Cold weather behaviour and observations

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Vezz66, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    The Canadian Clarity's battery warmer (which works only when the car is plugged in) doesn't kick in until the battery is fully charged. If you set the built-in charge timer in your U.S. Clarity so that charging completes just before you plan to start your drive, the battery will be just as warm as a Canadian battery before the battery warmer comes on to maintain the temperature achieved through charging. I'll admit I'm guessing that the battery warmer only maintains the charging temperature, but because the battery warmer doesn't kick in until after charging, I'm assuming the warmth generated through charging is sufficient to cope with -22F. At -23F, I'm not so confident.
    MPower likes this.
  2. Klong

    Klong Member

    I did a quick experiment to see how much range is lost due to using the cabin heater.
    Temperature for both days was averaging -4C or 26F.
    With heat - mileage driven plus small remaining range - 52km or 32miles
    Without heat - 85km or 53miles
    Average speed was 60kph or 37mph
    Almost 40% loss in range that should become higher when temperatures drop even lower. Although below -12C or 10F I had my ICE turn on when I start the car (not plugged in - so no battery warmer) and run for 5 minutes.

    David Towle likes this.
  3. Jarome

    Jarome New Member

    At about 50F, my battery range dropped to about 35 miles. Is this normal? I also worry about doing small charges after driving around town (10 miles). Does this hurt the battery?
  4. @Jarome, that's normal assuming that you are heating your cabin and or seat heaters. Cold temps + cabin heatin + seat heaters ~40% less range. I haven't seen any evidence that topping off your SOS to 99/100% hurts the battery but somebody with more experience with number of life charging cycles with this battery will have to answer your last question.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Inside EVs mobile app
  5. David Towle

    David Towle Member

    What I've seen so far is in agreement with your findings. Of course range will be even lower on the highway at normal low 70s speeds.

    What you can do to minimize the power usage by heat:
    1. Turn down the temp to Low or the lowest you can tolerate.
    2. Use seat heaters
    3. Don't use auto on the climate control and turn the fan speed to the lowest
    4. Use the foot/defrost climate setting (further restricts airflow and puts some warm air on the windshield where needed)
    5. Instead of above use the defrost button and then turn the fan back down to low, although I'm afraid in some conditions this may invoke the AC which also uses power.
    6. Push the recirc button. I find after 5-10 minutes I have to cycle back to fresh air for a minute as fog starts forming.

    Or you can just use HV mode and stay toasty warm with the free engine heat!
  6. DucRider

    DucRider Member

    Remember that even if the ambient air is -30C, it will take some time for the pack to reach that temp. At -30C air temp, it would take a loooong time to cool the battery to that level. Lower temps with a greater differential or windy conditions will speed the process. There is a fair amount of thermal mass in a battery (the Clarity battery is large compared to other PHEV's) and air is a fairly poor heat conductor (which is why liquid battery cooling is much more effective).
  7. MNSteve

    MNSteve Active Member Subscriber

    Unfortunately, I think "overnight" qualifies for "some time". Especially if the car is parked outside and there's wind.

    My EV range has now dropped below 30 with temps in the garage in the 20°F range. Preconditioning with a level-1 charger is pretty ineffective; after 20 minutes the temp had reached a whopping 32°F. I am considering a level-2 charger but the expenditure just so that I can leave in a warm car seems unjustified. My driving habits support an overnight charge so I probably won't spring for the L2 charger.

    And the other thing I won't do is skimp on the heat to extend the EV range. I did not buy this car so I could be uncomfortable driving it. I love the idea of using renewable energy to propel myself down the road but I do not enjoy doing it while my teeth are chattering.
    Ken7 and David Towle like this.
  8. RichL

    RichL New Member


    It appear to have less affect on battery life than a full cycle charge/discharge.
    This article on EV batteries is an interesting read:

    Based on what I've seen in the Clarity vs. say a Leaf, Honda appear to have been very conscious of preserving battery life and conservative in designing the "virtual battery" and the systems that affect the life of the battery such as regen, battery warmers, battery cooling etc...
    insightman likes this.
  9. su_A_ve

    su_A_ve Active Member

    As soon as temps dropped and started to use the heater, range went down to the mid 30s from a summer in the high 40s. A full charge would give me a round trip from home/work and then some miles extra for errands, but now in the winter, it's much tighter. Also, with the L1 charger (which I mostly use on the weekends) I noticed I would get approx 4 miles per hour of charge in the summer, and this is now down to 3 miles per hour of charge. So on a few long weekends I've started to use HV mode, since gas prices dropped as well, enough to be on par with electricity rates.

    But, I noticed total HV range is way off. Today I drove 13 miles and used 25 HV miles (EV stayed the same) starting with a full tank of gas and an HV range of 351. Almost double... I do have the HV range fix applied.
  10. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Active Member

    If starting HV range was 351 miles and tank holds about 7.2 gal, then the car expected you to get 48.75 mpg based on your recent HV driving performance. Apparently, you drove 13 miles and burned about a half gallon of gas (dropping the HV by 25 miles at 48.75 mpg estimate). That means you apparently averaged about 25 mpg on your 13 mile trip today. Start of trips can be less efficient (cold engine). Did you idle at any lights/stop and go/accelerate harder than usual? I wouldn't worry much about a 13 mile trip as it really is too small a sample to tell much.
  11. E10

    E10 New Member

    I also use a level 1 EVSE and if it is really cold and I want to actually get a warm car by pre-conditioning, I will go outside and unplug the charging cable while walking the dog in the morning.
  12. Chooch

    Chooch Member

    Well, I have noticed that when I turn the heater on the engine gets louder. It quiets down when heater is turned off.
  13. Art

    Art New Member Subscriber

    I test drove and inspected the Clarity in the US on vacation and ordered one from home in Canada last March. The vehicle in the US had power seats but the car delivered to me had manual seats. I was told this is all that is available in Canada. However I note that in BC and Quebec you can get a Clarity Touring with power seats - interesting as I am in Ontario. I am not even certain there is a battery warmer on the car.
  14. Atkinson

    Atkinson Active Member

    How did you test?
    On the road? what speed?
    Idling? inside or outside of car?
    Did it seem like exhaust noise or engine harmonics?
    I don't want to poison your findings, but I have read that there are issues with the Accord Hybrid noise canceling system failing and causing the cabin to resonate with engine noise.
    The engine noise I get doesn't bother me, but it's so different than what I remember from summer.
    Wondering if there is an exhaust changeover in winter to get more heat.
    As far as I see, there is no exhaust heat recovery device on the Clarity as is on the Accord Hybrid - so the exhaust noise should not change either way.
  15. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    It would be interesting to discover if those Claritys had Canadian or US serial numbers.
  16. Klong

    Klong Member

    I purchased my Clarity in Quebec and I could not get power seats. I was told that in Canada, power seats were removed and a battery warmer was installed instead. When I look at my electrical charge (Chargepoint) graph from overnight charging on very cold nights I can see a low power draw during the night - the battery warmer drawing power.
  17. JJim

    JJim Member

    Same here in BC, no power/memory seats for Touring, that's why I got Base
  18. David Towle

    David Towle Member

    Power seats are just annoying anyway.

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