Clarity PHEV no longer shipping except to California - 2018 Honda Clarity Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Clarity PHEV no longer shipping except to California

According to https://www.greencarreports.com/news...ide-california, the Clarity PHEV is only shipping to California. Dealerships in other states can order one but I'd be very leery of the level of service they could provide.

Basically the Clarity (all versions) is now nothing more than a CARB compliance car.

2018 Honda Clarity Touring PHEV - Forest Green w/Tan interior (wife's car)
2017 Volt LT - Heather Gray; black bow ties, Charcoal VoltShelf
2012 Cruze ECO MT (hail totaled 5/8/17 103,600 miles @42.5 MPG)
2010 Mit Lancer GT MT (traded for ECO @31K miles)
2002 Pont Montana AWD - title to son at college graduation
1990 Pont Transport (traded for Montana @240K miles)
1986 Fiero GT MT (traded for Transport - needed more seats)
1985 Fiero 2M4 MT (traded for Fiero GT @8K miles)
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by obermd View Post
According to https://www.greencarreports.com/news...ide-california, the Clarity PHEV is only shipping to California. Dealerships in other states can order one but I'd be very leery of the level of service they could provide.

Basically the Clarity (all versions) is now nothing more than a CARB compliance car.
It is not uncommon for dealer mechanics anywhere to a work on a car for the first time, especially when models are first introduced. And it's not just the car it's the procedure itself. You can easily bring an Accord into a dealer with an issue that they are seeing for the first time. They are provided all of the technical information they need to make repairs, and also have access to Honda technical support. It's just obviously going to take them longer in some cases compared to cars they work on every day. So yes there will be a difference including the amount of time to get parts. But other than service bulletins mainly related to software we don't have any reason to believe that Clarity will require frequent trips to the repair shop, so while it is something to factor in especially for someone who is essentially undecided between Clarity and something else, I don't think it is a reason to not purchase a Clarity if that is the car that someone decides they would like to own.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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It is not uncommon for dealer mechanics anywhere to a work on a car for the first time, especially when models are first introduced. And it's not just the car it's the procedure itself. You can easily bring an Accord into a dealer with an issue that they are seeing for the first time. They are provided all of the technical information they need to make repairs, and also have access to Honda technical support. It's just obviously going to take them longer in some cases compared to cars they work on every day. So yes there will be a difference including the amount of time to get parts. But other than service bulletins mainly related to software we don't have any reason to believe that Clarity will require frequent trips to the repair shop, so while it is something to factor in especially for someone who is essentially undecided between Clarity and something else, I don't think it is a reason to not purchase a Clarity if that is the car that someone decides they would like to own.
On the surface you're correct. The problem lies in troubleshooting and fixing the interface between electric and gas. Hybids in general, and PHEVs specifically, are possibly the most complex powertrains ever developed for consumer use. Unless the dealership has someone who's actually been trained on this type of system they'll really struggle. This is why GM actually required any dealership that wanted to sell the Volt to send someone to Volt specific training. Toyota did the same thing when the Prius first came out.

2018 Honda Clarity Touring PHEV - Forest Green w/Tan interior (wife's car)
2017 Volt LT - Heather Gray; black bow ties, Charcoal VoltShelf
2012 Cruze ECO MT (hail totaled 5/8/17 103,600 miles @42.5 MPG)
2010 Mit Lancer GT MT (traded for ECO @31K miles)
2002 Pont Montana AWD - title to son at college graduation
1990 Pont Transport (traded for Montana @240K miles)
1986 Fiero GT MT (traded for Transport - needed more seats)
1985 Fiero 2M4 MT (traded for Fiero GT @8K miles)
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 06:48 PM
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On the surface you're correct. The problem lies in troubleshooting and fixing the interface between electric and gas. Hybids in general, and PHEVs specifically, are possibly the most complex powertrains ever developed for consumer use. Unless the dealership has someone who's actually been trained on this type of system they'll really struggle. This is why GM actually required any dealership that wanted to sell the Volt to send someone to Volt specific training. Toyota did the same thing when the Prius first came out.
But I really think someone who has worked on Insight and Accord hybrids will not have an issue working on Clarity since fundamentally they are dealing with the same thing. And I'm curious what training entails nowadays. I'm sure mechanics have some type of formal classroom or shop training at times, but I would think nowadays there must be a lot of online training.

And I would think for a lot of things it's not even training it's just documentation. In the old days we would get out the Chilton's repair manual and start working on our cars. Of course cars are much more complex today but I would think most experienced mechanics can get quite a lot done just by following instructions, and calling Honda tech support for harder problems. Training probably is for broader subjects and again most of that is probably online for the most part, classroom training only for very broad topics (like basics of hybrid repair) . Whether or not there is a specific online training class that mechanics are required to go through for Clarity would be interesting to know.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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But I really think someone who has worked on Insight and Accord hybrids will not have an issue working on Clarity since fundamentally they are dealing with the same thing. And I'm curious what training entails nowadays. I'm sure mechanics have some type of formal classroom or shop training at times, but I would think nowadays there must be a lot of online training.

And I would think for a lot of things it's not even training it's just documentation. In the old days we would get out the Chilton's repair manual and start working on our cars. Of course cars are much more complex today but I would think most experienced mechanics can get quite a lot done just by following instructions, and calling Honda tech support for harder problems. Training probably is for broader subjects and again most of that is probably online for the most part, classroom training only for very broad topics (like basics of hybrid repair) . Whether or not there is a specific online training class that mechanics are required to go through for Clarity would be interesting to know.
I hope you're right, but PHEVs are fundamentally gas assisted electric vehicles - the reverse of traditional hybrids.

2018 Honda Clarity Touring PHEV - Forest Green w/Tan interior (wife's car)
2017 Volt LT - Heather Gray; black bow ties, Charcoal VoltShelf
2012 Cruze ECO MT (hail totaled 5/8/17 103,600 miles @42.5 MPG)
2010 Mit Lancer GT MT (traded for ECO @31K miles)
2002 Pont Montana AWD - title to son at college graduation
1990 Pont Transport (traded for Montana @240K miles)
1986 Fiero GT MT (traded for Transport - needed more seats)
1985 Fiero 2M4 MT (traded for Fiero GT @8K miles)
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 07:47 PM
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I hope you're right, but PHEVs are fundamentally gas assisted electric vehicles - the reverse of traditional hybrids.
Although that's the common belief and even what I believed before I got my Clarity, once I got it I was surprised to realize just how similar, nearly identical it is in fact to a regular hybrid as far as the use of HV and EV modes.

What throws everyone is the HV button on the Clarity, whereas Insight (like other hybrids) has an EV button. But in the end it's the same thing, a button to change between HV mode and EV mode. The difference is that a hybrid defaults to HV, and you press the EV button to go into EV mode. Whereas Clarity defaults to EV and you press HV to change to HV mode. The reason for the difference is simply scale, EV mode in a hybrid has a lower range and speed and is thus used less often, so HV is the default. Whereas with a PHEV it is assumed that EV mode is the main driving mode if you have enough charge and so that is the default.

In fact both hybrid and PHEV versions have an EV indicator that pops on when the car is driving on battery power only, and in both types of cars this EV indicator will pop on even when in HV mode. That is true for both Honda and Toyota.

The other thing that throws us is the scale. A PHEV goes WAY farther and WAY faster in EV mode than a hybrid. So much so that it causes us to think of it as a BEV with a gas engine. But it's really not, it's a hybrid with a larger battery and motor.

And yes as css28 pointed out in the other thread, you need a charger, and more robust battery cooling. And a way to heat the car during long periods without using ICE. So yes those are points on the BEV side.

But I think the real clincher is that the gas engine can directly drive the engine. That's what makes it a hybrid, a PHEV, not a PHEVx. A BEV with a gas engine would be something like the BMW i3 REx which will never use gas as long as it has enough charge left in the battery, and when it does switch to gas the gas engine only runs a generator, it never directly drives the wheels.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 07:37 PM
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Excellent thread discussion. Some of the best information I've come across.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 12:37 PM
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I've been wondering why the Clarity isn't designed that way - basically an electric vehicle with a gas powered generator tacked in to extend range. From the un-informed perspective, it seems like it would make the car simpler and lighter. What's the advantage of having the ICE connected to the transmission?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 01:58 PM
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I wonder if the new incoming 2020 model year Clarity will show up in other states than CA ???
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by LarryZ View Post
I've been wondering why the Clarity isn't designed that way - basically an electric vehicle with a gas powered generator tacked in to extend range. From the un-informed perspective, it seems like it would make the car simpler and lighter. What's the advantage of having the ICE connected to the transmission?
At steady state highway speeds, the engine couples mechanically to the drive axles, eliminating generator and motor efficiencies, giving better hwy gas mileage.
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