Honda dishonest about EV Range (in cold climates)

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Yonno, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. Dan Albrich

    Dan Albrich Active Member

    I suppose one could normal or long-press HV to allow or force the ICE to start and then use heat if one wanted to totally avoid EV range hit by using the heater. I realize this isn't best for mileage, but many of us were burning gas routinely before buying this car. I think it's funny I've become so paranoid about burning gas at all.

    Even with some 'hit' in the winter to efficiency, I still love the car. Although I'd add my weekday commute is short enough that even in winter time I can often do all-electric. If that were not the case, I might be a little less enamored with the car.
    228ra likes this.
  2. Walt R

    Walt R Active Member

    I _have_ wondered, since at these temperatures I run HV for 8-10 miles per day, whether the supply of heat from the ICE should be a factor when choosing where to run HV. Normally I wait about 8 miles for a straight open flat stretch of road to run HV, but perhaps I should run ICE as soon as I start in the car, even if it means the engine is running while at stops. It's possible that the energy used to heat the cabin with electric is more than the energy lost from running the ICE under less ideal road conditions.
  3. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Interesting question. I'm not sure what is best. To help you decide, and I doubt I'm the first to post it, here is an interesting article that explains the Clarity heating system here:

    Sounds like electric provides heat up front to the coolant within the heater core, which obviously uses a bunch of battery go-juice to warm up. But if the ICE is running, it likewise provides heated coolant to the heater core, which obviously is useful as it is a waste product and will prevent using up battery charge just for reasons of providing cabin heat.
  4. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    Sounds like it's worth a few trial runs.
  5. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Good points, sir.
    Here is a article from the UK that covers almost all the salient points with regards to CO2 emissions. Wouldn’t proven reduction in CO2 emissions mean that electric cars are overall as a group using centralized power plants wasting less heat than gas and diesel vehicles? Especially when as the article points out power sources for electric vehicles can and are evolving to cleaner and greener sources such as natural gas, wind, solar (commercial and residential) , etc., while fossil fuel cars can only get incrementally more efficient at combustion.
    It’s worth the read.
  6. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I don't know anything about your education or experience. But I can certainly see that you're repeating the EV-basher "long tailpipe" myth, the myth that driving an EV merely moves the emissions from the car's tailpipe to the exhaust chimney of the power plant.

    There are some actual scientists, the Union of Concerned Scientists, whose opinion I respect; scientists whose conclusions are based on actual facts, rather than propaganda. The article below pretty firmly refutes the "long tailpipe" myth:

    "Cleaner Cars from Cradle to Grave (2015)"

    Well, the bit of reading I did of that paragraph above certainly shows your strong bias against nuclear power. If you work or worked for the coal/gas fired power plant industry, it's hardly a surprise that you have bought into some of the anti-nuclear propaganda.

    But 35% efficient based on what? The power source is nuclear power. It's easy to see where the EIA gets its 33-35% energy efficiency rating for coal-fired power plants; it's 33-35% of the chemical energy in coal. But of course, nuclear power plants don't use chemical energy at all, so trying to measure them by the same yardstick is neither possible or meaningful.

    I've read a lot of wildly disparate estimates of the actual efficiency at converting nuclear power to electricity; some as low as ~2%. But who cares? The actual efficiency in a nuclear power plant is almost entirely irrelevant. The energy available from nuclear power is orders of magnitude greater than the energy available from chemical reactions such as burning coal or natural gas. The volume of waste generated by a nuclear power plant is extremely tiny compared to any fossil fuel fired plant; orders of magnitude less. And a nuclear power plant has zero emissions.

    Also, far better some warming of the water in a cooling pond (or the small area of the local body of water that substitutes for a cooling pond) than the incredible amount of poison and CO2 pumped into the air every day from coal- and gas-fired power plants. In fact, coal-fired power plants pump more radioactive particles into the air, as part of coal ash, than is allowed for by regulations on emissions from commercial nuclear power plants in the USA!

    I was staggered to read that just one average coal-fired power plant burns about 9000 tons of coal a day! (With larger plants burning much more.) The amount of ash and slag generated in a year from that, is literally beyond my imagination. Fortunately, gas-fired plants are a lot cleaner, but they are still pumping tons of pollution and CO2 into the air every day.

    BTW -- I don't feel at all intimidated by your knowledge. I guess you must be intimidated by mine, since you chose to throw in the pejorative "Try reading some time its good for you." I think it's pretty clear which of us has read more about these issues. I hope you'll read the article at the Union of Concerned Scientists I linked to; you might learn something.

    Certainly PHEVs can be far more energy-efficient than gasmobiles, especially PHEVs with as good an EV range as the Clarity PHEV has. I certainly wasn't casting aspersions on the Clarity; why are you insinuating that I did?

    Looks to me like you're spoiling for a fight. I'd rather stick to the actual issues than get into a mud-flinging contest.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
  7. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Neither is ours. But just keeping it inside a closed garage helps moderate the temperature in the car (and thus the battery pack); keeps it nearer the average daily temperature than the high/low extremes of the outside air temperature. Thermal mass is a wonderful thing!
  8. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I certainly wouldn't argue with that statement, altho that's encompassing a rather large amount of variables under a single umbrella statements, so there may be some exceptions.

    But I think the issue you're addressing here is the fact that gasmobiles don't waste energy, as EVs do, to provide heating to the cabin or other parts of the car (such as the battery pack).

    Here's the thing: ICEngines are heat engines, and since they are so very inefficient, they put out lots of waste heat. In winter, that heat can be harnessed to heat the car's cabin without wasting more energy. (Well, a tiny bit running the HVAC fan, but that's pretty irrelevant.)

    Contrariwise, EV motors are not heat engines. The reason they're so much more efficient than ICEngines is precisely because they are not heat engines, and so are not limited by Carnot efficiency. As a consequence of their energy efficiency (some will say ironically), EVs don't have much waste heat to provide heat to the cabin, and must use some of the stored energy in the battery pack to provide heating.

    This limitation will ease somewhat as EV tech matures, as the average battery pack capacity continues to increase in future EVs. The amount of energy needed to heat the cabin is fortunately more or less a fixed amount, so the fraction of the battery pack's energy needed to heat the cabin will drop as battery capacity increases in future EVs.

    I don't see any other near-term solution. Is it possible to have a more efficient electric heater? I don't see how; X amount of heat energy requires X amount of electrical energy to generate that heat. I suppose it might be possible to have improvements in heat pumps, which in theory could harvest more heat from sub-freezing air. In fact, I've read a comment or two claiming that one or two of the newer EVs has a heat pump which is better at providing heat in sub-freezing temperatures.

  9. Vezz66

    Vezz66 Member

  10. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    @Pushmi-Pullyu, what did you think of the article I linked to in post 45? I’d like to get your learned and logical take on it, especially since I’m a bio guy not a physics guy.
    It seems to me that all the factual sources I read are all in agreement that EVs are better for the environment when you look at the total picture.
  11. JulianClarity

    JulianClarity Active Member

    The advertised range is got from perfect road condition, why are you complaining? I got 245 gas mileage from 5.4 gallons of #87 gas last time, they must have cheated me because they told me at most it can get 44 mpg, but I had 45.3.
  12. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I think you may be giving me more credit than I deserve, sir. I have certainly tried to educate myself on the subject, but I am neither an engineer nor a physicist. I do consider myself to have a pretty good grasp of basic principles of engineering and physics, but having participated for some years on TheEESTory forum, which included regular contributors with a master's degree in physics and at least one who claimed a PhD, I know my limitations.

    I agree with the conclusions. The critical reader, and/or those who are scientifically literate, are going to want at least some exposure to the underlying data. The average person who has read or heard EV-hater myths about EVs, such as the "long tailpipe" myth (that is, the EV-hater claim that EVs merely move emissions from the tailpipe to the local power plant, without reducing them), isn't likely to be convinced merely by reading that article.

    For those who want a deeper dive into the subject, yet aren't interested in reading a formal scientific paper, I recommend the article linked below, which says pretty much exactly the same things the article you linked to does, but contains some references to the actual data and evidence the study is based on.

    From the Union of Concerned Scientists: "Cleaner Cars from Cradle to Grave (2015)"

    For those interested in the technical/ engineering issues, I also recommend studying -- not mere reading -- the following article, especially the data presented on the accompanying graphic, which I'll reproduce below. That's an older article, but I think the data it shows is still relevant. The thrust of the article is a comparison between BEVs and FCEVs, but it's the data regarding greenhouse gas emissions in an apples-to-apples comparison between several types of cars, from pure gasmobiles to pure EVs, that makes it worthy of study.

    From Clean Technica: "Time To Come Clean About Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles"

    * * * * *

    Regarding the claim in that article you linked to, KentuckyKen, that the UK's grid is "greener" than the U.S.'s grid: I haven't tried to make any sort of quantitative study of the issue, but it certainly wouldn't surprise me. I do know that the UK has made a large investment in wind power... for better and for worse, since that makes it much more sensitive to the unpredictable nature of winds. I remember an article some years ago about large parts of the UK having power shortages when a long-term winter cold snap stilled the wind farms for an approximately two-week period.

    At the worst, with solar power, you can just build out about 4x as much area of solar panels as you need on a bright sunny day, to account for the reduction in power you'll get on an overcast winter day*. But with wind power... I'd much rather see that treated as nothing more than auxiliary power. It's simply too unpredictable to depend on that for everyday grid energy.

    *And of course, even that is a glittering generality; what happens when it snows and covers the solar panels? A rare event in most regions, but it's something that has to be planned for.

    KentuckyKen likes this.
  13. JimW

    JimW Active Member

    This is a very enlightening article. For the past year, I thought that my PHEV had a heat pump (plus resistance heat). Now I learn that the BEV version has a heat pump, but our PHEV cars only have a coolant-based heater core heated by either "electric on-demand water heater" or the coolant from ICE. This fully explains the drop in EV range even in the fall after cabin heat starts being required. It also explains why my ICE started up while sitting at a traffic light in 15 degree weather this morning with very low battery charge.

    As far as the OP's question, I definitely wish I had known about the EV range drop in winter before purchasing. I probably would have still purchased, but would have been an informed decision. I use up my 35-38 mile EV winter range running around on a typical Saturday.
  14. DucRider

    DucRider Well-Known Member

    I've noticed a definite shift in buyer mindset. PHEV owners seem much more likely to make the choice to go the plug-in route for environmental reasons than those that choose BEV's.

    BEV owners certainly enjoy (and appreciate) the environmental benefits of driving electric, but for most it is not on the top of their list. The most quoted factors are fun (performance), convenience. quiet or smooth ride, lack of required maintenance, etc.

    Never going to a gas station to fill up, needing an oil change (or other ICE maintenance items). These are 2 of the big attractions. There are ore than a few threads on this forum related to maintenance or performance issues related to the ICE portion of the PHEV Clarity Some are "quirks" of the Clarity, others are inherent to the PHEV form factor.

    Some see the PHEV as the best of both worlds, others as the worst of both. When we engage with consumers at shows and events, we always point out both the advantages and disadvantages of both options. Everyone's situation is at least a little bit different and it is definitely not "one size fits all". We are doing the Portland Auto Show this week and have 5,000 sq feet to show plug-in vehicles and help educate the public. We will have a Clarity PHEV as part of the display (I think Honda is providing a red touring)


    LegoZ, lordsutch, 4sallypat and 2 others like this.
  15. David Towle

    David Towle Active Member

    Pushmi Pullyu I'll give up on the quotations at this point and talk more directly to you.

    I have stuck to the issues all my life including our little exchange. I'm not spoiling for a fight but it seems you are because you refuse to recognize the truth in my statements while I repeatedly pick out the ones of yours I agree with. Why is that?

    You have called me a liar (in so many words "that's very far from the truth") while I have continued to point out the areas we agree on. Not many people relish being called a liar. Nothing I have stated is a lie and you refuse to recognize that. I have been a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists for years and had previously read the article you posted. I'm glad I got you reading. I AM a concerned scientist who looks at all the facts.

    Since you may have interest, I worked all my career primarily on reducing NOx, SOx and mercury pollution from coal combustion and I'm proud of that, it did make a difference for acid rain and smog that the world suffered with peaking in the late 1900s. But I got frustrated with the industry in the last few years as we tried ridiculous incredibly inefficient ways to reduce CO2 global warming pollution which to me had NO chance of success. These methods would have reduced coal plant operating efficiencies to the range 0f 15-20% which is just crazy! The only answer we have at hand now is to reduce and eventually eliminate our reliance on all fossil fuels, and nuclear/solar/wind/hydro/geothermal are the answers we have now so we must increase them and improve them. But they are not perfect.

    Why do you say I am biased against nuclear power when you have no knowledge of my biases? I have been a booster of nuclear power for my entire life, but I do get incredibly frustrated the way the industry mismanages plant operation and construction (Fukashima and South Carolina) and how that makes it very difficult to build more nuclear power. NUCLEAR POWER IS THE BEST WAY we have now of quickly ramping up-non global warming power generation yet its being ignored because of all these failures in its application.

    If you don't understand why nuclear plants are rated such low efficiency (around 35%, as I stated its similar to coal plants) its simple, they dump much more heat into the local environment than the heat that goes into producing power. Its a similar mechanism that causes fossil fuel power plants and ICE engines (which you seem to recognize) to dump heat into the environment. These heat dumps are caused by the laws of thermodynamics and I don't know of any scientific facts that are less controversial than the laws of thermodynamics. The only way to get around these heat dumps is to increase the operating temperatures for all these processes and that is limited by available metallurgy for all of them, and its therefor very hard and expensive to do.

    And I'll explain the 2% nuclear power plant number, that's because not only do they dump 2/3 of their operating heat into the environment, but they also only use a fraction of the energy available in the fuel. The rest of that energy goes into the long term waste storage as things stand now. It is possible to build plants that use much more of this energy, but because of the operations and construction failures the industry has suffered over the years they have never been applied in the USA.

    By pointing out that all power plants and all ICE dump heat to the environment I'm not making a judgement that one is better than the other, I'm just pointing out the fact that there is pollution from EVERY source of power we use and there are tradeoffs that should be recognized.

    As I stated earlier none of the remedies we are talking about is perfect. But there is one remedy that is perfect; and that is for all of us to use less energy. Biking, walking, reducing home temperatures, insulating, all make a difference. We use way more energy here than most of the world's population, and it can make a real difference in solving the problem until we perfect nuclear fission or whatever the perfect solution is and learn how to use it.
  16. 4sallypat

    4sallypat Active Member

    Yes, this is true.
    The average range of the PHEV on battery is around 47 miles.
    The 47 miles is an average of all conditions, all road types, and style of driving.

    Some may get less while some may get more.

    I tend to get more (50-60 miles) because I live in Southern California where the winters are very temperate, I drive a lot in ECO + Regen mode with paddle shifters, and do not thump music nor use the heated seats / heater.

    Where else can you walk outside 11 months out of 12 with shorts and T shirts ??

    Here's my mid-January range after charging the EV this morning:
  17. David Towle

    David Towle Active Member

    Just did a funny edit to the above, I had "reducing hoe temperatures" instead of home. I don't think reducing hoe temperatures would help much.
  18. LAF

    LAF Active Member

    you are lucky forest fires don't reduce milage on the Clarity
  19. David Towle

    David Towle Active Member

    I also continue to get ranges in the mid fifties. But my local temps have been between 0 and 20 F the last few days. How? No Eco mode, using EV only under 50 mph, no heat, no seat heaters. Here's a pic a few minutes ago of today's screen: IMG_3738.jpg
  20. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    And this is an option that we don't seem to hear much about. Rather than squabbling about the least-worst way to generate electricity, I'd like to see less of it produced. Not holding my breath for that.

    The only comment I'll make on the controversy related to nuclear vs. other methods is that you're (both of you) trying to inject logic into a situation where it has no effect. People see visible events like Fukashima and Three Mile Island and it scares them. Yes, it's hyped by the folks who have something to gain by hyping it, but nonetheless the terror is there. You cannot develop the same level of terror by pointing out the harm that the belching coal plant is doing. And finally you've got our current US administration using coal for political purposes. Rational decisions based on facts? Not going to happen.
    David Towle likes this.

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