Honda Clarity Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got my 2020 Touring this month - it was supposed to go to the Austin Car show, but even though it was cancelled the dealer kept it scheduled to come here so that I could avoid having to pay to ship one over from California. Yeah!


It has only been about a week, but I am enjoying it.


I will be looking on the forum for some answers to a couple questions -
1) Can I buy an extra charger to keep in my trunk? I installed the one it came with into the garage wall and can use public chargers as needed, but might one to keep an extra level one in my trunk for when I visit family out of town. Is this a Honda specific accessory or can I just find one on Amazon?
2) I think I have heard that phone batteries die the more you leave them plugged in and you should not charge until they are low... is it the same for these batteries? Should I only charge when my EV range is depleted and should I only charge when I can leave it plugged in the full duration?


Thanks!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
575 Posts
Congratulations on your new Clarity! To answer your questions:

Yes any brand of EVSE is fine, just as long as it says J1772. You could also install a 240V outlet and purchase a level 2 EVSE and keep the Honda level 1 in your trunk. However while there are some advantages to level 2, mainly faster charging, it’s an expense of several hundred dollars that will not pay back, and for a PHEV like Clarity, level 1 charging is adequate pretty much most of the time. Some people plan to eventually get an EV and so they figure they might as well get level 2 installed now, and that makes some sense, but then you have to do a bit of research to make sure that whatever level 2 that you install now will be adequate for whatever future unknown EV vehicle that you may or may not purchase while living where you currently do.

The battery question you will find endless opinions on because the Clarity is still new so there really isn’t much data about battery life, other than what is known about EV cars in general. You are thinking about nickel metal hydride batteries (old style) which benefit from full discharge. Modern EV and PHEV including Clarity have lithium-ion batteries. These batteries will actually be damaged if fully discharged, HOWEVER you can’t do that easily because even at 0 EV miles there is still plenty of battery charge left, at least 10%, maybe more. But the car won’t use the remaining charge in order to protect the battery. Now there are some people who feel that even getting down to 10% is not great to do every day and they avoid going down to 0 EV miles if possible. But there is no evidence at this time that I am aware of that going to 0 EV miles on a regular basis significantly shortens battery life, again specifically for Clarity as each car is different. I think I heard for example that for the early Nissan Leaf this was an issue.

The bigger debate is about charging to 100%. Similar situation, you would damage the battery if you ever really charged it to 100%, but again the car won’t let you, when it says 100% on the HondaLink app that is something more like 90% full in reality. Now there is some data from EV cars in general that battery life can be extended somewhat by not charging to full all the time and only charging to maybe 85% (as indicated on the app), and especially to avoid having the car sit for a long time on a full charge. So they try and avoid charging to full, and if they do charge to full they try and schedule the charging so that it reaches full shortly before they plan to leave. However a wrench is thrown into the discussion by Honda who states in the Clarity owners manual that you should always charge to full.

Personally what I and some other people do is I charge to full when I know I will need a full charge the next day, but if I know I will be doing little to no driving the next day I only charge to about half full. Unfortunately there is no easy way to do that, you can’t just tell it to charge to 50% or charge to 90% or whatever, you can only do scheduled charging, and then use estimates based on how long it takes to charge. A quick general estimate for level 1 is that it charges at about 8% per hour, although that varies depending on temperature and how full the battery is but it is usually in that ballpark. I have a time of use electric rate with super cheap rates from 11:00pm to 7:00am, so because of that I schedule my charging for those times, and since I am already scheduling my charging it is relatively easy for me to schedule charging to end at the percent that I want. But for most people who have flat rate it’s too much hassle to do all of that scheduling and they just plug in when they get home and let it charge to full. You certainly won’t harm your car by doing that, it’s just a question of whether the battery might not last quite as long. But again we don’t really know how much of a difference it makes for Clarity if any. The battery has a warranty of 8 years and 100,000 miles so unless you think you will have the car that long it may not be worth worrying about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
The only thing you miss by not having a Level 2 EVSE is the ability to pre-condition the cabin without depleting the traction battery. For me, getting into a cool car in summer and a warm one in winter was worth the expense. Well, that and the ability to refill the battery from empty in 2.5 hours.

Be careful that there are no other serious power drains on the circuit into which you've plugged your L1 - the Owner's Manual offers both advice and warnings...
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top