monthly bill compared to prior years for the same time of year.

    But with a PHEV that all goes out the window as you have to somehow try and combine gasoline and electric usage into a meaningful number. Especially when the car provides very little meaningful information. You have to become a professional statistician to make any sense of it. Most of us come from regular cars or maybe hybrids and think it will be the same, until you really start thinking about it and realizing that this is one hard nut to crack depending on like you said on what your viewpoint is. Most people don't expect exact numbers, but they don't realize that even coming up with a meaningful estimate is not as simple as just looking at the numbers on the display or simply keeping your gas receipts.
     
  20. Danks

    Danks Member

    How/where does one see this instantaneous mpg? I don't see this in the manual and I've certainly not seen it in the car. Is that a scan tool thing?
     

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