Will the Clarity work for long commuters like me?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by ernda, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. jorgie393

    jorgie393 Active Member Subscriber

    It’s tiny and easy to miss. In the energy-flow info window, where you can see power coming from engine or battery (or back from wheels) in blue or green: the little gear/circle icon appears right in the middle of the “+” shape formed by these flows.

    Put the car at 60mph, press “hv” to engage the ICE, and pretty soon you will see it.
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  2. JJim

    JJim Active Member

    Thanks. Will check it out next time.
  3. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I don’t know about HV in town as I’ve never tried it, but for HV on the highway with a full charge, it will for the most part maintain that charge. At least over the 500 mile round trip I took.
  4. stanigu

    stanigu Member

    Yes, the main difference is the engine noise. Prius is considerably more quiet than Clarity on a depleted battery so I engage the HV mode on long trips on the freeway to prevent the battery from being drained. I do notice considerably greater power when the battery is fully charged, which makes sense, of course. Handling is not affected by the state of charge.
  5. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Which Prius? Only one I have been in was pretty loud and buzzy. Previous generation, like 2015 or something.
  6. stanigu

    stanigu Member

    One i had was 2016 (the ugly one...never got used to that look, especially from the rear). But compared to driving it vs Clarity on empty battery, it was quieter.
  7. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    I changed the gear to red in this low-res capture from page 14 of the PDF version of the Owners Manual.

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  8. Robin

    Robin Member

    I’m glad someone RTFM. I should probably do it sometime. I always used to RTFM for all my cars over the past 40 years, but now I guess I have to get the PDF and take it to FedEx Office to print. Call me old fashioned.
  9. Alantn

    Alantn Member

    You can order the manual by looking through this post. Read further down for US link
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  10. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

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  11. lordsutch

    lordsutch Member

    Two days a week I have a 35-mile commute each way (with no opportunity for charging at my destination, alas); about half of it is rural 2 & 4-lane highways with no traffic signals, so on the way to work I use HV mode once I'm past the last traffic signal and switch HV off when I get into town at the other end, and on the way back I engage HV when I get past the last signal, and switch off HV when my EV range is about my remaining mileage home - which usually ends up getting me home with 2-3 miles of EV range remaining (since EV does a little better in-town than on the highway). As long as you don't have a lot of stop-and-go in the middle I think this strategy would work well for a longer commute too.

    That said you really don't have to manage HV mode if you don't want to - the "angry bees" aren't going to break anything; I don't think I'd want to try to go uphill continuously for miles on end starting with 0 EV range, but on mixed, flat, or downhill terrain it's fine.
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  12. dubu_x

    dubu_x New Member

    My everyday commute is very similar to yours where I drive 28 miles one way to work and I would say about 25 of those miles are freeway driving. I am able to make the commute to and from work in EV mode with maybe about 3 miles EV range left. I usually just get in my car and drive without messing with the modes. However, I do have to drive up and down a hill so that kills my EV range by a little, so I've been trying this thing where I change to HV mode while going up the hill, and back to EV mode while going down. I have noticed that it increases my EV range but honestly if you don't want to change the modes while driving, I think you can just drive in EV range, which is what I have been doing until recently.
  13. descolado

    descolado Member

    SE Florida driver here (flat state, very close to sea level), with a Mon - Fri round trip commute of ~80 miles daily. I am likely not the usual Clarity owner demographic, as my vehicle (purchased in February) already has nearly 16.2k miles and most of it is highway.

    When I first got the vehicle, I was very disciplined about charging at night and during the day (unfortunately, no 120v or 240v charging at my office, but there is a nearby place with free level 2 charging which I can get about 45 minutes of juice from). Most days I'd probably use about 1/2 a gallon and would need to refuel about 1x weekly.

    As I've had the car for over six months, my discipline has slipped a bit and there have been some weeks where I don't charge the vehicle at all, and am in HV mode only; during these weeks I'm getting about 50 mpg reported on the trip computer and might need to refuel twice weekly depending on my non-commute driving habits.

    My current trip A computer MPG is 112 with approximately 300 miles driven.

    My current trip B computer MPG is 60 with approximately 14k miles driven.

    As many others have stated, the Clarity performs great in both EV mode and HV mode respectively. Florida is flat, so I haven't had to test the the vehicle out on hills or mountain passes, but I can say that it is a very comfortable ride for 4+ hour drives to Key West. Its also fun to slip into sport mode from time to time for spirited driving on the highway or for fun wheel spins thanks to the instant torque from the electric motor.

    I've only encountered the "Angry Bees" scenario once, and this was after having the car parked and idling for over an hour with a relatively depleted battery. I assume what happened is the motor/generator full clutch kicked in the keep the battery topped off to a car-deemed safe level.

    Beyond that, the vehicle gets extremely rev-happy, like most e/CVT's I'd imagine, if you floor it.

    Whether or not the vehicle is right for you is really a personal decision. You can drive it as a regular gas car, but will just need to keep in mind you have about 300 miles of range with gas-only driving so your refuel needs may be frequent. In contrast, the car feels quicker with at least a little bit of juice in the battery (~20% feels optimal for my driving habits).

    At the end of the day, between the Clarity, Insight or Accord Hybrid you really can't make any bad picks with Honda's hybrid lines. I'm very satisfied with my Clarity, but may trade for an Accord Hybrid in the future for the "creature features" and latest infotainment.
  14. neal adkins

    neal adkins Active Member

    The accord hybrid is a great vehicle. I was in the market for one, after meeting an owner and checking it out, when I stumbled into the clarity. If economy is not that important to you, then I would just get an accord touring and not worry about ev batteries at all. I think it gets in the high 30's mpg on the highway. But If gas prices go up significantly in the future then you may have regrets with the decision to down grade from a phev. I personally think the oil companies and Arabs have enough of my money already.
  15. BertBDJ

    BertBDJ Member

    I’m a week into my ownership and purchased with the intent to have it be my regular commute vehicle. (I have a second fully electric car as well). My trip is 90 km’s (45 each way) and the Clarity is rated at 77 kms in Canada. I’ve been trying out lots of different ways to try and stretch the car to 90 (but without driving with no climate control on, it’s too hot for that) so far, I’ve managed 3 out of 7 trips on EV only. 2 trips were done using HV on the highway as I got used to it. 3 trips were fully electric with about 2 km’s left. 1 trip I let the car fully drain, and had the HV turn on for about a minute as I neared the home. Anyway, the bottom line is that you can really control how you drive it (like hitting HV when there are 10 km’s left so you have battery left for the last urban leg of the trip) or you can just let the computer figure it out for you. (Like when the car kicked on the HV when I drained it completely). In both circumstances, my trip registered as 1L/100 KM’s. One thing to note: I still had 2 or 3 bars of charge on the battery when the EV range hit 0, so not sure what that was about yet! I’m truly enjoying this car as the daily commuter.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  16. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    2 bars will remain at zero usable charge.
    From several posts it seems that we have a 17 kW battery but not all of it is available for use in order to have some buffer at the top and bottom of the state of charge (SOC) in order to protect the battery and prolong its life.
    The most anyone has reported being able to pull from the wall is 14.4 kW and this does not account for the inevitable losses to heat at the car’s inverter/charger. So if one assumes the efficiency is 85 to 90%, then we actually use only 12 to 13 kW of the 17 kW battery pack. This would then be 70 to 75% of the total battery capacity, giving a 25 to 30% buffer split between top and bottom SOC. This is an approximation but is similar to reports about the Volt’s battery management. We just don’t know how it is split between top and bottom.

    Based on this I’m not overly concerned about charging as Honda has done a good job with battery management and cooling. So I don’t charge just up to 80% SOC as a few do to try to baby their battery. We will havecompare notes in 8 years and see.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
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  17. BertBDJ

    BertBDJ Member

    Yup I understand the battery management part of these electric packs, With my egolf, however, we don’t see the reserve. Our 0 range as it shows on the guessometer actually still has the 20% buffer. I was surprised to see the buffer showing in the display that was all. By the way, I agree with the charging, I’m charging to 100% and believe the battery management is smart enough to handle things. They are not going to release a car into the wild that can be damaged so easily as charging it to 100%.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
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  18. lanb

    lanb Active Member

    Hi all,

    Looks like I will be purchasing the car out of state and driving about 250 miles as its first trip on freeways.

    I plan to put it in HV mode and drive at <= 65 MPH.

    Any other suggestions as the car will be in the break-in period ? Is that even a thing any more btw ?
    David A likes this.
  19. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I would give it a full charge before the trip in order to reduce the possibility of the high reving angry bees, then use Econ and not Sport, and go easy on the accelerator.
    This is based on p 381 of the manual which says to avoid sudden acceleration and full throttle operation during the first 500 miles.
    Also, it says to avoid hard braking for the first 200 miles.
    Enjoy your first ride and wait to play with all the features until after you get home. It’s hard to resist the temptation to look at all the display info instead of the road when it’s new.
  20. ZedFez

    ZedFez Member

    I have about a 70 mile daily round trip commute and am unable to charge while at work. Love the car. No long distance trips yet. Seems your biggest issue is the 7 gallon fuel tank? Advise you to just take one for a spin and see what you think. 7 gallon fuel tank isn’t huge but is filling up every ~300 miles really a deal breaker?

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