Clarity on ECON/EV mode

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

  1. melklim

    melklim New Member

    Hi all!! I just want to ask a basic question about driving just on ECON/EV mode. I have nearly 1400 miles logged in on my 2019 Clarity Touring and use it daily for driving around town. Will sometime drive it into downtown LA of about 50 miles round trip. I am always on ECON and sometime will drain the battery. I still haven't put any gas into the car. I know when summer comes around I will need to just be on EV. Is it normal to use ECON 100% of the time?
  2. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Our Clarity has been in ECON Mode for more than a year. You should not equate ECON and EV, however. ECON Mode makes it easier to prevent the ICE from starting up because you have to press hard enough on the accelerator to exceed the click point to have the ICE come alive. The ICE may start up even in ECON Mode when the Clarity believes it's time for a system check. Also, the ICE will sometimes start up if you use regenerative braking when the HV battery is full. There are no known problems associated with driving without starting the ICE for long periods of time. We went 10 months before taking a trip long enough to require the ICE; others have gone longer.
    markc and KentuckyKen like this.
  3. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    The problem with your question is the definition of the word "normal". What is normal for one person may not be normal for someone else.

    A lot of folks, like me and insightman, press the ECON button when we buy the car and never press it again. That's "normal" for us. Others prefer the way that the car drives in SPORT mode, or in the mode where neither ECON or SPORT is pressed. That's fine. That's "normal" for them.

    The key is understanding what the various modes mean and matching them to your driving patterns and conditions. For example, the ACC will accelerate faster to adjust speed when the car in front disappears when you are not in ECON. The accelerator is more responsive in SPORT but you're more likely to trigger the engine to start. As with everything else in life, it's all a tradeoff . . . and you pick your preference.

    If your question was whether it's OK to just leave it in ECON all the time, the answer is "yes".
  4. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Ditto on all the insightful @insightman said above.
    I’ll add that ECON in EV has been no problem for me and I have not seen it significantly impact the AC even on a hot summer day. The only thing I’ve noticed is that it does make resuming speed when in ACC a little slow. Some don’t like that but I’ve found that just momentarily turning off ECON will make the resume speed faster (no need to be in SPORT).

    I’m at 14 months, ~9,000 miles and have only used 15 gal of gas and one oil change. Love this car!!
    WindsorBoy, insightman and 4sallypat like this.
  5. 4sallypat

    4sallypat Active Member

    90% of the time I leave it in ECON EV mode 5 days a week for commuting - perfect combo for slow speed bumper to bumper and gain some regen.

    Sometimes on the weekends where I have more passengers, driving longer distances, using the A/C and wanting to preserve EV miles, I will switch to HV or HV+ Charge mode.

    Very rarely will I go to Sport mode.....
  6. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    We are in ECON EV mode 100% of the time until we take an out of town trip. Our out of town trips come about every two months or so. On the highway for those 300-500-1,100 mile trips we switch to HV. When we are back in town its back to ECON EV.
  7. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member


    There is no relationship between ECON/normal/SPORT and EV/HV/HV-charge.

    Pick one from the first group and one from the second. There are nine combinations. All nine of them are valid.

    ECON does the same thing whether you're in EV, HV, or HV-charge. It basically tries to improve economy [energy use] by dampening your lead foot and restraining things like environmental controls and ACC acceleration.

    HV does the same thing whether you're in ECON, normal, or SPORT. It turns on the engine.
    amy2421 and Bas like this.
  8. AlAl

    AlAl Active Member

    I leave my 18 in Econ too, as it also seems to alter the behavior of climate control.
    During the colder mornings, I'd usually hold out engaging CC until engaging ICE right before the highway. I notice climate waits for the ICE to warm up the coolant vs using the element. With EV only, the heating element would produce heat by the time I reach the end of the road; while ICE takes ~2 minutes, and heat ramps up much slower
  9. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    Could I ask you to clarify this? Are you saying that you manually turn off the heat until you reach the highway and engage HV to avoid using battery power to heat the coolant? Or are you saying that when you're in ECON that it doesn't heat the coolant until you engage HV? I don't see any difference with my vehicle; ECON gets me heat well before the ICE turns on (if it does turn on) unless the temperature outside is less than about 15°F.
  10. AlAl

    AlAl Active Member

    I get heat in ECON/EV(which is near-instant); but if ECON/HV is selected, heat rolls in whenever ICE sufficiently heats up the coolant.

    Next time it's cold out, try this:
    Turn on HV, let ICE shut down on it's own, then engage climate. You'll notice the ICE roars back to life(at a slightly higher RPM), in an attempt to heat the coolant.
    CC will not engage until coolant is sufficiently heated by the ICE. Side benefit: ICE restores some charge to battery
  11. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    You can choose ECON/NORMAL/SPORT and you can choose HV/HV CHARGE, but there is no selection for EV, even though many on this forum wish for one. Also, HV is more complicated than simply turning on the engine. It is possible to have the engine off while HV is active, just as it is possible to have the engine on when HV is not selected. The only hard and fast rule is that only when HV is active can the Clarity access Engine drive ("gear-mode").
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  12. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    I'm already lost. If I turn on HV, the ICE will not shut down on its own.
  13. AlAl

    AlAl Active Member

    It does if you're in bumper-bumper traffic, or coast enough to top up your "battery reserve"

    Have you ever seen the blue bar creep up in HV mode?
  14. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    HV is where the magic is. While driving in HV, the Clarity will use all 3 basic modes: EV Drive, Hybrid Drive, and Engine Drive. On our one long trip, we saw the ICE shut down many times while driving with HV active.
    markc likes this.
  15. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    Good points. I am one of those who would appreciate an EV mode, defined as "Do not start the ICE even if my lead foot goes past the detent."

    As for the complexity of HV, yeah, you are right . . . but in general, HV is equivalent to running the ICE. It does rather drive me nuts when I'm in HV and the controller decides to shut down the ICE just for a very short time. Seems silly, but obviously made sense to the engineer who designed that algorithm. And the opposite is true - there are times that the engine runs when HV is not selected and there's plenty of battery left, but at least for me those are pretty rare.
  16. AlAl

    AlAl Active Member

    It helps if you think about the ICE more like a generator, than a gas engine.
    Engines have a peak power rating, and a peak efficiency rating. The see-saw you experience with the on-off state of the engine is a demonstration of what happens when the engine camps out in its efficiency band, as long as you arent requiring it to do work that exceeds what it can deliver while it operates in its peak efficiency band.
    This see-saw is what gets you the 40+ rated MPG.

    If you have the engine running @ full tilt all the time(or below its peak efficiency band w/ low RPM operation), you'd be wasting gas.
  17. jwb

    jwb New Member

    All the ECON mode does is change how the car responds to your inputs and commands. I leave it on all the time.
    MPower likes this.
  18. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    You are correct. I would add that there is one aspect of ECON Mode that can make a big difference in one's driving experience: Only in ECON Mode does the accelerator pedal click prevent inadvertent ICE activation. In NORMAL Mode or SPORT Mode, you have to watch the POWER/CHARGE Gauge and control your right foot accordingly to keep the ICE dormant. Some on this forum have learned this skill, but I'm glad I don't have to, thanks to the ECON Mode click.
  19. The Gadgeteer

    The Gadgeteer Active Member

    That’s a great option on using the ICE for heat like that.
  20. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    I ran in Econ through most of last year, until the weather got really cold in November, or so, and I discovered that the Climate Control System heating runs too weakly in that mode to get and keep the cabin well heated. I turned Econ off through the winter months, to stay comfortable while driving, realizing that I was lowering my EV mileage by doing so.

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