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Review of Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle (plus planned switch to Tesla)

tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
Dear OP, does your car's winter range drop?
I can't seem to get over 280 during summer months and winter is even worse...about 240-250miles.
According to the car, i get about 60miles / kg, with the tank size at 5.5kg, I should easily have 330miles.
The dealer said thats normal of course and didn't want to troubleshoot the issue.

Thinking about it further, yes I get about the same miles per tank as you (~280) (though as I said I do not know if that drops in the winter). It is difficult to speculate how many miles a full tank of fuel would actually provide, since we cannot drive the car until it is truly empty. Have to go by the dash-display info, which may or may not be telling the absolute truth.

I chalked the lower number up to my particular driving style, and I assumed that if I drove more slowly and carefully (like a grandpa) my mileage would improve.

You've reminded me that I've been keeping a running tally of my fuel expenditures in Excel (as I have habitually done with all my vehicles--good diagnostic tool when I remember to use it). The mileage (miles per kilogram) jumps around a lot. Here is a graph with extreme outliers (artifacts I think of particular fueling problems at the West Sacramento pump on certain days) removed.

Miles per Kilogram.jpg


Does this at all jive with your findings?

The running average mileage (cumulatively summing up the total average mileage) is perhaps more interesting and informative:

Average Miles per Kilogram.jpg


This reveals a gradually dropping average mileage as time goes on. Intriguing. Assuming my calculations are legitimate, this suggests that the fuel cell and/or batteries gradually loose efficiency over time, which would not be mechanically surprising. Same sort of thing analogously happens with Tesla batteries, correct? At some point the fuel cell stack and/or batteries are toast and have to be replaced, I guess. Glad I don't have to cover the cost of that.

Still not sure I see any seasonal effects, though. Too much "noise" in the daily mileage data to discern seasonal effects, do you think?
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
13,244
17,993
New Mexico
The hydrogen cars are too successful for the current state of fueling stations (exponential growth anyone?).
Your arguments could be a little more persuasive if you avoided BS.

E.g., yearly increases from one, to two, to four cars is an impressive exponential growth --- but we are still talking about 4 cars.
Alternatively, exponential can be dog slow if the exponent is e^kt and k is a very small number

So lets add some context: how many H2 cars are running around CA these days, and how many fueling stations (broken or otherwise) are there ?
 
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mblakele

FSD Beta (99)
Mar 7, 2016
1,831
6,421
SF Bay Area
how many H2 cars are running around CA these days, and how many fueling stations (broken or otherwise) are there ?

To avoid turning this thread into another hydrogen vs battery, I'll link to my discussion of CARB's 2019 HFCEV report.

Hydrogen vs. Battery

The 2019 CARB Hydrogen report is couched in careful bureaucratese, as you'd expect. But a careful reading reveals that fueling station deployment is falling behind schedule, but that overall growth is limited by automakers are dragging their feet.

Finding 2: Station network development through 2018 and early 2019 has continued to remain largely on schedule [...]
development progress for the future has been adjusted compared to prior estimates, with 52 stations now expected to be open by the end of 2019 compared to 62 as previously reported.

Finding 3: Auto manufacturer projections for FCEV deployments do not demonstrate sufficient acceleration to support the FCEV deployment goals [...] the projection for 2025 represents another one year delay in reported deployment plans [...] auto manufacturer deployment projections have not yet advanced California’s projected FCEV fleet towards the 2030 goal of one million vehicles

98ozEu8.png

CARB is now projecting a gap between vehicles on the road, which are lagging badly, and station deployment, which is apparently easier to organize by government fiat. If this happens according to projections, the resulting hydrogen network won't have enough customers to be economically sustainable. Somewhat sanely, they're recommending more care in station site selection.

The tone of the report is still "Full speed ahead!" — but cracks are beginning to appear. If those cracks continue to widen, California may eventually realize that they're pushing on a string. How many years will that take? That remains to be seen.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
13,244
17,993
New Mexico
I found some numbers.

About 6500 H2 cars on CA roads
About 50 fuel stations; I presume at a cost of 1-2 million a piece

If it is true that an investment of 50 - 100 million dollars is not enough to fuel 6500 cars then hydrogen cars is an even bigger boondoggle than I thought. That would work out to $10,000 - $15,000 infrastructure costs per car being inadequate.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
13,244
17,993
New Mexico
Wikipedia provided PEV sales in CA since 2011. Here is the graph (notice the semi-log scale):

upload_2019-12-6_18-55-55.png

Would CG like to compute the growth rate for the past 7 years or so ** ? It has been reasonably log linear for 2013- 2018 although it took off in 2019 due to the Model 3. Afterwards we can compute the growth rate for H2 cars for laughs.

** I calculate about 33%
 
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tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
I take it in for service tomorrow (Saturday). Fingers crossed that it is not something serious like needing a new fuel cell stack. I shouldn't have to pay anything (I hope) but it is inconvenient. Might need a loaner car.

Update: My 2017 Honda Clarity fuel cell car with the Loss of Power warning message is with Honda for replacement of some part or all of the fuel cell stack--at least a week due to back order of parts. This is apparently related to a recall of the full cell stack.

Since I got free credit towards a full-size rental car, I decided to make lemonade and upgrade the rental to a Tesla Model S (2017 75D). Should be an interesting week. When I got home I plugged the car into my self-installed NEMA 14-50 receptacle, and charging went perfectly--246 volts, 32 amps using the Gen 2 mobile connector cable and 14-50 plug.
 
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SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,477
11,786
MI
Update: My 2017 Honda Clarity fuel cell car with the Loss of Power warning message is with Honda for replacement of some part or all of the fuel cell stack--at least a week due to back order of parts. This is apparently related to a recall of the full cell stack.

Since I got free credit towards a full-size rental car, I decided to make lemonade and upgrade the rental to a Tesla Model S (2017 75D). Should be an interesting week. When I got home I plugged the car into my self-installed NEMA 14-50 receptacle, and charging went perfectly--246 volts, 32 amps using the Gen 2 mobile connector cable and 14-50 plug.

There’s so much to be said about having a full “tank” every morning with an EV. And with an EV that is fun to drive!
 
Dear OP, does your car's winter range drop?
I can't seem to get over 280 during summer months and winter is even worse...about 240-250miles.
According to the car, i get about 60miles / kg, with the tank size at 5.5kg, I should easily have 330miles.
The dealer said thats normal of course and didn't want to troubleshoot the issue.
People report about 15% range loss in mild winter like in your area. Your range depends on driving habits etc.
The range you see after a fill may be lower, because there is the hidden range when you hit zero.
Ppl have traveled many tens of miles with '0' range. Clarity FC is EPA rated for 65 miles per kg of hydrogen.
Yours is not abnormal but is definitely on the low side.
What is your typical speed on freeways and what freeways are you driving on?
 
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Update: My 2017 Honda Clarity fuel cell car with the Loss of Power warning message is with Honda for replacement of some part or all of the fuel cell stack--at least a week due to back order of parts. This is apparently related to a recall of the full cell stack.

Since I got free credit towards a full-size rental car, I decided to make lemonade and upgrade the rental to a Tesla Model S (2017 75D). Should be an interesting week. When I got home I plugged the car into my self-installed NEMA 14-50 receptacle, and charging went perfectly--246 volts, 32 amps using the Gen 2 mobile connector cable and 14-50 plug.
Wow, that's super fast service scheduling. :) Most people have their Clarity FC stack replaced. And folks wonder, why Honda is going slow on the fuel cell cars. :rolleyes:
The Model S 75D is no longer sold by Tesla. The least expensive Model S is $80k on Tesla site. It probably has less interior room than a Clarity.
Looking at how much you drove in 2 1/2 years, that's probably not a good investment. But to each his own.

@SageBrush , Please see the numbers here.
By The Numbers | California Fuel Cell Partnership

FCEVs—Fuel cell cars sold and leased in US ************ 7,883
FCEBs—Fuel cell buses in operation in California ********** 42
Retail hydrogen stations open in California ****************** 44
Note: Many stations opened very recently, like the 4 in SF and Oakland/Emeryvile area. These larger stations will support 3X more cars per station.

7883/44 = 179 cars per station + 1 bus per station.
At $1M-$2M per station, that's $5k-$10k (counting 1 bus as 20 cars).
Not to mention, these will support future cars too.
An EV level 2 charger install at home is around $2000 (not including separate meter) . Then there is the cost of fast chargers for away from home road trips.
Above all, not everyone is able to install an EV home charger or even charge at home (tenants, condo/apartment dwellers).
 
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nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
8,856
12,939
United States
FCEVs—Fuel cell cars sold and leased in US ************ 7,883
.....
An EV level 2 charger install at home is around $2000 (not including separate meter) .

7883 FCEVs, Awe... that's cute. I wonder if the total number of FCEVs in the US will ever exceed the number of EVs Tesla produces in 7 days.

Very few people pay >$500 for L2 charging at home and most people get way more than they need. 16A @ 240v is more than enough for ~95% of people. An electrician can upgrade a 110v outlet to 16A and 240v in ~30 minutes and <$100 or if there isn't a dedicated 110v to upgrade install one for ~$200.

This argument that there are 'magic' places that you can't put an EV charger is ridiculous. Anywhere you can put a lamp post you can but L2 charging. It won't be fast but it would be enough to get the job done.
 
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SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
13,244
17,993
New Mexico
This argument that there are 'magic' places that you can't put an EV charger is ridiculous. Anywhere you can put a lamp post you can but L2 charging. It won't be fast but it would be enough to get the job done.
Quite so.
CG's declaration that home L2 charging installation is a $5,000 cost places him firmly in the troll camp and I have put him on IGNORE. It is of course possible, but it is an extreme corner case.

Moreover, there is a world of difference between landlords being 'unable' to place EV charging and the current state of 'do not want to.' The latter will change as tenant demand increases. 'Unable' to set up L2 charging is very, very rare in the US.
 
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jboy210

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
6,512
4,453
Northern California
An EV level 2 charger install at home is around $2000 (not including separate meter) . Then there is the cost of fast chargers for away from home road trips.
Above all, not everyone is able to install an EV home charger or even charge at home (tenants, condo/apartment dwellers).

If you drive short distances you can get by with 120V and the charger that comes with the car. With a car like a model 3 you can add 4-5 miles of range per hour. Another option is adding a NEMA 14-50 (240V @ 50A) plug. Mine ran $125 include $15 for the plug, $100 for the electrician and wire, and a $10 tip. I had this wire eventually run to a HPWC I got for a referral. Ran able $200 for the electricians time. NO separate meter.

Also, by me, apartment owners are starting to install chargers in spots, and charging tenants extra for these spots. And, in some apartment/condo developments by me there are Level 2 chargers on the street. They are part of the Charge Point network.

There are also 5 (soon 6 Supercharger) locations within 15 miles from where I live, Pleasanton.
 
Quite so.
CG's declaration that home L2 charging installation is a $5,000 cost places him firmly in the troll camp and I have put him on IGNORE. It is of course possible, but it is an extreme corner case.
I said $2000, not $5000. Time to apologize and visit your optometrist to get a new pair.

The L2 charger itself is $400-$500 + tax. Electrician rate may be $100/hr for unlicensed ones and it may be 30 mins for the easiest ones (park inside garage). But around here, trucking charge alone is $90+. $90 is what I paid 2-3 years back for trucking charge.

Many people don't park in the garage though. If you have to run a low gauge wire to the place where you do park (driveway most common), labor cost runs up.
I recently paid close to $10500 for a commercial meter+panel and about 30 ft of wiring to a licensed electrical contractor. A simple 100A house panel replacement, like for like, cost me $1690 ($1500 panel + labor, ~$190 permit fee). These are not even in the high cost metro areas. So good luck getting it done for $100.

Chargepoint? Have you seen their rates? Anyone charging at Chargepoint daily will quickly find out that hydrogen is much cheaper and switch in no time. Then you have the pain to run back and forth to move your car once it is done, or you pay huge money. Once you are done charging, parking can get tight in your apartment. The later you look for parking, the harder it gets, unless you have reserved spaces.
 
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nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
8,856
12,939
United States
The L2 charger itself is $400-$500 + tax. Electrician rate may be $100/hr for unlicensed ones and it may be 30 mins for the easiest ones (park inside garage). But around here, trucking charge alone is $90+. $90 is what I paid 2-3 years back for trucking charge.

All Teslas and most EVs come with a L2 charger.... and all the 'L1' chargers I've seen also work as L2 if you plug them into 240. You can also easily find quality L2 connectors on amazon for <$200.

This is probably the biggest misconceptions with EVs. For one it's technically not a 'charger' but a connector. It's just a relay and a circuit board... nothing fancy. Secondly, even the smallest wire you generally find is still going to be enough with regular overnight charging. ~12# wire is the smallest gauge I usually see and that can support 16A. (16A)(240v) = 3.8kW. (3.8kW)(4mi/kW)(12hrs) = 182 miles of range. Most people drive <40 miles per day.
 
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All Teslas and most EVs come with a L2 charger.... and all the 'L1' chargers I've seen also work as L2 if you plug them into 240. You can also easily find quality L2 connectors on amazon for <$200.

This is probably the biggest misconceptions with EVs. For one it's technically not a 'charger' but a connector. It's just a relay and a circuit board... nothing fancy. Secondly, even the smallest wire you generally find is still going to be enough with regular overnight charging. ~12# wire is the smallest gauge I usually see and that can support 16A. (16A)(240v) = 3.8kW. (3.8kW)(4mi/kW)(12hrs) = 182 miles of range. Most people drive <40 miles per day.
I thought, Tesla used to charge $2k+ for their high power wall chargers. Is Tesla giving L2 charger for free now? It is listed on the site for $500 currently.
There is a thread here on home charging. Seems people got melted outlets using their NEMA outlets, besides vlockign the dryer outlet.
And no, you can't just pluf in 3.8KW circuit into a 15A outlet. You will have to add a dedicated 40A/80A circuit breaker. If that triggers a panel upgrade, that's additional.
If the total goes over the total panel capacity (100A most common in households) and you have to go to 200A, that's extra and gets expensive due to permitting, planning change with utility. etc.


High Power Wall Charger (HPWC) vs NEMA 14-50 Direct Plug

Reading the thread, seems $1000 is more like it if these are installed inside the garage.

Recently in BC news. BC has doubled there hydrogen filling stations this year. Now they have two.

We installed two level 2 240 volt EVSE’s in our town house. Total just under 900 bucks. Another 800 for the two EVSE’s.
Heard that news! Ontario and Vancouver are are setting up some hydrogen pumps.
Do you know where I can see a map of h2 stations in Canada, or find out how many hydrogen cars are in Canada now?
Seems Canada is in very early stages of hydrogen revolution.
 

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