Charging difficulties with Clarity Electric

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by HondaDriver, Jan 4, 2018.

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  1. HondaDriver

    HondaDriver New Member

    I can't seem to charge my new clarity electric fully. The charge indicator light goes off and the car is only charged to 51-mile range using the level 1 charger. I was expecting it to be fully charged to show 89 mile range. When I plugged into the the new level 2 charger, the charge indicator light went off from solid green after a couple of minutes. I've tried re-plugging multiple times to make sure the connections are secure, but the car still won't charge. Current temperature in the carport is 53 degrees F and raining. Any ideas?
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  3. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Does the battery gauge show full charge?

    The range is an estimate based on your previous driving. If you have been driving with the heater a lot or the battery was very cold it might show lower. One thing I notice on my Clarity PHEV is the info screen shows my estimated range as a partially full graph, currently around 25 miles on a full charge, so it makes it look about half charged (it is about 0F high or less here for the past week so range is low). However, if I look at the battery graph it shows full. I think I made the same mistake where I mistook this for the battery charge and kept trying to get the car to charge more.

    My point is, drive it some and your range number should increase. If it was cold and you were using the heater a lot the range number will decrease. It isn't unusual for an electric car to have much less range in cold weather as you need to use energy for heat. Your range estimate sounds low for 53 degrees, but if it is brand new it might not be adjusted yet.

    The EPA range should be consistent with light climate use at speeds of 65 mph in moderate weather.
  4. HondaDriver

    HondaDriver New Member

    The "fuel" gauge is full and it now states a 58 mile range when I turned off the climate control. I'm just concerned because my work commute is 50 miles one way. I originally leased the car thinking I can make it to work with 89-mile range since there are chargers at work. I'll drive it around today to see if it improves.
  5. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    How long have you had the car?

    What speeds do you drive (max and average, approximately)? And given you have the EV version, I imagine you live in one of the CARB states, do you live in an area where it dips below freezing much? I think worst case range would be about 60 your are seeing unless you are in an extremely cold climate like northern Minnesota.

    There are many tricks you can do to extend range, like with the car plugged into your L2 system preheat the car on cold mornings before you leave so you can minimize your heater usage. Do you know what power rating your L2 charger is? How many KW is it, or what model charger is it? Ideally you want 7.7kw (32 amps at 240 volts), my Clarity PHEV charges at 7.2 kw if the battery is warm.
  6. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    Many of us have found the 'fuel gauge' or in the case of the PHEV, 'electric gauge' to be very inaccurate. The other day, with a stated range of 35 miles after a full charge, I drove 8 miles and the graphical gauge on the left side of the instrument panel still showed full. Don't believe that graphical gauge on the left, it's just horribly inaccurate. I use the user selectable, mileage indicator. On the PHEV, you get a numerical readout of gas mileage remaining and electric miles remaining. If I could turn off the electric graph on the left, I would.
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  8. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    The "fuel" gauge is inaccurate, but if it shows full and the car won't charge anymore, the car is charged to full. The confusion is the range indicator information screen you mention is it shows a graph that looks like a fuel gauge, but when fully charged if your range is less than EPA rated it looks like the car is only charged partway. I had this same issue so I kept trying to charge the car more and it wouldn't charge, and to make matters worse Honda just has a green light meaning charging and no light meaning it is fully charged or not charging. This leaves the driver with the question, is it fully charged or is there an issue with charging?

    This range number is definitely what I would use to figure range, but the driver has to be aware that it is an estimate, and not a fixed number. That number can fluctuate depending on driving conditions and such.
  9. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    Just so we're all on the same page, here's a picture of the gauges in question. In the center is the numerical readout of the electric range, shown as 'EV'. In this case it's 36 and the battery is fully charged. On the left is the graphical depiction of battery charge that I find almost useless. It will show this same full state even after I've shaved off 6 or 7 miles of my actual electric range.

  10. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    The confusing one is go to View Information on the center screen and select the option Vehicle Energy it think it is called, the one that shows where the power is coming from or going to.

    The center console has a gauge that shows range and the car can be full, but if range is less than EPA range it looks like it is only partway full, even if the "fuel" style gauge on the left looks like your picture.

    I dont know if HondaDriver is looking at just the range guestimate number, the fuel style gauge (which presumably shows full), or the other range gauge that loos like a fuel gauge on the center console which can also be misleading, presuming BEV version has it.
  11. HondaDriver

    HondaDriver New Member

    Thank you all for the advice! On the clarity electric, the battery gauge (which looks like a fuel gauge) shows full, but the mileage range showed about 58 miles with a graphic that showed ~60% full. If I interpret the mileage range as an estimator, it's probably estimating less range because I live on a hill and it spent 20 miles in range just to go 10 actual mileage driven. I will have to just give it a try and drive 50 miles to work to see if I can make it. It will be mostly on the freeways and if I have to stop to charge before making it to work, unfortunately this car won't work for me! It's just about 2 weeks old and have mostly driven it from the dealer home and just around the town.
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  13. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    The battery status is located on the right side or you can go menu, info, battery. The GOM will recalibrate once you've driven enough miles. Mine had 69 miles the first time I charged.

    You'll have plenty of range. I do 80 miles and have 29 miles left. Stay at 65 mph your first time around and adjust accordingly.
  14. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member


    Which graphics are you talking about? The battery gauge is on the right side. The left side is power usage for driving and climate control.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2018
  15. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    I am pretty sure he is talking about the "Energy Flow Screen" on the center console (under info sub menu on my PHEV). See page 203 of BEV owners manual.

    I was confused by this in my PHEV as the car is fully charged, but the driving range on the "Energy Flow Screen" shows the range as a gauge and if you are less than EPA rated range, it looks only partially full. For example, if your fully charged range is showing as 60 miles and car is full, this gauge will only show 2/3rds of the way up. Bad design move by Honda, they should just show the range number.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  16. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

  17. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Exactly that screen, if your car is fully charged and your guessometer is showing like 60 miles due to cold weather or some other factor, it makes it look like your battery isn't fully charged. The PHEV has the range on the left if I recall as it doesnt have the avg efficiency.

    The point is, range isnt a fixed number, it shouldnt be in a gauge style display with a full and an empty. Same with efficiency, does that imply the car can never get better than 6 mi/kwh? They are arbitrary points.
  18. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    This was taken after doing my 80 mile commute.
  19. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    I dont care when it was taken, the point is if when fully charged and showing 60 mile range that gauge makes it look like the battery isnt charged. That gauge shows only how well you are doing against EPA.

    My guess is you are in a warm climate and dont see large range drops that acompany heater use or maybe mountain driving.

    I will snap a picture of my PHEV, and with the single digit highs we have had all week, the car when fully charged shows half full on that display.
  20. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    I see what you're saying. It's like what you described when I get the car back from my wife. The right gauge does go up full and show only 80 miles.

    The center bar should be full.
  21. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    You need to actually drive to work and back, and do that ASAP, so you can see if this car is going to work for you or not. If you're pushing the daily range to (or beyond) the max just to get to work and back, and it's a BEV, then you may well have chosen the wrong car to buy.

    If I were you, I'd look at the PlugShare website ( and find public EV chargers along your route to work and back, so you can recharge en route if you need to, to make sure you can get home without running out of "juice". And do that round trip drive to work ASAP, like tomorrow. The sooner you get the answer about whether or not that car will work for you, the more choices you'll have if you decide you need to return or trade in the car.

    Unfortunately, it's rather unlikely that any auto dealer is likely to tell you that if you are going to buy a BEV, then you need to get one whose EPA range rating is at least 40% farther than your anticipated daily drive, if you live in a region where it does get very cold on some winter days. Those who live in more mild climates, such as southern California and Florida, can likely get by with an EPA range rating only something like 25% farther than their daily drive.

    The actual EPA rated range probably won't be sufficient for the average driver, if his commute or daily drive is close to that distance, because EPA testing does not use the car's climate control (heater/air conditioner) and limits highway speed to... if I recall, 55 MPH. Those willing to use hypermiling techniques can of course stretch out the car's range, but the average driver isn't going to do that.
  22. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    This guy lives in California. No way he can't make the commute. He can drive it like he stole it and have plenty of range.

    It's 73 in Socal. I was up in the Bay area all week and it was in the 60-70s.
  23. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    He says his commute is 50 miles one-way, which means a 100 mile round trip. The car has an EPA rated range of only 89 miles. The only reason he thinks this will work for him is that he says there are EV chargers at work, so he thinks he can charge up there for the trip back home. 89 รท 50 = 1.78, so he should have a 78% safety margin, which in theory should be more than plenty... if he can indeed charge up at work every single day. (And he's going to need to know where he can charge at a public charger on the way home, as a backup plan if and when he misses charging up at work.)

    But as they say: In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.

    I think he needs to give it a real-world test. In particular, he needs to make sure he can use those EV chargers at work. For most people, a car is the second most expensive thing they'll ever buy. He really does need to make sure that car will work for him, and as I said, he needs to figure that out ASAP.

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