Honda dishonest about EV Range (in cold climates)

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Yonno, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. neal adkins

    neal adkins Active Member

    Someone on the forum said its best to use hv mode when going over 60mph. I found that i must adjust my expectations to cars limitations. Using hv mode for the first and last 20 miles of your trip would be smarter for overall energy savings. Also use preconditioning before each leg and minimal heater usage when in ev mode if possible.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
  2. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    I recognize now that I should have done more research, but I expect that I'm pretty typical of first-time EV buyers. I admit to being disappointed with the EV range reduction that I saw when the weather turned cold. If I had known it was coming, would I have been less disappointed, or would it have changed my buying decision? Probably not. But I just wish that I had known, and recognize that part of the surprise is my own fault.

    On the other hand, the whole point of a standard is to provide a level playing field so that you can compare the specifications of different vendors and be reasonably certain that they are using the same method to derive the numbers. I wouldn't expect Honda or any other vendor to go out of their way to point out a negative. It might be more honest or more complete, but if you do it and your competition does not, it's not good business. So I agree with your contention that the EPA framework should be more complete so that buyers get a better picture of what to expect.

    But this really is A Big Deal for many of us. The graph of my climate shows me that for seven months of the year the low temperature is below 40°F. Seeing my EV range increase is just one of many reasons that I'll be happy when the weather moderates.
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  3. Walt R

    Walt R Active Member

    I thought I'll throw a counterpoint to all the complaints about the Clarity PHEV all-electric range being low in winter. Out of curiosity (because so much of what I learned here was _after_ I bought the car) I have taken some brief looks at other EV cars' forums.

    It appears that almost all other PHEVs don't have electric heat at all! The Sonata, Ioniq, and Prius Plug-ins apparently insist on running the engine any time that heat is needed. Even the Volt does so below 25 degrees F, from what I read. So except for the Clarity, and the Volt most of the time, all the other PHEVs are designed as Hybrids with a large battery reserve, not as extended range EVs.

    I wasn't looking at those cars when I shopped, because my goal was an EV commute (50 miles). But I can say, and I think many here would agree, I would have been sorely disappointed if I had bought a PHEV to do shorter trips on EV and then found out that I couldn't drive on EV for any distance at all in the winter.
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  4. MPower

    MPower Well-Known Member

    My 2012 Prius Plugin did exactly what you described - ran the heat off the ICE. Whenever I was only going a few miles, I would just use the seat heater so the ICE didn't come on, because it would not heat up before I reached my destination. However, often in the lower temperaturesnit would come on even in EV because it did.
  5. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Preconditioning on EVSE power is my BFF for its range extending power while keeping me warm.
    At 40 F, it’s using 1.5 kW and will only use more as the temps plummet. That shows what an energy hog it is and what a significant boost in range it gives from not having to use the cabin heat.
  6. CreacentMike

    CreacentMike New Member

    I recently increased the tire pressure by 2psi all around. Lower temperatures, using the heater and installing snow tires contributed to quite a decrease in estimated ev range just as others have reported. I saw an increase from 62 - 63 km range at full charge to 72 - 73 km. I assume I’m benefiting from a decease in rolling resistance.
  7. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I doubt that a small 2 psi change in tire pressure resulted in a 13% increase in range. I'll bet there are other factors in play. And, you'll have some other trade-offs like slightly harsher ride and slightly less traction when the road is slippery plus maybe some minor handling changes.
    David Towle likes this.
  8. David Towle

    David Towle Active Member

    Face the truth (I know an awful lot of Americans nowadays have trouble doing so), we still get 83% of our electricity from fossil and nuclear sources. Typical efficiency of nuclear is 35%, coal averages about 40%, and natural gas about 55%. Compared to 40% claimed for our Hondas.
  9. CreacentMike

    CreacentMike New Member

    I was surprised about the increase in range too, but I haven’t been able to put my finger on any other reasons for the increase. The weather and temperatures have been pretty much the same as before. The trade-offs you mention are minor enough to really not be noticeable although if I’m faced with serious snow and ice I would probably reduce tire pressures to help with traction.
    I think I was just pointing out that tire pressure can have quite an effect on range particularly during the winter.
  10. Dustin

    Dustin Member

    I just drove 60 miles on EV only with temps in the 40s.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Inside EVs mobile app
  11. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    That's very far from the truth. Large fossil-fueled power plants are far more efficient than the relatively small engines used in ICEVs. In fact, combined-cycle natural-gas-fired power plants can be more than 60% energy-efficient, and transmission of electricity over power lines loses only an average of 7%. Compare to gasmobiles, which are around 15-20% efficient in actual operation. (You'll see claims for much higher efficiency, but that's only for bench tests of the engine itself running at its most efficient speed. The engines in gasmobiles spend very little of their time running at their most efficient speed.)

    And of course, other types of power plants, such as hydroelectric and solar, as well as nuclear power, use zero fossil fuel to generate power. So if you're measuring power emitted vs. greenhouse gas emissions, they are 100% efficient.

    It appalls me that the official U.S. Goverment's energy websites treat nuclear power plants like coal-fired power plants, with only ~33-35% efficiency, and they treat them as having similar emissions. That's simply not true. The only "emissions" from a nuclear power plant is water vapor, which doesn't contribute to global warming in any significant way.

    It's too bad our society can't have honest discussion and debate about nuclear power; the public's view of nuclear power is hopelessly contaminated by public hysteria over "RADIATION!!" promoted by mass media and Big Oil. If humans were rational animals, we would have replaced every single coal-fired and natural-gas-fired power plant with a much safer, much cleaner nuclear power plant decades ago.

    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
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  12. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Seven months of the year? Well, I hope it's not really that bad for you. If you are putting your car in a garage at night, then when you leave in (presumably) the morning, the car should be a lot closer to the average daily temperature than the low daily temperature. If your car really is that cold when you start driving for the day, then you should do as KentuckyKen said: Precondition the car to warm up both the battery pack and the cabin, to preserve as much battery power (and thus range) as possible.

  13. Not sure that Honda’s failure to emphasize temperature’s effect on EV range is dishonest, but I agree they could be a bit more up front about it.

    What would be dishonest is if the car’s algorithm for determine and displaying gas mileage is intentionally overstating actual calculated gas mileage. If this exaggeration of fuel mileage displayed were shown to be intentional, I think one could make a case for fraud. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure Honda is not alone in this deception.
  14. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    I read on a different forum that a long range Model 3 owner in Boston was getting 100 miles in the winter instead of the advertised 310 miles. He's pretty upset about that. I'm assuming he's a fast driver who keeps the cabin toasty warm.
  15. David Towle

    David Towle Active Member

    Yes of course facts are only what you believe, not what science has proven. Funny that the truth "appalls" you. And the fact that I have 35 years experience engineering coal and gas turbine power plants of course means nothing.
    I was under the mistaken impression that folks who bought PHEVs and use this forum might have some interest in how to minimize their energy footprint on the world and how these cars fit in.
    Of course it is true that nuclear power plants are better for the environment than fossil fueled. But they are indeed only 35% efficient and their thermal pollution causes large problems for local marine life. Try reading some time its good for you.
    Of course hydro and solar and wind are the best but they come with environmental impacts too to plant and animal life too.
    Of course its true that some gas turbine plants exceed 60% efficiency. But there are still many operating in simple cycle at around 30%.
    Of course many gas cars operate at 20% efficiency. But we're discussing here our Claritys which are claimed to operate at 40%, and which if you only use the gas engine when its supposed to be used on highway trips might achieve 35% including warmup and cycling, which again is not far off what average power plants achieve with plant and line efficiencies.
  16. Phunny

    Phunny Member

    He's actually probably a slow driver (at least based on his average speed). The cost of heating is proportional to usage time.
  17. ab13

    ab13 Active Member

    The EPA would have to create a standard for testing at mild temperature and a lower tempertature, just like there is a highway and a city EPA estimate for gas mileage. However, the low temperature test would probably have to be without climate control to avoid too many variables, although that wouldn't be so realistic relative to use. Adding in climate control might be possible but cause more variation among test results.
  18. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I'm also assuming he doesn't precondition his car using power drawn from the wall, as he ought to be doing.

    Either that, or he's just a Tesla bashing troll who is claiming something that's simply not true. Shockingly, people do post things to social media that are lies.
  19. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    Averages are a wonderful thing. I suspect that my average annual range won't be hugely different from what is specified in the EPA rating. But right now, it's a lot less. Just as I have problems imagining how I will be uncomfortably hot in a few months, right now I am coping with an EV range of about 30 miles and having problems imagining how it will be higher.

    I don't have a L2 charger, so when I precondition the net effect is to warm the heater, which is worth doing. But my garage is not heated, and it's cold outside (right now about 0°F), and I am not a person who bought the car so that I could freeze in it. So yeah, I use the heat, a lot of heat, with full knowledge of what it's doing to my EV range.

    The good news is that 20-30 miles still handles the vast majority of my daily local trips, which is what I bought the car to do. It's still accomplishing the objective for which I purchased it. But frankly, it's deceptive to sell a car by stating an EV range of 47 miles when for many of us, for much of the year, it's much less than that. I am NOT saying that Honda is being deceptive; they're following the standard. But I do maintain that the standard is incomplete and that a lot of us in the frozen northland don't enjoy the advertised benefits of the car.
    Yonno likes this.
  20. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    The EPA's EV range estimate is not a best-case or a worst-case number, it's a number derived from a standardized test that gives consumers a basis for comparison. All EV cars suffer range degradation in cold weather and enjoy higher-than-estimated range in warm weather, so the single estimate serves its intended purpose.

    I'm sure glad I didn't buy one of those 25-mile range PHEVs now that the temperature outside my house is sinking into the single digits. However, a cloud cover that would have kept Michigan warmer would have obscured the lunar eclipse tonight--it's rare for me to be happy about cold temperatures.

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