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According to https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1124432_honda-pulls-back-clarity-phev-outside-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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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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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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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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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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...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.
To be sure, the Volt can directly drive the wheels in extended drives and that adds efficiency. The Volt can also offer full acceleration with no risk of inadvertent gas engine running, so it really can act like an electric car until you need it to be a hybrid.
 

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To be sure, the Volt can directly drive the wheels in extended drives and that adds efficiency. The Volt can also offer full acceleration with no risk of inadvertent gas engine running, so it really can act like an electric car until you need it to be a hybrid.
My point was that that is a decision that GM made, it's not because of any technical difference between Volt and other PHEV's. It is hard to imagine that sticking with that decision didn't affect the ultimate size and weight of the Volt. My supposition is that Honda could have made the Clarity also run in true EV mode with no chance of engine startup when flooring it, there is no technical reason why it couldn't. But I would guess that they chose not to because acceleration would not be what they considered acceptable at the planned size and weight of the car. Or it would require making the car smaller and lighter but they wanted the car to be the size that it is.

The other part of my hypothesis is that maybe even the current maximum acceleration of Clarity under battery power is acceptable to some people and they would accept this as a tradeoff for being able to not worry about accidentally starting ICE during hard acceleration. I proposed that it would work this way in Econ mode only, or maybe Econ and Regular. Only Sport mode would trigger ICE for extra acceleration.
 

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Having heard Lutz speak about the Volt I think the difference is one of philosophy: Lutz felt that Chevy drivers would be interested in making decisions about how, what and when the Volt did whatever it was going to do. Honda, on the other hand, decided to leave it mostly up to the car to decide how best to be its most efficient self, even within the driver-selected modes. That said, I really like the Volt's "regen button" and think the Clarity paddles are just a gimmick.
 

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I was very disappointed to see this news. When I saw the cars being deeply discounted in the Atlanta market and the Volt discontinued, I realized demand for PHEVs are soft.

Once I recall that a local North Atlanta Honda dealer had four of the Clarity cars but they put them on the back lot. There was no interest in them selling them and they were not plugged in waiting for test drives. They simply could have done a better job selling the car.

Some of the manufacturers are playing catchup with Tesla and others have committed to Hybrid and EV, thereby skipping over PHEV which I still think offers some value to the customers.

I am now disappointed that I lost a chance at getting a PHEV Touring deeply discounted. The good news is I am starting to see the Honda Accord Hybrids on the road daily and I hope they will continue to be sold here.

As far as maintenance, I can't imagine the PHEV is much harder to support than the HEV. I realize the Clarity had a few quality issues which I believed would have been worked out.
 

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I was very disappointed to see this news. When I saw the cars being deeply discounted in the Atlanta market and the Volt discontinued, I realized demand for PHEVs are soft.

Once I recall that a local North Atlanta Honda dealer had four of the Clarity cars but they put them on the back lot. There was no interest in them selling them and they were not plugged in waiting for test drives. They simply could have done a better job selling the car.

Some of the manufacturers playing catchup with Tesla and others have committed to Hybrid and EV, thereby skipping over PHEV which I still think offers some value to the customers.

I am now disappointed that I lost a chance at getting a PHEV Touring deeply discounted. The good news is I am starting to see the Honda Accord Hybrids on the road daily and I hope they will continue to be sold here.

As far as maintenance, I can't imagine the PHEV is much harder to support than the HEV. I realize the Clarity had a few quality issues which I believed would have been worked out.
There seem to be a few 2018's still on lots in surrounding states, you can search at cargurus.com or similar sites, enter your zip code then select a range of 500 miles or whatever. Several still in Florida. Someone recently got a fantastic deal on a car in Florida and had it shipped to them. They didn't say how much shipping cost, but normally it's well under $1,000 and no matter what it was it was well worth it for the hugely discounted price they got.

Color choices of course are going to be slimmer, but you can email dealers for a quote if close enough to fly drive, i.e. one way flight to purchase then drive home. Or round trip flight to look and decide, if you decide against then fly home, if you decide to purchase then forfeit the return airfare and drive home (or fly home and have the car shipped). Before doing all of that of course you want to find out from the dealer what the odometer reading is to make sure that it wasn't used as a demo car, and ask them the manufacture date, although you can get a pretty good idea of that from the last six digits of the VIN number that is listed online. The list below are samples:

023567 12/18
022992 11/18
021454 10/18
019299 9/18
017310 8/18
014284 5/18
012230 4/18
 

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... you can search at cargurus.com or similar sites, enter your zip code then select a range of 500 miles or whatever. ...
Thanks for the cargurus.com reference. The cars are no longer being discounted and, I agree, color choices are limited. Some Clarity's are available on the used market without tax rebate, etc.
 

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Thanks for the cargurus.com reference. The cars are no longer being discounted and, I agree, color choices are limited. Some Clarity's are available on the used market without tax rebate, etc.
Have you gotten quotes from out of state dealers or are you just looking at websites? You can't really tell anything about prices from dealer websites it requires contacting the dealer at least through email.
 

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I live in California and they are all over here....

Well not all, I do see one every day though.

I had an early prius plugin...no problem getting it fixed because after 150K miles it never needed to be fixed.

I did buy the 6 year / 120 k extended warranty for the Clarity ... I do not remember how much it was but not much...given this issue.

Jack
 
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