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

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
8,856
12,939
United States
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.

  • Tesla includes a UMC with every car which is a L2 connector.
  • Yeah... sometimes a wire comes loose in a 14-50... same things happens on occasion with a HPWC or any other electric circuit. It's rare but it happens. Most people use a 14-50 daily with no problem.
  • Yes... you absolutely can upgrade a 110v 15A circuit to a 240v 20A circuit for 3.8kW usually with the same wire. I should know... I co-own a licensed electric company.
  • Most people don't 'need' >3.8kW to charge their EV. Plenty of people get by with just L1... although as I've stated upgrading to 16A L2 is cheap, easy and well worth it.
 
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I would rather keep my EV, take a few seconds and charge at home or at convenient Superchargers all across the country. EVs are also less expensive. Hydrogen can be dangerous. It burns invisibly, is colorless and odorless. I really think fuel cell cars are a bad idea and waste of research money.

Plus, electric vehicle charging stations are likely much less expensive to install and maintain (no dangerous hydrogen leaks). EV Level 3 charging speeds are much faster now and will be getting faster, I think, with the Tesla Supercharger V4+ perhaps coming up in a year or more. Tesla Supercharger V3 stations / upgrades are being rolled out now and support rates of 250 kW, at least.

Simply put, electric cars are a better choice.
 
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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.


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.

Probably just best to google it as I have no specific site. It was just a headline last week. The good news is that those two filling stations only have to be shared between 6 registered hydrogen vehicles in the province. So, you know, no lineups. :).
 

mblakele

FSD Beta (99)
Mar 7, 2016
1,831
6,421
SF Bay Area
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.

Yep, the UMC that comes with the vehicle works great for many. I've been charging at home that way for almost four years now.
 
My Clarity Fuel Cell has been at the dealer since 12/17/19....There is a recall and they can't seem to get the parts...
I was first told 12/31, then 1/15, then 1/27, and now it's "mid February" Contacted Honda directly and they also have no idea when the parts will arrive. Have any of you guys gone thru this "Fuel Cell Stack Water Pump" recall and how long did it take?
Thanks
 
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tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
My Clarity Fuel Cell has been at the dealer since 12/17/19....There is a recall and they can't seem to get the parts...

I am in Davis, California. Got my car from Oakland. Sorry to say that I am going through EXACTLY the same thing with my 2017 Clarity FCV--i.e., it's been in the (nearest [Roseville] Honda dealer) shop for two months; they can't get the part(s) (from Japan); it's some sort of recall to do with the fuel cell stack, etcetera. My problem started with a "Low Power" warning, directing me to seek service, on the dash display just after refueling in West Sacramento (see Post Numbers 40 and 48 in this Thread). The good news is that I am driving a free loaner-rental car (with free fuel) and I used the opportunity to upgrade (for just 10 days due to cost) to a Model S (from Enterprise Rental). That was fun, fun, fun (but sadly I did not meet a lady named Rhonda). The bad news is that the regular "loaner" is an ICE car (Toyota Camry). After driving electric cars for two years, the otherwise perfectly acceptable Toyota is kind of a disappointment. (For example, I quickly got spoiled with the instant response/acceleration of the Tesla and, to a lesser extent, the Honda. I didn't remember how much mechanical hesitation/delay, in comparison, there is with an ICE car. Also, the display inside the Toyota is so small and does not come with a GPS navigation program.)

Anyway, I am sorry to hear that you are going through this, but glad my particular car is not some sort of pariah. I have talked to my dealership, and am cautiously optimistic that repairs can be made in February, so that I can return to and enjoy the Clarity experience for a couple more months before my 3-year lease ends. My advice is to keep in close contact with your service people. Ask for a schedule. Elevate the issue to the service manager if necessary. (But it is apparently not the fault of the dealerships.)

We knew that this second generation Clarity was still an experimental (beta-version) car. With that can come engineering issues, unfortunately. It has been an interesting 3-year experiment (for me), one that I do not regret experiencing (with both its ups and downs).

*****​

By the way, the February 2020 issue of Scientific American has an article, "Solar and Wind Power Could Ignite a Hydrogen Energy Comeback," by Peter Fairley. (The article is not specifically about vehicles, but it may be of interest to all-electric and hydrogen car proponents.)

Also, scientists still do not fully understand the science of why airplanes can stay aloft. That is a little disconcerting. (No, it is apparently not fully explained by the Bernoulli effect or by Newtonian action-reaction physics.) Fortunately, Tesla cars stay, mostly, on the ground.
 
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Ah, good to see I am not the only one...They did give me a rental and told me to keep the gas receipts...you are lucky you got a Camry, I was stucked with a Nissan Centra for the first 2 weeks and now I have a Kona...I also got a sense that the parts is not made yet, as they can never provide a tracking number...just says "it's on its way"....
 
My Clarity Fuel Cell has been at the dealer since 12/17/19....There is a recall and they can't seem to get the parts...
I was first told 12/31, then 1/15, then 1/27, and now it's "mid February" Contacted Honda directly and they also have no idea when the parts will arrive. Have any of you guys gone thru this "Fuel Cell Stack Water Pump" recall and how long did it take?
Thanks
Was it just the water pump or fuel cell stack too? I've heard of long waits for water pumps. There was no reason for you to drop the car off for a water pump. You should have kept driving and waited for the part to arrive.
The wait for the water pump, as heard, cab be 3 months.
 

tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
...water pump or fuel cell stack

The latter. My car already received the new pump during a previous recall. I'm told this is fuel cell stack related. Apparently, a VERY expensive repair. The dealer is itching to preform the repair (for the $$$ to be made from Honda) but the Company is (wisely) evaluating, on a case-by-case basis, how many months remain on the respective 3-year leases before sinking money into a vehicle that will just get crunched in a couple of months time. (That makes sense from a business standpoint, though it is sad to think of all these Clarity FCVs being destroyed. For the most part mine has been a good car, though it is no Tesla. Maybe they can donate some to Japanese police departments, or something, where the hydrogen infrastructure is expanding?)
 
The latter. My car already received the new pump during a previous recall. I'm told this is fuel cell stack related. Apparently, a VERY expensive repair. The dealer is itching to preform the repair (for the $$$ to be made from Honda) but the Company is (wisely) evaluating, on a case-by-case basis, how many months remain on the respective 3-year leases before sinking money into a vehicle that will just get crunched in a couple of months time. (That makes sense from a business standpoint, though it is sad to think of all these Clarity FCVs being destroyed. For the most part mine has been a good car, though it is no Tesla. Maybe they can donate some to Japanese police departments, or something, where the hydrogen infrastructure is expanding?)

Ah, I see. A while ago, someone said it was $50k to replace the stack.
To my knowledge, the way it works is Honda or special dealer rep calls up people when the stack is ready to replace. Drop the car, get it back in 1-2 weeks. I never heard of a situation like yours before, that the car is sitting at dealership for a stack replacement.

Also, some people are extending their leases by a year or so. If you have money left in your fuel card, which I bet you do, this may be an option for you. You can call Honda and ask them to prioritize the stack replacement for this. See if that works.
You still should've just kept driving. A recall is just a safety measure. Doesn't always mean your particular car had any danger. if the stack died, it would be on Honda, not you.
It seems this dealer is trying to make money from Honda by holding your car hostage. I hope you have a decent rental car.
 
Hmm, I've asked nicely if I can get my car back and wait for the parts to arrive, and they told me firmly "NO".
I'm getting clarification on exactly what the recall is for...I heard both fuel cell stack and the water pump from my conversation before.
I did also get the "reduced power" message as TPS.
 

tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
Hmm, I've asked nicely if I can get my car back and wait for the parts to arrive, and they told me firmly "NO".

Same for me. I felt at first like I should have kept driving the car until the parts were in. However, the Honda dealer said that further damage (to the power unit) could have resulted and that it might have been dangerous (if there was a sudden loss of power at speed). Don't know if those are really valid excuses.

Regardless, it is probably inevitable that we had to bring the car in, and hence lose access. Those of us who got the warning did not know what was going on, and the dealer was not going to diagnose the problem over the phone. "Loss of power" is pretty vague, and that warning may result from more than one mechanical problem. Once the dealer had the car, it was not going to return it un-repaired, per corporate requirements and liability issues.

And it makes sense that a dealer would have to have the car in hand (in order to diagnose the precise problem) before ordering the the parts.

It is like the Venus Fly Trap of driver-dealer interactions--once it is in there, there's no escape. (David Attenborough take note!)

Venus Fly Trap with Clarity.jpg


So as drivers we should not feel bad about our own behavior--nothing reasonable we could have done.
 
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The dealer got back and said it was the Fuel Cell stack they are waiting on...
Interesting bit, when the error message came on, I called around to 3 different dealer in the Bay Area that service the FC, only Stevenscreek Honda knew what it was...without looking at the car, they knew it was the fuel cell stack recall....thou they were also the one that serviced the same car not 3 weeks ago...
 

tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
...they were also the one that serviced the same car not 3 weeks ago...

Same for me. My car had been serviced a short time before for that water pump recall issue. And by the same dealer--in Roseville. (Could there be something nefarious going on here? Just kidding...)

In my case I had just filled up with H2 fuel in early December (in West Sacramento), which in itself is a major accomplishment these days, when I got the dash warning.

BTW, still nothing from my dealer about repairs. I just completed my second trip yesterday, since the Honda repair delay issue, to the Bay area without my HOV sticker, heated seats, and built-in Garmin GPS map navigation system. (To people worldwide without cars with those things, I know--boo, hoo! Time for the world's tiniest violin. But to Tesla and other high-tech car drivers, you know what I mean! We are spoiled and want to stay that way.)

Tiny Violin.jpg

Anyway, as I struggled to return, fighting horrible traffic all the way (the normal 1 hr., 45-min. trip from Redwood City to Davis was, like, 3 1/2 hrs.), I was watching with clenched teeth people zoom by in the diamond lanes the whole way.

Once I eventually surrender the Honda Clarity FCV (to be crunched) I want a Tesla car that has (the equivalent of) those things, especially the HOV sticker. (New Teslas are still eligible for those stickers, aren't they? Or has that been taken away by the State of California?) But unfortunately, from what I hear Tesla cars are not immune to repair headaches and delays, right? Do people who live in Fremont just drop off their Model S at the Tesla Factory front gate and say, "Fix this!"? (Ha, ha.) (Just trying to bear up under the psychological strain, here.) One bright note, on my trip close to the beating heart of Tesla-land (near Palo Alto), I was able to see a lot of Tesla cars on the roadways. I am getting better at differentiating the Models (S, X, and 3) apart, at speed. Also, the "new" (7 years, now) span of the Bay Bridge Treasure Island to Oakland is way cool. (For $6.5 billion, it should be.)

Bay Bridge Span.jpg
 

mblakele

FSD Beta (99)
Mar 7, 2016
1,831
6,421
SF Bay Area
Once I eventually surrender the Honda Clarity FCV (to be crunched) I want a Tesla car that has (the equivalent of) those things, especially the HOV sticker. (New Teslas are still eligible for those stickers, aren't they?

Yes.

But unfortunately, from what I hear Tesla cars are not immune to repair headaches and delays, right? Do people who live in Fremont just drop off their Model S at the Tesla Factory front gate and say, "Fix this!"? (Ha, ha.)

Have tire work done at a tire shop — same for brakes, glass, etc. For Tesla-specific work, use mobile service whenever possible, then service center.

The Tesla equivalent of a fuel cell problem would probably be a battery or motor problem, and that would have to go to a service center — where I'd expect them to swap in a spare unit while your original was rebuilt. I think problems like those are vanishingly rare, but only Tesla has the relevant data.

The service center locations are online here:

Find Us | Tesla

If I lived in Davis, I'd do as much as possible with mobile service. If I had to visit a service center, I'd try Rocklin. I understand it's fairly busy, but I think the Bay Area service centers are busier.

In general it's difficult to tell how likely it is that a new Tesla will need any service for the first 12-24 months. Anecdotally, my relatively early Model 3 had a bad turn signal module, which mobile service fixed in my driveway in about an hour. Then it turned out to need an internal reset that only the service center could diagnose and perform. That only interfered with software updates: everything else seemed fine, so I procrastinated. When I eventually brought the car in, they fixed it out overnight and I had the car back in less than 24 hours; meanwhile I drove a Tesla Model S loaner. I wouldn't expect either of those problems with a recently built Model 3: I believe they were teething problems associated with ramping up production.
 
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OMG, what a load of crap...The recall manager, "Jose" called me again for my case on how to get gas reimbursed before the recall is over. Now they are saying there's no guarantee and each will be reviewed on a case by case basis. What are our options really at this point? is it possible to return the lease early or have it taken back due to lemon law? This is beyond frustrating...
 

tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
OMG, what a load of crap...The recall manager, "Jose" called me again for my case on how to get gas reimbursed before the recall is over. Now they are saying there's no guarantee and each will be reviewed on a case by case basis. What are our options really at this point? is it possible to return the lease early or have it taken back due to lemon law? This is beyond frustrating...

I PM'd you about this.
 

tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
...case by case basis....

Update on my 2017 Honda Clarity fuel cell car, in the shop since early December 2019! due to damaged fuel cell stack parts (caused I am told by faulty software that resulted over time in internal corrosion and eventually a "Low Power" warning message):
  • Replacement part(s) from Japan were finally "released" by Honda for use in the repair of my particular vehicle this week at the local service center (Auto Nation Honda of Roseville). Similar repairs are also underway at the other 11 authorized Honda service centers in northern and southern California on a case-by-case basis for those Clarity FCVs affected by this problem. (Some or all of them?) Apparently, not all affected vehicles will be chosen to be repaired. My guess is that it is closely tied to mileage and general condition (history of previous damage and repairs).
  • The repair of my car (complete replacement of the fuel cell stack, I think?) was actually made. (Yeah.)
  • Still to come: the car has to be safely trailered to a fuel station in order to be re-filled with hydrogen. Since the car is 100% empty of fuel--not something that is normally allowed--and the fuel delivery system was previously flushed with helium (a non-flammable, inert gas) the refueling process can take multiple tries and extra time to complete. It is normally performed in the evening or early morning so as not to disrupt regular daytime gasoline and hydrogen fueling for customers who would be forced to queue behind a flatbed truck. The car remains on the truck as it is refueled.
  • Once fueled, it will be trailered back to the service center to be completely checked over and have the software reset (I assume), before eventual release back to me.
  • I may see it Saturday evening. If not, possibly Monday.
I am going to enjoy driving it for a bit, before soon making the final decision whether to return it (as originally scheduled) in May or extend the lease for up to just one more year. The possible advantages of holding onto the Honda car a little longer would be to give me extra time to choose between Models S, X, and possibly Y, and to see if the rumored "plaid" S/X versions (a) are actually released and (b) have any affect on the existing Long Range Model S and X versions.

What a saga. But they told us that this was still an experimental program and that we would be automotive pioneers. It has been,...interesting.

This spring, will I be going...
From This to This.jpg
 
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That is very good to hear, that Honda did the right thing no matter what it cost them, even when you only had a few months of the lease left.
I find the Helium stuff really suspicious. Never heard of this. Don't know if your dealer is just trying to do unnecessary stuff to get more money from Honda. The stack can be replaced without any need to empty the tank. The tank can withstand 10000 psi (actually a lot more than that). So I don't see any reason why it needed to be filled up with He.

For your situation with a ton of money left on the fuel card, extending looks like a good option (to me).
As for the two pictures, it depends on what you want to pay for HOV access:
$$ or $$$$$$ ( Tesla S/X leases are $1100-$1200 a month)

Cost wise, a Model 3 is closer to the Clarity lease cost. There will also be a third option soon.:)

mirai2.jpg
 
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Like the other two posters, I, too, have my Clarity laid up at Roseville Honda for fuel cell stack replacement! The ominous warning message came on when I retrieved my car from a Safelite shop, where its windshield had just been replaced. When I left the car at the dealer in Roseville, yesterday, I was told to expect a wait of a few weeks. I have really enjoyed that car and hate to see it in its present forlorn state. I actually choked up as I removed all my stuff from it. Honda is covering a rental car and gasoline. I HATE driving an ICE again! I promise I will never, ever buy one (with the possible exception of a sixties convertible strictly for nostalgia purposes). I guess I'll just wait and see where this road takes me.

I had been hoping to extend my current lease for a fourth year. That is still my first choice. All that is required is for the needed parts to materialize and for Honda to deem my car worthy of receiving an expensive replacement fuel cell stack.
 
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