The Clarity is a huge car

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by PHEV Newbie, Jan 30, 2018.

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  1. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    Hi Everyone,

    Just registered. Picked up our white clarity shortly before Christmas. Nick named it "Storm Trooper" because that's what it reminds me of (gloss white with black trim, futuristic and geeky at the same time). Anyway, really loving it and surprised it isn't selling like hotcakes given the continuation of the $7500 tax credit and additional rebates in some states.

    Just wanted to comment on the size. Everyone is comparing it to the Prius and Volt but it is just huge by comparison. For example, it is nearly 2 inches wider than the current Toyota Avalon and just an inch shorter (exterior dimensions). The gigantic 2018 Mercedes-Maybach S560, designed to be chauffeured, is less than an inch wider. Anyway, it feels and rides like a full-sized luxury car and is more quiet in EV mode. EV most of the time and excellent gas mileage (got 52 mpg, measured by gas fill ups, in HV only mode over a 400 mile trip). Why isn't it selling better?!
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  3. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    Welcome aboard PHEV Newbie and congrats on your new car. It's a great question as to why it's not selling better. It could be because there's almost no advertising, dealers don't push them and most shoppers aren't looking for hybrids and electrics. The whole issue of 'range anxiety', true of electric-only cars, is a non-issue with cars like the Clarity.

    But you're right, with the rebates, both federal and state, the car is an absolute steal!
    vinvasir likes this.
  4. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    Welcome Newbie (from a fellow relative Newbie to this forum, but long time Prius driver). @Ken7 's analysis is spot on: 95% of America has never heard the term PHEV; Honda is not advertising it at all; dealers barely know they exist (and can't get stock if you ask); and most folks are not thinking hybrid, much less plug-in electrics.

    I think Honda really screwed up not making the Clarity PHEV a part of the Accord line. There it could be cross-sold as a real alternative, and it is nearly the same size as that mid-size sedan. In fact, I think it has higher quality interior than the Accord. I realize they already have a great Accord Hybrid, and the Clarity is the "EV" line, but this all just adds to the confusion.
    vinvasir and Ken7 like this.
  5. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Why do you think it isn't selling well, are they building up on lots already? It sold 900 units the first full month it was on sale, but I see about 2000 on, so either it is selling well and supply is coming quickly, or maybe supply is building. We will see. January tends to be a slow month for plug in vehicles, people need to buy before year end to take advantage of the tax credits so it tends to push sales to the second half of the year. I think it has the potential to outsell the Volt and Prius Prime, to me it is a much more usable vehicle. Honda just needs to advertise it.

    I love the car, already have about 3000 miles on ours, I get to drive it sometimes on weekends, otherwise I get the Volt ;) Really, really, really, love the car. It accelerates briskly without starting the engine, although I sometimes go too briskly as it loves to go (not fast by any means, but fast enough, and the smooth power delivery urges pressing the pedal a bit harder).

    Space wise I compared it to the Volt:
    With exception of large items it has tons more space. Large items will always fit better in a hatch.
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  6. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    I agree it should have been in the Accord line. I don't understand Honda's logic of having a Clarity, Accord, and coming Insight. Three sedans in a shrinking segment.

    Love the car.
    dstrauss likes this.
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  8. Tiralc

    Tiralc Active Member

    I guess (?) there is no sense of an ICE redline in PHEVs (no tach, no need for one)? I played a bit with flooring it in few different situations last night, getting on the highway, and then changing speed on the highway. I suppose the computer limits ICE from doing anything "bad" for the engine?

    It reminds me of Volt Gen 1, a lot of power all delivered efficiently to the tires, all actual traction, no squealing tires. So far, I have not heard any tire squeal (Volt gen2 could burn some rubber, a feature I do not need).

    It is way to easy to speed by accident, so quiet and smooth!
  9. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    My opinion was just from anecdotal observations of several Honda dealer websites. The Clarity inventory seems to keep growing in each without much apparent sales. Our dealer told us there was great excitement from the staff (hence the number of miles on the car) but not much interest from customers. That might be the reason they gave us a decent discount on their only in stock model ($2000 off MSRP). That plus the Federal tax credit and the state rebate (that just came in the mail :D), it costs about about the same as well equipped Honda Civic. Seriously, this car should be selling like hotcakes just from a value perspective!
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
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  10. Kendalf

    Kendalf Active Member

    What state are you in? I'm surprised at how quickly you got the state rebate. I've heard some people report that it took them 6 months or more to receive the CA rebate.
  11. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    I'm in Pennsylvania. The rebate process is online and pretty painful so I'll bet a lot of people gave up before getting through the whole process. Quite frankly, we were surprised at how quickly it was processed too. We expected 2-3 months. Thumbs up for our state workers!
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
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  13. Tiralc

    Tiralc Active Member

    NY has an interesting "point of sale" system (underline is link to NYSERDA page). The dealer deducts the rebate amount from the final purchase price the day of the sale.
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  14. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    Tiralc, thanks for pointing this out!!! I was under the impression that this was a NYS tax credit as is the Federal credit. So I followed your link and sure enough it's a point of sale rebate. I just looked over my paperwork and saw no line item of $1,700 for this rebate.

    I called the NYS rebate phone # and they were able to look up my contract and found the dealer had indeed applied for the rebate! They asked me to call the dealer since they were not going to reimburse a dealer $1,700 for a rebate not given to the customer. The dealer is looking into it, but I'm smelling a foul odor here!

    Again, thanks for that heads up.
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  15. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    Texas added a nice rebate - EFFECTIVE January 1, 2018...:mad:
    Since the Insight is a hybrid only, they should have shoved the PHEV in the Accord line and left the pure hybrid to the Insight (between Civic and Accord as I understand sizes). Even more critical...

    DITCH THE BEV - put the PHEV ICE in the BEV model; give us 90 miles EV range and 280 miles gasoline, and call it a day.
  16. visajet

    visajet New Member

    @dstrauss - has the the January 1st date confirmed somewhere? i have been following the Texas rebate at the link below, and all they say is: "We anticipate the grant round opening in Spring 2018. Please check back for updated LDPLI program information."
  17. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    We received our CA state rebate in less than a month.
  18. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    I'd agree but I wouldn't want to lose the trunk space. Moving from a Prius with real fold down rear seats and over 21 Cu Ft of space to the 15.5 Cu Ft of the Clarity with fake split seats was a problem for us. A possible solution would be to make the Clarity into a hatch back to add more cargo space. It should have been a hatch back from day one. Car manufacturers aren't sensitive enough about cargo space.
    aapitten and WalksOnDirt like this.
  19. Tiralc

    Tiralc Active Member

    Similar problem here. Bought it on a Saturday (early Dec), and by around Monday looked it up at the NYSERDA website to see if I had the right paperwork for the NY tax forms. My heart fell through the floor when I read the part about day of sale and realized that it might be too late and that there is no NY tax form. I think my salesman and his manager really just didn't know (they also didn't get that you cannot claim the $7,500 Fed tax incentive if you lease instead of buying). I guess there were earlier Honda EVs and hybrids, but somehow EVs feel new to Honda this year.

    Working with NYSERDA, they literally had me email answers and verifications to them several times, including a final email confirming that I received the check from the dealership.

    There is one intermediate point of irony, where in catching up, you will sign a form that says that you received the incentive, in order to complete the process after the fact to get the incentive. I figured it was probably okay because of the long chain of phone calls and emails. I do think NYSERDA is very concerned that some buyers might not be getting the incentive.

    Just for info, the rebate is after the NYS sales tax computation, so it does not reduce the NYS sales tax.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
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  20. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    The whole thing is a mystery. When I found out the 2017 legislature renewed the rebate I thought it would be effective September 1, 2017, like other statutes. I learned of it through a Houston Chronicle article saying it was effective then. I called TCEQ in early January and they told me the regulations hadn't yet been drawn. It is totally strange that they think it is not effective until 9/1/2018. Guess we'll have to wait and see what they cook up.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
  21. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    Why no Accord PHEV? Because the Accord PHEV was a colossal failure. I think Honda sold 200 total.
  22. ab13

    ab13 Active Member

    ...and probably the same reason there is a Prius Prime not a Prius Plug In mk 2. When people start searching online they find the old and new articles.

    We will have to see if there is any new marketing coming, Super Bowl time.

    I think the car's direct competitor is the Camry Hybrid, since they are about the same size inside and out. The price is similar also (not including credits), and Camry is the best selling sedan in the US. This should be a main target market.
  23. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    The real target is ZEV credit for those CARB States. Honda cannot rely on Fuel Cell credits because 2018 credits cannot travel. It's the same reason Toyota released the Prime.

    These laggards need to sell EVs not only in California but the rest of the other CARB States.
    Honda (Clarity PHEV)
    Toyota (Prius Prime, Toyota, Mazda and Denso)
    Mazda (Toyota, Mazda and Denso)
    Subaru (Toyota, Mazda and Denso)
    VW (E-golf)
    Hyundai (Ioniq PHEV)
    Kia (Niro PHEV)
    Mercedes (smart Ed, Buy credit)
    Jaguar (I-Pace)
    Chrysler (Pacifica hybrid)
    Ford (Energi)
    GM (Bolt, Volt)
    Nissan (Leaf)
    BMW (i3, eWhatever)
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018

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