So it's like a Prius, right?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Kerbe, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. Kerbe

    Kerbe Active Member

    I get a lot of questions about the Clarity, especially in grocery store parking lots when the AVAS is active. When asked what the Clarity is, I say that it's a plug-in hybrid that runs on both gasoline and electricity. The usual response is, "So it's like a Prius, right?"

    I felt that I needed to come up with a sound-byte to explain the difference so I perused the forums and found that, from the postings, 9 out of 10 Clarity drivers are either engineers or armchair engineers - the conversation was dense and technical.

    So I decided to think like a third grade teacher and here's the response I now give: "A Prius is a gasoline-powered car with an electric helper motor while a Clarity is an electricity-powered car with a gasoline helper engine."
  2. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    Just tell them "No, it gets over 100 miles per gallon, double what a Prius can get".
    jdonalds likes this.
  3. Hoon

    Hoon Member

    But “100 mpg” is not true. It was actually closer to 30-40 mpg last time I tried HV mode when around 50% battery range, on relatively flat highway.

    I would explain it as “yes, it’s like a Prius but with much larger battery, that can run 100% on battery.”
  4. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Ah yes here is the complication when trying to figure out mpg of the Clarity. Bottom line is it's impossible. I do believe switching to a system of cost per mile is the only way we're going to sort this out.

    If I were talking with someone about Prius vs Clarity I might try something like, "Cost per mile is about 1/2 of the Prius with a Clarity." But I do like Kerbe's response to the question.

    Today I look back on the two Prius cars we've owned as old technology. I have often commented that the Synergy drive was a brilliant invention. But it's still a petroleum propelled car that has an efficient engine with a battery/electric assist.
  5. r1ptide64

    r1ptide64 New Member

    Not bad, nice and simple. But I think you're selling the car short.

    Driving a Prius under typical conditions, you'll use both the gas engine and the electric motor to propel the car above, say, 25 mph (40 km/h). And your description is quite accurate -- the electric motor is little more than a helper.

    Driving a [>0 EV range] Clarity under typical conditions, you can reach 100 mph (161 km/h) using only the electric motor, with no help whatsoever from the gas engine. If your daily commute is <47 miles (as it is for ~80% of the US population), you can go months without the gas engine turning on. It doesn't really make sense to say the Clarity has a gasoline helper engine in this context, at least not when drawing such a close parallel with the Prius, where both motors are almost-always working together.

    My proposal: "Whether commuting to work or on a cross-country trip, a Prius is a gasoline-powered car with an electric helper motor. When commuting to work, a Clarity is an electric car. On a cross-country tip, a Clarity becomes a Prius."

    Not quite as pithy, but I think it gives the Clarity the 'green cred' it deserves :)
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
    JustAnotherPoorDriver and Hoon like this.
  6. stevedds

    stevedds New Member

    Umm it would blow the Prius away in a drag race?

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  7. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    Q: "So it's like a Prius?"

    I say this because the few times anyone has asked me anything about my Clarity, their eyes glass over when I go into any technical detail. If they wanna find out, look it up on google.
  8. David Towle

    David Towle Active Member

    I have told people it gets similar mileage as a Prius, but its a real car not a tin box.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  9. Clarity Dave

    Clarity Dave Member

    No short answer is completely accurate, but I like to say "Around town, it's a Tesla. On road trips, it's a Prius."
  10. r1ptide64

    r1ptide64 New Member

    Teslawannabe and Clarity Dave like this.
  11. I explain it’s like a Chevy volt (with a V) but the interior is that of a midsize rather than a compact car.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  12. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    I tell them you don't plug in a Prius, its battery gets charged by the gas engine. The Clarity has a larger battery that you charge by plugging in just like an electric car. You can drive it on battery power for about fifty miles at all speeds including on the freeway. If you go farther than that the gas engine comes on and then it works like a Prius. But if most of your driving is less than fifty miles you rarely use gas.
    Hoon and KentuckyKen like this.
  13. Coincidentally, a young lady working the Burger King drive-thru noticed the charge port on our Modelé H Citröen yesterday.


    Gave her a quick, “It runs on battery for about 50 miles, then switches to gas. Enough for most errands, then you can charge overnight it at home.” I have no idea if she even knew what a Citröen is.

    As an aside, the “Impossible Whopper” is quite good, and a decent choice for vegetarians looking for fast food.
  14. Lowell_Greenberg

    Lowell_Greenberg Active Member

    Tell them to do their own research:)

    Seriously, your initial answer helps contrast with the Prime. of the reasons EV vehicles don't have wider acceptance is that people take their transportation for granted. Gas is like the gift that keeps on giving- until it destroys the climate- and then it becomes personal but by then it is too late.

    And even among Clarity owners, environmental concerns for many are quite secondary.

    So my first reply has merit.

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
  15. AveSharia

    AveSharia New Member

    Are you me? Took my Clarity to Burger King and the girlfriend and I had fun watching an elderly couple walk around it pointing at all the fuel doors.

    Not a vegetarian, but we bought one of each Whopper and cut each in half, and tried them in tandem. There is certainly some sort of difference, but I would say I preferred the Impossible... though not to the $1.40 extra it cost.
  16. Rav

    Rav Member

    Not sure why Clarity owners get bent over people not knowing anything about the Clarity. Even the Honda sales reps don't know much about it. The Clarity Plug In is similar to the Prius Prime. I rarely get asked about my car because I live in an area that has some of the largest concentrations of EV's in the country plus many people just assume it's a Civic or Accord.

    The few times I've been asked, I just say "it's a Plug In".
  17. They do?
    2002 likes this.
  18. sniwallof

    sniwallof Active Member

    Rav, I think it is just the opposite, so many of us get bent and twisted into nots ourselves, while trying to come up with a relatively simple, but still accurate explanation of how Clarity works, usually in response to a question by someone who approached us because they are curious about Clarity.

    I usually just go with, It's an EV with its own on board electric generator which runs on gas. As compared to other hybrids, where the engine is primarily in the mechanical drive train, with an electric assist. (I usually avoid gear mode, but sometimes mention it as a slight exception.)
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
  19. MrFixit

    MrFixit Active Member

    The Clarity is a Prius on Steroids.
  20. The Clarity is a full sized Sedan. The Prius Prime is a Hatchback.
    Both can run on electricity. 47 miles for Clarity. 25 miles for Prius Prime

    Research and a good excel spreadsheet.

    The Clarity costs more per mile than the standard Prius. But is more comfortable.

    Clarity is not like the standard Prius tech wise. More like the Prius Prime (please don't kill me for saying that ) But the cost to run the Clarity (that is more of a full size sedan) will cost you less than the 0.60 per mile that the average sedan costs to run.
    Different class of car.

    Cost per mile on the standard Prius is about .46 per mile.

    Clarity 110 MPGe. Prius Prime 133 MPGe. Prius. 53 mpg

    Now here is where it gets interesting.

    Cost per KWH. Mine cost is .169 under 600 kwh. And .269 over 600 kwh.

    17 kwh @ .169 = $2.83
    17 kwh @ .269 = $4.57

    1 gallon of gas $2.57. (Michigan)

    So if you dont have Solar Power (Sunk Cost ) you pay more for the electric power than the gas.

    The Clarity is a cool car and is a pleasure to drive in EV.
    Most people think of a car like an appliance. Drive from point A to point B. Don't care about the cars tech. They ask one question. How much does it cost.

    Since I have driven the Clarity , Prius Prime and Prius extensivly. And people have asked me about each I have to say the Clarity is like an Accord for Comfort and the Prius is like the Corola for Comfort.

    No one car is right for everyone.

    My wife hated the Clarity. I liked it.
    KentuckyKen and 2002 like this.

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