Thoughts after first 2500 miles (66 mile commute)

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by ozy, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. ozy

    ozy Active Member

    Just thought I would share my experience of the Clarity PHEV after 2500 miles. I have a 66 mile commute 3x/week and therefore use both the electric motor and the ICE on a daily basis. So far I have used less than 20 gallons of gas in 2500 miles. I use a level 2 charger (Amazing e) which is designed for 16amp charging. It takes me 4 hours a day to charge my car which is fine for my needs. Even though I start the day with roughly 47 miles of electric charge, it seems to last longer because of my use of regen braking in the stop and go traffic of the So. Cal freeway. I think I ultimately get more than 55 miles of electric on a typical commute.

    Overall, I love the car and feel it's by far the best car I've ever had. Although I enjoy it most on EV I have no problem whatsoever on ICE mode either. Every day I need to put the car on HV mode when I'm on the freeway and it doesn't bother me whatsoever. Often, I've had to glance at the dashboard to even figure out if I'm on ICE or on electric. Honestly, the whole ICE thing has been a NON issue for me. I have had one occasion of "angry bees" when I was completely out of electric and had to climb an unusually steep and unanticipated hill. I really feel that this is a complete non-issue for 95% of drivers. For those people commuting under 50 miles a day they may never even have to do anything other than electric driving. For those who commute more (and on freeways) the ICE/electric experience is so seamless that it would only pose an issue for the extremely discerning. For the most part, I never worry about either electric or gas in this car and range anxiety has been zero! In addition, I think the ride is supremely comfortable and smooth, and amazingly peppy for such a large car. When I use Sports mode/EV on the freeway I feel that I'm in a race car. I love the regen braking and, for this reason, often find myself in Sports mode. I absolutely rely on the ACC cruise control which has made my commuter life ever so much easier. Combined with the lane assist the ACC cruise is like being on autopilot. The much maligned infotainment unit is more than enough for my needs and I am finding an absolutely seamless integration of Android Auto, cell phone, Sirius, Spotify and my Podcast player. I have learned to use the steering wheel controls to instantly switch between Sirius channels and even to flit to FM, AM, USB and podcast shows while I'm driving. Also, no problem whatsoever with phone calls, Google maps, Spotify etc. In short, absolutely seamless at all times. Climate control has also been a set it and forget it feature, absolutely easy to use. Every other automated feature such as the lights, door locks, alarm etc has also been seamless and simply works.

    I love the space within the car and the huge trunk space for all my shlepping needs. I have been able to fit a family of 5 with ease including multiple suitcases. In fact, the car is so large I had some problems fitting it within my garage.

    Overall, hands down the best car I've ever owned. I saved a lot of money buying this car due to the various rebates and continue to save on gas costs. My daily commute has become much more enjoyable in so many ways. Although I understand that some people want to have a fully electric car, I really feel that for the vast majority of users the Honda Clarity PHEV is ideal. I signed up for a Tesla 3 about 2.5 years ago and was finally notified (after buying the Clarity) that my 35K Tesla is finally available. I'm glad that I didn't get it and went with the Clarity instead.

    P.S: And for those who complain about the looks of the car...are they kidding? This is an absolutely beautiful, sleek looking car. It has retro as well as post-modern features. I realize that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder but get a grip!
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
    Jp1969, Pegsie, WantEV and 9 others like this.
  2. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    ozy, Ditto for me. Our daily trips to take our son to school and pick him up make two 25-30 mile trips, including short side trips, each weekday. So there is no need for the ICE to start as long as that is our pattern. The only time we switch to HV is on long road trips every couple of months. When we do take road trips we're enjoying the more than 40 mpg feature of the car with no range anxiety. On top of that we can not only charge at home, eliminating most gas station stops, but our roof solar can supply all the power we need to charge the car (we need the grid in the winter but overproduce in the summer so over a year solar does the trick).

    Great car.
  3. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Amen! Could not have said it any better. You put eloquent words to my exact experience, only I enjoy even more EV and not even a single angry bees. (1 year/8,000 miles and only 13 gal of gas. Haven’t pumped Dino since July 4, 2018.)

    And like @jdonalds, I’m net 0 over a calendar year with my solar PV so I too drive for free.
  4. I have a 75 mile RT commute, and also charge only at one end. Because I'm no longer in SoCal, I actually do a significant portion of the drive at 70mph, so get between 40 and 52 miles before my battery is exhausted. Otherwise, similar. I love the lack of range anxiety and not having to worry about planning my charges if we go somewhere.
    Robert_Alabama likes this.
  5. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    HV Mode is where the hard work of Honda's magicians really shines. Any company can build a car that runs on battery power until the battery is exhausted and then switches to ICE power (eg. Chevy Volt). The Clarity in HV Mode, however, is constantly deciding whether EV drive, Hybrid drive, or Engine drive mode will provide the greatest efficiency.

    On the only long trip we've taken in our Clarity PHEV, it was so interesting to interact with the car, feeling out when it likes to activate the clutch for Engine drive mode (and how hard you can push it without switching to Hybrid drive), trying to listen to the (mostly quiet) ICE to guess the RPMs the computer has selected, and marveling when HV Mode shuts off the ICE and switches to EV drive mode.

    Despite all that love for HV Mode drive, I'm still always concentrating to keep the Clarity in EV drive. I've never encountered a more involving car to drive that doesn't require exceeding the speed limit to maximize my driving pleasure. My gen-1 5-speed Insight held that title for nearly 19 years, but my wonderful 70-mpg Insight just hasn't been as much fun to drive since I started calling it "the gas guzzler."
  6. Mike A

    Mike A New Member

    Very similar experience here. 6 months of ownership, 7700 miles and 18 gallons of gas. Not one problem (other than the HV mileage software update) and no bees, angry or otherwise.

    The reason I wanted a PHEV is our solar array. In North Carolina, state law allows the power company to zero your balance once a year. And of course, Duke Energy chooses May31st. The end of the peak generation/low utilization season. It’s only been a couple hundred dollars each year. But I can’t stand giving them free electricity. I’m not even sure our Clarity will suck up all that extra juice. I’ve only seen about a $30 monthly difference in our usage.

    Bottom line though, love our Clarity. Best car I’ve ever owned. By far.
    The Gadgeteer and Robert_Alabama like this.
  7. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    I drove the car about 385 miles today (200 miles each way on a round trip). Got about 70 miles from battery (was able to recharge at destination to about 85% before returning). Car only burned about 7 gallons of gasoline on the trip of about 315 miles on ICE. This is very impressive to me. Two of us in the car and a very comfortable ride on interstate at about 73 MPH. No real noise from the engine at all on the trip, certainly as quiet as I could ask for. I held most of the battery until I got close to destination and still had 7 miles left when I pulled into charger. Same story on return trip. This is a very versatile car. No fee for charger at destination, and I started pretty much full from charging at work. Recharged tonight at a no fee charger at a restaurant (family wanted to go there anyway) to about 75%. So across the day, about 400 miles, with pretty much no fee electricity usage, and 7 gallons of gasoline. Pretty good day. Not doing as well as some here, but can't complain. The car has burned about 28 gallons of gasoline in nearly 5000 miles.
    The Gadgeteer likes this.

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