Honda’s Best Kept Secret?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by FastEddieB, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    As background, you may recall I started a thread on the Chevy Volt. We were considering one, had test driven one and liked it. But in looking at reviews, we found out about a car that we, and apparently most others, had never heard of - the Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). We looked at and then test drove one and liked it. Over the Volt it was way more spacious, about Accord-sized, and we’ve had excellent reliability from Honda vehicles in the past. And this was all before Chevy announced they were discontinuing the Volt.

    You may further recall we had 100 shares of Tesla stock. We sold it at $350 and used the proceeds to buy a base model 2018 Clarity back in November. Discounted to $31,500 before GA tax, tags and title, $33,500 after. We were motivated to do this in 2018 for tax reasons - 2018 stood out as a rare year where we could take full advantage of the $7,500 tax credit, and dropping the pre-tax effective price to $24,000. Quits a deal. (As an aside, rumor has it that in Japan the Clarity is a $55,000 car, and its being sold as a loss-leader in the US).

    After 3 months, we’re loving the car. Charged up, we’ve seen between 38 and 51 miles of estimated electric (EV) range. Honda estimates 47 miles EV range as the average. The variability is due to colder temps giving less range, plus the estimate is based on past driving behavior. These numbers let us do a significant portion of our running around on electricity alone, making for a very quiet ride and making trips to the gas station rare. For trips exceeding that range the Clarity switches over to hybrid mode (HV) and gets just over 40 mpg, pretty impressive for a relatively large, heavy car. It only has a 7 gal gas tank, but that still allows for a combined range of over 300 miles and we like to stop more often than that to stretch. And there’s pleasure in a fillup only costing $10 to $12 on average.

    Here’s the display on a relatively warm day after running errands for 50 miles and still having 5 miles EV range left:
    [​IMG]

    Which brings up an interesting scenario we had not considered - there exists a ratio between gas prices and electric rates where it can actually be cheaper to use gas. This begins to be a factor as gas gets close to or under $2/gal. In some places where electric rates are high, it can cost as much as 28% more to run electric compared to gas. We’re fortunate that the TVA keeps rates around us fairly low, slightly favoring electric over gas even at these low gas prices.

    The Clarity comes with a 110v “Level 1” charger. With that, it takes about 12 hours from empty to a full charge from a standard outlet. With our use case that’s fine, as we typically charge overnight. A 220v “Level 2” charger gets the job done in about 3 1/2 hours. Not worth the $300+ cost for us now. That might change if gas goes way up in the future.

    Anyway, loving the car. There are myriad selectable modes, both in EV and HV: NORMAL, ECONOMY and SPORT. Each has its time and place. One can just let the car make all the decisions, or take full control. The driving experience is better with some battery in reserve, and this can be maintained by switching to HV with some percentage of battery still left.

    Like all hybrids, the Clarity makes you aware of how much energy is wasted in conventional gas cars. You actually get to see you battery charge and your EV range increase as you coast and brake. Its addicting.

    And Honda didn’t scrimp on this car. It has Adaptive Cruise Control, which allows the car to pace slower traffic ahead when necessary. It warns of lane departure by wiggling the steering wheel, and can even maintain the vehicle within its lane, though it periodically prompts for driver input to make sure you haven’t fallen asleep. It has collision mitigation that will apply the brakes if it thinks a collision is imminent. The infotainment system has been criticized as an older version with a clunkier interface, but with Apple CarPlay it gets the job done.

    As to the styling. Overall the Clarity’s shape is very similar to dozens of other cars out there. The vestigial fender skirts perhaps pay homage to the original Insight, but also remind some of a 1970’s Citroen SM. A stying cue some vociferously hate, but which doesn’t bother us. Oh, and in about 3 months of looking, we have yet to come across another Clarity “in the wild”.

    Stock photo:

    [​IMG]

    Which comes full circle to the title of this thread - it sure seems like Honda is actively trying NOT to sell Clarity’s. There are various theories on this, but the majority of people to whom I’ve mention we bought a Honda Clarity have never heard of it. And yet, even without any apparent effort only the Tesla Model 3 beat out the Clarity in EV sales last month...

    [​IMG]

    Like I said, Honda’s best kept secret?
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  2. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Friend has one and really likes it. The only two complaints so far are that Apple CarPlay/AndroidAuto seem sluggish and that in your first picture the display waffles between rounding and truncation (supposedly there's another screen that would show 237.0 miles of range in your example).
     
  3. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    The coal that you burned up with extra demand on the power grid totally offsets the tree-hugging electric car’s “greenicity.” Just sayin. ;)
     
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  4. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    I see the “wink” icon, but that is pretty much a myth.

    First, a lot of our electricity is hydro. Thank you FDR and the TVA!

    Second, even burning coal for power is cleaner than internal combustion engines.

    But, yes, that electricity has to come from somewhere - there’s no free lunch. But a large part of a hybrid’s efficiency comes from reclaiming power from the inertia of the vehicle via regenerative braking that would otherwise go into wearing down brake pads and rotors. And that almost is a free lunch!
     
  5. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    With current gas prices, I think their Insight is the best value. Prefer the looks over the Clarity also. But it’s not EV so those set on real efficiency and reducing Co2, will go EV or PHEV. It is addictive seeing how far you can go in a charge. Never really enjoyed driving until I got the Volt. It has a cult like following.

    Just like the Chevy Volt when it came out, they aren’t going to promote their EVs as much as their ICE vehicles. It’s strange in Chevy’s case. They spent a fortune on the Volt only not to properly market it. Same as it’s predecessor the EV-1. Why, is due to several factors. Big oil being one and trying to fill a niche with a vehicle where they barely broke even was another one. Now, with the advances in Lithium Ion batts, the cost vs range makes sense. I think you’ll see more and more EVs on the road. GM’s recent announcement with the layoffs and the demise of the Volt is proof.

    Most likely my next car will be full EV. Waiting on a VW Crozz or a used Jaguar I-Pace or Model S.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  6. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    The 2020 Kia Soul will allegedly have an EV version with about a 300 mile range. That’s a “sweet spot” for a lot of folks, and could end up being our second (or third, or fourth) car in the future.
     
  7. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So you moved your tailpipe to a different place?
    Also you know those batteries are rather nasty to make a dispose of.

    Personally I like my V8s and forced induction, I can refuel in a minute or two and go over 300mi and that’s having fun driving, electric is cool for a golf cart or quad copter though
     
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  8. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Thank you so much for your insight on the matter. It’s truly appreciated.
     
  9. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    They still produce less than half the CO2 emissions of an ICE during their lifetime. While roughly the first 18 months of ownership they’re higher than ICE due to manufacturing, they quickly start to gain ground. Even in heavy coal / natural energy areas, you’re still breaking even in emissions. The difference in the heavy coal / natural gas areas is the cost of burning gas vs EV. Gas in GA right now is around $2.13 gal. I can either pay $2.13 to go 37 miles on ICE or pay $1.20 to go 37 miles on electric.

    The batteries are also recycled.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  10. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route PoA Supporter

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    The batteries are also recycled.


    What’s the carbon footprint on that? (I’m not saying it’s bad, just wondered what it really costs?) It must take energy. What percentage gets recycled? What kind of stuff has to be disposed of?

    And to the OP, nice car. If they made a minivan version we might have one.
     
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  11. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Thanks.

    Rumor also has it that the Clarity is serving as a test bed for an upcoming Pilot PHEV.
     
  12. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route PoA Supporter

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    We have an 8 passenger Odyssey. And still use it as such sometimes. But it’s intriging.
     
  13. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Thanks for the PIREP. I am not a Honda fan personally, but I have been following the various EV/hybrid efforts out there. Some of them are getting quite interesting and good. I got some Buick hybrid with a 4-cyl. Honestly, I was surprised with how nicely it drove, and having the hybrid gives you a game of trying to maximize your regen.

    Apparently on the Cadillac ELR they put in a button that lets you basically manually engage the regen as an "engine brake" of sorts. I could have fun with that in Pennsylvania.

    Right now, there's nothing hybrid or electric that makes me go "I actually want to buy that." But, I think they're going to get there.
     
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  14. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I still have yet to understand how massive mining for precious metals is going to offset much of anything.

    Ever research production of copper?
     
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  15. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Or ethanol

     
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  16. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

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    Electrics and Hybrids are wonderful, until you have to replace the battery.
    Had a Honda CR-Z which I absolutely loved. Then one day I asked what it was going to cost me to replace the battery when the time came.
    Got home, pulled out the calculator, did some gozintas and put the car up for sale a couple of weeks later.
     
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  17. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    They seem pretty environmental friendly in their recycling process.

    http://www.retrievtech.com/mission

    I’m not saying full up EVs are the answer but I don’t see anything wrong with offsetting our fossil fuel consumption with EV. All EVs (New Green Deal) by 2030 ain’t gonna happen. Isn’t even enough Cobalt, Lithium and Copper in the world to meet that demand.
     
  18. SaltH2OHokie

    SaltH2OHokie Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I get liking V8's and turbos, I have a few of each myself. And I also understand having an opinion about what the right motor for a given situation looks like, which may not focus primarily on environmental sustainability. For example, I have a stone reliable 2 stroke boat motor on one of my primary boats. It is not good for the environment, but me being stranded is not good for me, and I have to weigh those two against each other.

    What I don't get, and maybe I'm misreading your tone (apologies, if so), is being opposed to doing something that might be better for the environment, on the basis that it might be better for the environment.
     
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  19. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    For sure, and I agree, I’m all for being nice to the environment, it is a good thing no doubt, I was actually going to build up a bio diesel rig years ago and seriously looked into using the river by my place and different window treatments etc to try to get my place off “the grid”, the cold math just didn’t make sense in my particular situation, with my exact house and location.

    My issue is the religious like cult that “green” has become, I mean questinging ethanol or EVs or climate prediction models that fell short, or whatever is treated like legit blasphemy by some folks. I also know many of these “green” products are very much a $$$ industry and thus some people have conflicts of interest.

    I can recall a few conversations I had some some hardcore environment folks who were talking all the stuff you hear on the news, driving Prius and all, but when I asked them about what their position was on the tons of salt on the roads, even when it’s too cold to help, or Canada dumping raw sewage into the river, or why we still push ethanol, or a few other things, they didn’t have much info on those subjects with are right in their own backyard.

    When science turns to a religion like cause I think we loose sight of the real meat and tatters of the issue
     
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  20. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    In SPORT mode, the Clarity has “persistent”, paddle~adjustable regen. Taking your foot off the “throttle” creates an effect almost identical to downshifting. It’s how we navigate the twisties here in the Southern Appalachians, rarely needing any brakes at all.

    Granted, a 4,000 lbs plus, 5 seat sedan is never going to handle like a Miata. Truth be told, I find the suspension a bit too soft in both damping and spring rate for my tastes. Our Ford Flex of similar size and weight feels a lot more “planted”. Adjustable suspension would have been nice, but Honda is treading a fine line between economy and luxury car with little left over for sport.

    All that said, driving on winding roads at reasonable speeds is stil a fun, engaging experience in the Clarity. If I want more, there’s always my Buell!
     
  21. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Same for me, and I am paying attention. As much as I like my big V8s, I think there may be an electric vehicle in my future unless I croak within the next 10 years.

    The only draw back on electric vehicles to me is the range. Out here in the southwest we measure distances in hours, not miles. So to me that means two cars. One for in town driving and near an electric outlet, and the other car (truck) for hauling loads and driving distances.

    Back in the 80s my dad did a research project on ethanol. Basically he was wanting to see if using ethanol in farm vehicles would help reduce the cost of fuel for farmers and ranchers. His results were that if oil absolutely disappeared from earth then ethanol would be a viable option.

    I ran a few experiments on his ethanol and found out it would go down easier if mixed with a favorite non-alcoholic beverage....
     
  22. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Jay Leno's opinion on electric cars is sort of along those lines, from watching some of the episodes of "Jay Leno's Garage" where he talks about electric cars. Basically the idea that it's the future for the standard driving that we all have to do, and can still be "fun enough" while preserving gasoline for our other fun vehicles. If you liked a Honda Accord, then the essentially hybrid version should likely be as good to drive.

    But, I don't like Honda Accords (or Hondas at all), so for me the equivalent needs to be different.

    From a technical perspective there's no reason why an electric vehicle wouldn't work for my daily commute (~20 miles each way), but living out in the country I still need at the very least a hybrid to make it to the airport (~40 miles each way) or a lot of other weekend running around. I agree that at least a hybrid is in everyone's future who's planning on living another 10+ years. If nothing else, the CAFE standards are essentially forcing things that direction (similar to the emissions regulations increasing during the 80s and 90s that brought us universal fuel injection and coil pack/COP ignition by the end of that era).

    For me the drawback is making sure that it's something that I get a pleasure out of driving. As I've opined on here before, I like shifting gears and the man-machine interaction. Thus far that's been hard for a company to do in a manner that satisfies me with a hybrid, but not impossible.

    BMW came by my office a few years ago and I got to drive the i8. I really enjoyed it, and that was the first hybrid I've come across that I could actually see myself buying. Now, at its price point ($60-70k on the low end for a used one), I'm not going to be buying something like that anytime soon. I also would've wanted some sort of shifting ability with a manual transmission, which it didn't have. But, it was the right direction.

    I think I would have a hard time with a pure electric, simply because I enjoy the visceral sound of an engine. Maybe I could eventually be convinced, but the concept of an electric Harley Davidson seems absurd to me. The whole point of a Harley is that it has an unbalanced, archaic V-twin.

    Maybe in another 10-15 years, there will be something I like enough at a price point to buy, when I need to buy something else anyway. Certainly I would like to spend less money on fuel if I could do so while meeting all of my other wants and needs in a vehicle. For now, we'll keep our gas guzzlers. My wife and I both like to have vehicles we enjoy driving too much to get something with better mileage just for the sake of getting better mileage. It's just not a large enough percentage of our budget to really care.
     
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  23. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Coincidentally, when our 2005 Element needed it’s one and only major repair a while back, we were given an Accord Hybrid as a loaner. I really thought I’d like it. I didn’t. The shifting from EV to gas seemed clunky, as did the engine turning off at stops and then restarting. I wanted to like it but felt it wasn’t ready for prime time.

    The Clarity is worlds improved from there. Most of the technological mumbo jumbo going on behind the scenes is pretty transparent in practice. One quirk to be aware of is that at speeds below 45 or so the engine never drives the wheels, just charges the battery as needed. As such, it’s rpm is disassociated from the road speed, which is kind of odd. The 1.5L engine is an “Atkinson Cycle”, apparently known for efficiency but not power over a wide range of rpm. And the Clarity has no transmission. But at speeds above 45, sometimes a little gear icon shows that the engine is directly powering the front wheels. While also either charging the battery or drawing from the battery as needed.

    I’ll link to a YouTube video explaining the workings of Honda’s system, which is common across several hybrid models.

    Here you go:
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  24. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I need 4 wheel drive, enough vertical clearance to handle 2 foot high snow drifts (literally this week on the way to work), and the ability to pull at least a 6,000 lb trailer before I could go electric. Otherwise it would have to be a second vehicle, and I see no reason to have two.
     
  25. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Good points.

    We kept our 2005 Element with over 200,000 miles as an airport car, parked at Copperhill for times we fly back to GA. We kept our Flex as a tow vehicle for our travel trailer. It also served well with its AWD when Karen just did a round trip to Indiana that involved snow. And there’s our 2006 Ridgeline for hauling stuff. Seems excessive, I’m sure, but all in they don’t cost us much in maintenance, just tags and insurance.

    As an aside, this is our first new car/truck since the 2005 Element.

    For many, a hybrid - plug-in or otherwise - could easily serve as a sole vehicle. Lots of folks like, or need, multiple vehicles for various uses. For now the Clarity is our go-to driver, mainly for the economy.
     
  26. Walt

    Walt Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What I would like to know is how the Clarity and other hybrids handle on snow and ice. A friend owns a Volt and loves it but will not drive it on snowy days. Would like to know the experience of others.
     
  27. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Not tried it in snow yet. When snow has been forecast we take the Flex or the Ridgeline, both AWD.

    All I can say is the Clarity makes it up our rather steep gravel driveway better than other FWD cars seem to. More weight on the front wheels is likely why.

    On a Clarity subforum lots of owners put on snow tires, and they seem to do well enough.

    That said, I think it’s more a matter of weight and weight distribution than type of propulsive power.
     
  28. Walt

    Walt Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My friend with the Volt says it will not stop on ice. He thinks the drive train is trying to collect energy so judging stopping distance is difficult. Bad news in traffic. He has slid thru several intersections.
     
  29. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Will any car “stop on ice"? Short of one with chains or studs?
     
  30. SaltH2OHokie

    SaltH2OHokie Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My wife toys with giving up her diesel Jetta for an electric or hybrid electric vehicle. I just don't like feeling like I'm paying retail to be a beta tester. What's the warranty situation?
     
  31. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    That would be true if Eddie lived in West Virginia or Wyoming, but those are about the only places.

    Map as of 2015:
    [​IMG]

    Since then many more coal plants have closed. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-...ements-will-continue-despite-trumps-epa-pick/
     
  32. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    @Ted DuPuis

    Even 40 miles each way to the airport is well within the range of most EVs in the market today. You just need one that is 200 miles plus to have wiggle room. And for that, you only have to pick from a dozen models....

    Tim
     
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  33. pigpenracing

    pigpenracing Pattern Altitude

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    Over the years between me and my wife we have had about 8 or 9 TDI's. All year models. My wife sold her 2014 TDI passat back in the VW buyback because they gave her more than she paid for it new. She regrets getting rid of it.
    Last month I bought a 2015 Golf Sportwagon SEL TDI. I am happy again! Been getting 42 mpg with mixed city and highway. This one has the VW emissions fix and it gets better mileage than the others we had.
    Keep the VW!
    You buy a battery car and the batteries crap out in a few years.... Then what? Are new batteries $10,000? Or more?
     
  34. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Not great.

    “The Honda Clarity comes with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.”

    I think many Clarity owners realize that to some extent they are beta testers.

    We normally keep cars a long time. That may not be the case with the Clarity. Mainly because of how quickly EV’s are improving.
     
  35. Jamie Kirk

    Jamie Kirk Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Bought a 2 year old fully loaded Volt for $14,000 and I live 9 miles from work. With our solar at home with a Tesla Battery Backup our entire electric bill for 2018 was less than $50.

    I don’t care about carbon foot print or being green. I just didn’t want to buy gas.

    Have had the car now for 5 years and I’ve put less than 3 tanks of gas through it. It’s been problem free and in 5 years it’s not needed an oil change and I still have the tires on it that it came with. I haven’t spent $10 in maintenance on the car.
     
  36. Stephen Poole

    Stephen Poole Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Only about 7.4% of total US electrical generation comes from hydropower. Wind is 6.3%. Nuclear is 20%. Fossil fuels account for over 60% of total generation. Natural Gas has edged out coal in recent years. But burning just about any high-yield fuel is going to yield CO2 emissions. Carbon + Oxygen, y'gets CO2. :) Source: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

    No argument with that. No argument that regenerative braking helps a lot, too.

    I guess all I'd say is, good on ya, hybrids with regeneration are probably the future, but they ain't as "clean" as some of their proponents think. And yes, I think you do have to consider the total energy cost and emissions required to make the technology. That's usually overlooked, but it is significant.

    As I write this, here in Birmingham, US Steel says the economy has improved so much, they're going to build a new electric-arc furnace to make high-grade steel. Naturally, my first impulse is to say, "yay, jobs!" But that electricity has to come from somewhere, and we're talking about gobs and gobs of electrons.

    Here's a breakdown of energy sources ...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  37. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    How accurate have you found the GOM to be?

    That's one great reason why having more EV range is better. With the 21-mile Fusion Energi, I never made it longer than 2 months I don't think, because it would *just barely* make it into town and back from where we live. With the 38-mile Volt (which has a gas tank half the size of the Fusion's), well, I haven't gassed it up since November. Since standing outside in the winter waiting for the tank to fill up is NOT my idea of fun, I'm a big fan of the longer EV range!

    Yep. For me, in the Fusion, $1.85/gal was the tipping point. I haven't even calculated it on the Volt, because I don't care - I've gotten so used to electric driving that when the engine kicks on it really irks me! :rofl: So I'm gonna drive electric even if it were to be more expensive.

    Yep - A lot of people don't realize that you don't really need anything special to charge an electrified car, even a purely electric one. For most EVs, whether PHEV or BEV, you'll get about 4 miles of range per hour that it's plugged in to a standard 15A 120V outlet. So, you'll gain 32 miles of range while you're asleep. If you look at how long you're home in the evening/overnight, multiply that by 4, and that ends up being less than your average daily mileage, you don't need anything else. I went for a little over 2 years with the Fusion Energi before I put in a 240V system, and I did that mainly because I know I'm going to own an electric vehicle for the foreseeable future, and 240V charging is more efficient so it'll eventually pay for itself.

    I would recommend making sure that you have a new outlet and that it's the only one on the circuit (or at least the only one with anything plugged in). Most cars and chargers will pull the full 12A continuous rated power from that 15A outlet, and if you use an old, worn-out outlet you may get some arcing or there may be some dirt and grime in there that increases resistance, which will mean heat. I've seen a lot of pictures of old outlets with burn marks on them, and had one myself.

    All that said, I'm really glad I have the 240V EVSE now, because I can charge up much faster and maybe make a second and third out-and-back trip on the same day without burning any gas. I got the JuiceBox Pro 40 and have been very happy with it. I can look on my phone and see whether the car is charging, get lots of geeky stats, and control it to some extent.

    Yep. So is the smooth, quiet ride.

    Outside of California, it's pretty normal to not see another EV like yours in the wild very often. In the 3 years I had the Fusion Energi, I never saw another one on the road, only a couple that were parked. I had an i3 for a year, and I only saw one other one of those, down near Chicago. I've seen Volts in the past, but since I got my Volt back in November I think I've only seen one other one.

    Tesla Model 3s are really proliferating quickly, though, so that's an exception to this rule...

    Simple - The traditional (ie non-Tesla) manufacturers don't really want you to buy an EV. They're lower-margin because they haven't worked to reduce battery costs, the dealers hate EVs because they require so little maintenance and that's where they make all their money, and the old guard has been telling anyone who will listen that nobody wants an EV, while big oil funds FUD campaigns.

    Meanwhile, Tesla is finally starting to reap the benefits of all their investment and hard work in bringing battery costs down, and the money is finally starting to flow in instead of out. A tipping point has been reached, and it's not one that's good for the others, as they've got a long and difficult road full of R&D and battery production to sort out that Tesla has already gone through.

    Interesting. That Model 3 number is only about a week's production... I know that they pushed hard to get cars to US buyers out before the tax credit expired in December, and they're starting European deliveries now. I guess the other 3 weeks' production filled up the seven cargo ships I saw listed as being full of Model 3s...
     
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  38. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Here's the most up to date version of that map, which is just about a year old:

    [​IMG]

    Oddly enough, most of my state got slightly worse. Wonder what happened there. I'm in the SE portion of WI, though, in the RFCW zone, which improved a fair amount.

    Battery costs are a closely guarded secret at all of the manufacturers, but Tesla's have been steadily dropping and I'm guessing everyone else's have too. $100 per kWh is about where things are today (Tesla is probably lower, others are probably slightly higher). On a PHEV like the Clarity, the battery would be in the neighborhood of 12 kWh, so figure $1200 is the cost of the cells, plus some... But that's today, and by the time you *might* need to replace a battery (they are lasting longer than the FUDsters would like you to believe) it might be half that, and with the difference in maintenance costs it should be a wash at worst compared to a gas vehicle.

    It also depends on the manufacturer... Nissan had a bad chemistry on early Leafs that didn't deal with heat well, and they replaced a lot of batteries under warranty in hot places like Arizona. Each manufacturer is going to have a different battery management system to deal with things like temperature, how deeply the batteries are discharged and how high they're charged, and all of that goes into battery longevity.

    But, outright replacing a battery pack on an EV is quite rare.

    Wow... That's a really interesting graphic. A few things that jumped out at me:

    1) What's with all the solar in Minnesota? Did someone not realize how little sun we get in the Midwest during some portions of the year? ;)
    2) Solar seems to be very state-by-state. NC, NJ, MA all have high concentrations even though they're not among the states we consider "sunny".
    3) There's some pretty big "Other" plants, and I wonder what they are. (Found one - I think the one at the WV/VA border is the Bath County Pumped Storage Station, but that's storage, not generation. Weird.)
    4) I had no idea the Grand Coulee Dam and some of its counterparts on the Columbia were so big, dwarfing the Hoover Dam and Glen Canyon Dam that I'm more familiar with.
     
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  39. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Seems to me to most likely be the tyres that are different here? I suspect that EVs come with tyres that are optimised for low rolling resistance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  40. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Thanks for the long reply. We are almost entirely on the same page.

    Not very. Sometimes conservative, for example in the image in my OP. It had estimated 51 EV miles and at 50 we had 5 left. But often optimistic - jump on the interstate with the heat on and it gets a lot less if your recent prior drives had all been local.

    But this just exemplifies the level of involvement with the car that I find enjoyable. With gas this cheap, still under $2/gal around us, we don’t sweat gas usage but enjoy trying to minimize it for giggles.

    One of our common “mission profiles” is a 95 mile drive between N GA and E TN. We usually drive in EV mode until EV miles remaining hits 10, then switch to HV, which holds the battery at about that level. Then switch back to EV about 10 miles from home to arrive home with little if any EV charge remaining*. On such a drive, we typically use between 1 and 1.5 gals of gas, compared to about 5 gals in our other vehicles.

    As an aside, I don’t recall making a point of the “green” factor of EV’s in the OP. That played only a very small part, if any, in our purchase decision. But it’s a nice side benefit if it helps the environment, even if in a very small way.

    *Its death for these Lithium Ion batteries to fully discharge. The car knows that and stops discharging with a healthy reserve, even with 0 EV miles remaining.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
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