“No, I like gas cars.”

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Landshark, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. That’s an odd title for an EV forum. Those words were spoken by a co-worker a few days ago while we were discussing vehicles. He described how his Toyota was a perfect car for his long commute. My brain immediately did the math, Toyota + long commute = Prius, so I asked. That’s when the words came out, “No, I like gas cars, it’s a Camry”

    We had a Prius from 2004-13 and constantly fielded questions such as, “Don’t you have to plug it in?” and “How far can it go?” Even 13 years after the car became available many people thought it was a BEV.

    When I explain some of the features of the Clarity, their eyes seem to glaze over when they hear “50 miles of range on batteries” as if I’ve said, “the car is no good if you need to drive more than 50 miles”. It’s over for them at that point and now it’s time to talk about the bad call in the game last night, or a cat video or what someone tweeted.

    Many of my co-workers openly express views that would lead me to believe they live in small energy efficient homes covered with solar panels, are close to work, use public transit or drive a small hybrid or BEV. Check “None of the above” on that. Many live 20-30 miles away in large, well air conditioned homes with heated swimming pools and no solar. The parking lot at work is full of large SUV, pick ups and expensive luxury sedans with V-8’s or twin turbo V-6’s that put out NASCAR horsepower figures.

    I understand the reluctance to tamper with a comfortable lifestyle, which is why few actually put their money where their mouth is. I’m more curious about how so many well educated, well paid professionals can be so oblivious to how a hybrid or PHEV operates.
    Jennifer B, Ryan C, Walt R and 2 others like this.
  2. Tek_Freek

    Tek_Freek Active Member

    I get either, "Wow! I never knew that!", or glazed over eyes. The cashier at the grocery store the other night told me to put my phone number in the credit card reader. When I asked why she said it's for gas discounts. When I told her my car has a seven gallon gas tank and I've only put gas in it three tie=mes since the beginning of May she started asking questions.

    You never know who is going to be interested.
  3. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    The idea of the world switching from ICE to EV is still in its infancy. Most people don't even think about it.

    I too had an acquaintance recently tell me he would just stick with gas engine cars.

    I'm sure 2020 will be a big year for EVs as the multitude of vehicle offerings start to arrive in showrooms. We still have to get past the dealerships shying away from EVs because they derive so much of their profit from the service department where they are less likely to service electric cars. At some point buyers will begin to push dealers into the EV world because they have friends, relatives, or neighbors who have EVs and they become curious.

    I believe it would help a lot if we EV/PHEV owners would spread the word that driving an electric car is cheaper than an ICE car, and there are advantages of charging at home, reduced maintenance, quiet comfort, and rapid acceleration. Try to avoid discussions about battery charging, finding charge stations, kilowat hours, and range anxiety.
    Walt R likes this.
  4. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    Here's another one... avoiding gas stations can be safer. You only have to search youtube to find plenty of videos of unsuspecting gas customers getting robbed, shot or killed while pumping gas. I've been approached by people selling me 'cheap' watches, CD's, or flat out asking for a handout. PHEV's greatly reduce my gas station visits.
  5. coutinpe

    coutinpe Active Member

    I wholly agree with the first part.. Unfortunately, precisely what you mention at the end are the kind of issues that keep many (most?) people from switching into EVs. People follow convenience (aka "law of the least effort"), so until these issues aren't solved (hopefully), ICE is not going away any time soon. PHEVs offer the best of both worlds although for some (economical?) reasons automakers are shunning (ex. Volt) them in spite of being a huge step on the right direction, just like 19th century early steamships kept masts and sails for many decades, just in case they ran out of coal in the middle of the ocean until eventually they didn't need that anymore, but we are not there yet.
    MPower likes this.
  6. coutinpe

    coutinpe Active Member

    100% with you on that one!
  7. coutinpe

    coutinpe Active Member

    You'd be surprised...
  8. This is what inspired Toyota to coin the phrase "self charging hybrid".
    As much as it makes some of us cringe, it strikes the average folks as an advance of some sort.
  9. Geor99

    Geor99 Active Member

    I often wondered similar things.

    The bottom line is that the % of the average American's income that is spent on energy is so low and often spread out over so many payments that most don't give it a second thought.

    Before you bash me, I didn't say all. I'll even step back from saying most and say many.
  10. Geor99

    Geor99 Active Member

    Come on. No offense, but you're reaching on this one. Yes, these things can happen but are exxxx tremely rare.

    Going to the gas station is no more dangerous than going to the grocery store.

    There are many, many better arguments.
    Landshark likes this.
  11. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    I live near Detroit. I know @Mowcowbell is right. Anyone who has been carjacked at a gas station will put avoiding gas stations at the top of their list of reasons to get an EV.
    4sallypat and Johnhaydev like this.
  12. Ray B

    Ray B Active Member

    When the subject comes up I usually start by telling people I fill up with about 6 gallons of gas every 2-3 months. Then they usually ask "but don't you have to get an expensive charging unit installed in your house?" - I then tell them I can plug in a regular 110V outlet at home, but most of my charging is done for free at work or around the local university campuses.

    But the one guy who wanted to pursue it last year said a couple of days later that his wife looked up the Consumer Reports and that turned them off it right away. I suspect that was not an isolated case. I tried to give him some facts but he said there was no looking back, and they'd never take the risk.

    One time while I was charging at a public ChargePoint and listening to a podcast a couple came by and one said "I can't imagine why people buy these things! Imagine having to install one of these (charging units) in your driveway!" I think there is a long way to go. I think it will take time for people to get exposed to the idea and have it percolate through the general public before PHEVs and BEVs get any real broad traction in the US.
    insightman likes this.
  13. BeMurda

    BeMurda Active Member

    Funnily enough, CR now rates the Clarity as Honda's most reliable vehicle.
    4sallypat and Johnhaydev like this.
  14. Grosse Pointe used to be pretty nice, but I haven’t been there in years. I have stopped for fuel in Grand Rapids, Hastings, Delton, Kalamazoo, Okemos, near DTW and even Battle Creek, without incident. Additionally, I’ve been to gas stations in some of Southern California’s third world regions at all hours of the day and night over the past 30+ years and encountered nothing more than someone asking for a buck or wanting to smear a newspaper across my windshield.

    Sure, I could get carjacked at a gas station. That could happen anywhere. I could also trip over the threshold going out the front door and fracture a clavicle.

    I’d put identify theft (has actually happened) or hacked email (same) or having my “connected world” compromised (has probably happened and I’m just not aware of it) above gas station carjacking as a probability.

    Back to the general reluctance to consider a PHEV, I’m more inclined to emphasize the time saving convenience of reduced visits to a gas station.

    Here in Oregon, we have attendants that fill the tank. I always smile when they ask, “It stopped at 3 gallons, does that seem right?” Then I add, “I’ve driven over 1000 miles since the last fill up.”
  15. ericy

    ericy Active Member

    A lot of people are just used to the old way of doing things. They are vaguely aware that there are alternatives, but haven't bothered to look into it at all, and have all kinds of misconceptions. To some extent they won't want to change their own behavior unless they see some personal advantage. Saving money by itself usually doesn't do it - the operating costs of a big SUV are far greater than for other vehicles and yet people continue to buy the things.

    As bad as it is for a PHEV, double it when you start talking about a BEV.
    Mark W likes this.
  16. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Summing up all the posts, I’d say it boils down to ignorance, apathy, and self interest. It’s the short term consumerism that only looks at the monthly payment instead of intelligently considering the long term savings and environmental impact.

    In 2 years, 2 Drive Electric Week events, 2 parades, 3 EvolveKY events, 1 road rally, and 1 KY Clean Fuels Coalition event, I found not a single person who knew what a PHEV was and only one who had heard of a Honda Clarity but didn’t know anything about it.

    Despite the near total ignorance, I did manage to convince two people to buy a Clarity, thus outselling all but one salesmen at my dealer. And I convinced two persons to install solar PV (one residential and one commercial). I think change is coming but at a much slower pace than predicted. And I don’t see that slow pace of change improving unless we have an environmental catastrophe or another energy crisis that will force the issue.

    It reminds me of an old saying that a person can be brilliant, but people are dumber than a box of rocks.
    Remarksman, Mesa and Al-clarity like this.
  17. ericy

    ericy Active Member

    Well to be honest, I drive a Kona BEV, and I hadn't heard of the Clarity until I found this forum. My impression is that the Clarity is really only sold in California (and I am on the opposite coast). Or am I wrong about it being a California car?

    The dealers don't seem to help this at all. If you go in looking for a PHEV or BEV, they will sell one to you if they have one (it may take them a while to find it on the lot), but for the most part you have to ask or otherwise you wouldn't even know they exist.

    In our area, lots of people are sort of aware that electrified transport is possible. Teslas are all over the place, and there is a supercharger just up the road. But people don't know that there are other options besides Tesla. And people for some reason assume charging is going to be a problem, but that's only because a lot of the charging stations aren't all that prominent.

    The guy who "runs" our local EV club didn't know about some of the DC fast chargers in our area that were put in 2 years ago. But that's probably because they are still thinking in terms of older cars that didn't support fast charging. There is someone at our office with a Chevy Volt - I had to explain fast charging to him as well. He still thinks in terms of range anxiety.
  18. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    Avoiding full service gas stations like those in Oregon and New Jersey would be reason enough to consider a BEV or PHEV! :)

    Here's another reason... no stinky exhaust gas fumes as when an ICE is cold and is running rich to warm up.
    Electra likes this.
  19. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    After Honda declared that only dealers in California would stock the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, there was a hazy rumor that Honda would allow a customer in another state to place an order for the car and Honda would then ship it to a dealer in that other state. More recently, Honda has stated that California gets first dibs and if there are more Clarity PHEVs than California can absorb, customers in the 10 ZEV states (Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont) will have their orders honored. Should the tiny number of Clarity PHEVs imported to the US satisfy California and the ZEV states, people ordering from the other 39 states can have their orders filled. At least that's how I understood it.

    My controversial dealer, Germain Honda of Ann Arbor, claims their district rep told them they simply cannot order Clarity PHEVs, despite their investment in training and special equipment to support and service the car. The battery lift, in particular, is quite expensive.

    However, there has been a report on this forum of a customer who managed to get Honda to squeeze a Clarity PHEV out of California to a dealer in Arizona, which is not a ZEV state. So I don't understand it.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  20. vvk

    vvk New Member

    I don't remember ever having any issues but I absolutely despise going to a gas station. It is extremely annoying. Before I switched to EVs, I used to get gas every single day (I drive about 150-200 miles per day on VERY challenging roads, think Rallye Deutschland) and it was absolute torture. I love having my "tank" full every morning!

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