Is this the right car for me?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by trueblue, May 3, 2018.

To remove this ad click here.

  1. trueblue

    trueblue New Member

    I’ve been seriously considering the Clarity PHEV as a way to save money. I currently drive a BMW X3, and it gets 25mpg. I have a 90 mile round trip commute every day, 95% Highway miles. I have zero experience with hybrids or PHEVs, so I’d like some advice. Would this car make sense for me? Based on what I’ve read, I can’t get to work on a full charge without the engine kicking in, but I think I would still be using way less gas. I’m currently filling up twice a week at a cost of $80+ per week. Any insight or advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    I'd I had a 90 mile round trip I'd be looking at the Hyundai Ioniq for better fuel economy. The Chevy Bolt might be another option.
  4. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    It’s not always about mpg. Are you lookin to replace the BMW with something similar or with a low cost commuter. Consider if not having range anxiety and having a full size 5 passenger car with trunk space are desirable for you. Small BEVs are fine for local commuter driving but aren’t good for long trips (charging waits/uncomfortable/small trunks)

    Need more info to calculate your savings.
    1. Is evevery day commute 5x or 7x a week.
    2. $80+/week is for how many miles (work plus normal around town)
    3. What is your gas costing you and what is your kW/hr cost.
    4. Do you have lower O/N electrical rates and can you charge at work and if so is it free or not.
    5. How fast is your hwy driving.
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  5. Emanuel Green

    Emanuel Green Member

    If there were a way you could charge up while at work, then you could probably make it using very little gas. Otherwise, you'll be running the engine for probably 1/2 your trip.

    It might be worth looking into something like a Hyundai Ioniq or Toyota Prius Prime. It wouldn't get as far on EV only, but it would get better mileage when using gas.
  6. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    I'd keep the X3 for utility and winter driving and consider the upcoming Honda Insight for the commute. From what I've read, the insight is quite luxurious, relatively quick and good handling and will reportedly get 55 mpg. It is sized around the current Civic, which is nearly mid-sized, and it's quite attractive.
    Kendalf likes this.
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. seattleclarity

    seattleclarity New Member

    I agree with jdonalds -- this is a very good scenario for a Chevy Bolt. We have a Bolt as well as a Clarity. Our ordinary transportation needs dictate two cars, so we settled on a longer-range BEV (the Bolt) along with a PHEV (the Clarity) for those times when we want to go on a road trip and not deal with having to plan out charging, or want to go for a date night in a nice car. In Seattle, the Bolt gets 250+ miles/charge in the summer and about 190 miles/charge in our (fairly mild) winters, which would give you a nice buffer and peace-of-mind for your commute. The Bolt seats four comfortably and is a complete hoot to drive -- much zippier than the Clarity. The Bolt interior is also a bit more cargo friendly (less luxurious) for when we need to haul around leaking bags of potting soil. Chevy dealers have some fairly aggressive pricing on the Bolt around here.
  9. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    1. What does your home charging situation look like? (do you have a garage with a power outlet?)
    2. What speed do you drive for your commute? What percent City/Highway speeds? (I see you answered this, what speeds? 55 mph or 75 mph will make a big difference)
    3. Where do you live? Generally. Climate can impact operating costs, cold especially.
    4. Do you have a time of use rate plan for electricity? Does your power cost the same all day?
    5. How much does your electricity cost per kwh? Your bill might list cost per kwh, or estimate by taking your bill cost divided by your usage. For example, $100 / 1000 kwh = $0.10 per kwh.
    6. Do you have workplace charging (or even an exterior outlet that they allow you to use)?
    The Clarity can charge over night (about 12 hours) from a standard wall outlet in the US. With custom 240 V outlet and charging station install (roughly $1,000 to $1,500 depending on install) can charge in 2.5 hours.

    As an example, if you drive 45 miles each way, you leave with a fully charged car, about 100% of your driving is at 75 mph, you might get 40 miles EV range (guessing a little here, at 75 mph it will be less than EPA rating of 47 combined). At 75 mph you probably get 37 mpg average. So 50 miles gas a day and you are looking at 1 full charge and 1.35 gallons of gas. A full charge is about 14 kwh on the Clarity (it doesn't use all the 17 kwh battery, only about 12 and some charging losses). So my example, if you pay $0.10 per kwh and $2.60 for a gallon of 87 octane gas, you are looking at 14kwh*$0.10/kwh + 1.35gal*$2.60/gal = $4.91 per day.

    A second example, if you average 55 mph and get 47 mile electric range and 43 mpg you are looking at 14 kwh of electricity and 1 gallon of gas = $4.00 per day. As it is, you use 3.6 gallons of gas per commute, and does the X3 require premium? So you would probably cut your costs at least in half. If you just look at a Prius or Ioniq or similar hybrid that gets 50 to 60 mpg for your commute you would probably be similarly priced to the Clarity.

    If you go a Bolt EV or other battery electric (get at least 2x to 3x max range vs your daily commute, so for 90 mile commute your min range would be 180-270 mile EPA range) you are looking at around $2.50 to $3.00 for the commute at $0.10 cent per kwh electricity. Plus you save all the gas instead of maybe 1/2 to 2/3rds a PHEV or more efficient vehicle would save. As it is, if you commute 250 days a year at 3.6 gallons per commute you use about 900 gallons of gas per year for your commute.

    As mentioned, you could easily save between 450 and 900 gallons of gas a year depending on choice and could cut your costs by 50-70% depending on your fuel prices, electricity prices, etc.
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  10. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I think KentuckyKen is asking the right questions here.

    Trueblue, there are very different needs if you're looking for just a commuter car for a multi-car family, or if this will be your one-and-only car. As others have suggested, the Clarity PHEV isn't the best option for an efficient commuter car. The Clarity is more for those with a family that needs a larger car and/or for hauling stuff. If you're looking for a commuter car, then as has been suggested, look at the Volt and/or the Bolt EV. Or a Tesla Model 3, if you don't mind waiting awhile to get the car.

    Don't ignore the possibility of buying used, if it's a second/commuter car. A relatively low-mileage used Volt could be a good bargain for a commuter.
  11. trueblue

    trueblue New Member

    I commute 5x week.

    The $80+ in fuel is commute plus short trips to the store and stuff. The bulk of fuel is for the commute.

    Gas is about $2.90/gal for premium compared to .10kw/hr.

    My company said they would install a charging station at my parking space.

    Hwy driving is between 70-80mph
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. Sacramento Pat

    Sacramento Pat New Member

    I have a 45-mile commute to work and I got 25 MPG out of my old 2003 Mitsubishi Outlander. I got serious about a plug-in car when my employer installed EV stations at work. I have 2K on my Clarity now and finally used up the first tank of gas that came with the car. If saving money is your top goal, a Clarity will help get you there.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
    trueblue likes this.
  14. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    What are you waiting for? :)

    Seriously, if you could charge at work and at home you would drastically cut both your gas usage and costs. The Clarity gets around 35 mpg at 75 mph; maybe a little better, depending on winds and conditions. If you could get 70-80 miles EV per day, you would reduce your daily gas usage to around 0.5 gallons (regular fuel, no need for Premium in the Clarity).

    10 cents per kwh is good as well. If you don't have to pay for work charging you would use about 14 kwh per day charging ($1.40) and half a gallon of gas (maybe $1.30 for regular), so maybe $2.70/day? Lets just call it $15.00 a week plus whatever you drive locally, 2 charges for weekends would be less than $3. Say $18 a week, it would cut your costs almost 80%, and even if you had to pay for work charging it would probably only add about $7 per week.

    If doing only for financial reasons, you of course have the price of the vehicle which might make it not make sense. You might save about $3k per year, which might take many years to pay the difference. If you buy different vehicle anyway it could be a good deal.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  15. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    A PHEV is truly a compromise, so neither the ICE experience nor the EV experience is optimal. If you're not down with that, you're going to be disappointed in your purchase. That said, after you compare the compromises that are out there, Clarity comes in at the top (no bias here - LOL). But if you expect a full-time EV experience, buy an EV. And if you want a nice ICE - with power and speed - get a regular car. You can compromise further and get a hybrid - then you don't have to hassle with plugging in at all.
  16. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    I don't feel that the Clarity is a compromise. I feel it eliminates many of the range compromises from full EVs, and in this case would save the user far more gas than a traditional hybrid would. Honda did a great job making it a great vehicle (I won't say it is bug free, but it is still a great car over all).
    dstrauss likes this.
  17. AlanSqB

    AlanSqB Active Member

    In your situation, I'd have to lean towards a full BEV. Especially if that plug you are getting at work is free.

    You'll have the X3 for your road-tripping and hauling needs. You would be fine with a Bolt, LEAF, Ioniq or Model 3. If you don't live somewhere too cold or too hot, you could even get away with a shorter range EV with your ability to charge at home and at work. 45 miles at highway speed is feasible for almost any BEV.

    If you like the Clarity and live in CA, see if you can score one of the BEV models. The lease is so low it's practically free.
  18. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    As Viking said, I do not feel the Clarity is a compromise. For me it’s the best of both worlds. Until the 400 mile/charge in 15 min/affordable/high energy density/small size battery emerges, there’s nothing better currently available in an all around “real” car.
    dstrauss and jdonalds like this.

Share This Page