2018 Honda Clarity PHEV Test Drive Review

DEC 12 2017 BY STEVEN EWING 96

Bigger than a Volt and more electric range than a Fusion Energi, but not exactly the electrified Honda we’d want.

– Calistoga, California

The Honda Clarity isn’t just one car, it’s three: a family of vehicles built on a shared battery-centric architecture, with hydrogen fuel cell, full-electric, and plug-in hybrid powertrains.

But as far as we are concerned, the only one worth your attention is the plug-in model tested here. The fuel cell car can only be leased from 12 dealers in California, and hydrogen as a fuel source still doesn’t make sense for the vast majority of people. The all-electric offering is available to lease in California and Oregon, and only has an electric range of 89 miles which, going into the year 2018, is kind of laughable. The plug-in hybrid, however, offers an alternative power-train solution that’s usable for most people, most of the time, and it’s available at Honda dealers in all 50 states.

2018 Honda Clarity PHEV

Relative to other plug-in hybrids, the Clarity has a unique position in the market. It’s larger than a Chevy Volt or Toyota Prius Prime, but has more than double the electric range of a similarly sized Ford Fusion Energi.

It comes nicely equipped, with a truly premium-feeling cabin, and it’s affordable: $33,400 for the base car, and $37,490 for the top-level Touring. Assuming short-sighted U.S. Republicans don’t eliminate the country’s EV tax credit, that means a fully loaded Clarity Plug-In could only cost about $30,000. The smaller Chevy Volt will get you a few more miles of electric range (~6 more), but comparably optioned, it’ll cost about $4,000 more.

Editor’s Note:  We should mention that if one is looking to lease a Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, Honda will only be passing on around $6,500 of the Federal credit, and only in ZEV states – more details here.

Of course, buying the Clarity Plug-In means having to look at it every day, which might be this car’s toughest selling point. There’s no other way to say it: this thing is hella ugly from every angle. The car’s overall shape is good for aero, as are the functional air curtains along the body sides and those dorky rear wheel arch covers.

2018 Honda Clarity PHEV

Luckily, you don’t have to look at it from behind the wheel. The Clarity’s interior will be familiar to Honda owners, with a handsome design and premium appointments throughout; if you told us this was the cabin of a loaded Accord, we might believe you.

The top-trim Touring seen here gets “bio-leather” seating surfaces (supposedly derived from plants), and an ultra-suede applique across the length of the dashboard. All models get the company’s Honda Sensing active safety suite, as well as the eight-inch touchscreen Display Audio infotainment system, with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (the Touring trim gets factory navigation). But take note: this isn’t the updated system found in the 2018 Accord and CR-V, with its cleaner graphics and physical knobs for volume and tuning. Likewise, the Clarity’s steering wheel features the touch-sensitive slider control for volume, rather than the Accord’s updated design with normal buttons.

The two big takeaways after spending time in the Clarity are how quiet and luxurious the interior feels, and just how much usable space there is.

Driving through sunny California wine country, wind and road noise don’t filter into the cabin, though when the engine’s on full boil, there’s a pretty loud drone heard through the firewall (more on that soon). Every surface inside is as nice to look at as it is to touch. Plastics are nicely grained; rosewood film surfaces mimic the appearance and feel of natural, open-pore wood; the leather seats are comfortable and supportive. Up front, driver and passenger have plenty of head- and shoulder room, and while we hate the action of Honda’s electronic gear selector, we appreciate the huge cubby below the center console for storage. Moving to the rear seat, there’s a wealth of head- and legroom, far more than the smaller Volt and Prius Prime. The Fusion Energi bests the Clarity in rear seat spaciousness on the spec sheet, but the Honda’s cabin feels more open and airy.

2018 Honda Clarity PHEV

Because the Clarity’s batteries are housed in the center of the vehicle’s architecture, cargo space doesn’t suffer. Open the trunk and you’ve got 15.5 cubic feet of space to work with, compared to just 8.2 in the Fusion Energi, which stores its batteries behind the rear seats. In terms of overall practicality, you can carry four adults and all their belongings easier in the Clarity than just about any of its key rivals.

2018 Honda Clarity PHEV

That battery placement gives the Clarity a lower center of gravity, too, which pays dividends in overall handling. It’s not a sporty car, but hustling down a particularly spirited section of road in Napa Valley, the Clarity handles with confident poise. The Clarity stays flat through corners, and the five-link rear suspension design helps keep the ride comfortable while delivering better-than-average dynamics.

Likewise, the steering is pleasant to use, with crisp turn-in and appropriate weight through the wheel’s full range of motion. Road feedback isn’t as present as I’d like – or expect from Honda – but given this car’s intended purpose as a fuel-mizer in city and highway traffic, the tuning is probably fine.

2018 Honda Clarity PHEV

Power comes from a 1.5-liter inline-four that drives two electric motors, with a total system output of 212 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque. With a full charge for maximum electric assist, Honda estimates the Clarity will run from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under nine seconds. That’s not exactly brisk, but it’s average for the class, especially given this car’s portly 4,052-pound curb weight.

As for the numbers you really care about, Honda estimates an overall electric range of about 47 miles, and when the gas engine is in full operation, fuel economy ratings of 44 miles per gallon city, 40 mpg highway, and 42 mpg combined. Charging the battery takes just 2.5 hours with 240-volt power, or as long as 12 hours on a standard 120-volt household outlet.

In its standard operation, the Clarity runs on full-electric power as often as possible, though if you’re aggressive on the throttle, the gas engine will kick on for assist. An “Econ” mode reduces the engine’s tendency to supplant power, and even decreases the effort of the car’s interior heating and cooling systems, to deliver the most efficient drive programming possible. An “HV” setting runs the car in hybrid mode all the time, meaning the engine’s always on and the battery reserve goes untouched. Finally, Sport mode turns everything on to full blast, offering the maximum output from engine and battery as desired. There isn’t a dedicated full EV setting – when you’re in normal or Econ modes, just don’t push the throttle past the “click point” where the gas engine kicks on.

2018 Honda Clarity PHEV

Here’s where things get a little more confusing. See those paddles on the steering wheel? They aren’t shift paddles, but instead control different levels of regenerative braking. Hitting either one turns the system on, the “-” paddle on the left increases the regen level, with “+” working you back up to no regen at all (yes, we agree that it sounds counterintuitive). Speaking of which, should you activate the regen in normal, Econ, or HV modes, it only stays on for as long as you aren’t applying throttle input – the minute you’re back on the gas, the system turns off. But in Sport mode, the regen holds, so you can dig into the throttle as long as you want, and not have to turn the function back on. All that said, there’s no discernible difference between the four levels of regen. Even at its strongest setting, it barely feels like it’s working.

Our advice is to just get in the Clarity, don’t push anything, and drive it like a normal car. There’s plenty of power when needed, though the 1.5-liter engine is super loud and unpleasant to hear when it’s working hard, especially during uphill climbs. The switch between EV and gasoline-assisted operation is seamless, with no roughness or audible commotion from the engine on startup.

2018 Honda Clarity PHEV

At the end of the day, that’s what most people want from their electrically assisted cars, anyway: get in and go.

Still, this Plug-In model brings Honda’s new Clarity to the masses. For people already plugged into the PHEV scene, its combination of usable electric range, premium amenities, and great interior space offer a compelling package.

Categories: Honda, Test Drives

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96 Comments on "2018 Honda Clarity PHEV Test Drive Review"

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Edgar

Was very seriously considering this car, but learned while reading the manual that a battery heating system is not included in the US model. Result: Will not start in battery temperatures below -22F, and engine must run in temperatures below 14F (not sure if that’s also due to lack of a battery heater). Not the most encouraging setup up north in the winter. Canadian models get a battery heater, which I’m assuming will help the need for the engine to run.

scott

that’s interesting. I’m very interested in this car, just waiting for it to arrive in Canada. But now I have to look more into these cold temperature issues.

Edgar

If you’re in canada, you get the battery heating system. So it’ll always start, and I’d bet you’ll get more electric only operation in winter.

pjwood1

Unless it’s the pursuit of the pure, engine warming modes can consume very little gas and do their job. The first Volt needed a tenth of a gallon, to fully cabin heat and begin warming its KWh. The second has a water-jacket in its exhaust manifold, making the process that much quicker (I assume). -From that experience, my guess is maybe a quarter gallon has got to be enough, but that doesn’t help those who want electric for a 5-10 mile commute.

JyChevyVolt

The Volt does the same thing. Canadians don’t seem to have problem with it because the Volt is the best selling plug-in in Canada.

Edgar

Agreed, but from what I’ve read, the Volt (Gen 1 & Gen 2) have a battery heating capability no?

JyChevyVolt

2011-2012 Volt, the ERDTT came on at 25F.
2013+ Volt, the ERDTT came on at 35F but adjustable to 15F, under climate and air quality setting.

The Honda Clarity PHEV has remote warm-up when plugged into level 2 charger. You can also set the daily timer on the phone app. The wife had it set 10 minutes before departure because 50F is too cold for her.

Personally, I have never needed it because I live in Southern California. I used my heated seat once because I had a sore back.

Edgar

Haha. Right, but on the clarity that’s for cabin heating… I’m sure some of that propagates to the battery but not nearly as efficient as the canadian model which has a dedicated battery heating loop as I understand it, like almost all pure electric vehicles.

Thomas

Only Tesla and GM USED A WATER COOLED/Heated system, all others use an air cooled/heated system

I think the Clarity behaves the same as the Volt in this regard. The Volt won’t heat unless it is plugged in, so also won’t start if the battery is around -20F. It is really hard to have the battery reach that cold.

zzzzzzzzzz

I’m not sure it is always rational to use straight electricity to heat things up. Especially from battery, though from the grid as well, it gets stressed with peaker power plants in cold winter mornings too.

You may just burn gas and get all thermal energy from it instead of third or less when burning it in power plant and then powering electric resistance heater from grid.

Bill Howland

Yup zzzzzzzz its inefficient, but that is the way GM cars protect their batteries.

mxs

And everyone else who has EV on the market with battery heater …

Pushmi-Pullyu

Don’t miss the detailed review of the Honda Clarity PHEV by “jdonalds” at the InsideEVs forum! Posted just yesterday.

http://www.insideevsforum.com/community/index.php?threads/honda-clarity-the-volt-challenger.292/#post-1950

JyChevyVolt

Very good review. The ladies seem to love the design. I had lots of ladies asking about my car.

The console layout is different from the BEV version.

Brake hold is fantastic for in-n-out drive thru.

Honda also has low speed follow, handling LA traffic jam like a champ.

Bill Howland

Phev version seems like a very impressive vehicle for a very attractive price… If the reliability is there then its a win-win. Well done Honda…

x

I’ve had 4 Honda cars and still driving one every day. Very reliable , I do have a good opinion about their cars so in theory I should be one of their possible -likely – customers.

But this car is really really not appealing to me, it is really ugly, the proportions are simply displeasing, especially from a lateral view, the front the back the rear wheel, it’s simply ugly. The interior is not that bad, it’s common I would say, seems roomy, that’s a plus.

Plus the really short electric range, after so many years… if the Leaf beats you that bad….

I know that this may sound as an competitor’s plant’s rant, but it is not, I really wanted to like this offering but I am not. I predict that they will loose more and more against Nissan GM Tesla, and they’ll be wondering why, few years from now. Poor workers will suffer most from the imbecile decisions (too little, way too late) of the management (those guys will get their golden parachutes as usual)

JyChevyVolt

You understand what Plug in hybrid means, right?

BEV = car with battery only (leaf, Tesla, bolt)
PHEV = car with midsized battery and gas engine (Volt, Clarity PHEV)
HEV = cars with tiny battery that drive with gas engine.

Tom

You actually read that entire post? I stopped after ‘loose’. I think I saved a couple brain cells.

JyChevyVolt

LoL. I love nonsense.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Perhaps you’re confused. The bulk of this article is about the Honda Clarity PHEV. You’re comparing it to the Leaf, a BEV? That’s definitely an apples-to-oranges comparison.

With 47 miles of EPA rated EV range, that puts the Clarity only slightly behind the industry leading Chevy Volt, which currently runs at 53 miles of EPA rated range.

The Volt and the Clarity are far ahead of the pack of the rest of the PHEVs.

I understand you don’t like the Clarity’s style, and it doesn’t personally appeal to me all that much. But it’s not like it’s fugly like the Aztec or the Mirai, either! If I was in the market for a larger, family-sized PHEV, I certainly wouldn’t let the styling put me off. I’m sure many car buyers will be buying the Honda Clarity PHEV… battery heater or no.

Go Honda!

x

@JyChevyVolt
@Pushmi-Pullyu

Yes, I happen to know the difference between plug-in hybrid and BEV even before the Volt was released.

I was obviously referring to the BEV Clarity, the one that has 89 miles of range, (as of 2018!) as I am only considering a full electric car, I’m not even considering a plug-in hybrid. I was looking at this article only in respect to the car in its BEV variant.

Sorry that I didn’t make myself clear.

Courtney vegan

Scrap that fugly design. Put a plug in the Civic or Accord.

Dimitrij

The new Civic is not much prettier.

David Murray

I just don’t find much of anything about this car to be appealing. First of all, it is ugly as sin. By comparison, the Leaf and Prius Prime are much more appealing, which is saying something. I honestly feel that Honda designed it that way on purpose to help limit sales of this vehicle.

As for the drivetrain, the range sounds impressive for a PHEV. But without a pure EV mode, I’m not impressed. Even Ford’s half-assed PHEV models have a real EV mode if you are willing to tolerate the reduction in power.

I realize people will say “just don’t push the pedal down so far.” Well, that was the same mentality with the original Prius plug-in as well. That concept did not sit well with me. I much prefer how my Volt can give me a real EV experience as long as the battery is charged. This car can’t.

Pushmi-Pullyu

According to the first-person review on the InsideEVs forum, the accelerator pedal has a “detent” that warns the driver that if he presses harder, it will engage the ICEngine to provide more power. I haven’t driven the car, but at least on paper that sounds better than the Volt, which seamlessly blends in the ICEngine’s power into the powertrain when necessary.

If the Clarity warns the driver that pushing the accelerator any harder will engage the ICEngine, then that allows the driver to decide for himself whether to burn gasoline or not. That seems like an excellent approach for engineering a PHEV for those who want to reduce their use of gasoline as much as possible.

Caveat: Obviously that’s not always going to work. If you run the battery down far enough, then presumably the Clarity will engage the ICEngine to prevent total depletion of the battery, just like any other PHEV.

theflew

The Volt will not use the ICE as long as the battery hasn’t reached its low threshold regardless how hard you press the accelerator. For the ~53 miles the Volt is a true EV.

ModernMarvelFan

It is roomy but its “EV mode” operation is pretty lame. It won’t stay in “EV mode” if any kind of acceleration or hwy merging is required…

JyChevyVolt

That’s not true. It depends on the drive. I get 46.5 miles of ev in my volt. You probably get 27 miles.

Pushmi-Pullyu
If you’re a lead-footed driver, that may be true. But if you are willing to drive the car in a more moderate fashion in “Economy” mode, at least one owner says you can drive it using no gas at all. Quote: The Clarity has three modes. Econ, HV and Sport. Econ is full electric unless you push the car hard or the traction battery is low. We haven’t had the engine kick in yet on our normal daily drives which include a few miles of freeway. The HV mode is Hybrid, much like the Prius where the engine is used quite a bit. (44/40/42 mpg). The sport mode combines the electric and ICE for more power. It is possible to charge the battery, drive in HV mode and conserve the rest of the battery charge to use later. One might, for example, drive on the freeway using hybrid mode for 100 miles, then switch to Econ battery only mode when driving around in the destination city. Furthermore it is possible to ask the ICE to recharge up to 57.7% of the traction battery while driving. …This isn’t a hot rod or a sport’s car… It has 181 horse power in… Read more »
ModernMarvelFan

” It has 181 horse power in Econ mode which is quick but frankly we drive for economy so rarely ever put our foot down hard.”

So, the owner uses about 80hp at most for his driving…

Drive the car first and judge for yourself. Yes, one can keep in EV mode if driving like a slow grandma is acceptable to you.

Of course, it is popular to be as slow as Prius Plugin or Prime these days…

Pushmi-Pullyu

“So, the owner uses about 80hp at most for his driving…”

Clearly reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit. Also, your GM fanboy bias is showing.

GM deserves praise for its superior engineering with the Volt and Voltec. The Volt seamlessly blends power from its EV powertrain and its ICEngine.

Contrariwise, the Clarity is engineered to work very differently in different modes, and to allow the driver to choose between them. It gives the driver much greater control over the car by sacrificing that seamless transition the Volt has.

I welcome different auto makers trying different approaches to EV engineering, and I think the EV revolution will benefit from that. I see the Volt and the Clarity complimenting each other, rather than being competitors in a zero-sum game. More choices in different EVs is what the market needs, to attract more buyers!

Up the EV revolution!

theflew

Read up on the Volt. It only blends AFTER the battery has reach its low state of charge.

Bill Howland

Why do you continually criticize other people when you are not familiar with the way the car works itself?

MMF I thought owned a GEN 1 VOLT, so should at least be somewhat familiar with its operating modes – which are simpler than a GEN 2 Volt, the unique part of that car is the engine is always physically attached to the wheels (albeit through differential gearing).

Thomas

Not true, I own one, you have to pretty much floor it to get the gas engine to kick in, 181 hp electric motor is more than enough for most of the time. My wife hasn’t used a drop of gas for her first three weeks with this car.

JyChevyVolt

The Clarity is a better Volt. Honda went out and addressed​ every complaint about the Volt.

Wife took the Clarity and I’m back to driving the Volt again. The Volt feels like a 20 year old car compare to the Clarity. All the complaints I had about Honda was premature once I figured out the setting and the phone app.

I think the Clarity looks more modern and better than the Volt.

ModernMarvelFan

“The Clarity is a better Volt. Honda went out and addressed​ every complaint about the Volt.”

Except for its lame EV mode that Clarity has.

And you are talking about the Clarity BEV which isn’t the same as Clarity PHEV.

JyChevyVolt

I test drove the PHEV 3 times. There’s not much difference between the two version (I don’t mash the throttle).

My brother and I are going back to the dealer and test drive again. He’s going to trade in his Volt for the PHEV.

ModernMarvelFan

“(I don’t mash the throttle).”

Then you shouldn’t talk… Since you didn’t “FULLY” test the car.

Yes, interior is far more spacious than Volt or Prime, that is a fact.

JyChevyVolt

I know you. You drive in sport on L in the Volt. LoL

Clarity vs Volt
1. On board charger, 6.6kW vs 3.6kW
2. ACC and safety standard vs premier with $1600 extra bringing the cost to $40,625
3. Home link vs no home link
4. Rear air vent vs big ass hump
5. Dual zone climate control vs it’s too small inside to matter.
6. Brake hold vs I can press the brake all day.
7. Memory power seat vs manual pump
8. Hill start assist vs ????
9. 18″ wheels vs 17″ wheels.

Robb Stark

Neither the Civic nor the Accord platfrom can take a 17 kWh battery pack plus a 1.5L ICE powertrain. Without taking most of the trunk/hatch cargo area.

I love the 3/4 rear view.Rear fender skirts not only lower Cd but are sexy too. Ditto the indoor air pass through.

I don’t want to spend $30k on a car and have it look like a bland $18k car that is produced at the rate of half a million per year.

Kdawg

“Midsize” car. Trunk the size of a glove compartment.

It’s a decent Volt knockoff (I say because at least this one has 40+ miles of EV range), but needs to improve looks and pure EV performance.

JyChevyVolt

The trunk is sized like most midsized sedan.

Please don’t compare the Volt to this. The Volt is a joke compare to this car. I owned the Volt for 5 years. My brother has the gen 2 Volt. He drove the Clarity and wants to get rid of his Volt and buy the Clarity PHEV.

Kdawg

The Clarity PHEV trunk is tiny, and I will compare it to the “compact” Volt, as I have hauled things in the back that wouldn’t have a chance in the Honda.

I’ve loved my “joke” for 5 years. It’s just sad that Honda waited 7 years to come out w/their Volt knockoff, but didn’t even meet the bar.

JyChevyVolt

I own both the Volt and Clarity. I can’t take the family of four to the beach or to the mountain in the Volt. The car feels so claustrophobic with 4 people and luggage. We tried it once and it was the most painful experience.

We took the Clarity to the mountain on Saturday and the beach on Sunday. Yesterday, we went to the Grove for shopping and dinner. We did something that was impossible in the Volt.

Kdawg

Hey, you want a 4 person hauler, good for you. Good luck w/luggage for 4 though. I don’t want a family hauler, though sometimes I need to haul a wheel-barrow, or a 56″ TV, or 30 bags of mulch. Something I’ve done my Volt, but would be impossible for the Honda.

JyChevyVolt

Different need for different folks. We already have plenty of compact hatchbacks out there. Why add another to the list.

Gen 1 Volt owners wanted a equinox Volt or at least a Malibu volt with more range and faster charger. Seems like Honda delivered where as GM give us the same thing, only faster.

ModernMarvelFan

Again, your clarity “experience” is Clarity BEV, not the PHEV.

If you like the “blended mode” so much, then just get an Accord Hybrid instead.

JyChevyVolt

You got to mash the throttle for the engine to come on. I know you like sports mode on your Volt but I drive normally like every other gas car.

ModernMarvelFan

“mash” is exaggerated.

I would use the word “brisk”. Any brisk acceleration is basically using gas.

Sure, I don’t drive like a slow Prius driver, but apparently, you do. So, it fits your driving better.

Thomas

Unless you own a Clarity, and have driven it for any length of time, you can’t honestly make that claim, I OWN the car, and we used less than a gallon of fuel in the first month, driving over 1200 miles.

Kdawg

The Honda didn’t need to be a compact, but they could have given it a trunk w/utility instead of the glove-box size one. What good is being able to haul 4 when you can put luggage for 4 in the trunk?

Regarding what Volt owners wanted, I wanted a Volt, so that’s what I got. If I wanted an Equinox, I would have bought an Equinox. If I wanted a midsize EV, I would have bought a Model S. It’s too big for what I want. The Model 3 is more my size, and I have a reservation, but jury is still out whether I pull the trigger or not. My Volt runs like a champ and does everything I want. I just drove home in 8″ of snow w/no problems.

The trunk on the clarity is quite large at 15.4 cubic feet. For comparison, the Volt hatchback has 10.6 cubic feet. The trunk on the Clarity is comparable to the area behind the Bolt EV seats with the compartment below.

Kdawg

Numbers are great & all, but a picture is worth a 1000 words. Try hauling a 56″ TV in that.

Thomas

I have a Ford Transit Connect to haul TV’s, couches, twin beds, etc, and I can tow 2000 pounds too, our Clarity gives us Volt like economy with the ability to seat five.

Randy

WOW…a 2011 Volt.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Not at all. The 2011 Volt had 35 miles of EPA rated EV range; the Clarity PHEV has 47 miles. The Volt had and still has only room for two adults in its rear seat; the Clarity has room for three.

That’s not to say the Clarity is better in every respect than the Volt, but it is to say it is different. Vive la différence!

Prsnep

How so?

Kdawg

“Charging the battery takes just 2.5 hours with 240-volt power, or as long as 12 hours on a standard 120-volt household outlet.”
———-
Something isn’t adding up here.

JyChevyVolt

It’s got a 6.6kW charger. On charge point, you get 6.0kWh.

The amp on the 120v is probably 8 amp. The Volt is 8amp default and 12 amp optional.

Kdawg

So you can’t charge the Honda at 12A, 120V?

JyChevyVolt

Unless you have a dedicated outlet, it’s not advisable to charge at 12 amp. Most household are on 15 amp breaker with 14 awg wire.

Since those EVSE are continuous load, we need to derate the wire to 80%. 14 awg is rated at 15 amps. Derating it will be 12 amp.

That’s the reason why the Volt default to 8 amp charger. The 12 amp setting should only be used when you have a dedicated circuit or 20 amp breaker with 12 awg wires.

ModernMarvelFan

“14 awg is rated at 15 amps. Derating it will be 12 amp.”

So, what do you need 12 awg now if derated 14 awg is plenty?

Dedicated line, sure, but why does it need to be “further derated”?

JyChevyVolt

National Electric Code (NEC)

Continuous load (3 hours) shall be derated at 80%. I.e. lighting circuit, motors, etc…

14 awg wire is good for 15A.
12 awg wire is good for 20A.

Check the breaker that feed the branch circuit. If it’s 15A then the maximum load shall not exceed 12A. Most garage receptacle are tied with the lighting circuit. If your charging the Volt on 12A setting then it’s a violation. You can fix it by running a dedicated receptacle or increasing the wire size.

Yes, I’m a computer engineer, licensed journeyman electrician, master electrician (C-10), and HVAC (C-20). I’m also taking class in diesel mechanic.

Bill Howland

2017 (latest) NEC requires a dedicated “Garage recepticle ckt” rated at 20 amperes, including at least one recepticle in front of every vehicle stall. Lighting outlets have to be powered elsewhere. There may also be an outside outlet on the garage attached to this circuit, but it in effect means that all electrified garages will have at least 1 15 ampere circuit (shared with other stuff), and the 20 amp ckt mentioned.

Permanently installed car charging circuits are additional, but certainly most home owners of PHEV’s will ‘press into service’ their ‘occasional use cords’.

Any permanently installed wallboxes, whether L1, L2, or fast charging require their own dedicated circuits.

Only exception is a detached garage with no electricity at all.

Other than the Mitsubishi Glass Egg, japanese EV’s seem to work at 12 amperes for L1.

Bill Howland
JYVolt, MMF’s point is completely valid… Unless local codes disallow it, a 15 ampere circuit on #14 AWG copper wiring running a 12 ampere wall box, where it is a dedicated recepticle is perfectly fine. An inspector may demand a SIMPLEX as opposed to a Duplex recepticle to prevent plugging in anything else while the car is charging. For new construction, as an example, in areas that have accepted the 2017 NEC, a 3 car garage that has provision for 2 EV’s with 2 permanently installed L1 wallboxes must have at least 1 15 amp general lighting circuit which may also run other stuff in the house. There MUST be this circuit if the garage has a people door, since there must be a permanently installed and connected light outside the people door. (provided it is an ELECTRIC Light, and not a GAS light). 1 20 ampere general purpose garage ckt (for the opener(S), portable vacuum cleaner, etc), with recepticals in front of each of the 3 car stalls, besides other recepticals in the garage, and optionally, a garage outdoor outlet by the people door. 2 15 ampere dedicated ckts either hard-wired or else simplex recepticals (or one split-wired duplex)… Read more »
JyChevyVolt

“JYVolt, MMF’s point is completely valid… Unless local codes disallow it, a 15 ampere circuit on #14 AWG copper wiring running a 12 ampere wall box, where it is a dedicated recepticle is perfectly fine.”

That’s why I stated dedicated receptacle.

Most people use existing receptacle to charge their EV. I have been doing lots of charging station installation. I see lots of tripped breakers​ and burned out receptacles​.

Kdawg

Soooooo.. you can’t charge the Honda at 12A 120V?

Bill Howland

On the contrary, japanese cars as far as I know of that has any charge rate OTHER than the mitsubishi Imiev (at 8 amps), is a non-adjustable 12 amperes. You have to use this for Level 1. They don’t offer a smaller choice as GM and Tesla do.

Kdawg

If it’s charging at 12A and has a 17kWh battery, why does it take 12 hours?

Bill Howland

Assuming an optimistic 1400 watt rate (116 2/3 volts at the car), that would be 16.8 kwh for 12 hours. Sounds in the ballpark to me.

Bill Howland

And, of course that assumes cool but not cold weather charging. Charging in either hot or cold weather will increase the battery heating required or else the cooling required, and take longer.

My ELR normally only takes 4 1/2 hours at a public charger, but a sunny day in August will take around 6 1/2 hours.

Bill Howland

if 220 volt charge rate is 30 amperes, then at 6.6 kw times 2 1/2 hours would be 16.5 kwh. again in the ballpark.

Thomas

I’ve charged at a SemaConnect station level two, got 6K and it charged from empty in 2 1/2 hours, just like they said

Don Zenga

Clarity is a premium car with Plugin, Electric and Fucell versions although only the Plugin is very practical with electric having only 89 mile range and hydrogen for fucell available only in California.

But its a big car with 102 cu. ft. passenger space and another 15 cu. ft. of trunk space which makes this car bigger than Camry.

https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=39782

I hope Honda and its dealers actively sell it. And as usual the plugin version of Outlander, Ioniq and Niro are pushed to winter which means it may even launch by March since winter ends on March-19th.

JyChevyVolt

I gave up on the Ioniq. No stock. I gave up on the Niro BEV when I founded out the battery was made by SK Innovation.

Ryan

They only plan on making 70,000 vehicles over 4 years, so less than 20,000 a year and given that I’m sure 90% of the allocation will be the CARB states, so most of North America will never see them.

Why are we even discussing this unicorn from an openly anti-EV manufacturer?

JyChevyVolt

Because it’s the only midsized sedan that has real backseats. It’s sold in all 50 States with $7500 tax credit for purchaser. If you want to game the system by leasing and taking the tax credit than your out of luck.

Kdawg

Fusion Energi has lots of room in the back seats. Just needs more EV range.

Thomas

It also has no trunk to speak of, 8 cubic feet, but it’s cabin is nice, and it drives great and looks good. I rented one for a month while my Ford van was in the shop, went with the Clarity because of the range and trunk though.

Dan

It is a big car, same as an accord. There is a pass through from the trunk with the rear seat down but it’s small. Would be great (though still ugly) if it was a hatchback, but the other two varients don’t even have a pass through because of the battery or hydrogen tank placement so a hatchback would have required too much engineering.

If you don’t mind the size, the configuration and can live with the looks, it seems to be an excellent value

vdiv

At 4,052 pounds it seems a bit heavy. The fuel cell version is about 100 pounds heavier. Good thing they have an independent multi-link rear suspension. It probably looks better in darker colors.

John

Not a fan of styling. Nice interior. Good range but the lack of pure ev power without engine assist is not terrific. Volt does 0-60 8.1 seconds. Has been on the market for 7 years. GM is ahead of the curve and pure EV’s and crossovers with volt drivetrains will be the order of the day at GM. 300 mile range and 15 minute charging will be a reality.

Ryan
I agree the Volt is a superior product and the actual Volt performance in sport mode and with better-than-stock tires is better than 8.1 seconds in fact. And 290lb/ft torque instead of the 240 on the Clarirty, too. It’s a joy to drive and the best car I ever owned. Unfortunately there are whole classes of driver who will not pay it any heed because of the Chevy badge on it. (And the ho-hum interior). The Clarity does have the advantage of 6kw charging — in this respect the Volt is seriously annoying, hogging charge spots for 5 hours when it should be done in 2. But GM has also put proper effort into battery temperature management, which I suspect Honda has just skipped entirely like so many others in the industry, who are going to give EVs a bad name with battery degradation stories… Is there a battery warranty like GM provides I wonder? Still, it’s good to see some competition in this space other than the Prius Prime and the Audi A3 e-tron, both of which have pathetic battery-only range. It will at least give the class some recognition among buyers. Hopefully they look at the Clarity and… Read more »
theflew

One could argue you don’t need to charge the Volt when out. It has a built in generation/power source.

Edgar

Same warranty as everyone else, and all hybrids… 8 years 100000miles on the battery system. But no degradation value that I can find… hmmm.

Bolt allows for 60% degradation before a warranty claim can be made, which is actually pretty low. Most manufacturers are 70%.

However I agree, it seems chevrolet has put a lot of effort into thermal management, where others have not.

I went to a local dealer a week ago Saturday. I specifically asked about whether or not the Clarity plug-in had a battery capacity warranty. I explained to him that I had been burned by Honda before (2007 Civic Hybrid). He didn’t know but said that he would call me after calling Honda. When he called me back a few days later, he said that there is no battery capacity warranty.

John Donaldson

I just don’t see ugly when I look at this car. I rather think it is quite good looking. It’s all about the individual I guess.

Granted the Volt is a very nice looking car. It always catches my eye when I see one on the road. But the Clarity is a sedan which puts it in a different class; less sporty more refined.

Get Real

While there is no doubt that the Volt is a better PEV and very sporty and has excellent engineering, the thing that the GM fanboys(all of them came over to here from the dying GM Volt forum) constantly live in denial about is that GM has purposely not moved its class-leading Voltec into larger platforms to keep it from making their ICE look bad.

If GM had or did move full Voltec into midsize cars like the Malibu or especially into smallor midsize SUVs/trucks then they could have been on the path to DOMINATING these segments going forward but they have purposely not done so.

So GM squandering these opportunities has left the door wide open for Honda and others to come in with products like this Clarity PHEV which looks to be a great family type car with its roomy interior/trunk and excellent 6.6 kwh charging.

It certainly blows away the competition like the Fusion Energi and Prius Prime in EV range and room and the 6.6 kwh charger blows away the Volt’s lame 3.3 kwh charging speed.

And I say this as a Volt and Bolt driver.

Bill Howland

Yes, when using Public Docking stations, the vast majority around here are 6 kw. And since GM cars other than the BOLT ev limit the charging rate to 15 amps (16 in the GEN2 stuff), you’re stuck with 3 kw or a bit less.

I suppose there are places with only 15 amp docking stations (or the newer expensive CHargePoint L2 stations that throttle down to 15 amps when the second port is used), but having at least a 6kw charger in the car is handy to take full advantage of most of the public charging docking stations.

Bill Howland

I agree Get Real, but Mary Barra’s Bonus will be determined by how many ICE trucking products they sell since they are such high mark-up.

As she says, “GM cannot afford to be all things to all people at all times”.

Translation: ” As long as we’re making $Millions on trucks, we’re not going to cut into their profitability by offering EV models….

“AS long as Europe keeps losing money – get rid of Opel/Vauxhill/Holden.

“Claim to be the EV LEADER since other companies aren’t doing much – and TESLA, who perhaps at some point will be REAL competition, is having their own issues at the moment so right now we don’t have to do any more than we’re doing”.

Thomas

Man you nailed it, Toyota spent big bucks back in the day developing the first hybrid power trains, but the recouped that investment by sticking it in not just the Prius, but a whole family of Priuses plus Rav 4’s, Camrey’s, And a host of Lexus, meanwhile GM, spends bucks on the Voltec, a great system to be sure, but sticks it in just two vehicles, a compact, the Volt, and another, the ELR, which they priced thru the moon, and didn’t improve on Volts specs or capacity.

JON G JONSSON

This car is a great direction for HONDA. Sad that it is just soooo UGLY. (Makes you wonder WHY?)

JD
I prefer my Volt’s hatchback, pure EV default, quicker acceleration, and looks. The Clarity is bigger on the inside, especially when you consider the almost-unusable middle rear seat in the Volt, but the Clarity trunk is actually far less useful for seriously big purchases where you can put the hatchback seats down and stow a lot of Home Depot stuff. And the charge speed is a non-issue for us, since we only charge at night; the whole joy of a PHEV with 50 EV miles is you never have to bother with daytime charging. I’m one of those people who had a hard time getting over the Chevy badge and probably would have bought the Honda had it been available, but I’m glad I didn’t get the chance. The Volt is a great smallish car that’s quite fun to drive, and like the Clarity, fantastically cheap if you buy in a state with subsidies on top of the federal ones. The only real regret is that it would have cost us another $5K to get the adaptive cruise control, so that’s a distinct advantage for the Clarity, and will probably hasten us to our next car when semi-autonomous driving becomes… Read more »
Ken L.

It’s miser, not mizer