GRA
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Re: Official Honda Clarity FCEV/BEV/PHEV thread

Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:20 pm

Just saw my first privately-owned Clarity in the wild, in a five or less minute period during which I'd previously seen a Mercedes-Benz B-Cell (or F-class FCEV; they share the same body) and a Bolt. Bolt sightings are starting to become fairly common, once a week or so, and so far their sightings are more common than Prius Primes, even though the latter has sold better. Not sure why.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GetOffYourGas
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Re: Official Honda Clarity FCEV/BEV/PHEV thread

Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:04 am

What are your impressions seeing it "in the flesh"? I think it looks a lot like an Accord from pictures I've seen. Basically just another mid-sized Honda Sedan. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
~Brian

EV Fleet:
2011 Torqeedo Travel 1003 electric outboard on a 22' sailboat
2012 Leaf SV
2015 C-Max Energi (302A package)

GRA
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Re: Official Honda Clarity FCEV/BEV/PHEV thread

Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:44 pm

GetOffYourGas wrote:What are your impressions seeing it "in the flesh"? I think it looks a lot like an Accord from pictures I've seen. Basically just another mid-sized Honda Sedan. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

I've seen them at demos before, just not in private hands. There are certainly some Accord-like styling cues, but I don't care for the current Accords much. I especially dislike the cheesy 'chrome' trim pieces that Honda has slapped on just about every car model in their line for their most recent mid-life updates, even including the Fit for heaven's sake - it smacks too much of the irrelevant trivia that GM/Ford et al used to engage in when coming out with annual 'new and improved' models, rather than substantially improving the car itself - "look, now it's got more chrome!". I'd thought we'd gotten beyond all that, or at least that the Japanese had avoided it in the first place.

About all I can say is that it's somewhat better looking than the Mirai, but still isn't going to win any awards. The intakes that both the Mirai and the Clarity have spoil the frontal aspect of both of them IMO, and they both look sort of overhung on the sides, like the old '60s - early '70s Rover sedans that I've always disliked, although the Clarity's a lot better in that regard than the Mirai. I don't think too many people would be buying/leasing either of them because of their looks, but in spite of them.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
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Re: Official Honda Clarity FCEV/BEV/PHEV thread

Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:04 pm

Via GCR:
2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell: first drive of hydrogen-powered sedan
http://www.greencarreports.com/news/110 ... ered-sedan

There are now three different vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells on sale in California, and we've driven them all. The 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is the first one in which we were able to forget about the powertrain and simply drive. It's the best of the three . . . The Clarity is a mid-size sedan, with some strange exterior design cues but a spacious, comfortable, and pleasant interior that's nicely appointed. . . .

On the road, Honda has done a better job of suppressing noise, vibration, harshness, and mechanical sounds than Toyota did with its Mirai . . . The Clarity simply drives like a large electric sedan, complete with some electronics hum under certain circumstances. That's hardly surprising, since it's powered by a 130-kilowatt (174-horsepower) electric motor driving the front wheels. . . .

We started the trip with an indicated 194 miles of hydrogen range, and sampled the refueling experience at a "True Zero" station . . . Fueling was as simple as promised, complete with paper receipt from the pump after it was completed.

Perplexingly, though, the available-range display had risen from 194 miles to just 258 miles, even though the tank appeared on the gauge to be full. That's a far cry from the EPA rating of 366 miles of range from the Clarity's 5.5 kilograms of highly compressed hydrogen. That number is higher than the Mirai's 312 miles, the Tucson Fuel Cell's 265-mile rating, and even any Tesla model now on sale . . . We can only assume the folks who had prepared the Clarity test cars had hammered them considerably, since several other journalists also noted sub-300-mile range indicators when full.
[GRA Note: Well, duh! Of course they were driven harder than normal, and the GOM reads low]

The Clarity didn't provide the surge of instant torque from a stop that any electric car delivers; its off-the-line performance isn't bad, but it's more measured. Its fuel cell has to be fed more hydrogen to come up to full power, and the battery pack under the front seats that it uses to meet sudden power demands is just 1.7 kilowatt-hours, about the same size as the one in a conventional hybrid car.

After a couple of standing-start acceleration runs, our rough estimate for 0-to-60-mph acceleration was 9.2 seconds, slightly quicker than the Toyota Mirai we also tested. . . .

As noted, we liked our time in the Clarity. It's got better power than the hydrogen Tucson, which we found worrisomely lacking in acceleration at highway speeds, and it's more refined and pleasant inside than the Toyota Mirai. . . .
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
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Re: Official Honda Clarity FCEV/BEV/PHEV thread

Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:42 pm

Via C&D, similar first drive review as GCR:
2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell
Finally, a compelling proposition . . . for a certain few.
http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/201 ... ive-review

At each new hydrogen fuel-cell car introduction comes the assertion from the proud maker that its car is no longer a science experiment. The 2017 Honda Clarity fuel cell finally gives credence to that platitude. It actually realizes the potential that hydrogen fuel-cell engineers have long worked toward: to make the fuel-cell hardware entirely invisible from the driving experience. Built on a dedicated platform that also will spawn a battery-electric version and a plug-in hybrid later this year, the fuel-cell Clarity drives just like a battery-powered electric car. Nearly all of the deal-breakers that have branded previous efforts as science experiments—the strident vacuum-cleaner sounds, poor packaging, sluggish performance—have been purged. . . .

. . . the fuel-cell Clarity drives like a very heavy Accord that is entirely aware of the added girth and doesn’t try any fancy dance moves. It tops 4000 pounds, despite an aluminum hood, doors, fenders, and trunklid . . . the prevailing impression is that it feels far more nose-heavy in tight corners than its claimed 57/43 front/rear weight distribution suggests. The steering is precise, but it could be weighted stronger on-center. Selecting Sport mode—signaled by red highlighting for the gauge cluster—gives you sharper accelerator response as well as what will be welcomed on mountain roads: more regenerative braking. The brakes themselves are precise and easy to modulate. . . .

The cabin is superbly trimmed, with high-quality finishes that would look at home in an Acura . . . Materials with a reduced environmental footprint have been used for nearly 80 percent of interior surface areas. . . .

We can’t predict whether hydrogen vehicles will go down as a failed experiment or the start of a sea change. Provided you’re okay in the living laboratory, which is essentially the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas (plus a waypoint in between at Harris Ranch and an outpost near Lake Tahoe), the fuel-cell Clarity makes a viable second car—not just because Honda has subsidized it so heavily but because it’s pleasant to drive. . . .

There were also similar comments about the GOM range as GCR made - C & D saw 221 miles initially, and then 260 after refueling. I imagine these were all being driven the same day by the same journalists in sequence, and anyone driving a car after the auto mag leadfeet is probably lucky they didn't see the GOM reading in double digits.
Last edited by GRA on Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
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Re: Official Honda Clarity FCEV/BEV/PHEV thread

Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:00 pm

Via IEVS:
Honda Comments On Limited Fuel Cell Market, Notes A Battery Electric Pilot A Possibility
http://insideevs.com/honda-comments-on- ... ssibility/

Honda has made it known that it has no intention of offering a long-range electric Clarity, but that doesn’t mean the automaker will totally ignore the market for long-range BEVs.


The Honda Clarity, currently only offered as a fuel cell vehicle, will also be offered as a plug-in electric vehicle in 2018
Though intent on offering a Clarity BEV with just 80 miles of electric range, Honda says there’s a chance the automaker could do a long-range BEV in something such as the Honda Pilot SUV. . . .

Oh, but we do appreciate Carter’s comment of FCEVs. Carter says that Honda only expects to lease some 50-60 Clarity fuel cell cars per month due to the limited refueling Infrastructure. Quoting Carter:

You can’t flood the market – the fueling infrastructure can’t handle it.”

Because 70 a month would apparently flood the market.

Judging by the things he's said (the article mentions his previous comments re why the Clarity BEV doesn't need more than 80 miles of range), this guy Carter sounds like someone trying to spin decisions he knows are dumb. Either that, or he's an idiot. And 60 Claritys a month, or double that FTM plus the same number of Mirais, won't flood the fueling infrastructure, at least not for a couple of years yet.

The main reason Honda likely won't be leasing more than 50-60/month is simple, the market's not there yet (although they could certainly equal and maybe exceed Mirai sales if they had the market to themselves). OTOH, the positive reviews/comparisons to the Mirai may well see the Clarity cannibalizing some Mirai sales, if they advertise it. As it is, Toyota just replaced the Mirai billboard in my city ("It is Rocket Science") with a new one touting the only emission being water. I've only seen the floating heads Clarity TV commercial a couple of times (and no other advertising), but I've seen the Mirai Super Bowl ad numerous times, so Toyota seems to be putting more effort into marketing at the moment, even if the Clarity seems to be the better product (cargo area aside). While I wouldn't choose either car, if I had to choose one of them I'd grit my teeth about the crummy trunk space and go with the Clarity. I could always carry cargo inside the cabin, although not my bike.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
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Re: Official Honda Clarity FCEV/BEV/PHEV thread

Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:31 pm

Per Good Car/Bad Car, March Clarity leases were only 23, vs. 42 and 27 for Jan./Feb.: http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2016/11/honda-fcx-sales-figures-usa-yearly-monthly.html

Don't know why they call it the FCX Clarity, as that was the previous generation. Meanwhile, the Mirai has shown modest month-over-month gains this year, presumably due to the fact that they're actually advertising it, which Honda essentially isn't doing.
Last edited by GRA on Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

armmynissanleaf
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Re: Official Honda Clarity FCEV/BEV/PHEV thread

Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:55 pm

Here are some ups and downs from our perspective. We drove it.

http://www.torquenews.com/1574/exceptional-zero-emissions-2017-honda-clarity
Always do acts of kindness in this world.
TorqueNews Nissan

GRA
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Re: Official Honda Clarity FCEV/BEV/PHEV thread

Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:41 pm

armmynissanleaf wrote:Here are some ups and downs from our perspective. We drove it.

http://www.torquenews.com/1574/exceptional-zero-emissions-2017-honda-clarity

Thanks. From what I see, aside from the limited fueling infrastructure, unknown future price of H2 and the price of the car, which affects all FCEVs,how would the trunk work for you? As I see it that's the biggest downside relating to the Clarity FCEV specifically (well, the looks too, but that's subjective).
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
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Re: Official Honda Clarity FCEV/BEV/PHEV thread

Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:00 pm

Via IEVS, some further details on the Clarity PHEV and BEV, but no pricing:
Honda Clarity PHEV Debuts In New York With 42 Miles Electric Range, Live Stream Debut
http://insideevs.com/honda-clarity-phev-42-mile-range/

PHEV:
    All-electric range of 42 miles thanks to a 17-kWh battery pack, “based on Honda internal testing.” Total range is 330 miles.
    Expected 105 MPGe on the EPA scale.
    1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine charges the pack and can drive the wheels.
    Electric motor offers 181 horsepower and 232 foot-pounds of torque.
    Arrives nationwide later in 2017.
    Two trim levels (Standard and Touring).
    Will be the top seller in the Clarity family.


BEV:
    No official range yet, but the 25.5-kWH battery pack just further confirms the stories of a low, 80-mile range. SAE Combo DC Fast Charging available.
    161-hp electric motor puts out 221 lb.-ft. of torque
    Expected 120/102/111 MPGe (city/highway/combined) on the EPA scale.
    Will hit the market with lease-only programs in California and Oregon later in 2017. . . .
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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