Clarity life after 50596 miles

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Joseph Sauvignon, Mar 29, 2020.

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  1. Joseph Sauvignon

    Joseph Sauvignon New Member


    Thought you guys should know. I have a 2018 Honda Clarity. I bought it in Dec 2017. I use the clarity as a commuter car and it is now March 2020, 50596 miles. As you can see the electric range on the clarity has significantly decreased (was getting about 41 miles electric right when I bought it with just 3 miles on the odo). I did tell the dealer about this but they didn't do anything. They'll only replace the battery/hybrid components when it's dead (in CA, it's 10 years/150000 miles)

    Just putting my experience out there. I have to admit, really disappointed when after 50000 miles half of the EV range is gone and I have been reading articles of teslas having a long life. I'm not sure if this clarity would have a long life though. Clarity.jpg
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  3. Cash Traylor

    Cash Traylor Active Member

    Please go get a battery capacity check at your dealer. I am guessing you did not get the PDI when you bought it. Range is really not anything useful and no, Honda will replace your battery once it drops below 66% of nominal capacity. New Clarity HV packs are 55 Ah, so once it drops below 36.6 Ah you have a warranty claim. You will not get any DTC/MIL codes until it drops below, um - forgot right now but I think it was around 25% capacity - that is CAPACITY, not range. See my thread for battery capacity for warranty. Your results would be nice to know! I wouldn't worry about it since if you are really at that point now, you will likely get a new battery before your warranty expires.


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  4. Joseph Sauvignon

    Joseph Sauvignon New Member

    Thank you so much for the reply! I saw your other posts and I will check out with the dealer regarding the capacity. I don't think I had the PDI at all. It wasn't charged at all when I got it off the dealership lot...I don't think the salesman or anyone else knew that it needed to be charged and not just gassed up.
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  5. BeMurda

    BeMurda Active Member

    Hi Cash,

    Are you saying that if the dealership doesn't charge the car as instructed in the PDI (I have a copy) that the battery is likely to be permanently damaged? I am supposed to take delivery of a 2020 Clarity in Canada this week.
  6. One bad cell, out of 168, can limit the maximum voltage of the entire battery bank. While a replacement would certainly be inconvenient, this is why we’re happy to have the warranty. It would be interesting to see the dollar figure the dealership puts on the warranty claim if they replace the battery and also what their plans would be for the old battery.

    Would you be willing to share some of your driving/charging habits and experiences over the past 50K miles?

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  8. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Letting the car sit at the dealer with the 17 kW main battery pack completely discharged past the buffer will definitely harm the battery. The question is how much.

    The only Honda document I have seen that mentions the metric of when the battery is eligible for warranty R/R is the Clarity specific PDI. It states that the warranty kicks in when the battery degrades to 36.6 Ah. within the 8 or 10 year warranty period (depending on which state). Note that this metric is somewhat dependent on temperature and may vary a bit. Since the battery appears to have a nominal capacity of 55 Ah, it’s warranted not to lose more than about a third of its capacity within the warranty period.

    As Cash noted, it will not indicate by dash or by throwing a DTC code when it reaches the warranty point of 36.6 Ah. The only way to know is to have the dealer hook it up to their i-HDS and pull the Battery Pack Capacity signal. I have attached the PDI for you. The info on the battery is on the last page (p 13) and the PDI has a lot of other info as well. Please let us know what the Battery Pack Capacity signal is and what the dealer plans to do. We’re pulling for you!

    Attached Files:

  9. Kerbe

    Kerbe Active Member

    My 2018 sat on the dealer's lot (in southern Louisiana's hot sun) for nine months without being charged before I purchased it in August, 2019. It had 59 miles on it - so it had been test-driven with only the ICE powering the car (as no one at the dealership had seen the PDI or understood that a PHEV was different than standard hybrid). I gave them a copy of the PDI and made it - and a full diagnostic - conditions of sale. They unpacked the 120V "granny cable" from the trunk and plugged in the car for 24 hours before running the diagnostic - probably the first time the car had ever been charged. The battery capacity test showed that it had the full 55aH so I'm guessing that a brand-new 2020 is likely not to have suffered any battery damage or capacity loss. Fear not, oh Friend in the Great White North!
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  10. ClarityBill

    ClarityBill Active Member

    I am getting close to 60K miles, and I still get good EV range. I wonder if you have a brake pad dragging, or wheel bearing going bad: These things would dramatically lower EV range. (I see you use the parking brake, which I never do...)
    Texas22Step likes this.
  11. Cash Traylor

    Cash Traylor Active Member

    In general the Honda protects itself with a really good buffer. However Lithium chemistry cells self discharge (even the BMS has a slight parasitic draw in standby), it varies by design but is there just like most chemical energy storage systems. As such, if the HV battery is depleted to its cuttoff point, but then never charged on the lot for months, then yes - there could be problems as the cells can discharge below a chemical threshold where they begin to chemically degrade the electrolyte resulting in separator damage. It is not worth worrying about as there is little you can do other than ask/trust the dealer. If the dealer doesn't have a charge station, or even a charging cable (that isn't "yours" sitting bagged in the trunk) then that may be your answer.

    The first sign of problems would be significant cell imbalance, they can see that on the i-HDS, but the trick is will they? You basically would need to stand there, before they plug it in, say hook up the rig and print out the HV system status. If they plug it in for only a little while the BMS will balance the pack... so yes, useless info really, until we can see the data ourselves (still digging folks...) The second is cell ESR (equivalent series resistance). It is likely that the BMS built into the Clarity HV charger can track this variable, I don't know I haven't seen it. This may be one of those manufacturer level things above dealer. However, again, unless we knew the "brand new" cell specification (either new car or Honda document stating the resistance range) this is another useless piece of info. If xyz manufacturer says their cells have 0.04 ohms impedance at 1KHz at 10 amps 3.8 volts then I can estimate battery system wear if I am reading 0.08 ohms... This is a function of wear and age and always increases, never goes down. It is really the second best variable to know after watthour capacity - but do we get to know? Sorta, anecdotally, as you can watch module voltage vary under charge and discharge and make an educated guess.


    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020
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  13. fotomoto

    fotomoto Active Member Subscriber

    I've been driving and participating in online plug-in forums for over a decade now and one thing that has been a constant has been confusing (estimated) range with capacity as an indicator of battery health. Quite simply one needs to measure capacity (state of charge from full to empty) not the number of miles driven in EV. The latter is more a measurement of driving efficiency.

    You stated you're a commuter. Can you describe in more detail your actual commute? Number of miles highway vs city streets, speeds, temperatures, charge @ work, etc.
  14. ClarityBill

    ClarityBill Active Member

    I really like the idea of measuring how many KWH it takes to charge the battery: Seems like this would easily show a relative health of the battery.

    What am I missing?
  15. fotomoto

    fotomoto Active Member Subscriber

    Nothing, that's a pretty good way to get the data. It's not as good as the car reporting it so A) you don't have to do the legwork nor have an EVSE that reports the kWh's used and B) ignores charging losses of said EVSE. For example, charging a hot battery in a hot parking lot will require a lot more kWh's to power the cooling systems while charging.

    Bottom line is still the same: using the "guess-o-meter" is not an accurate way to judge a battery's health; too many variables.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
  16. DucRider

    DucRider Well-Known Member

    Also remember that the battery must be completely discharged when starting charging. In laboratory conditions, a new Clarity will take ~14.5 kWh with a 240V, 32 A (or higher) EVSE to completely recharge a depleted battery.
  17. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    I agree that the input energy for a 'full' charge should be an indicator of battery capacity. As mentioned by @DucRider, ~14.5 kWh is roughly a full charge (this reserves capacity both at the top and bottom of the 17 kWh battery rating).

    I have had the Clarity since November 2018. When I bought it (thanks to this forum) I did get the dealer to provide the measured capacity (it was 55.1 Ah).

    I also have a log of every charge from day 1. It is very interesting to look carefully at this log. It contains numerous 'full' charges, but also many that were partials. But the eyeball can readily look at the trend for the 'peaks' and see that there has been [some] degradation over the ~1.5 year time span. I have around 14K miles on the vehicle, and 270 charge cycles (not all full cycles as mentioned).

    Here is the graph:

    I would say that I was getting the 14.5 kWh charges initially, but it has been gradually declining until now. Roughly, I now get 13.5 kWh charges, This decline represents about 94% of original capacity. It would be very interesting to get a readout of this to see if the capacity as measured by the vehicle has declined accordingly... I might expect to see 94% of 55.1 Ah, or 51.8 ?

    If not for this darned pandemic... I certainly won't be asking for a readout any time soon.

    Does anyone else track this kind of data, and could do a similar plot for comparison ?? Fire up the spreadsheet since you have nothing better to do during social distancing !

    I have not noticed a mileage decline, but as we all know, the guess-o-meter varies significantly anyway and it would be hard to see a 6% difference without trying to do a controlled test. If this decline is linear (no reason to think it is), then at the end of 8 years, there would be a 40% decline, and qualify for warranty. My guess would be that it is not linear and a battery replacement seems unlikely.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
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  18. LAF

    LAF Active Member

    remember, he bought the car in the fall of 2017, so likely one of the first ever made- hard to imagine it sat dead on the dealer's lot for very long.
  19. Clarity_Newbie

    Clarity_Newbie Active Member


    Clarity data: 2018 with 16,000 miles ~35% ICE usage so ~10,400 miles on EV. Ah when new was 54.9

    The first year of ownership I kept monthly records mainly for cost. Beginning the second year, I have recorded per-charge kWh data as handwritten notes...not on spreadsheet. I was spurred on to keep per-charge data after one member experienced a dramatic, off the cliff, reduction of charge capacity for no apparent reason. Can't remember who the member is. However, I will post graph one day as time allows. Not real sure how helpful graph will be since not many full charge/discharge cycles.

    I routinely charge 8 hours per charge session as I tend to keep the lower SoC between ~20% to ~30% which, after an 8 hour charge, correlates to ~85 to ~95% capacity. I tend to discharge SoC 10%/EV 0 miles once or twice a month depending on number of drive days. I also tend to attempt full charge when temps are moderate...say night time low of> 40 avoid <32 degree charging when possible.

    The last time the battery was charged from 10% SoC/EV 0 miles the meter displayed 14.7 kWh which probably means >13.8 after accounting for loss. It was not uncommon for this number to be 15+ early on...which would of course correlate to ~14.5 after accounting for loss.

    As for EV miles...on the last full charge, the Clarity predicted 55 EV miles. That was with nighttime temps in the high 50's. Depending on my route..and keeping in mind I live in mountainous terrain...I still manage to get close/achieve the predicted miles. I estimate ~60 EV miles will be the new normal this summer where as past two summers up to 65 was fairly common.

    Works for me. Degradation is going to occur. Not unusual for up to 10% degradation within 18 months on any EV or so I read. That's for the experts to debate.

    Time will tell the rest of the story.

    Side note: There is another thread from a while back where some folks shared miles per kWh data. You might find that interesting as well. I intend to calculate miles per kWh once again in a few months for YoY comparison data...helpful indicator for overall battery condition IMHO. Since my driving patterns don't vary much day to day, month to month or year to year...this comparison is valid for the Clarity I drive. Might prove useful to others as well.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
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  20. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member


    Thanks for the report.

    I have never attempted to 'manage' charging. When on a trip that exceeds the EV range, I preserve substantial battery by using HV until I have just enough EV range to arrive back home with zero EV miles. Then I pull into the garage, plug in and charge fully. My operating regime is around 75% EV, so when just doing short local trips, I generally don't need to charge for several days (usually when I am preparing to go on a 'longer' trip the next day).

    We can have a long debate about how to account for 'losses'. I simply look at the power delivered by the EVSE. In my book, any losses occur within the vehicle, so that is just part of the EV systems. You can certainly attempt to book the losses independently, but most importantly, as long as you are consistent, you should be able to properly interpret any trends over time. I think the input power is a much more reliable measure of battery capacity than range because it doesn't have all of the many variables associated with driving.

    The most important thing is to be able to roughly assess how we are doing with respect to the warranty without repeatedly going to the dealer for a test.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
  21. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear about your problems with the battery but comparing Teslas to a Clarity is like apples and oranges. First off, Teslas have batteries up to six times larger so they will provide at least 6 times the number of life time miles to a Clarity. In reality, Teslas will do far better than that. The major reason is that most Tesla owners will only use a small fraction of the range in daily driving, minimizing the depth of discharge, which improves longevity. Tesla also advises owners to charge only partially on a daily basis to preserve battery life. The small Clarity battery encourages many owners to charge to full daily and then fully discharging, which reduces battery longevity. The Clarity is a hybrid car. Engineers expected owners to mix EV and hybrid modes, not drive exclusively in EV. That's probably why the computer does not keep track of EV miles vs HV miles. As it is, the maintenance reminder just assumes that all your miles are HV. I doubt they expected anyone to put 100,000 pure EV miles on the Clarity within 8 years. I suspect the assumption is that they can afford to replace the batteries for the few owners who actually do. It may come back to bite Honda in the butt if many owners actually drive their cars that way.
  22. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    During the 8 years from the introduction of the Clarity, one can only assume that battery technology will improve substantially...

    I like to hope (probably just a dream) that there is some chance that an aftermarket battery industry can emerge. Maybe we will have a replacement solution eventually that is not only better, but substantially cheaper.

    There is a much better chance of this with a Chevy Volt, or maybe a Nissan Leaf because of the substantially higher production volume. With such little wear and tear on the ICE it seems like this vehicle could be viable for much longer than the life of the original battery.

    OK, maybe I am delusional... In 8 years, this car will be so far behind the technology curve that a battery 'replacement' will just seem dumb (unless it is free because Honda mis-calculated and has to cough up new batteries under warranty) !!
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  23. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    There's already an aftermarket battery industry supporting the Toyota Prius and Honda IMA one-motor hybrids. However, I'd hate to try balancing a Clarity PHEV battery in my lap like I did this 0.9 kWh, 70-lb replacement battery for my gen-1 Insight. Replacing a Clarity's 17kWh battery would be much more difficult.


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