Cold weather behaviour and observations

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Vezz66, Nov 20, 2018.

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  1. Vezz66

    Vezz66 Member

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    Starting a thread on anything related to the effects of increasingly cold temperatures on the Clarity.

    We’ve already had unusually cold days for a November, including some -10C nights (14F).

    I have a Canadian model, with the battery heater. It would also be interesting to see what the differences are with the non-heated models. As temps get even lower, I’m curious to know at which point it will start using the ICE and what happens at -32C (-25F)

    First thing, when I turn off the car at temperatures approaching 0c, the car displays a message advising me to plug it in. I’ve been keeping it plugged in at night.

    The other thing is that, while plugged in, it will occasionally go into a ‘battery warm up’ mode. This shows up in the app under the battery. The green charge light on the port is on and flicks off every few seconds.

    I unfortunately do not have a smart charger so I don’t know how often it warms up the battery like this and how many kW this takes.

    I also don’t know if it would warm the battery when it is not plugged in. I’ll test that when I get a chance.

    At -5C, estimated range is around 54km. It matches closely with real life.

    So far even at -9C the ICE has not turned on due to the cold.
    Pegsie likes this.
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  3. Richard_arch74

    Richard_arch74 Active Member

    @Vezz66, when you said: "I also don’t know if it would warm the battery when it is not plugged in. I’ll test that when I get a chance.":
    Based on what the owners manual says I'm taking it to mean that when the temp is too cold to operate the car (-30C) you need the car plugged in (to presumably start the battery heater that your car has). The manual also states that you can start the car and let the cabin heat up (presumably with the car still plugged in) until the battery gets warm enough to drive the car. Make sure you leave your car in the garage when it gets really cold otherwise you will be calling in sick to work :eek:(.
    Also on page 458: "If the ambient air is cold enough to lower the High Voltage battery temperature below -30°C charging may not start."

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Inside EVs mobile app
  4. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    33 miles at 23 F is not bad at all for us Metrically Challenged folks.
    I’ve seen my EV go from 62-64 miles (70s to 90s F with AC) to low 50s (40s F no heat). That’s as cold as it’s gotten so far where I live. I’m going to miss that when it inevitably goes down this winter ana I start using heat.
    Conditions were driver only, moderate driving, mix of city-hwy, max 60 mph.
    You don’t have to hypermile, just drive intelligently, for the Clarity to reward you. With my electric rate of 10 cents per kW giving me 2.2 cents per mile in the summer it’s like free money. And solar going in after Thanksgiving!
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
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  5. Richard_arch74

    Richard_arch74 Active Member

    Congrats on getting a solar array. Will give you something else to obsess about. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I'm always looking at my SunPower app and comparing it to what the utility company says I'm producing.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Inside EVs mobile app
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  7. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    Here, where it's typically 68ºF (average anyway) the car always gets at least 47miles (est). There've been a few times when lots of short trips over a few weeks have dropped that to 42, but then it's rebounded when there are longer trips with lots of downhill when it often gets into the high 50s. If we have cold weather, it passes quickly, so there's generally little affect on range. When we got the car almost a year ago now, even the first few months were always within an estimated range of 47 miles.
    We do get long-term colder weather within 40 miles (in the local mountains) during the winter, and I do go up at least once-a-week. However, we're talking 30-40º cold, not Minnesota or Vermont cold. LOL Last winter I didn't really pay much attention to any operational differences, but this winter I will.
  8. amy2421

    amy2421 Active Member

    I just noticed this message on HondaLink for the first time: "Warming Up Battery: Temperature is too cold for vehicle to operate. Please wait while vehicle is warmed." Battery shows plugged in, not currently charging, and battery is at 99% "Fully Charged". According to Weather app, it is currently -2 degrees C, feels like -3 C.

    I read that the car won't operate at -30 C, but I did not expect to get a "too cold to operate" message at -2 C! It gets a LOT colder than this around here, although not below -30 C so I didn't think this would be a problem....
  9. Richard_arch74

    Richard_arch74 Active Member

    It would be interesting to see how long it takes the battery to warm up enough. Also, does PCing the cabin speed up the battery getting warm enough to operate the car. I'm assuming you have a Canadian car?

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Inside EVs mobile app
  10. amy2421

    amy2421 Active Member

    Yes, Canadian model. I don't know, I was watching it and the message didn't disappear. It was after midnight so I didn't feel like going outside to test it to see what would happen if I tried to start it. :)

    On my ChargePoint, I noticed a small blip of charging twice last night, both times at a very low rate, much lower than when doing a full charge. So it does seem to be drawing a very tiny amount of power to run the battery heater.
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  12. Russl

    Russl New Member

    I'm curious whether something I've noticed is temperature related or if I'm just crazy...

    We've only had the car for about 6 weeks and 1400 miles. We're in Minnesota so closer to Canadian temperatures than most of the US. In the past week or so we've had temperatures in the single digits and teens Fahrenheit so lower than the 30s and 40s we'd seen up til now. This week I noticed a pretty distinct switch over from regenerative braking to friction braking when slowing for a turn. I could feel it in the pedal and see it in a big decrease in the amount of charge going back into the battery.

    This made sense to me when first leaving the house with a full charge, where the battery didn't have the ability to accept much more energy. But it seems to happen even after the charge is depleted quite a bit. I don't remember noticing this earlier so I'm wondering if a cold battery can't take a charge at that amperage so the system stops it.

    Has anyone else seen this?
  13. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    We've had our first rain today (last rain was 1/2 inch on Oct 4, then before that it was April). What I noticed is the car has so much torque it will spin the tires driving away from a stop; and this is in ECON/EV mode.
  14. iluvscuba

    iluvscuba Active Member

    These last couple of days, my GOM is showing about 48km when fully charged.

    Right now while charging in the garage, 55% and EV range is 22km (14 miles). Garage temp is 5C (41F) and outside temp is -15C (5F). So when fully charged later tonight, it will probably just be about 42, 43km :(
  15. V8Power

    V8Power Active Member

    My EV range today dropped to 50km now that it's the coldest the car has experienced since getting it in the summer. It still stays in pure EV driving in Econ mode. It's -14C right now.
    Vezz66 likes this.
  16. Last night temperature dropped to -14C and when I went to start the car after 3 hours sitting (not plugged in) the ICE fired up. It remained on for about 10 mins and 6km. I assume it was warming the battery. Same thing this morning after I left it parked (not plugged in) for 2 hours. I have been keeping minimal gas 4-5 bars in the car over the summer as I run on battery 99% of the time. I will have to fill up the tank in the cold weather now. (Canadian model with battery warmer)
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
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  17. Vezz66

    Vezz66 Member

    That’s the message I had this morning on HondaLink, for more than 1 hour. It was -16C/3F this morning, but we took the other car. I’ll drive it tonight, and leave it unplugged all night, and see if it starts tomorrow morning. Also test the regen.

    I don’t have a garage :(
  18. I think it is important to differentiate US and Canadian models of the Clarity as the Canadian model comes with a built in battery warmer - the US model has power seats :)
  19. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Of course, Honda didn't include an indicator for the Canadian Clarity's battery warmer--why confuse the owner with TMI? However, if the Scangauge II people could find a Canadian correspondent like the amazing AnthonyW here in the States, perhaps they could discover a signal that indicates when the Canadian battery warmer is active. If I had a battery warmer, I'd want to know when it's taking a bite out of my EVSE power or, worse, out of my battery's charge.
  20. RichL

    RichL Member

    You can use the regen paddle to tells if the battery is not accepting a charge due to temperature.
    From p 391 of the manual:
    I've seen the regen level chevrons blink and not increase regen due to a full battery but not yet due a cold battery.
  21. RichL

    RichL Member

    There is an indicator for when the battery warmer is active. I've only seen it on occasionally when the charge cable is connected after a full charge (which makes sense as charging heats up the battery so you'd need the warmer only after the battery is full) but have not yet measured the power draw/consumption which I think will vary by ambient temperature and duration of exposure to the cold.

    For the US folks without the warmer, I thinking that if you time the completion of your overnight charge to finish just before your morning commute and also use the pre-conditioning to warm up the vehicle, the battery will be warmed up and at it max efficiency just before you need it.
  22. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I didn't think to look outside the car for a battery warmer indicator. Thanks for pointing that out.
    So if I want to know if my Canadian Clarity's battery heating system is running I have to:

    1. Stand in the Canadian-level cold outside my Clarity when it's about to finish charging
    2. Watch carefully to note when the green LED goes out to indicate the battery is fully charged
    3. Make sure I don't blink and miss when the LED goes out so I can notice it re-lighting
    4. Watch for the re-lit LED to stay on for a few seconds, go out, and then blink once
    5. Go back into the house and warm up so my frozen hands can grip the unheated steering wheel

    The sequence Honda describes makes me wonder, does the battery heating system come on only after the battery is fully charged? Or is there just no way for the Clarity to tell you that the battery heating system is running if the battery is not fully charged?

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