Why Not Plug In?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by David Towle, Jan 23, 2023.

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  1. David Towle

    David Towle Active Member

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  3. No one is going to drive any vehicle in the manner by which the EPA numbers were derived. This fact leads to dimwits writing articles based on research from busybodies who can’t comprehend why everything isn’t going according to plan.

    The Clarity lacks the capability of reporting the number of miles driven on electricity, as the article suggests. Our Jeep 4xe has that capability. Frankly, it’s no ones business how many miles any of us drive our cars in any particular mode.
     
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  4. Geor99

    Geor99 Active Member

    In my 4+ years of owning the car, I think that I have not plugged it in when I could have used the electric miles 3 times. I plug it in every chance that I get. I used to have free charging at my old job. However, now I do not have charging at work at the end of my 38 mile commute. On the bright side, after Covid, I can now work from home 3 or 4 times per week. I definitely prefer the current situation, even though I now use gas for about 1/2 of my miles. My overall miles have plummeted by at least half.
     
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  5. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

  6. This article is absolutely absurd nonsense. As an economist, I can confidently predict that with the high price of gasoline over the past year or so, PHEV owners are MORE likely to plug in thier cars MORE often, not less. Here in California with gasoline hovering around $4 per gallon, I can go about 35 miles on $4 of gasoline, or I can go about 200 miles on $4 worth of electricity. And by definition, owners of PHEVs are more keenly aware of these cost differentials that other drivers. I see in the author's bio is says "Henry Kelsall, 3285 articles published since August 05, 2018" which tells me he probably spends about five minutes researching every article he publishes.
     
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  8. Dan Albrich

    Dan Albrich Well-Known Member

    Agree, this one is a bizarre article. Not only do I plug in nightly at home (as I assume every PHEV owner does), I also plug in when out and about. I sometimes literally go months without buying any gas at all, and love it. It's sort of the reason people buy these things.

    I actually think PHEV's are the perfect vehicle. If you need to travel a long distance, or charging options are less available, you just buy gas like you used to do with your old vehicle. But yeah, that's the exception, not the norm. As others have mentioned, and where I live, I think I save about 2/3 the cost on electric. My area is 11cents a KWH, so why would I pay more for gas?
     
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  9. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    I agree. Terrible article. We have two PHEVs in our household. Both are charged whenever possible and gasoline is used when the battery range is insufficient. These cars belong to me and my wife. Mine is the Clarity and it runs a little over 60% on electric (we take it on all long trips). My wife's is a 2019 Chevrolet Volt and it runs over 90% electric (for the most part just driven locally, but it has about 12 miles more range than the Clarity). Regardless, we charge our cars daily and run on electricity whenever possible. It is true that a lot of the reason we are intent on daily charging is the economics (electric miles are less than half the cost of gasoline miles), but we probably wouldn't really change behavior unless the economics flipped.
     
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  10. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    With both my Clarity PHEV (47-mile EPA EV range) and my MINI Cooper SE (110-mile EPA EV range), I follow the ABC rule: Always Be Charging. I suffered only one visit to a gas station in 2022. With such infrequent visits, it doesn't cause much pain to fill the Clarity's puny 7-gallon tank with expensive ethanol-free gas (which I hope, with the help of Stabil, is content to wait long periods of time for the call from the all-but-forgotten engine).
     
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  11. NorCalPete

    NorCalPete Member

    We plug in every night. Out of 32k miles, 66% are EV miles. This percentage was in the high 80s prior to my 6k ( coast-to-coast and back) trip. Typically, we use about 24 gallons of gas a year (which is why I wanted a PHEV).
     
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  13. Groves Cooke

    Groves Cooke Active Member

    2018 Clarity with 52,000 miles. Only one long road trip. Plug it in every chance I can. Probly only use 25 gal of gas a year. To each their own.
     
  14. Is there any explanation for why the Volt has 12 more miles of range than the Clarity?

    Different driving styles, perhaps? Have you ever driven both cars in the same manner, on the same route to confirm the discrepancy? Or, maybe switch cars for a week or two and see if the numbers reverse.
     
  15. Larger battery?
     
  16. 18.4kWh v 17.0kWh. Claimed range of 50 v 47.

    There has to be another factor.
     
  17. Tom H

    Tom H New Member

    Have only added gas after annual summer round trip of 360 miles. Able to charge car from 110v at the destination. Always plugin at home with Level 2 charger after any drive. Almost every drive is less than 30 miles which is the current range in winter. Very happy with my 2018 Clarity PHEV with 33.9K miles and have been working from my home since COVID.
     
  18. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    The Volt is newer, with half the miles, so less battery degradation is probably one factor. The larger battery gives it about 4 miles more range, I think as well. The rest is probably her driving style vs mine.
     
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  19. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    The major problem with 90% of PHEVs is that they have relatively small batteries. Such PHEVs have short EV only ranges (10-25 miles under optimal conditions) but many don't appreciate that the smaller batteries also provide very little horsepower when driven in EV mode. Accordingly, they are real slugs in EV mode so owners just keep them in HV mode or drive in a way that the engine kicks on all the time. Unlike the Clarity, Volt, and Rav4 Prime, the typical PHEV world-wide has inadequate EV only horsepower for normal driving. The Clarity and Volt are already discontinued and Toyota produces very few Rav4 Prime despite a massive demand for them (i.e., few on the road). Thus, although most Clarity and Volt owners drive them primarily like BEVs (me included), the owners of "mild" plug-ins will not put many EV only miles on them
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2023
  20. A list of 33 PHEV’s that are available in the US, indicates that 20 of the 33, or 60%, have EV ranges of 25 miles or more. With the exception of a Ferrari that has 9 miles of range, the next lowest number is a Subaru at 17 miles. The average for the entire group is 28.3 miles.

    Range isn’t strictly a function of battery size. Our Clarity and Jeep 4xe have battery capacities that are nearly identical, 17 and 17.3 respectively. The Clarity has an EPA range of 47 miles, the Jeep 26. EV horsepower is 121 and 134. In the Jeep, the electric motor is upstream of the transmission, rather than at the wheels. This may be less efficient, however I would allocate the majority of the range discrepancy to weight and aerodynamics.

    Personally, I’ve not found the power available in EV mode to be inadequate in either vehicle. I’ve driven numerous vehicles that were far more gutless, all without incident.

    Could you define “mild plug-in” for us? The term mild hybrid is commonly associated with non-plug-in hybrids. Vehicles such as a Prius or the new “electrified” Corvette fit the bill. These vehicles can be gently nursed around for short distances on battery power alone. They are a different animal than a PHEV.

    Sure, a PHEV has a “relatively” small battery compared to a typical BEV. A PHEV isn’t a BEV. The battery is sized to accommodate typical daily commutes, and it is appropriately sized for that purpose. Additionally, battery size/capacity alone does not dictate power output. There is a motor in the equation as well.
     
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  21. Mark W

    Mark W Active Member

    I do remember reading this type of thing before. I thought one of the studies of battery use of PHEVs was on fleet vehicles for certain government agencies? The drivers of these vehicles had no care about whether their driving was EV or gas and just treated them like any other government car and just filled them with gas and didn't bother to charge them. This is what I vaguely remember anyway, I might be wrong.

    The vast majority of drivers of cars with larger EV ranges like Volts and Clarity would certainly prefer to charge them and not be bothered with gas except for long trips.
     
  22. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    I meant those on the road. I have a 2018 Clarity. The BMW 330e and 530e sold the same year have 14 mile and 15 mile electric ranges. Mercedes and Volvo also put out PHEVs the same year with similar ranges. There were many of these sold in Europe and even a few in the US (I'm the only one in my neighborhood with a Clarity but there are a few European PHEVs parked in driveways). Chinese car companies like BYD and Geely also sell a good number of PHEVs there. There is no doubt that the new PHEVs have better range for the same models but the damage is already done to PHEV reputation due to the earlier ones and how drivers use them.
     
  23. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    @PHEV Newbie mentioned "The BMW 330e and 530e sold the same year have 14 mile and 15 mile electric ranges." My son has one of the 2017 BMW 330e PHEVs. He drives it just like I do the Clarity. Generally gets about 17 miles out of the battery in town. Lots of days he doesn't burn gas. He charges it anywhere he can. His apartment complex has charging stations so that helps a lot. Of course any road trip burns gas, but the car is really efficient for a BMW. He loves the car.
     

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