How significant were environmental concerns in your Clarity purchase/interest?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Mark W, Jul 2, 2019.

How much did environmental concerns push you to buy a Clarity

  1. Concern over the environment was the main reason I bought a Clarity

    13 vote(s)
  2. Concern for the environment was a significant factor

    23 vote(s)
  3. Concern for the environment was a minor factor

    26 vote(s)
  4. Concern for the environment was either no factor or almost no factor

    12 vote(s)
  1. Mark W

    Mark W Active Member

    Hi all,

    I think when most people think of Electric cars, or some kind of plugin cars, they automatically think "tree hugger". I am interested to know how much environmental concerns drove people's interest in buying or interest in buying their Clarity. Thanks!
  2. MPower

    MPower Well-Known Member

    I first bought a hybrid because I wanted the good gas mileage. When it needed to be replaced, the plugin version was the same price for the options I wanted so what the hell. When that car needed to be replaced, I was just going to buy the same again, but with added safety features, but some where over the years, it lost a seat! So I thought I would have to buy the plain hybrid version. Then I discovered the Clarity which had everything I wanted and actually cost less when the tax credit was deducted.
    Bender likes this.
  3. MrFixit

    MrFixit Active Member

    I would note that ICE technology has not been standing still, and today's conventional vehicles are MUCH more environmentally friendly than they used to be. You may argue that this has been driven by regulation, and that's probably true...
    In any event, nobody should feel "dirty" buying a new ICE vehicle in my opinion. Great strides have been made, and Tree Huggers can be proud that they have pushed the industry as far as they have !
  4. Tahuna

    Tahuna Member

    While I'm generally in favor of things that help the environment, that wasn't really a factor in my buying a Clarity. The tops ones for me: Cheaper to drive, since I can charge free at work. (Almost) never having to stop at a gas station. Quiet drive.
    Mark W likes this.
  5. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    I bought the Clarity because it's a big, luxurious car that is relatively cheap to buy (after dealer discount and incentives) and very cheap to operate. It's got all the bells and whistles I wanted too. Of course I don't want to hurt the environment but it's an incredible buy period. Even if we could burn oil like crazy without destroying the environment, I'd still buy a Clarity because I hate to waste money. Only the most insecure people buy cars for image.
    Mark W, MPower and Bender like this.
  6. Dan Albrich

    Dan Albrich Active Member

    I think I wrote something similar in a similar thread, but for me the environment does matter but it has to be practical for me to make the environmental choice. Clarity feels like a nice full-size car with no important feature gaps. So one need not suffer. It's as nice as any other car, but with significant cost and environmental advantage.
    MNSteve, KentuckyKen and Mark W like this.
  7. Johnhaydev

    Johnhaydev Active Member Subscriber

    When I 1st purchased the Clarity, I thought I would be driving in areas with carpool lanes fairly frequently. I don’t need to use that feature but appreciate that it’s a car with advanced features.
  8. Lowell_Greenberg

    Lowell_Greenberg Active Member

    Environmental concerns were paramount. That was balanced against certain practical considerations, and certainly safety, comfort, performance and design build were considerations. Long term reliability is uncertain- however I am at least hopeful in this area.

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
  9. Bender

    Bender Member

    I will somewhat disagree. ICE only vehicles are still pretty terrible. 10-20mpg is absurdly terrible unless you're driving an H1 or H2 Hummer. They'd be infeasible if not for the huge gasoline subsidies we currently have. And 30-40mpg for a sub-compact is not some super incredible feat.

    However, hybrid vehicles ARE gas powered vehicles.
    Hybrids are pretty good options. They make economic sense in many cases. They're around the same cost when considering equivalent trims, because most of the manufacturers' base hybrid models start with one of the upper trim levels of their gas equivalents. But the hybrid vehicles also have much lower maintenance. (My 2010 Fusion Hybrid 110k+ miles was just 10 oil changes and one engine coolant -- that's the only mfr recommended maintenance. Brakes had over half life left.)

    As far as the Clarity, basically after mfr incentives and the larger tax credits it comes out cheaper up-front cost than a hybrid or gas equivalent. Even lower cost than a gas econobox, excepting some of the subcompact death traps.

    But even other plug in hybrids ran similar costs to similarly equipped high-trim vehicles. The Fusion Plug in Hybrid would have come out around the same price as a Fusion Hybrid non plug-in version.

    Full electrics are still pretty hard to make come out ahead in the value proposition. Unless maybe you: do lots of miles and can charge 100% at home, have high local gas prices, have cheaply acquired solar system.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  10. MrFixit

    MrFixit Active Member

    Yes, I wasn't referring to the 10-20 MPG class of vehicles, but rather was thinking of vehicles in the 40+ range. This would include some conventionals and also the hybrids which as you point out, are gas vehicles.
  11. Mark W

    Mark W Active Member

    Interesting results so far. I thought it would be about half and half where environmental was significant vs. not, it's a little less than that right now. For me, the thing that drove me to the Clarity was that I love the feel of electric drive, but already had a low range EV, so needed a car capable of longer range. The thing that SOLD me on the Clarity was the economics. Got a great lease deal with all of the incentives. Without incentives it would have been out of my range. The large size, ride, interior, and total cost of ownership appealed to me. It was a financially driven decision.

    The one unexpected thing that hurt my low cost of ownership was the high cost of insurance.
  12. LAF

    LAF Active Member

    My main reason was the serene feel you get driving around town in EV, on the highway you really can't tell the difference so the Clarity was a perfect fit and especially the price after rebates was less than an Acura I bought in 2002 and this car is more enjoyable to drive.
  13. sniwallof

    sniwallof Active Member

    My interest is mostly in EVs, solar panels, and tech in general.

    I've been aware of climate change issues since the late 70's. I was an undergrad student at a NASA group helping with computer modeling (punch cards, Amdahl 470, IBM 360/365) I think when Hanson was there (one of the fathers of climate change prediction/concerns).

    I care a lot about science and climate change. I cannot say for sure if I was noble in buying into solar panels and EVs, or if I just had to experience the tech because it is so cool to me. I planted a bunch of apple trees last year too, so overall, I probably qualify as a card carrying progressive :)
    MPower likes this.
  14. 4sallypat

    4sallypat Active Member

    Minor environmental reason for me - mainly it was to escape the $4 - $5 per gallon fuel costs here in So Cal!

    Love driving daily and not having to go to the pump!

    AFAIK - ICE engines have become so much cleaner burning than when I was a child so pollution was not a major concern.

    The flip side of creating toxic lithium ion batteries offsets the pollution factor.
  15. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    I first became interested in electric cars in the early 1990's and it was exciting when GM introduced the EV1 a few years later. There was quite a lot of disappointment when the EV1 was cancelled and electric cars became once again something for the future, just like flat TV's that you could mount on the wall which we had been told for years was on the way. But then surprisingly Toyota and Honda picked up the electric vehicle baton with hybrid technology and I was immediately fascinated by that and purchased my first Prius in 2002 (my forum name is an homage to that memorable car). It was a first taste of driving electric, sort of like LKAS and ACC are sort of a taste of fully autonomous driving. However hybrids were completely unknown and not understood by the general public back then, you think it's hard explaining PHEV to people now, in 2002 it was even harder to explain to people what a hybrid was. Not that most people even now fully understand it, but they at least get the general idea - gas and electric, you don't plug it in, get great mpg.

    Then in 2011 PHEV was here and I was extremely interested. However the Volt just wasn't the car for me. Neither was the original Prius Plug-in and the later Prius Prime, both of which I seriously considered at one point. In fact I was just about to purchase a Prius Prime in December 2017 when the federal credit was in danger of being cancelled at the end of the year. But then Clarity came out that same month and the federal credit continued so I decided to wait. A year and a half later and I now own a Clarity.

    I'm certainly glad that my interest in electric cars has also saved a lot of fossil fuel usage in my seventeen years of hybrid driving, but that wasn't the primary reason that I got it. However one thing that I appreciated being part of Prius forums over the years is that there are a lot of environmentalists who drive a Prius and they tend to know a lot about solar power and other renewable energy, as well as the impacts of fossil fuel usage, and I learned a lot from listening to those conversations.
  16. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    For me there were two key reasons for buying the Clarity.

    1) We had 7Kw of roof solar installed on our house. Payback period would have been 12+ years without adding a PHEV or BEV into the mix. By adding the Clarity our payback period on the solar drops to less than 6 years. Installing both solar and buying a PHEV is such a perfect match. For about 6 months of the year we charge 100% free and even have some extra solar energy to pump back into the grid. The other six months we need help from the grid. Overall this is a win-win.

    2) Back in 2008 we had transitioned from a low mpg Honda CR-V to a Prius. Then in 2015 again bumped to a new Prius. At that point I knew I'd never go back to an ICE based vehicle. My moves would then be to a PHEV or eventually a BEV. This was based on moving up the spectrum. When electric cars became common and available it made ICE cars seem ridiculous. While ICE cars have come a long way, are efficient, quiet, and reliable they are still 100+ year old technology. Too many moving parts, friction, engine efficiency losses, tune-ups, oil and filter changes, noise, and of course pollution, with ICE cars. A propulsion system based on explosions seems so silly.

    Owning a BEV doesn't work for us at this time. Our daily trips are roughly a bit more than 2 x 25 miles with recharging between. The 17Kw battery of the Clarity is perfect. We are 100% electric for weeks at a time. I consider the Clarity an electric car. If we owned a BEV with 200+ mile range the cost and weight of the battery wouldn't match our needs. Then when we take highway trips the 200+ mile range wouldn't be enough and we'd be forced to stop and charge. I just don't think BEV technology has advanced to the point where it works for me. Fuel cells don't make sense: Can't charge at home. When a BEV can be recharged in less than 15 minutes for 200 miles of range I'll think about it.

    When researching PHEV I was getting ready to "settle" for a car with only 30'ish miles of range. Then I stumbled on the Clarity which was perfect. Quiet, efficient, powerful, spacious, comfortable, and Honda reliability. It didn't take me long to make that decision.

    I bought the first Clarity off the truck Dec 5 2017. There was a scare that congress would kill the $7,500 tax credit at the end of that year so I bought the car when the wheels slipped off the truck onto the Honda dealer property. I didn't haggle and ended up writing a check for $40,600 out the door. Take $7,500 off that, then $3,500 from the state. I sold the 2015 Prius for $14K. My out of pocket expense was $15,600. A no brainier of a deal.

    I try to be good to the environment but I'm not a tree-hugger. We recycle and reuse where it makes sense. Any reduction of pollution provided by buying the Clarity is a positive.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    Texas22Step and 2002 like this.
  17. MrFixit

    MrFixit Active Member

    @jdonalds - In order to cut your payback period in half, it would seem that "adding a PHEV into the mix" would have to double your electric consumption. You either have a very low electric bill, or you drive one heck of a lot (in EV mode). If your daily usage is ~50 miles (all electric) then your PHEV consumption is no more than 14 kWh per day (410 kWh per month). If your baseline consumption (pre-PHEV) was only 410 kWh per month, you are very thrifty...

    Our baseline electric usage is more than triple that (average ~1300 kWh per month)... Doubling this with the PHEV would require us to drive ~4200 miles per month -> 50K per year (all in EV). I don't think this would even be possible as it would mean 3+ full charges every day. In our case, our largest load is the electric heat and A/C (heat pump). Perhaps you are in an area that doesn't need any heat, and has a minimal A/C requirement?
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  18. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Right. Our house electric usage was too low to make installing solar worth while. We really needed the car. We do put a lot of miles on the car, especially in the winter half of the year when we take our son to school. Currently the car shows 32K miles on the odometer. Our solar produces about 50kw/day in the summer, but only about 20kw/day in the winter. Our big usage is AC as Redding is a very hot city, but those are also some of the best solar producing days. We get about 3 months of spring, and three months of fall, when we don't use heat or AC. Winter temps sort of run in the 40s overnight and 50-60 during the day.

    Average monthly use is 391kwh for the past 12 months according to the JuiceBox report.

    We have net metering so we are credited $0.15 for each KW and we also pay $0.15 when we pull power from the grid.

    The numbers may not add up but I do keep records on auto fuel and house electricity and we did have that $2,500 savings in 2018.
  19. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    A lot of the savings came from the high price of gas in CA. Right now it is averaging $4/gal
  20. Front Row

    Front Row Member

    It was all about the car pool sticker for me, I save 45 minutes of traffic every day.

Share This Page