PHEV instead of BEV

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by PHEV Newbie, Dec 26, 2018.

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  1. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

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  3. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Even without the challenges of finding open and working charge stations a BEV still wouldn't work for me.

    For around town I simply don't need a battery large enough to go 300 miles. It would add too much cost to the car. Further on a 500 mile trip I'd have to stop for hours half way to charge.

    The 47 EV miles of range with the Clarity is perfect for around town, and the gas engine makes the 500 mile trip easy with two or three gas station stops.
    02Duck, lordsutch, dnb and 3 others like this.
  4. dnb

    dnb Active Member

    Yep exactly why I ended up buying this car. I get 100% electric usage most days, but if I go out of town I can drive hundreds of miles with only short few minute stops. Heck I drove my car home over 200 miles first day I bought it :p

    The only way a BEV will work for everyone is doing something like the battery swap Tesla was going to do. You need something where you can get a full charge in under 10-20 minutes before its acceptable to do long road trips, or even for those who forget to charge or drive a lot throughout the day.
    02Duck likes this.
  5. Shelly

    Shelly New Member

    It works if you are only doing local city driving and either have a gas powered second car or are willing to rent a car for long distance travel. 98% of my annual driving is within the range of the new generation BEV's. I am the owner of a limited range Nissan Leaf and a Honda CRV. Heck, even with a 70 mile range on the Leaf, I rarely charge every evening. I would love to get rid of the CRV and go 100% electric (BEV), but struggle with this. That's why I'm monitoring the Clarity forum.
  6. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    I've got a generation 1 Volt that has 36-40 miles of range generally, 29-30 in really cold weather, 44-46 in ideal driving conditions. It gets me about 80% electric driving 20% gas (59,000 miles electric and 14,000 miles gas). The Volt will be my extra car for the family since its resale is pretty low and it's just a great trouble-free car. The Clarity will be my "long trip" car so it will probably average about 80% electric as well due to the longer battery range than the Volt. Now if I can just get an SUV I like that has about 50 miles of range to replace my near 20 year old Tahoe, I will have all the bases covered for our family. I don't then care too much if it takes several years to make BEV completely painless as a choice for the next car purchase.
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  8. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    I can't believe the car didn't come with a 120 volt EVSE.
  9. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    The thing is the Clarity is a great road car. It's the one I want to take trips in because it is so quiet, smooth, and comfortable. So the idea of having a BEV and then a second car for trips means we wouldn't be taking the comfortable, or most efficient, car on trips. In that case we'd likely buy a less expensive 100 mile range EV and not have the nice car for trips.

    We have a 4Runner that only gets 20 mpg on road trips. One day we were all set to leave on a week long vacation in our Prius when the car wouldn't start. We paid dearly for the extra gas to drive the 4Runner 2,000 miles. The prius 12V battery turned out to be old and failed.

    The key for me to move up to a BEV is less than 15 minute charge times. I was hoping battery technology advances would be the answer, and they may be. But it seems like brute force high current is being put forth as the answer today. I know you're going to have to have high current but better battery technology should be the answer.
    ClarityDoc likes this.
  10. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    In this article, Toyota says "We Don’t Have a Business Case to Make EVs." The company isn't impressed by the current minuscule demand for BEVs despite the "artificial demand element" created by US federal subsidies. Certainly, if some politicians have their way and the federal EV subsidies go away, demand for BEVs will decline. It will be interesting to see how Tesla and GM BEV sales proceed now that their subsidies are expiring. Toyota's attitude certainly dampened my hope that Honda can be persuaded to bring their small Urban EV to the the land of the SUV.
    Nemesis likes this.
  11. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    Even if we had battery/charger technology to get short charge times and charge stations universally available (2 huge system improvements that will happen only on a generational time scale), the grid infrastructure would be an epic fail if not revolutionarily changed. The typical gas station has 8 fueling stations and the typical Costco gas station has +30). If those were in use by BEVs, can you imagine the size the wire/voltage/amps feeding that set up? For BEVs to work as universal transportation, there has to be concurrent charging infrastructure. Sorry to sound like a broken record (whatever that is) on this, but I do think PHEVs are the way to go for the foreseeable future. And, of course, the assumptions driving demand (no pun intended) are based on gas prices. Low gas = low PHEV/BEV demand, but when gas goes high, so will electric vehicle demand.
    ClarityDoc likes this.
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  13. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    Tesla was smart to provide a proprietary supercharging system that only works for Tesla vehicles. Even so, with the sudden proliferation of Model 3s, So Cal superchargers are inundated during holidays and peak driving times. But for the rest of the charging public, Level 2 provides only a small benefit to travel. They're OK for in-town (or "getting home"), but as a travel solution, no.

    I still can't see PHEV transitional vehicles as being a growing market (though we've now had at least one in 'the fleet' since 2012). When gas is cheap and plentiful, there's much less thought among car buyers about conservation or 'saving money on gas', so people who want EV will buy a BEV. Those who are interested in electric drive but still on the fence will stick with gasoline powered vehicles when it's still so cheap and available. This leaves PHEVs in somewhat of a state of limbo.

    Unless the charging infrastructure grows fast enough in some areas to accommodate the growing number of BEVs, that market may soon find itself out of push, too.
  14. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Some BEVs are perfectly suitable for infrequent long distance, like Model 3 long range. You can charge around 130 miles in 20 mins, so stop for 20 mins every 2 hours isn't so bad. It would only add about 1 hour to stops I already make to my 800 mile drive. Taking it from maybe 13 hours to 14 (already have a few extra stops for kids)

    Upcoming Porsche Taycan will charge over 200 miles range in less than 20 mins, for most this will be as fast as gas. The EV market will change quickly. This is what Electrify America's network will look like before Tacan ships (350 kW and 150-175 kW, 4 to 10 stalls per station).

    So I love the Clarity PHEV now as I get functionality of EV around town with convenience of gas on highway (and it is so efficient on gas). Given it is about $15,000 cheaper than a Model 3, it is a much better buy. I have about 17,000 EV miles and 12,000 gas miles in the past year on it, great car.

    However, there is no way the Clarity PHEV is sustainable for Honda. It has to cost more to Make than a Model 3, and only reason Honda can sell for a loss is CARB credits and it is low volume. I am making educated guess here, but it is obvious the car costs far more to make than an Accord and sells for the same price.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  15. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    The article is a bit misleading in that it paints a picture that’s true for cars like the I-Pace, but not cars like the Tesla. I too wouldn’t buy a BEV without an established, fast charging network. To date, only Tesla has that and that’s why we bought a Tesla. On any long trip we’d be likely to take, Tesla SCs are plentiful and getting more so every day. Here on LI, Tesla chargers have doubled in just the 1 year I’ve owner my S. A look at an up-to-date SC map of the US shows how relatively plentiful SCs are becoming. Then there are the Tesla Destination chargers and those too are expanding fast.

    So I’ve never experienced anything like the article’s author has. Of course California, with its crowded charging network, can be a different story in some areas. However with that said, even there I’m not seeing prolific rantings from Tesla owners about their charging experience.

    As a result of the charging infrastructure, the only BEV I’d recommend is a Tesla. I’m sure that will change as other BEVs make inroads and build out their charging network, but until then....:)
  16. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    As a note, LA Times generally runs more negative Tesla news or puts a negative spin on it. They seem to maybe be that way for all EVs, but hard to say, as I generally don't read news from them. I think they go out of their way to find stories like this.
    Ken7 likes this.
  17. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    That's probably a product of the Northern Cal vs Southern Cal rivalry, Tesla being a NorCal company :D.
  18. PriusGeek

    PriusGeek Member

    We have two people at my office with Teslas, so our owner decided to install a pair of chargers, mostly because Tesla apparently gives away their L2 charging stations for free. So here we are, two Teslas and my brand new green Clarity. Enter the TeslaTap. This has been a great solution for me so far. Just plug your TeslaTap dongle into the Tesla plug, wait 30 seconds and charge any J1772 vehicle. I'm sure there are other brands that do the same thing, so please don't think I'm shiling for this one. These devices should work with all of the Tesla L1 and L2 chargers, but not the supercharger. I'm pretty sure Tesla sells a reverse adapter so that they can connect to J1772 plugs as well, so I feel absolutely no guilt plugging my car in next to the Tesla ego-mobiles. Honestly, for BEVs to become ubiquitous, we can't afford to have each manufacturer creating networks that only work for their vehicles. And we shouldn't have to spend $200 each on adapter dongles! But until then, there are workarounds.
    Sandroad likes this.
  19. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    Right on!
  20. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    I'm not convince that Honda will lose money on the Clarity. The base model Clarity PHEV and the base model Tesla Model 3 are ballpark same price and I don't see why it would cost more to make a Clarity, what with the large and expensive battery in the Model 3. The base model Accord is $11,000 less than the base model Clarity PHEV and the Accord Hybrid is $9000 less. Sure, you can add bells and whistles to the Accord that bring its price to over $40,000, but then it finally becomes comparably equipped to the Clarity. These are, of course, generalized arguments, but I think we need to be careful assuming that Honda made the Clarity PHEV to lose money and that the PHEV "model" is not sustainable for manufacturers.
  21. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    I think Europe requires cars to charge with CCS, so Tesla has to install CCS there (they are adding CCS connectors to all their charging stations, and Model 3 will have a CCS connector there). This will give Eurpean Tesla owners access to either Tesla's owned network and all other CCS chargers. They could do something similar in the US. Since the Tesla chargers are privately owned I don't think they have to charge other cars even if they have CCS plug.
  22. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    The base Model 3 is going to have a very basic interior, not much cost in constructing that. The Clarity has a much more complex interior with more materials and more stuff. The battery in the Model 3 base will be roughly 50 kWh. At say $150/kWh pack cost that would be $7500. The Clarity has both a high tech Atkinson cycle engine and a 17 kWh battery pack. Lets pretend Honda's battery costs are $250/kWh at the pack level, that is $4250 plus the engine and fuel system cost. The power-train in the Clarity likely costs more than what Tesla will pay for the Model 3 Standard power-train. The Honda has an all aluminum shell with lots of ultra high strength steel in the chassis. It is an expensive unit body. It has all sorts of features like dual pane side glass on the front.

    The other thing to look at is the Honda really has no options. Nothing to give it more profit margin. They sell at 10-15% discount off MSRP. They have to leave margin for the dealer to sell it at a profit. Tesla is going to bank on many premium package, Autopilot, or other upgrades to the Model 3 Standard to get profit from it.

    So even if Honda doesn't lose money on the car, they don't make money, and hence it is not sustainable. They know how many they are going to sell as they will just price the car to sell all they intend to sell. This is what the Volt did, and we see where that car went once the tax credits ran out. Remember, Tesla will make money on the base Model 3 because they sell 200,000 a year. At maybe 25,000 a year the Clarity is not going to make money.

    I am not saying this is good or bad, just that we will probably only see one generation of the car, take advantage of such a great car for a great price. Unfortunately, any buyers Honda wins over with the Clarity will probably leave again if they don't release something better in a few years. The Volt was GM's conquest car, but it won't last when they discontinue it unless they release other EVs that fit the needs of what brought in the Volt buyers originally.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
    insightman and Ken7 like this.
  23. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    The Clarity Touring lists for US$55,000 in Japan. Equivalent Japanese cars are usually a little less expensive in Japan than here. I think there is no doubt Honda is losing money on each Clarity. R&D costs are huge on the Clarity and there is no way they can recover that without selling lots of them, which they won't.

    BTW, I'm not too worried about reliability. The i-MMD system in the Clarity is the same as the Accord, Insight, and CR-V (available in Europe and Japan so far) hybrids. The only difference is that the Clarity has a battery 10 times the capacity as those cars, which to me, makes it better. On top of that, the major reliability issue of most cars these days is the automatic transmission. Since the Clarity doesn't have one, we don't have the biggest weakness of ICE cars.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
    insightman and Viking79 like this.

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