Getting pulled over due to regen brake lights?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by M.M., Oct 22, 2018.

  1. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Just be aware that when going downhill if you set the ACC the car will maintain downhill speed as per your setting, and will use regen to do it. That makes it easier than using the paddles to maintain a given speed. All other cars I've owned only maintain uphill speed when the cruise control is in play, not downhill too.
    insightman likes this.
  2. M.M.

    M.M. Active Member

    This is weird--I did some brief testing tonight and determined that in the dark the brake lights didn't come on for regen at all, even with four chevrons, at any speed 35mph and under. I wasn't able to test at higher speeds.

    I say weird, because that not only doesn't line up with your testing, but it also doesn't line up with daylight testing I did a few months ago with someone behind me on the phone. At that time, the brake lights did come on with four chevrons of regen at speeds well below 35mph. I did just have a bunch of software updates done by the dealership, but I don't remember brake lighting being mentioned in any of the bulletins, and that seems like a surprising thing to change. It's harder to test in daylight, but now I'm going to go try again and see if I get different results than last time.

    So at least in my car, at night, the brake lights no longer come on at any time for <35mph regen braking until I hit the pedal. Which is actually kind of unsettling.

    As for downhill ACC, the brake lights come on for any deceleration beyond about ¼ to ⅓ of the green band (that is, halfway or two thirds of the way between 0 regen and the white tick at the midpoint of the green band). That is true even with cruise control set to 25mph. In that case, there is a very audible click from somewhere under the steering column when the lights come on--I had heard that previously and suspected it was the brake lights activating, but tonight I confirmed that definitively.

    This means that the brake lights come on pretty regularly if the ACC is following another car on the highway that's going a bit slower than the setpoint or changing speeds--I hear that click quite often. So ironically, under relatively normal conditions the brake lights are coming on all the time making it look like you're impatient and hitting the brakes repeatedly while tailgating someone, but even when coming almost to a complete stop with regen only they don't, making it look like you're not braking at all.

    Technically the regen behavior isn't any different than using engine brake in a manual transmission and the ACC isn't different than being one of those people who repeatedly hits the brakes at highway speeds when following someone, but neither is the beha
  3. neal adkins

    neal adkins Active Member

    Well I'm a 58 year old and congrats on making it that far. It's your experience and knowledge that make you such a valuable asset to this forum.
    insightman likes this.
  4. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I occasionally use another vehicle that has paddle shifters for the transmission in the same place as the Clarity uses for regen (Subaru Outback) and know there are many other vehicles with paddle shifters in that location. I’ve decided it’s a poor choice on Honda’s part to use that location for regen and it's an example of potentially hazardous non-standardization of controls. I’m not going to use the regen paddles anymore and I already don’t use Honda’s ACC because I don’t like the sudden, hard, unexpected braking that kicks on when the system is confused. So, the brake light on/off question is moot for me. I’ll get plenty of regen from normal anticipatory braking.
  5. Rothgarr

    Rothgarr Member

    Is there a link that explains various ways of regenerating while driving? I thought using the flappy paddles to slow down or using brakes did the same thing. I just thought you use them depending on the situation (for example, paddles to slow the car down while coasting down a hill, versus using brakes to stop at a red light...)

  6. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    My wife and I each got a surprise when we accidentally used the "downshift" paddle (for a CVT, no less) on our gen-2 Insight, so the function of paddles is inconsistent even among Honda's cars. We've never used the paddles in the Insight, but we use the paddles in our Clarity frequently, so that's why we each forgot--just once.

    Although the paddles are inconsistent with older Hondas (and Subarus and Ferraris), I like them. More than a year ago I wrote a letter to Honda requesting the paddles on the Clarity PHEV when I was worried that only the Clarity Electric would get them (so it's not surprising I'd defend them). As with all of the many letters I've written to Honda, I received no reply. I keep writing, though.

    One change I'd make: Pull and hold the right paddle for 3 seconds to enable coasting with no regen whatsoever. At least one poster said they can coast by modulating the accelerator pedal to keep the white Power/Charge Gauge needle hovering between Power and Charge, but I want to focus on the road ahead, not on the Power/Charge Gauge when I'm coasting.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
    weave likes this.
  7. M.M.

    M.M. Active Member

    That would sure be a useful feature. In addition to pushing the accelerator just a bit to remove the coast-regen, you can also just shift into neutral, but that can get awkward for a number of reasons.
    You've got the idea. There's only one sort of regen while driving, the only difference is how much and how you make the car do it.

    Take your foot off the accelerator (either zero or one chevron, they're the same), and you get a little bit of regen. Use the paddles to select 2 to 4 chevrons, and you get mild to moderate reegen. Use the brake pedal with mild to moderate pressure, either with or without the paddles (doesn't matter), and you get moderate to strong regen. Put a lot of pressure on the brake pedal and you get strong regen plus friction braking. Slam on the brakes and the ABS kicks in and you get all friction braking and no regen.

    Some people use the brake pedal for everything, which is fine from an efficiency standpoint as long as you don't brake too hard. You can also use the regen paddles only to do the equivalent of downshifting on a long downhill.

    Or, if you want, you can use the regen paddles before the brake every time you stop, which probably doesn't get you much if any extra regeneration, but does (if you're me, anyway) encourage gradual stops and efficient driving.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
    clarityowner12 likes this.
  8. Robin

    Robin Member

    In Quebec, and specifically in Montreal, I had to explain to my wife that the white perimeter around bilingual stop signs (Arret / Stop) designates them as optional. IMG_6809.JPG
    neal adkins likes this.
  9. Atkinson

    Atkinson Active Member

    " enable coasting with no regen"
    Amen, brother.
    I would love this for efficiency.
    Drive and coast.
    I think Honda tried to limit the default regen to the minimum without exposing themselves to runaway Clarity's on steep downhill runs with inattentive drivers.
    insightman likes this.
  10. neal adkins

    neal adkins Active Member

    I think it comes down to performance. Without the Regen working as designed the car wouldn't achieve the stated EV range.
  11. Atkinson

    Atkinson Active Member

    I'll get flamed for this, but regen should be avoided for best MPG.
    Obviously, brakes are a waste.
    After that, unneeded acceleration is a waste - so if you could drive with enough anticipation planned in your style, then drive conservatively and avoid regen as much as possible and also avoid friction brakes.
    Not for everyone, but driving like you have no brakes makes you plan ahead, leave larger space cushion, and use coast as much as possible for decel.
  12. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    A slightly difficult to activate zero-regen coasting option would enable skilled drivers to exceed the nominal EV range without affecting the EV range for casual drivers. I think there should be an optional "expert-driver" package that delivers more hard-core information and provides more driving options. It could be a software switch or update that Honda could implement very easily without adding any additional hardware. I'd pay hundreds of dollars for that option.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
    neal adkins likes this.
  13. Atkinson

    Atkinson Active Member

    Imagine riding your bike on a hot summer day. Would you pedal hard right up to a stop sign and brake hard at the last minute?
    If its my energy, I'll coast to that stop because I feel every calorie and that makes me plan how I will use it.
  14. Atkinson

    Atkinson Active Member

    YES !
  15. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    No flames for stating the facts of life about energy use! Using this strategy, I got 135 to 140 MPGe all summer long with the ac on. With my $0.09 per kW rate, my cost was always 2.2 to 2.3 cents per mile. My EV range estimates were always in the low to mid 60s. Gonna miss that with cold weather on the way.
    Solar panels going up next week, then it will really be cheap to drive. Well, after the 10 yr pay back anyway.
    Ray B likes this.
  16. AaD

    AaD Member

    I've been meaning to post the same for some time. Even without the skilled driver component, I think having the default regen closer to a coast would up range across the board. Use it when you need it, but otherwise all regen does is slow you down. When I practiced coasting is when I pushed my ev miles up over 70.

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    insightman likes this.

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