Has Your Honda Clarity FCV Been "In the Shop" For a Long Time?

Discussion in 'Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles' started by tps5352, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. tps5352

    tps5352 Member

    I just got my 2017 Honda Clarity fuel cell car back after 2 1/2 months and the fuel cell stack recall repair. I'd be glad to exchange info with interested fellow fuel cell "pioneers."
    Clarity FCVs Waiting at Dealership.jpg
    Clarity FCVs waiting for repair at a dealership​
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  2. David Yuan

    David Yuan New Member

    My was in SC Honda from 12/16 to 2/24...
  3. Atkinson

    Atkinson Active Member

    How do you like the fuel cell powertrain?
    How does the cost per mile for fuel compare with the Clarity Hybrid?
    Most of us have no experience with fuel cell tech.
  4. tps5352

    tps5352 Member

    >>> How do you like the fuel cell powertrain?

    It is OK. It's no Tesla, for sure. But good. Probably controlled by speed and acceleration governors, is my guess. But it is smooth and peppy. I can definitely accelerate away easily from most ICE cars at a stop light. The Clarity seems to appeal to Boomers. (Sorry; I am one.)

    >>> How does the cost per mile for fuel compare with the Clarity Hybrid?

    I don't pay much attention, because FUEL IS FREE. Honda (and maybe Toyota and Hyundai?) provides $15,000 in free hydrogen fuel over three years. Most drivers do not exceed that, I am told. At least I haven't. That plus a relatively low lease rate ($400 per month), HOV sticker, and big check from California (I think $5,000) were what sold me on trying this experiment out for three years. Good financial incentives.

    I think fuel costs ~$16.45 per kilogram in northern California. Maybe 4-5 kg in a tank; I don't know. (You do NOT let the tank empty, though.) That is a little high, but should eventually drop if the fuel cell experiment eventually takes off and there were more competing fuel centers. I'm told it cost $1-2 million per fuel station. Plus it's a regulatory hassle.

    I believe that to fill the car up it is a little more than filling the equivalent Accord (or whatever) with premium gas. So not cheap, but tolerable, maybe. But like I said--FREE! There would probably be few people driving these if that was not true.

    >>> Most of us have no experience with fuel cell tech.

    I understand. The fuel cell is an old idea (early 1900s?). NASA used fuel cells on the Apollo missions of the '60s. It is basically a way to chemically/physically convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity (free electrons stored in on-board batteries) and a little water. No combustion. No pollution (by the car). Just as safe (or not safe) as a gasoline car. More quiet. Less heat. BVlah, blah...

    There are some great discussion on this and other forum sites debating hydrogen-powered versus electrical-grid powered electric car economies and futures. I am left thinking that hydrogen is not the viable long-term solution, but I do not know for sure. And it appears to me to be worth trying out now, as we are doing with hybrid cars. The hydrogen thing somewhat mimics gasoline (e.g., quick fill ups at for-profit company-owned fuel centers), so is maybe more palatable to some drivers and to corporate America.

    I kind of like the Tesla (and other electric car) model, but that has its share of problems, also. We desperately need (a) better batteries, (b) faster charging equipment, and (c) more of those things. For example, I hear that driving a hydrogen car from Sacramento to LA is no problem (assuming the single fueling station at Harris Ranch is working, which it usually is). If it is, fueling takes little more time that filling up with gasoline. That's convenient. No gasoline bill for visiting grandma at Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, there are more Tesla (and other) recharging centers along that route. but "speedy" charging takes, what, up to an hour or two? And there can be long lines (e.g., at Thanksgiving) for superchargers.

    What is clear to me is that gasoline and diesel are on the way out. Glad I lived to see changes like that (along with the start of basic human rights improvements, too) in my lifetime. But it is just the very beginning of the end for those fuels. How long the full transition will take is an open question. The coming super pickups (Tesla, Rivian, Bollinger, etc.) may help convince a lot of guys (sorry--and gals), if they perform.

    Meanwhile, super fuel cell race cars at Le Mans soon!
  5. tps5352

    tps5352 Member

    That's "Stevens Creek" Honda of San Jose, California, USA, I believe -- for those of you who do not speak the Clarity fuel cell car lingo.

    Stevens Creek Honda.jpg
  6. gooki

    gooki Active Member

    This is incorrect. 30 minutes is the new normal for well designed EVs (Tesla's).
  7. tps5352

    tps5352 Member

    OK, maybe. But most BEVs are (a) not Teslas and/or (b) not new Teslas. But let's say you are right. That is still, what, three times longer than it takes to fuel with gasoline. And lines at some SCs at some times are a problem. Right? (Like gas pump lines in the 1970s.)

    BTW: We are on the same side. I thoroughly dislike ICE as a power source and will probably buy a Tesla either this year or next. (Help! Model S or Model X?) I'm just parroting the experts; we need faster charging and better batteries.
  8. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    Better batteries are coming, waiting on Tesla's Drivetrain and Battery Investor's Day (April? May?). So you want a full size car bigger than your Clarity? Then if you want 7 seat capability or need large cargo area then Model X otherwise Model S. If you want to stay in mid size then Model Y (also much cheaper).
  9. David Yuan

    David Yuan New Member

    Not sure about others, but the Clarity FC is rated at 350+ miles...I 'd be happy if I get over 260 miles per fill...
    The range usually hover around 230-240 in the winter time...when I got my fuel cell stack replaced, I saw 297 on a full tank, but that quickly went down...280 on the next one and if my math is right, the actual dance would be just 260 this time...I average 55-60 miles per kg, the car has a 5.5kg tank, so something is not right here...I should be getting at least 300 miles on each fill up...

    Also, the two fuel stations I use, have all raised their price to over $18+/kg...some fill ups are over $70, but as tps pointed out, it's free for us : )
  10. tps5352

    tps5352 Member

    I sill have not definitely pinned down my current range on a full tank of H2. (The West Sacramento pump is nearly always acting up and does not put as much H2 into tanks as it used to. I used to fill up at a pressure of well over 700 bar at a fill-up. Now it is down in the mid-600s or lower.) I'll have to try filling up at the properly-operating Shell pump off of I-80 in north Sacramento, but I don't get up there regularly.
    Iwatani in West Sacramento.jpg Shell in Citrus Heights.jpg

    But my sense is that yes, my 2017 Clarity FCV has declined significantly in maximum range (maybe 250 miles or less), also.

    Could this be because fuel pumps have (a) adjusted the total fill-up pressures down or because (b) the fuel cell stacks have become less efficient over time (or both)? Keep in mind also that, as with ICE cars, mileage varies greatly with driving habits. I have a "lead foot," so my range on a full tank was never over 300.

    As of last week it was still $16.45-$16.54 per kg in the Sacramento area, I believe. I thought prices in LA had fallen (because of more competition)? But maybe after last summer's (June 2019) H2 fuel crisis, prices went up?

Share This Page