Range & Cost per mile - 2018 Honda Clarity Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Range & Cost per mile

Have had the a fuel cell Clarity for about a year. Checked my balance on the Visa debit card I use for fueling and did some quick math. Realized that it costs about $.85 per mile for fuel, which is absolutely outrageous. Bad enough that stations near me are out of fuel on a pretty regular basis (there are only two close by) but I had no idea that it would cost so much to run this car. I figure an average gasoline car costs maybe $.20 per mile for fuel here in California.

Also, I was originally told by salesman that range would be about 330 miles. I have never hit more than 310 and now I show between 260 and 275 mile range after a fill up of hydrogen.

The car is nice enough, but if I knew then what I know now I probably would not have leased this car. And I absolutely cannot get any answers from the dealer (Norm Reeves) or Honda.
What happened to the helpful Honda guy when I need to talk with him?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 07:03 PM
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As this is the "The Member Introductions" thread, I say:

Welcome to the Clarity Forum !

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 02:53 AM
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My Mirai would estimate ~200mi range, and I'd get fewer miles than that. The EPA estimate is 312mi. My rides were short, under 5mi one-way. So it could be due to that. But aren't battery powered vehicles, which fuel cell vehicles ultimately are, supposed to give you better mileage for short trips? I also attributed the low range to colder temps, but it doesn't get that cold in SF Bay Area. Unfortunately, my car was totaled by a drunk driver, and it never even saw its first scheduled service. I was definitely gonna ask those techs some hard questions about the mileage. Such a real world low range vs what's advertized is tantamount to fraud. I worry that drivers of these cars might file a lawsuit against the manufacturers for misleading range claims.

I'm now in the market for another car, and was looking at Clarity fuel cell (ignore the ridiculous wait times, but hey those're better than what were in 2018!). For 2019 MY it seems that Honda has lowered the EPA range by 6 mi; it's now 360 (used to be 366 miles). And they've raised both the monthly lease rate and down payment by $10. Effectively car is now $370 more expensive. If fuel cell range is as bad as you, rhannonline and pciportal (https://www.clarityforum.com/forum/5...e-tank-h2.html) say, then I wonder if Clarity FCV is any better than the Mirai that I had.

I laugh at online car reviewers, both video and print, who say hydrogen costs in low teens per kilo. Last 3 times I filled up it was over $16/kg, and I don't see prices coming down anytime soon -- thanks to the $15k subsidy that Toyota and Honda provide. Combine that with low range, those $15k won't even fill up anything beyond 2 years of driving. So in 3rd year of the lease you either pay out of your own pocket for the fuel or don't drive the vehicle at all but still make the lease payments! LOL!

I want to support alternative fuels, but economics (cost per mile) don't make sense. Makes one wonder where the truth in advertizing is. And with your experience, it seems the service department is also unhelpful.


Last edited by tremorchrist; 04-29-2019 at 02:58 AM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 07:45 PM
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Please see my reply to the OP over in the Clarity Fuel Cell forum. I've been very pleased with the range of my 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell. I've taken two trips on the Coast Highway, and found the car easily covered the 300 mile distance between the Santa Barbara and Campbell stations, traveling via Santa Cruz, Carmel, Big Sur, Cambria and San Marcos Pass to Santa Barbara. Similarly, travelling between Northern and Southern California requires only one refueling stop, at Harris Ranch. I recently drove from Orange County to Sacramento on I-5, topping up in San Juan Capistrano and refueling at Harris Ranch, arriving in Sacramento with over 100 miles of estimated range remaining.

I generally obey the speed limit, which may explain why my range tends to be close to the advertised number.

As to cost of fuel, the arithmetic points to the $15,000 fuel allowance being enough to cover 59,000 miles, and the mileage allowance on the lease is 60,000, so the risk of having to shell out for fuel seems low. At $16.54/kg, the $15,000 will buy you 907 kg. At 65 miles/kg, that's 58,955 miles. At least I think that's right. Math isn't one of my strengths.

Davis, California
2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, Black Crystal
2018 Chevrolet Volt Premier, Green Mist
2010 Toyota Prius II, Pearl White (currently in New York with my daughter for college)
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