Drivetrain? How does it work? - 2018 Honda Clarity Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-19-2020, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Drivetrain? How does it work?

I have a CR-Z which like many Honda hybrid models uses an IMA electric motor mounted on the crankshaft of the gas engine. So when you need extra torque, the 100V battery adds extra zip the gas engine for more power. But this makes no sense for the Clarity, since the gas engine isn't even running for the first ~40 miles. There is mention of two electric motors, and a CVT. It doesn't seem right that the electric motors would drive the wheels via the CVT, or does it? I would expect the electric motors to directly drive the front wheels, no transmission. And the CVT would only come into play when the gas engine fires up. I saw some reference to the gas engine really turning a generator which then supplemented the main battery, maybe even charging it. If that is the case, I don't see where the CVT fits in.

I'm in central VA. Wikipedia seems to say the Clarity is only stocked in CA, but orderable from anywhere. My brother-in-law is the local Honda service manager. He says they have only sold a few this year, but had a couple as loaners and they were reliable and popular, so I'm sold. The $7500 credit and selling the CR-Z gets me a long ways toward the purchase, and it seems to have many of the amenities that my 2017 Ridgeline has.
Any help or reference on the drivetrain appreciated.
TIA Don
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-19-2020, 09:32 PM
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Honda lists it as an eCVT which basically means it's not a CVT but they didn't know what else to call it since it's not a standard transmission either. The main electric motor is connected directly to the wheels like an EV only car. The gas engine is connected to a second electric motor that acts as a generator and as the starter for the engine. For most driving the gas engine is merely generating electricity, which either goes to the traction motor to drive the wheels, or to charge the battery. However in steady speed driving above about 45 mph the gas engine will connect directly to the wheels via a clutch, with a single fixed gear ratio that is essentially overdrive.


For more details on the Clarity hybrid system Alex on Autos has a pretty good video



Availability outside of California means finding a dealer in your state or maybe in a neighboring state who has one on the lot that meets your criteria (color, etc.). Or buying from a California dealer and having the car shipped, which many people have done even as far east as you are, because shipping is typically not much over $1,000 and you might get a lower price from a California dealer than local which can make it a better deal even with the cost of shipping. Ordering one outside of California is virtually impossible regardless of what Honda claims, you will spend forever just finding a dealer willing to order one, then you will wait 4-6 months for it. And you will likely pay full MSRP. Most people give up and go one of the other routes that I mentioned.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-21-2020, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thanx for the info & video. Looks like Honda has into another generation of its hybrid technology since my 2011 CR-Z with IMA, and that same tech is used in their other hybrids. So hopefully my dealer is well versed in maintenance.
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