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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here in the Southeast (Nashville), there are no new Clarities available for sale. I've looked at other dealerships in Tennessee, and I can't find one anywhere in the state. Are other areas of the US and Canada seeing similar shortages? I bought mine in May of this year from a dealership in Alabama where it had been sitting on the lot for 17 months. So I don't think that there's been huge demand. It seems like Honda just isn't shipping them to dealers.
 

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This is correct, the non ZEV, non CARB, NON DLFC states are not receiving any 2019 Clarity's.
There were apparently a lot of 2018 leftovers in states like yours.
You may want to reach out to a dealer in another state that has them - if they can arrange shipping to your dealer, that would be the best to negotiate with that out of state dealer.
 

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I have already asked my congressman to void the Federal Tax credits for any vehicle not available in all 50 states. The concept that only the 13 CARB states have access to electric cars is a political distortion of the market induced by California.
 

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The ZEV states are trying to give an incentive for zero emission cars. Most authorities believe it is mandatory to decarbonize our transportation system as soon as possible if we have a hope to moderate the continued accelerating climate crisis.

Why don't you try to be helpful, by trying to convince your state to get onboard?
 

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The ZEV states are trying to give an incentive for zero emission cars. Most authorities believe it is mandatory to decarbonize our transportation system as soon as possible if we have a hope to moderate the continued accelerating climate crisis.

Why don't you try to be helpful, by trying to convince your state to get onboard?
Colorado is onboard and has a $5,000 rebate, but why should Americans in states that don't get these cars have to subsidize the 13 states that do get the cars.

To be more specific, I asked my congressman for the following:

- The Federal Credit be extended to all manufacturers until a certain percentage of new car sales across the country meet the standards. GM and Tesla should NOT be penalized for leading the way.
- For a vehicle to qualify it must have an all electric range sufficient to cover 95% of all round trip commutes in the United States. The Clarity PHEV is close to this limit by the way.
- For a vehicle to qualify it must be available for sales and service in all 50 States.

This does not prevent each state from having additional credits and incentives. There is a real problem in that those few states who follow CARB rules are getting the bulk of the EVs, not only in sales but also in models. Currently the only EVs widely for sale across the country are Teslas, the Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and Toyota Prius Prime. There are leftover Volts and Clarity PHEVs, but not very many. It's no wonder that EV penetration in the US is so low. If we're going to use Federal policy to promote EVs it needs to be written in such a manner that car manufacturers will actually sell and service them everywhere.
 
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Colorado is onboard and has a $5,000 rebate, but why should Americans in states that don't get these cars have to subsidize the 13 states that do get the cars.

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Aha! I agree with much of what you have to say, but I wonder if you would kindly spell out how residents of other states are subsidizing those states? It is my impression that it is the e-car manufacturers who are partially subsidizing the sale of these cars so they can balance out the much greater quantities of carbon emitting cars they wish to sell in those states.



And any US resident with a license and insurance are free to go to those states and purchase such a car at bargain prices. (N.B. Sales taxes are another matter -- you may definitely want to have the car shipped to your home state!)



And yes, I agree, the logic of capping federal rebates to the first 200000 units sold seems not to be working. It has not incentivized much new innovation from those manufacturers who are very slowly entering the market with similar vehicles. The current producers seem to be doing much of the innovation...
 

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The Federal Tax Credit is actually coming out of the Federal Highway funds, so there is less money there to tap into when it comes to road work (of all types). Thus residents of the 13 CARB states are having tax dollars shifted without regard to the overall highway infrastructure.

Shipping a car in from another State has more than just tax implications. There is also the question of service - dealerships in states where a car isn't sold aren't likely to be able to properly fix one that comes in simply because they haven't had the necessary training. Thus my proposal includes "and service."

Also, did you notice I didn't specify a battery size. If a company can build an EV that gets 50 miles/KWh then they only need a 1 KWh battery. My Volt has an 18.4 KWh battery for 53 miles. Based on published data, I think the Clarity PHEV has a 17.8 KWh battery for 47 miles. The policy needs to be aimed at road results, not battery size. Road results are heavily influenced by drive train design. (AAA estimates that the 95% point for round trip commutes is between 45 and 50 miles.)

Secondary proposal - drop all subsidies from Oil & Gas companies and watch gas prices shoot up. EVs will sell then as well. Either method will eliminate the tilt towards oil/diesel private transportation. The decline of sedan sales since 2012 has tracked almost exactly with the decline of the retail price of gasoline.
 

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The Clarity PHEV is available in all 50 States.

Whether dealers choose to order them or not is largely beyond the control of Honda. Oregon is a Section 177 State and has not had any inventory "on the ground" for most of 2019 - a case where demand exceeds supply.

Making it a requirement that there be unsold inventory of xx (units? percentage of all vehicles? at lest one unsold unit in every state every day of the calendar year?) is impractical.

If I were to recommend changes the the Federal Tax Credit, it would become fully available to all income levels and be applied at the time of sale. And PHEV's with less than a minimum AER would not qualify (25 miles?). At this point in time, giving a Tax Credit to a vehicle that cannot reach freeway speed solely on electric power and gets something in the ballpark of 10 miles of range on "electricity plus gas" (from the Monroney label) is questionable. Technology has advanced significantly from when the current rules were written.

But that being said, just getting enough members of Congress to agree on an extension is the major challenge. Getting that same majority to agree to an extension and changing the structure of the Credit would be virtually impossible. Too many would find objection to one or more of any proposed modifications.
 

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The Clarity PHEV is available in all 50 States.

Whether dealers choose to order them or not is largely beyond the control of Honda. Oregon is a Section 177 State and has not had any inventory "on the ground" for most of 2019 - a case where demand exceeds supply.

Making it a requirement that there be unsold inventory of xx (units? percentage of all vehicles? at lest one unsold unit in every state every day of the calendar year?) is impractical.

If I were to recommend changes the the Federal Tax Credit, it would become fully available to all income levels and be applied at the time of sale. And PHEV's with less than a minimum AER would not qualify (25 miles?). At this point in time, giving a Tax Credit to a vehicle that cannot reach freeway speed solely on electric power and gets something in the ballpark of 10 miles of range on "electricity plus gas" (from the Monroney label) is questionable. Technology has advanced significantly from when the current rules were written.

But that being said, just getting enough members of Congress to agree on an extension is the major challenge. Getting that same majority to agree to an extension and changing the structure of the Credit would be virtually impossible. Too many would find objection to one or more of any proposed modifications.
Based on some of the other posts here, dealerships can't even order the 2019's unless they're in a CARB state. From your comment they can't order the Clarity PHEV even in CARB states right now, which points to a problem at Honda itself.

The requirement for sales & service in all 50 states can be handled via special orders as long as the dealership will service the vehicle as well. I've special ordered in the past for a hard to get vehicles.

I agree with you on speed - it needs to be a NHTSA/FVMSS general highway use approved motor vehicle. If you want to give partial credits for shorter AER then that's fine, but I'd put the limit at the 50% point for roundtrip commutes.

I like the idea of having the dealership apply for the reimbursement, allowing them to reduce the vehicle price at point of sale. Then take this item off the Form 1040 entirely.

There are two huge public policy goals to be accomplished by electrifying ground transportation. The first is the removal of oil from our national security requirements (the US is actually a net exporter of oil now). Roughly 80 to 90% of all oil usage is in the form of gasoline and diesel fuel. The second is to clean up urban air, which will reduce the long term health care costs related to pulmonary diseases. Just having every one commute on electricity will go a long ways towards this goal.
 

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The requirement for sales & service in all 50 states can be handled via special orders as long as the dealership will service the vehicle as well.
Just as a note, this requirement would disqualify Tesla vehicles.
Ignoring the "dealership" terminology:
Some states do not have a service center, some states have re-purposed laws protecting franchisees to specifically exclude manufacturers from selling direct.

I agree with you on speed - it needs to be a NHTSA/FVMSS general highway use approved motor vehicle. If you want to give partial credits for shorter AER then that's fine, but I'd put the limit at the 50% point for roundtrip commutes.
That is already a requirement. The issue I have is some PHEV's cannot reach freeway speed without the use of the ICE. My opinion is that a vehicle that must use the ICE under normal driving condition when the battery would otherwise have sufficient charge to power the vehicle should not qualify for the Tax Credit.
It starts to get a little tricky when you look at PHEV's from Hyundai/Kia. They have decent range (~30 miles), and can drive at 65 mph without the use of the ICE. But the big caveat - if you want cabin heat the only source is the ICE (which must be run and run long enough to be brought up to temp). This makes a year-round daily commute on electricity alone impractical for much of the population.
 

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I disagree, the market in most of the 50 states made up its mind. The Clarity is not in demand enough in much of the US for Honda to make money selling it there. Maybe it's because you can't roll coal in a Clarity (ooh was that a bit too harsh?). The point of the tax credit is to encourage folks to move to cars that are more fuel efficient and cleaner and to help manufacturers develop such cars, this supports the goals of energy independence, reduced carbon emissions, and reduced pollution. Those goals are supported regardless if the sales of the cars are not evenly distributed through the US. Why should that credit be denied to folks in the West who really want cars like these just because too few were interested in the rest of the US? I hope that Honda takes this lesson and makes a PHEV of one of their SUVs like the CRV or the Pilot. I saw a Pilot at the dealer when I bought my Clarity, it looked really nice. The larger size would allow for a bigger battery. That might go over better east of the Sierras.

Someone objected to the credit because it is funded with transportation funds that are presumably redirected from spending on highways elsewhere. I don't know about all the CARB states, but the people and businesses of California pay way waaaay more in federal taxes than we get back in federal funding. We subsidize federal spending in much of the rest of the US. I don't think this tax credit changes that noticeably.
 
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(Note: After posting the Quick Reply below on this thread I decided to go ahead and start a new thread on this same subject. Therefore, if you have an opinion or information to share, feel free to do so here, or perhaps more appropriately, to the larger body, in the other thread I just posted. Thank you.)

I was going to start a separate thread regarding my issue but I think this thread encompasses mine. I bought my Clarity PHEV in North Carolina in November 2018. Prior to purchase I performed my due diligence and I was convinced then, and still am, the Clarity PHEV is the best PHEV on the market in terms of the value received for the money spent. Beyond that, I simply love this vehicle!

But, every month I check the sales figures contrast between the Toyota Prius Prime and the Honda Clarity PHEV and I am increasingly dismayed. While I personally feel the Prius Prime is not superior to the Clarity, and in many respects, not even in the same league in terms of electric range and comfort, the Clarity's sales numbers are diminishing month over month versus the Prime which is climbing. At the rate the national sales of the Clarity are going I fail to see how Honda will justify continuing to sell the vehicle beyond this model year.

Now, to my point. I have to ask myself why the Clarity's sales are going down precipitously month over month, while the Prius Prime are increasing? I have no facts or information whatsoever to answer this question but it is disconcerting to me. As a recent purchaser of a vehicle I am extremely pleased with, I am now faced with the prospect I may have bought a "one-off" technological marvel that will be extinct in a very short period of time. Most importantly if this downward trend continues I have no confidence my local Honda dealer will have the expertise to service my vehicle when the time comes I need some highly technical maintenance performance. Worse yet, I would be very hesitant to take my vehicle on a long road trip not knowing if I could get service, or YIKES! parts should I have a problem.

Does anyone have a clue what Honda's plans on for the Clarity?
 

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The idea that other people are "subsidizing" a tax credit is absurd: A tax credit doesn't give "money back" - no one is "getting money" - money is not being taken out of one pocket and put into another - a tax credit is just a tax break to incentivise a purchase. My state, for example, offers no incentives on the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles - in fact it disincentivizes EVs and hybrids with annual "road taxes" that are not paid by ICE vehicles. But, just before the school year begins, there's a weekend when no sales taxes are levied on back-to-school clothes and supplies - no one is paying MORE to compensate for this tax break that's only given to families with school-age children.
 

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Just as a note, this requirement would disqualify Tesla vehicles.
Ignoring the "dealership" terminology:
Some states do not have a service center, some states have re-purposed laws protecting franchisees to specifically exclude manufacturers from selling direct.
Good point on Tesla. Modify this to be available for sale/service in all 50 States except where State/Local Law prohibits that manufacturer from selling in the State/locality.

That is already a requirement. The issue I have is some PHEV's cannot reach freeway speed without the use of the ICE. My opinion is that a vehicle that must use the ICE under normal driving condition when the battery would otherwise have sufficient charge to power the vehicle should not qualify for the Tax Credit.
It starts to get a little tricky when you look at PHEV's from Hyundai/Kia. They have decent range (~30 miles), and can drive at 65 mph without the use of the ICE. But the big caveat - if you want cabin heat the only source is the ICE (which must be run and run long enough to be brought up to temp). This makes a year-round daily commute on electricity alone impractical for much of the population.
The Clarity PHEV would NOT qualify in this situation. Full throttle pulls in the ICE even when there's more than sufficient battery. Of all the PHEVs only the Chevy Volt would qualify. Because of those idiot on-ramp stop lights, normal driving conditions in many urban areas require wide open throttle to get to highway speed in a very short stretch of road. Many times those lights are active even during medium traffic levels where traffic is still running at 65 or higher - you have to use wide open throttle to get to that speed in the short space available. I'd go with the car needs to be able to cruise at 85 MPH or faster entirely on battery. 85 MPH is the highest posted speed limit on any highway in the US.

Point is, I think we agree on the general policy, but it definitely requires some tuning with realistic performance parameters laid out knowing that driving conditions vary widely across the country.

California has some of the worst air pollution in the country, so I have no problem with CARB setting tighter rules there. The problem I have is that manufacturers won't even sell their EVs outside CARB states.
 

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I have already asked my congressman to void the Federal Tax credits for any vehicle not available in all 50 states. The concept that only the 13 CARB states have access to electric cars is a political distortion of the market induced by California.
^^^ This

Great post!

It's the old "build it and they will come". If you don't build it or ship it to a majority of the states how can folks expect it to be sold in those states?

Toyota thus far has used same strategy with the prime...and I hear Subaru is pulling the same BS with their PHEV coming to market. Vast majority going to a few states.

Politically motivated which inherently means it will be an inept and unfair system at the end of the day.
 

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^^^ This

Great post!

It's the old "build it and they will come". If you don't build it or ship it to a majority of the states how can folks expect it to be sold in those states?

Toyota thus far has used same strategy with the prime...and I hear Subaru is pulling the same BS with their PHEV coming to market. Vast majority going to a few states.

Politically motivated which inherently means it will be an inept and unfair system at the end of the day.
You do realize that the only reason the PHEV's you reference exist at all is because of the ZEV credits?
If they don't meet minimum numbers in Section 177 States, they are required to either:
a) Pay a penalty
b) Buy credits from a manufacturer with excess (Tesla doesn't produce ICE vehicles so all their credits are available on the open market)

The end result is it effectively costs them more to sell outside of CARB States, so that is where the inventory tends to go. What would you do if your company was faced with the same choice?

For 2019, minimum ZEV % increased from 4.5% to 7%, and TZEV credits (from PHEV's) are limited to 3%. As you can see below, the ramp continues.



The penalty per missing credit is $5K. A Tesla M3 earns 4 credits, which is equivalent to $20K per car in "penalty value". Tesla sold $103 million in ZEV credits in 2018 (they sold a cumulative $890m from 2013-2017). The "free market" value of credits is softening considerably - in earlier years they were going for the full $5K.

A Clarity PHEV earns 1.2 TZEV credit, a Clarity Electric 1.9 ZEV credits.
A Prius Prime would earn .9 TZEV credits, a 40kWh Leaf 2.9 ZEV credits

This is just a very basic look at the rules. For those seeking more confusion:
https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/zevtutorial/zev_tutorial_webcast.pdf?_ga=2.135670135.716043205.1564811029-668174325.1564811029
 

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You do realize that the only reason the PHEV's you reference exist at all is because of the ZEV credits?
If they don't meet minimum numbers in Section 177 States, they are required to either:
a) Pay a penalty
b) Buy credits from a manufacturer with excess (Tesla doesn't produce ICE vehicles so all their credits are available on the open market)

The end result is it effectively costs them more to sell outside of CARB States, so that is where the inventory tends to go. What would you do if your company was faced with the same choice?

For 2019, minimum ZEV % increased from 4.5% to 7%, and TZEV credits (from PHEV's) are limited to 3%. As you can see below, the ramp continues.



The penalty per missing credit is $5K. A Tesla M3 earns 4 credits, which is equivalent to $20K per car in "penalty value". Tesla sold $103 million in ZEV credits in 2018 (they sold a cumulative $890m from 2013-2017). The "free market" value of credits is softening considerably - in earlier years they were going for the full $5K.

A Clarity PHEV earns 1.2 TZEV credit, a Clarity Electric 1.9 ZEV credits.
A Prius Prime would earn .9 TZEV credits, a 40kWh Leaf 2.9 ZEV credits

This is just a very basic look at the rules. For those seeking more confusion:
https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/zevtutorial/zev_tutorial_webcast.pdf?_ga=2.135670135.716043205.1564811029-668174325.1564811029
WOW, this I did not know about.

So with the higher requirements for 2019, does this mean that Honda feels they can not meet those numbers and are going to kill the Clarity ????
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Secondary proposal - drop all subsidies from Oil & Gas companies and watch gas prices shoot up. EVs will sell then as well. Either method will eliminate the tilt towards oil/diesel private transportation. The decline of sedan sales since 2012 has tracked almost exactly with the decline of the retail price of gasoline.
This is a popular idea, but in the US, subsidies for oil and gas amount to about $0.28 per barrel or less than 1 cent per gallon.

https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/01/04/the-real-costs-of-alternative-energy.aspx
 

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WOW, this I did not know about.

So with the higher requirements for 2019, does this mean that Honda feels they can not meet those numbers and are going to kill the Clarity ????
It means if they are production constrained (battery supply?), more of the cars need to go to Section 177 States or they have to buy credits on the open market (or pay the $5K per credit penalty).

Killing the Clarity would leave them no choice but to buy credits from someone like Tesla. They've done that in the past to the tune of millions of dollars and likely very much want to avoid that scenario. This is one of big attractions of producing the Clarity FCX -it garners 4 credits and those credits "travel" at full value for all Section 177 states (they count towards the requirements even if the vehicle is sold elswhere). Other ZEV credits no longer "travel" and sales numbers/percentages must be met in the states outside of California.

As you can see from the chart, moving forward they have to come up with something they can use the get "pure" ZEV credits as the TZEV Clarity (PHEV) can only be used for a percentage of the total required credits. Unlikely the Clarity FCX will sell in sufficient numbers to satisfy all the ZEV requirements going forward (and the Clarity Electric only earns credits in the sate in which it is sold - CA or OR)

All this will have a very definite impact on inventory availability in states that have not elected to adopt the Section 177 standards. Honda (and all manufacturers) need to give priority to Section 177 States when supply is limited or face monetary consequences.
 

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It's those same CARB ZEV credits that are dooming PHEVs in this country. The BMW i3 PHEV was a perfect example of this. To get the 4 credits, BMW crippled the PHEV version of the i3 with a gas tank that could not drive the car further than the batteries. BMW also put a very small ICE engine in to prevent the ICE from being able to drive the car. Under CARB, PHEVs receive 1.5 credits and BEVs receive 4 credits. The problem in the US and Canada is that there are vast areas of the country where we have no, or very small, infrastructure to support BEVs. PHEVs are the solution until the infrastructure is in place and there are sufficient BEVs in the light to medium duty truck market to start replacing all the diesel trucks running around rural America.

Look at a heat map of where the charging infrastructure is located. It's along the coastal areas, including Chicago. BEVs simply aren't feasible as a primary/only vehicle outside those areas. PHEVs are the solution for now.
 
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