Clarity on ECON/EV mode

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by melklim, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. melklim

    melklim New Member

    Thanks for all your comments. I'm learning something everyday about my Clarity. BTW, filled up this morning at 1330 miles on the odometer and put in 5 gallons exactly. Still got 2 gallons left when I left the dealership on April 1st.
  2. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I observed the same thing but found that 30 min of preconditioning along with the seat heater allowed the ECON limited heat to be enough to stay warm.
    I would pay a lot of money for a steering wheel heater!
  3. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    For some inexplicable reason, I can't stand using the seat heater, but my wife does like it. Go figure.
    I've not longed for a steering wheel heater, but it doesn't usually get fiercely cold here, as much as in Kentucky, I guess.
  4. MPower

    MPower Well-Known Member

    I pressed ECON driving home from the dealer and it has been on ECON ever since, below zero or not. When I am on the highway for a trip longer than the guess-o-meter thinks the battery will last, I press HV so that I am driving in ECON/HV. When I am finished with the highway, I just press HV again and go back to plain old ECON only.
    insightman likes this.
  5. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    I did this for the first few months I owned the car, and I did not notice any deficiency in the heat, including times when the temperature was well below zero F. Lately I have been running in "normal" (not ECON; not SPORT) because I see no difference in energy usage and the ACC seems to perform better when not in ECON.
  6. MPower

    MPower Well-Known Member

    I did not find any deficiency in heat at low temperatures either, but then I keep my house at a toasty 63F so it may be that @vicw has higher heat expectations.
    Walt R likes this.
  7. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    Indeed he does. Fifty plus years living in Southern California, plus advanced age have conditioned me to prefer/demand a much warmer environment.
    MPower likes this.
  8. stacey burke

    stacey burke Active Member

    I used Econ for the first few months then I discovered sport and have never gone back. I put it in sport from the time I start the car.... I have not seen a great difference in mileage, the guess o meter is now at 65 and last summer I got a high of 73. I'm sure there are lots of people on this site that get better mileage than I but the trade off to me in very little.
    David Towle likes this.
  9. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    It's great that this car can serve two distinct types of driver so well. (Do you feel the urge to start smoking and drinking? I worry that would happen if I tried SPORT Mode.)
    David Towle and MNSteve like this.
  10. JCA

    JCA Active Member

    HV is "Hybrid Vehicle" mode. It definitely doesn't mean running the ICE constantly; it means operate like a Prius, Highlander Hybrid (which we have), or more similar an Accord Hybrid. In all of those the battery buffers the engine power and regeneration and the engine goes on and off as needed; in the Clarity it basically means the computer tries to maintain a much smaller range of battery by using the engine more.

    All of these hybrids use the powerful generator/starter in reverse to start the engine quickly and efficiently (compared to a traditional rrr-rrr-rrr starter motor) and alleviate the concerns about starting and stopping an engine too many times.

    This is much better, in my mind and experience, than some regular ICE cars like the Honda Odyssey that have automatic engine stop at traffic lights to meet fuel economy standards -- and a sometimes noticeable starting lag when accelerating. Our cars (and most hybrids) can use battery power to start moving smoothly and quickly while the engine is starting to make up the electricity.

    We've had 2 Highlander Hybrids since 2006, so I went in knowing some of the hybrid quirks to expect that sometimes lead to complaints (feeling the engine start and stop, engine revs often not matching the accelerator input, and brake feel blending regen and friction). Personally I think the Clarity does all of these more smoothly than any other hybrid I've driven (brake feel is great; the engine starting doesn't shake the car like some). Unlike the Highlander, the ICE engine is pretty small/low power, so it does rev high when climbing hills and works best with the battery also providing a lot of the oomph. I can see how it would lose power when there just isn't any more battery juice left to assist and you're asking a 100 HP engine to drag a 4000 pound car up a steep hill. That's just an inherent tradeoff in the design optimization, and I'm okay with that (but haven't experienced it yet myself, even climbing a significant mountain albeit with a lot of battery charge left).
    fotomoto likes this.
  11. RickSE

    RickSE Active Member

    I’ve pretty much run my car in Econ mode for most of the 7 months I’ve owned the car. I did a couple of road trips this week and relied heavily on ACC for the ride and used HV almost exclusively. I will say that switching to Sport mode enabled the car to hold its speed much better then Econ. This was true both for normal cruising and when the car slowed down because it was encroaching on the car in front. If I pulled out to pass the Sport mode mirrored more how I would drive using the accelerator. On Econ the car took way too long to get up to the selected ACC speed. Going up a hill the car kept its speed better as well. Maybe it was in my head, but with ACC on I think Econ mode will always be off.
  12. The Gadgeteer

    The Gadgeteer Active Member

    Econ mode changes/affects:
    1. Accelerator pedal mapping
    2. Cruise control responsiveness
    3. Auto electric drivers seat
    4. Climate control effectiveness
    5. Other?
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
  13. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    On #3, I first thought you were referring to the power positioning of the seat, which isn't affected, but then I realized you meant the driver's seat heater turning on automatically under very cold conditions.
    The Gadgeteer likes this.
  14. coutinpe

    coutinpe Active Member

    I commute daily from San Fernando Valley to West LA (40 mile round trip). I charge at work. I always drive on Econ/EV, except for occasional freeway trips. I bought the car on January 21st. Last time I put gas was on February 17, after driving to and from Solvang and to LAX (on HV mode). So, depending on your habits, yes, you can always drive on EV.
  15. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    FWIW, I’ve found you can get quicker acceleration in ACC by just pressing the ECON button once to put it in “normal” (the not ECON not SPORT mode) and then press once to got back in ECON. Or just use the go pedal but that kind of defeats the purpose of ACC for us lazy people. The point is that I like to keep it in ECON.
  16. tom kirshbaum

    tom kirshbaum New Member

    I don’t see much about normal in the forum. Wouldn’t you think “normal” would be —er — normal for most drivers and most applications, at least in the intentions of the Honda engineers? Folks say a lot about letting the car do the thinking and then fight the designers by choosing one of the abnormal (call it “exceptional”) settings for regular use. Some day I’ll get it but at the moment I don’t.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
    David Towle likes this.
  17. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    You don't see much about NORMAL Mode in the Owners Manual, either. It's mentioned just once in text and once in a diagram that explains the accelerator click point (both on page 12).

    I used to say that nobody uses NORMAL Mode, but I've since read people say that they do use it. I picked the Clarity to take maximum advantage of its efficiency, so I stay in ECON Mode. Some people get seduced by the accelerator response provided by SPORT Mode. Also, some people absolutely love regen braking (even though it's not as efficient as looking ahead and avoiding gathering speed before you know you'll be braking) and SPORT Mode lets you keep the Clarity in one of its higher regen levels.

    Then there's NORMAL Mode. It maps the accelerator pedal to be more responsive than ECON Mode, but it doesn't respect the click point in the accelerator's travel, so it's easier to inadvertently activate the ICE in NORMAL Mode. NORMAL Mode doesn't moderate the operation of the climate-control system like ECON Mode does, so you can cool down (or possibly warm up--the Owners Manual only mentions moderated air-conditioning) faster in NORMAL Mode than ECON Mode, but that uses up more power.

    Almost everyone complains about the acceleration of the Clarity PHEV when using the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) in ECON Mode. When the ACC slows the car in response to personal space violations by other cars, it takes a long time to get back up to the pre-set speed in ECON Mode. @KentuckyKen just explained that after the ACC slows his Clarity he switches to NORMAL Mode to get back up to speed faster, then he returns to ECON Mode.

    NORMAL Mode is for those who don't care to maximize either efficiency or performance. Honda's engineers valued NORMAL Mode so little that it doesn't have a button or an indicator LED.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  18. sniwallof

    sniwallof Active Member

    That's funny and probably one reason why it so difficult to learn all the permutations. I kind of see the logic, where absence of a symbol where the eco leaf goes is just NORMAL, but probably a "N" somewhere would be helpful. hmm, that might seem like neutral, so maybe just a happy face :) or some other symbol for normal. Maybe "HN" for Honda NORMAL!

    The NINE combinations (plus the non-settable gear mode) are not really that difficult, but I am only feeling that I really understand the options from a driver's point of view, after many months of driving the Clarity.

    Also, Clarity does everything pretty good in NORMAL, so that might be a good mode for new drivers to start in. NORMAL could also be a good mode to casually see if the car is doing anything really weird (as opposed to driving style combined with other modes (even though NORMAL is just one mapping of some other modes)).
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  19. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    The problem is compounded by there being a Normal for the Lane Keeping Assist System, a Normal for the Forward Collision Warning Distance, a Normal for the Road Departure Mitigation Setting, and a Normal setting for the back-up camera.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  20. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    I am curious . . . if I were to peer into 100 Clarity's, what percentage would be in ECON/normal/SPORT? On the one hand, I think that the vast majority of owners never crack the Owner's Manual so they would be unlikely to push the ECON or SPORT button simply because they don't know what it is. On the other hand, the labels are pretty straightforward, so since the buying audience for this car is people who "want to make a difference" or are looking for low cost of ownership, maybe they tend to push the ECON button just because, obviously, this is A Good Thing. My salesman, who was clueless about virtually every aspect of the car, said "Most people push the ECON button the first time they get in the car and never touch it again." Since ECON is not specific to the Clarity, maybe he was right.

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