New Clarity Electric - 65 mile range

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by lotsa questions, Nov 29, 2019.

  1. lotsa questions

    lotsa questions New Member

    Hi - Yesterday I leased a brand new Clarity Electric. I saw on the Honda website that it gets about 89 miles range. When I got home it had about 30 miles left, so I charged it at an Electrify America charger at Target, which cost me $12 (that's another story). Left there with about 62 miles of range. Later at night, got home, not far away, and plugged into my 120v and left it charging overnight. Had about 60 miles range when I went to bed and the next morning (Thanksgiving morning) had a full charge, but only showed 65 miles of range. I was very disappointed to see that 65 number as I was expecting it to be at least close to 89 as advertised.

    Now, a friend said it's due to the cold. I'm in Sacramento. It was about 55 or so during the day today, probably was down to say 37-40 degrees F overnight. This doesn't seem "that cold" to me, to a point where it would limit the charge by that much (almost by 1/3). Another commentor on an EV youtube video said this doesn't seem normal and I should have the car checked out or try to return it.

    I already regret getting this car. Is 65 miles of range normal? The car is brand spanking new. I would be shocked if Honda put out a product that got such low range. Did I get a lemon? Could it be a software issue? Could it just be "adjusting" to the driver and the conditions and will settle up to 89 later?
    Any advice would be very appreciated!
     
  2. jack.

    jack. New Member

    Drive it for a while. My PHEV showed a range of like 40 miles when I first brought it home but went up to 55 within a week or two of normal driving/charging. Those overnight temps are definitely cold enough to decrease the range a bit too.
     
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  3. Ceetee

    Ceetee Member

    Cold weather tends to zap about 25% -> 35% of range. You can combat this somewhat by setting a morning schedule to preheat the cabin while on a charger immediately before you go on a trip. Note: The Clarity PHEV can only preheat on schedule if connected to 240v charger. Not sure about the pure EV Clarity.
     
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  4. Landshark

    Landshark Active Member

    The displayed range is only an estimate and seems to be largely influenced by the previous drive. At least on the PHEV.

    Driving habits could yield poor results, even in warm weather.
     
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  5. ddddcsd

    ddddcsd New Member

    Fellow Clarity Electric driver here (for the past 18 months), I don’t think you have a lemon. My current range per the Honda Link app is 60 miles on a full charge in San Diego that has also had a “cold” snap the last week or so. I think 60 is the lowest range estimate I’ve seen when fully charged. A couple of weeks ago the reported range was in the upper 70s with climate control on. In summer with climate control off, 89 or more was seen on the estimated range sometimes.
    I agree with what others have written with respect to the range being a projection based on recent driving, but a lot of it is the cold and climate control and heated seat usage which the latter two probably play into the range estimate as well. Try turning off the climate control system entirely and see how many miles are instantly added to your range estimate. Also, check your tire pressure, I just did and they were all low (there is another thread on that), I’ll see if it helps much when I go out later today. I wouldn’t be too concerned unless you routinely go 60 miles without charging and even then, it would only be a issue when it’s cold.
     
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  6. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    I test drove a BEV version of the Clarity, but the advertised range of less than 100mi was just a real buzz kill. When the PHEV version came out a few months later at basically half the range (47 miles), it was more of an incentive for us. Since both cars are basically the same as far as EV goes, we went for the PHEV model because of the extended range provided by the ICE.

    I can't blame you for being disappointed about the winter range. The range of a BEV Clarity in perfect circumstances is barely usable. The car seems strictly usable around town, and even then, you won't want to be charging at pay stations where you get dinged for profit beyond the already high standard rates in California. Forget extended trips. Plus, level 2 charging from an empty battery to full is probably something like 4-5 hours. While you will see your range increase during the spring to fall range, winter is not kind to EVs as far as range goes. (but then again, neither is Summer if you drive in a hot - >90°F climate.

    Bummer.
     
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  7. DucRider

    DucRider Active Member

    60 is a bit low. We are seeing 70+ in 30-40 degree weather. but that estimate is not outside of normal limits and as you and the car learn each others habits.

    The heat will kill range much more than A/C in the summer, and freeway driving will also result in much lower range estimate. Given the car is brand new, there is only the one trip for it to judge by, and Honda has always been conservative in their guess-o-meter range.

    For mixed around town and freeway driving, a range of about 60-70 miles is expected with temps in the 40's. When it hits 90+, you'll drop a bit below the 89 mile rated range (but at 75 degrees, you'll be well above it).

    We put 50K miles on our Fit EV with 82 miles of range. It took a bigger range hit in winter due to the resistive heat (the Clarity BEV utilizes a heat pump).

    Give it some time, but you will get less than the 89 miles in the winter (the EPA testing is at 70 degrees).
     
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  8. ddddcsd

    ddddcsd New Member

    Quick update for my Honda Link 60 mile full battery range. Got in the car and the range displayed was 64, turned off the climate control and range was 72. Turned it back on because it’s cold. Drove my 19 mile round trip errand and used only 13 miles of range (partial highway like most of my driving). I believe adding airs to the tires made a significant difference (tires were all at about 30 psi, brought them to 36 front/38 rear. Got about 3.4 miles/kWh this trip whereas the last few days I think I was getting under 3.
     
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  9. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    The key sentence in the original post is: "I saw on the Honda website that it gets about 89 miles range." "About 89 miles" means an estimate depending on external factors. Seems like the external factors are playing out.
     
  10. Walt R

    Walt R Active Member

    FYI, on my PHEV Clarity I am still getting 51 miles of range, 4 above the EPA rating, in Maryland 35 degree mornings / 55 degree evenings. That's on my commute at 2/3 60 mph and 1/3 lights and such around 45 mph. Most importantly, I'm running no heat and seat heater only. (At this temp, only the hands get cold, so with gloves and normal jacket it is fine. But, this is my lower limit and I expect to use heat this week with highs of 45.)

    For the driving you describe I think you should be able to obtain close to the EPA range. If you'd like, I would map out a ~55 mile round trip and drive it on some day when it gets to around 60 degrees, without using the heat. After driving that route, both you and the meter should have a better idea of your typical driving and can estimate the actual full range.

    Oh, I also should specify that I garage my car, so even on a 35 degree morning the battery's temperature is still 50+ degrees. If you are letting the car cold soak overnight you will get less out of the battery.

    My experience in colder weather (maybe highs in the mid-30s) is about a 20% range loss, i.e. 10 miles in the PHEV. Last winter I usually had 40-44 miles of range.

    Bottom line though is if your commute is similar to your errand, at only 19 miles, the range is not going to be a factor in day to day driving.
     
  11. lotsa questions

    lotsa questions New Member

    Thanks for the info. I'll try turning off the climate system and check the tire pressure.
    May I ask also - how do you charge? Did you get a 220v system installed? Would a 110v outlet be ok? Does it need to be on a dedicated circuit?
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  12. lotsa questions

    lotsa questions New Member

    Thanks, that makes sense. I already feel regret with this car. I was first enticed by the lease offer. Seemed to good too be true, and for now it seems it kinda was. But with how little I drive (work from home, my kid's school is a mile away) I couldn't justify buying a Tesla. So in theory 60-90 miles of range should be ok. But I did not have time to prepare. There was a waitlist for this car, so when I got the call I had to make a quick decision. Went in same day and got it without knowing much about EVs. But in retrospect I should have kept my last car for a while longer and not made a rushed decision.
    Hopefully this car works out ok. I'm stuck with it for 3 years. Now thinking about getting a 2nd (gas) car "just in case". I realize now that a PHEV would have been ideal as it essentially is a combination of EV and gas in one car.
    Funny that you mention the electric rates. I went straight to a charger my first night with the car. Electrify America. What a rip off! For $12 I got 32 miles of range. That's like 4x more than gas. WTF
    However - at home the rates are about 1/3 of gas. Our local elec utility (SMUD) - off peak is $0.0969 kWh which seems decent. Plus they offer 1.5 cent discount for EV owners, plus they offer either a free 220v charger or $599 in cash. So that helps the low range feel more palatable.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  13. lotsa questions

    lotsa questions New Member

    Thanks for sharing your experience. When you said "there is only one trip for it to judge by" - does that mean the range "algorithm" factors in my driving habits? I was wondering about that because at the dealership I drove it very aggressively, flooring it a few times on the street and freeway (the sales guy was with me and encouraged it). So I wonder if that basically set the tone for the range and that's why I'm seeing such a low number.
     
  14. lotsa questions

    lotsa questions New Member

    Well, it didn't say "about". It said "89 MILE EPA RANGE RATING" which felt like a clever way to imply "about".
     
  15. lotsa questions

    lotsa questions New Member

    So, I just got in the car and turned off the climate system - and it went up to 81! Turn it back on and it drops to 65. Phew, I feel much better! Thanks for the tips! Still have to assess the tire pressure.
    I haven't used the Link app yet. Do you like it?
     
  16. DucRider

    DucRider Active Member

    Public charging will always be much more expensive than charging at home. A typical EA DCFC installation is almost certainly in excess of $50K per nozzle. Takes an awful lot of $12 sales to pay for that (and you have to factor in electricity costs, demand charges, maintenance, sometimes a royalty to the property owner, etc).

    Charging with 120V should be on a dedicated circuit (or at least nothing else plugged in/drawing power), and it will net you ~3 miles of range for every hour plugged in. Adding a 240V circuit will speed that considerably (~3.5 hours from empty to full). It will also allow you to precondition the car when plugged in/charging.

    There is a "range display" option that will show you range and the range being used by the climate system. Press the display/info button (below the volume adjustment on the left side of the steering wheel), then the left/right arrows to switch what is displayed in the center screen. Switching heat or AC on/off will indeed change the estimated range. This info starts on page 120 of my manual.

    The EPA range rating is derived from a standardized tests performed in laboratory conditions. No EV will get the rated range under all conditions and at all speeds. Nor will a gas car get the rated mpg - and therefore range - under all conditions and at all speeds. Your Clarity Electric battery holds the same amount of energy as contained in about 2/3rds of a gallon of gas.

    From the Clarity EV web page:
    "89-mile combined driving range rating. Based on 2019 EPA mileage ratings. Your range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-pack age/condition, and other factors. For additional information about EPA ratings, visit http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/label/learn-more-electric-label.shtml."
    Test docs for the vehicle can be found here:
    https://iaspub.epa.gov/otaqpub/display_file.jsp?docid=46914&flag=1


    If you hate the car, the lease has a provision that you can walk away with 90 days written notice (if you move out of CA/OR, you are required to terminate the lease and turn in the car).
     
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  17. Walt R

    Walt R Active Member

    @lotsa questions , there is conveniently a single "On/Off" button for the climate, dead center at the bottom of the center console. It seems to keep all the climate settings when it is turned back on, which is nice.

    As to charging, I stuck to 110V with the PHEV because I gain 50 miles of range in 10-12 hours overnight, which is the full range of the car. However, with the EV you don't have the backup generator if you don't get fully charged or if you need to go out again, so you may want the option to charge at Level 2 of 20-25 mi/hr which requires the separate EVSE.

    It sounds like this may be your only car, in which case it will be fine for in town but could be limiting if you go out of town. If you don't have a second car, you should probably get in the mindset of renting a car when you need to go further. Or, you can cancel your lease (and maybe get a PHEV Clarity). In my lease if you cancel it early on you just pay a per-mile usage fee, though you may also lose other "transaction" costs like the lease origination fee. Perhaps if you were swapping it for another car at the same dealer you could negotiate to have those costs omitted in favor of the new lease.

    Yes, the meter does base the range on the energy consumption rate on recent driving, over some unknown time period. In addition to your aggressive test drive, it is probably measuring the battery standby charge loss from the weeks of transit and allocating that across the few miles that have been driven, giving a high (charge loss) / mi value. Bottom line, once you drive it normally for a few hours it should give you more accurate numbers.
     
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  18. lotsa questions

    lotsa questions New Member

    So a cool thing happened yesterday, I got in my car and it read 98 miles of range! That's the highest so far. I can live with that comfortably. I've been driving like a grandma, I wonder if that is helping.
    Thanks for the info. This is a very helpful forum.
     
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  19. lotsa questions

    lotsa questions New Member

    Thanks, I turned off the climate system and it drastically increased the range.
    Yes it is my only car. I supposed I could rent if I go out of town; I currently have no plans to go out of town so I don't think it will be a big issue.
    Thanks to you and DucRider for letting me know I can return this, I didn't know that. But after resolving the range issue I plan to keep the car. It's quite nice.
    I think I'll just charge on a 110v, to get a 220v would be very expensive; I have an old elec panel, Zinsco is the brand. I believe they are defunct.
     
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