Another dumb question about drive modes

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by ozy, Dec 20, 2018.

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  1. ozy

    ozy Active Member

    Hi Everyone,
    I'm a new owner of a Clarity and have done a lot of reading about the various drive modes. I don't want to rehash old stuff but I understand the basics ie: Eco mode for around the town, HV on freeways, HV charge when on freeway and low on battery. My question is about Sport mode and I don't see it addressed so much on this forum. I love Regen braking in general; unfortunately it is almost useless in every drive mode on the Clarity except for Sport mode. The reason being is that on Sport mode you can set the paddle for max regen and enjoy that for your entire drive. On every other mode it resets itself to zero every time you brake. I do not intend to use my fingers every time I want to Regen brake and therefore find myself on Sport mode all the time. What are the pros and cons to this? I assume that Sport mode is not as "efficient" as Eco but why not? If I'm using the maximum regen setting wouldn't I be helping out the electrical battery every time I brake? Sport mode seems quite peppy and enjoyable and my feeling was that it is mostly EV and not so much ICE. Am I thinking correctly about this?
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  3. petteyg359

    petteyg359 Well-Known Member

    Just use the brake pedal. The paddles only affect passive regeneration (coasting). The pedal always regenerates as much as possible.
    Sandroad and MNSteve like this.
  4. Tahuna

    Tahuna Member

    As far as I know sport mode only affects the response of the accelerator pedal. For a given position of the pedal, sport mode applies more power than econ mode.
    I drive 100% in sport mode, and with maximum regen (except with a full charge on the battery). The ICE almost never comes on.
  5. RogerB

    RogerB Active Member

    I see this all the time, but I question it's validity. The pedal may sometimes engage the physical brakes, which would mean it isn't regenerating as much as possible. Based on my understanding, the paddles never engage the physical brakes.

    Granted, unless you're stomping on the brakes where you could have been coasting, it isn't likely to make a huge difference, but I'd like to know where this information is coming from. Do you have any source documents or other references to share on this topic?
  6. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    SPORT Mode can be as efficient as ECON Mode, depending on how aggressively you flex your right ankle. ECON Mode won't start the ICE unless you press the accelerator pedal through the "click" point. In NORMAL and SPORT Modes, the ICE starts before the accelerator pedal reaches the click point. You can use the Power/Charge Gauge to see when you're pressing the accelerator far enough to activate the ICE in these modes.

    So if you want to stay in a selected regen level (does anyone select anything lower than 4 chevrons?), you are correct to use SPORT Mode. If you avoid jack-rabbit starts and pressing the accelerator far enough to start the ICE, you can realize nearly the same economy in SPORT Mode as in ECON Mode. ECON Mode runs the air-conditioner in a more economical way, so that's the only real difference between these modes other than the accelerator mapping and the usefulness of the click point.

    Regarding the difference between paddle and pedal regen, only when you use the left paddle can you guarantee you're not activating the brake calipers. The Power/Charge Gauge typically shows a greater level of regen when using the brake pedal than you can get from using the left paddle, but you can't tell through the feel of the brake pedal when the calipers are activated. I believe it is possible for a greater level of regen to accompany brake caliper activation--there's nothing I've read that claims regen cuts out when calipers cut in.
    ClarityDoc and 02Duck like this.
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  8. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    I do not have any reliable documentation of this topic. Come to think of it, I don't even have unreliable documentation. But I believe that the engineers designed the system to capture as much as possible from braking. If you have sufficient distance to accomplish the maneuver using the paddles, you aren't going to engage the friction brakes using the brake pedal because regen braking is sufficient. That means that you capture the same amount of energy.

    If you don't have enough distance, then all bets are off because you may need the help of the friction brakes. The advantage of using the paddles is that you can be absolutely sure that you didn't change any of that kinetic energy to heat.
  9. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Sport mode is fun but every time I use it I end up starting the ICE. For me it's just easier to use Econ mode.

    I do use the paddles. When exiting a freeway onto a long off-ramp I'll drop the speed of the car from 70 mph slowly using 2 chevrons, then as I approach a stopped car/signal/stop sign, I'll apply the third and fourth chevron coming almost to a full stop, and finally use the brake pedal.
    ClarityDoc, TruckerAlex and MPower like this.
  10. Does Sport mode affect steering feel? I used it on twisty mountain roads and it did seem to firm up the steering. The Owner’s Manual is very vague on it, saying:

    “The SPORT mode delivers crisp agility and responsiveness.
    This mode is suitable for driving on hills or through curves on mountain roads.”
  11. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I never felt any difference in the steering when driving in SPORT Mode. I believe this vague description means the Clarity feels livelier when tackling a hill or exiting a corner in SPORT Mode.
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  13. My wife, Karen, also had the impression the steering was "sportier" in SPORT mode.

    Which I guess would be appropriate!

    But I'll stipulate it might be psychological.
  14. wgshipl

    wgshipl New Member

    If regenerative braking is set to max, you have to apply power longer when stopping so you don't stop short. That has to be less efficient than coasting longer before coming to a stop. I wonder how regenerative braking is applied when you hit the brake pedal. Is it related to the pressure applied to the brake pedal?
    jdonalds likes this.
  15. ozy

    ozy Active Member

    Another issue with regen mode: The way most of us drive is that we over-accelerate and then have to use the friction brakes to stop. This isn't really user error, it's just the way cars are designed. For example, if we are approaching a stop sign we will tend to approach it too rapidly and then apply the brakes as we get closer. So there is a built-in inefficiency and a certain amount of foot fatigue from shifting from the accel to the brake pedal hundreds of times a day. People who drive pure electric vehicles often rave about the fact that they barely need to use the pedal. They essentially have a one pedal driving experience, utilizing the brake only for abrupt stops. I've only just started driving the Clarity but I suspect that agressive use of the paddles (in constant sports mode) would be quite efficient. I will certainly try it both ways and report back. I suspect that many of the "beta testers" on this forum will be reporting back over the next year on various drive modes and their results.
  16. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    If there is no car behind me when I see a light turn red ahead of me, I lift off the accelerator immediately, hoping the default regen will slow me enough so that I never have to touch the brakes before the light turns green. For stop signs, I try to gauge how close I can get before pulling the left paddle 3 times will bring the car nearly to a stop just before the sign.
    ClarityDoc, redrey, leehinde and 4 others like this.
  17. Mark W

    Mark W Active Member

    It's too bad that there is no good documentation for the exact differences between all of the different modes. We would all like to know also at what point friction brakes get used when we press the brake pedal.

    Since I believe that there is no logical reason that friction brakes would be used when pressing the brake pedal any more than regen braking at level 4, I almost never use the paddles. I don't enjoy thinking so much about the braking when I drive, I just want to drive. I think this is similar to the old days where some people preferred to drive standard shift because they wanted more control and do more "active" driving.

    The one time I adjust to higher regen is when I am in stop and go traffic. So when I'm in stop and go traffic, I switch my Clarity to Sport mode so that it stays in higher regen mode and then there is less moving of the foot from accelerator to brake pedal for more one pedal driving.

    I think it's a clear sign of a design fault when you have to put a car in Sport Mode for higher regen in stop and go traffic!
  18. ozy

    ozy Active Member

    Why do you use max regen EXCEPT with full charge? Wouldn't it help maintain the full charge? Also, aren't you using max regen simply because it's more enjoyable to use? I would use it regardless of the energy savings because it seems less difficult than constantly shifting from accel to brake
  19. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    The brake design can blend regen and braking as necessary, it will use regen completely first, but still has mechanical brakes.

    Read this thread on how the Clarity PHEV Servo Electric braking system works (same as one from Fit EV), see response #6 from Insightman
    As he says here though you are best to avoid having to slow down much at all. Regen is great, but not changing your speed as much in the first place is better.

    Paddles are completely optional, but I still like using them to slow down some. They are much better in sport than Econ as they stay set most of the time. Yes, you are guaranteed not to use the friction brakes with the paddles, and great for slowing down slightly.

    Bottom line is I rarely use the paddles as Honda blends the physical brakes so well with the system mentioned in the other thread that I don't really see the point. My brake pads show almost no wear in 29,000 miles. I would use the paddles a lot more if they actually had more aggressive regen (the brake pedal applies much more regen before engaging physical brakes, as evident in power meter display). The paddles don't slow down quickly enough for my taste, like have to start using them well before the turn or stop, etc. I am used to i3 which has much more aggressive lift accelerator pedal regen.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
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  20. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    The only difference is accelerator pedal mapping and when the engine starts. It is very easy to accidentally start the engine in sport. That is the only real drawback to it. Econ is much easier to drive all electric. The car will remember Econ mode between starts but not Sport. The climate control might be a bit weaker in Econ, but haven't really noticed, this can always be adjusted by changing your set temperature anyway, you can always set it lower in sport to match.

    I personally would drive the car in Sport for regen paddles as well, but my wife gets annoyed as it ends up in Normal when you restart the car instead of her favorite Econ. You are still getting regen first when you step on the brake pedal, so even if you decide not to use the paddles you do get primarily regen when you stop (the brake pedal actually has higher regen than the paddles).
    jdonalds likes this.
  21. rodeknyt

    rodeknyt Active Member

    The car won't accept full regen on a full battery. If you try maxing out with the paddles on a full battery, the engine will start for some mysterious method Honda came up with the bleed excess regen to protect the battery from overcharging.

    If you are driving down a steep hill at high speed, even without a full battery, the car often will not accept full regen, stopping at three chevrons...again to protect the battery from excessive input.
  22. LAF

    LAF Active Member

    The paddles are designed to be used when you need to slow down like going around a bend and going downhill without moving your foot, not to come to a complete stop where the breaks give you just as much regen.
  23. Eddgie

    Eddgie Active Member

    I agree that some percentage of people do this when driving a Clarity, but many now driving Clarity cars have moved up from other Hybrids.

    The Clarity is my third "hybrid". My first was a first generation Honda Insight, my second was a Gen 3 Prius, and now the Clarity.

    My gut tell me that many people that came into Clarity with a hybrid ownership were already familiar with regen and good driving practice, which in the Insight and Toyota was to avoid as much braking as possible. Fuel economy is mostly an exercise in conservation of momentum, and the more you learn to anticipate stops or traffic and coast as much as possible, the more range you get. I don't think I have ever driven the Clarity that I did not easily beat the EPA electric only range. I am watching two stop-lights ahead and i take my foot off of the gas the instant I see a yellow light ahead.
    Mark W, ClarityDoc and insightman like this.

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