Driving modes on the instrument panel

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by 2020, Sep 18, 2018.

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  1. 2020

    2020 Member

    This maybe a silly question, but I cannot easily tell what mode I am in- EV, HV, HV plus? The buttons do not light up and when casually glancing at the instrument panel I cannot tell what mode is engaged. It must be a small icon that I have to train my eyes onto.
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  3. leehinde

    leehinde Active Member

    HV shows up as an icon on the EV/Battery dial on the left. Econ shows up as leaves above drive mode, at about 10:00/11:00 on the dial. Page 23 in the manual.
  4. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    And “charge” will show up under HV when in HV charge. And “Sport” shows up in Sport mode. There is no indicator for Normal. It’s when there is no HV or HV Charge or Econ Leaf illuminated.
    I think Honda tried so hard to make it simple that they ended up making it somewhat non-intuitive.

    Also there is no forced purely 100% EV mode that will guarantee the ICE will not come on. But you can be virtually or 99.9% all electric if you don’t go into the white on he power band in Sport and don’t push past the click on the go pedal in Econ. Several of us have been able to go 1,000s of miles with out pumping any gas. Our only gas consumption is the infrequent and short ICE runs for the System Checks which results in negligible gas usage and which I don’t mind at all. After all this is a PHEV not a BEV.
    Texas22Step and Oak Hill Dan like this.
  5. 2020

    2020 Member

    The "leaf" is always on unless it is in HV or Sport mode. It is unfortunate that you cannot force into EV mode. I drove the other day and kept it in EV mode until I hit the highway then switched to HV mode hoping I would charge the battery. For my final 5 miles of city driving I tried to switch it back to EV mode. As my original question I could not tell from the instrument cluster what mode I was in. I realized at the end that it was still in HV mode since I still had 10 EV miles left. My gripe is that I could have easily driven the last 5 miles in EV mode rather than use up gas during that time.
    DonNich likes this.
  6. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    You can charge by holding down the HV button to get HV CHARGE Mode. Did you order your Owners Manual yet? You only have 6 months after purchase to do it.
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  8. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    That’s not quite right.
    You can get rid of the leaf (Econ) and not be in Sport or HV. You are then in Normal. You can also modify HV mode with Econ or with Sport. Econ and Sport are incompatible and choosing one removes the other; i.e. you can only be in one or the other but not both at the same time.

    I can also exit HV mode just by pressing the HV button. I have found that a quick press doesn’t work all the time for me. I have to give it a 1/2 second press (but not long enough to summon up HV Charge).
    Hope this helps.
    K8QM likes this.
  9. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    There are two things at play here. First the HV mode is supposed to retain the charge level of the battery which it does normally. But the car can not self-charge above 58%
    Normally when I've had the car in HV mode on a freeway and switch to EV for city driving it will switch within less than a minute.
  10. Clarity_Newbie

    Clarity_Newbie Active Member

    KentuckyKen...Quick follow-up on your response to 2020. I actually tried the other day to put the Clarity in sport mode while it was already in HV mode. To my moderate surprise, activating sport mode did not cancel HV mode. Thanks to the forum search function, I found your post which talks about this.

    Can you elaborate what you mean by "You can modify HV mode with econ or sport mode". I understand what HV mode, Econ mode, and sport mode accomplish individually...need clarification on how activating sports mode while HV mode is active...modifies HV mode and how does the car respond different in modified mode?

    Going on 4 weeks of Clarity ownership and first time Honda owner. I did order the complete manual which I assume explains this but that's 6 weeks off.

    Thanks in advance.
  11. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    You’re quite welcome.
    You can choose either Econ or Sport when in HV mode. I’ve only used HV mode one time on a 500 mile round trip and left it in Econ the whole time so I do t have any experience with Sport in HV mode. I would assume it is similar to Sport in “EV mode” by remapping the pedal for more power with less pedal travel and no potential moderation of the climate control. I’m presently experimenting with HV mode at 2 bars for another thread. Will post results soon.
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  13. LAF

    LAF Active Member

  14. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    HV Mode is really a separate thing from the 3 basic modes, ECON, NORMAL, and SPORT. ECON Mode moderates the air conditioning and heating systems to use them less aggressively to use less energy. The accelerator pedal's "click" works to separate EV from ICE operation only in ECON Mode. NORMAL Mode maps the accelerator travel more aggressively than ECON Mode, so more power is applied earlier in the pedal's travel. SPORT Mode provides the most aggressive mapping of the accelerator pedal. However, all 3 of these modes provide the same maximum acceleration when you floor the accelerator.

    Unfortunately, NORMAL and SPORT Modes sacrifice the utility of the accelerator pedal's click because the ICE comes on before the pedal reaches the click in these modes. If Honda couldn't vary the click point in these two modes, it would have been nicer to just make the click go away when not in ECON mode.

    HV (Hybrid Vehicle) Mode works with all 3 of the aforementioned modes, so it's sort of an over-mode. It changes the Clarity PHEV to act like Honda's non-plug-in 2-motor i-MMD hybrid cars, the Accord Hybrid and Insight. In HV Mode, the ICE runs as necessary to propel the Clarity PHEV while maintaining the charge in the battery. When accelerating or going up a hill, HV mode will delve into the store of power in the battery. Later, when the need for additional power has passed, the Clarity PHEV will use regenerative braking and/or ICE power to return power to the battery to maintain its original state of charge.

    While traveling in HV Mode, the Clarity PHEV maximizes efficiency by intermittently switching among EV drive (battery-only), Hybrid drive (battery + ICE), and Engine drive (battery + ICE, where the ICE is connected directly through gears to the wheels). Engine drive occurs only when cruising at highway speeds because the single-speed gearing is equivalent to the highest gear in a traditional gearbox.

    HV CHARGE Mode is simpler. It runs the ICE as fast as necessary to both propel the car and recharge the battery. It charges the battery up to 58% of full charge, whereupon it switches to HV Mode. Although this mode is simpler to understand, the strategy for using it is more complicated.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
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  15. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    @insightman nails it and the crowd goes wild!!! That is exactly how it works.
    Only thing I can add from my experiment with not charging this week is that when it switches itself to HV mode the HV light does not illuminate but the engine icon will (and of course the power meter will go all white with no blue). The EV light does illuminate off and on. Also I got the gear symbol as low as 46-48 mph. Despite an earlier post that implied the 2 bars may not be a buffer, I agree that they are since I could not get below 2 bars and 9-10% SOC on Honda Link.
    insightman likes this.
  16. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Thanks, Ken, for sacrificing your SoC for the good of the forum! I didn't know only the HV Mode button causes the HV indicator to light up on the instrument panel, not the automatic switch-over to HV Mode. When you say the EV light does illuminate off and on, does the Power/Charge Gauge alternate between all white and mostly blue in step with the EV light?
  17. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Yes it does. It goes all white when the ICE is on and depending on how much regen you recently got, can show blue up to the second tick mark on the power meter. I even saw it drive a short distance on the highway at 55 mph on battery alone. As it uses the battery as the sole source of power you will see the white slowly creep down. It will drive on battery in HV for a little longer at city speeds and accelerations.
    With the battery depleted to 0 usable SOC or 2 bars, the ICE turned off and on and the algorithm cycled through all possible power flows just as it did on my one HV trip when I selected HV manually with a full battery.

    I get the impression that with only 2 bars it may be staying on a little more than when I had a full battery (which was 2/3s of the time on that trip). But I’m not going to go through a whole tank in HV to calculate if it gets less MPG at 2 bars than with a middle to full charge. Also I can’t calculate on a partial fill since I had mistaken my overfilled it ans don’t want to repeat that error. Fortunately at speeds of 55-60 and no major hills, the ICE never reved up when I let it deplete itself to 2 bars. I could only just barely hear the ICE in slower city driving and even less so on the highway. I was pleasantly surprised. There still seems to be some ability to give and take charge at 2 bars but I never saw it go below 9% on the app. It held at 10% very well.
    After 2 days and 30 miles of careful observation and recording, I am ending the experiment. I just can’t stand to burn gas any more unless it’s a trip to the beach. This car has ruined me for ever buying a gasmobile again.

    PS: I’ve never heard the angry bees; not even at 2 bars. But this is with non mountainous driving and I’ve never been in HV Charge.
    Alantn likes this.
  18. JCEV

    JCEV Active Member

    When Im in normal mode and I hit the white engine mark and the ICE turns on the EV indicator turns off. Once the ICE eventually stops running the EV indicator will turn back on although sometimes the power indicator is still white. ItImay be a bug because when EV is lit the engine is definitely off but my power meter is still white . I've even checked by getting out of the car after parking it.
    Clarity_Newbie and KentuckyKen like this.
  19. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Here is some information from a trip I took today. I started out fully charged (showing 45 EV mile range) and with a full gas tank. I drove about 5 miles in Econ/EV, then entering the freeway I switched to Econ HV. Highway 5 going south from Redding CA is straight and flat. As you can see from the photo the car hardly drained the battery at all after 147.7 miles. It was still well above the 58% level, in fact I attempted to turn on HV Charge just to snap a photo of the instrument panel and it wouldn't go into HV Charge. What do I surmise from this?

    I think the car will pull from the battery in HV mode when needed for rapid acceleration and climbing hills. On the long straight HW5 it didn't need any extra power so it behaved like a Prius, just toggling between EV and running the ICE but not yanking any extra out of the battery. That also says the car can charge above 58%! Figuring I started with 45 miles of estimated range, and drove 5 miles that means only 4.1 EV miles were drained after 147 miles.


    My guess is for those who report losing a lot of EV range while in HV I think it has to do with acceleration and elevation change more than anything else.


    To finish the story...
    That 147 miles was the first half of the trip. That piece of road involves a 500 foot elevation drop, a slow drop that is mostly unnoticeable. So after filling the tank and driving around in EV for a few miles I headed back to Redding. That meant climbing back up those 500 feet. As I neared home the car still showed 27 miles of estimated EV range which looked like it might be at that magic 58% point.

    By the way the 147.7 miles took 2.679 gallons of gas for 55 mpg. Still 55 mpg is not the real number is it. Because I drove several miles in Econ/EV mode...
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
  20. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

    I like to think of EV, HV and HV Charge as "modes" and Econ, Normal and Sport as (for want of a better term) "styles" applied to those modes.

  21. Eddgie

    Eddgie Active Member

    Hello Jdonalds,
    Thanks for the writeup.

    I can share my own experience too. I recently took about a 2300 mile trip in my Clarity. Except while stopped to visit with friends, where I would drive in EV mode, I did the entire trip in HV mode or HV Charge mode and the car was charged once to 100% with the 120vac charger.

    I would put the car into HV mode upon startup and record fuel economy after every fill up and these numbers only include MPG for segments where the entire time the car was in HV mode including surface streets to and from freeways.. Except for one instance, the car was always in HV mode while traveling.

    Before I give the numbers, these numbers are not the numbers from the Clarity. These are the numbers based on dividing the mileage on the odometer by the fuel used, and this brings up this point. Either the Odometer is off (I have to measure it one day) or the indicated fuel economy is reading high.

    AC Was on for the entire trip and set at between 72 and 74, and OAT was between maybe 65 an 98 F.

    On the trip, while operating in HV mode, mileage was from a low of 44.6 MPG to 54.25 MPG. (the Clarity consumption gauge was more optimistic, usually given about 10% higher MPG reading than the calculated reading) But there is more to the story. While the Owner's Manual shows a graph that suggest that the SOC will be maintained at the point where the car was put into HV mode, this did not happen for me. Over several tanks, the SOC would fall tol to half (below 58%). This means that at times, the battery was giving more current than it was getting re-supplied. In fact, the second segment where the SOC fell to 50% was also a segment northwest of Chattanooga Tennessee where there is a very long and steep grade, and on this specific segment, I decided to HV Charge back to 58% in advance of the climb, so this segment is not included in the figures above.

    My driving was almost always below posted speed limits as I have a long tradition of focusing on fuel economy (First Gen Insight and Prius 3 owner, and a lot of hypermiling). In fact, the 54.25 segment (and a 53.5 mpg segment) were both recorded on my drive along the Natchez Trace Parkway from Franklin TN to Natchez MS. The speed limit is 55 on much of this segment and except for a single pass, I never exceeded 55 mph.

    Highway segments were done at 65 mph (ACC mostly on) and except for Natchez Trace, almost most segments were on interstate type highways.

    I would estimate that the amount of SOC used was relatively small (one bar or so for segment) but with each fillup, the SOC would be down a bar or so, so this would add maybe the equivalent of 5 miles of EV assist, and while I did not calculate it (because the actual figure was unknown) this small amount would only have slight impact on the calculated mileage (about 2% or less).

    Otherwise, the car behaved as you reported. The ICE cycles on and off regularly, and by watching the instantaneous readout and the white power lines, it was easy to see that the ICE was either driving the car by itself or whether the car was only being driven by the traction motor (White bar goes much higher than current draw indicator but then creeps back down until it hits the current draw indicator, at which case, the motor would clutch back into the system, instantaneous MPG readout would fall to 38/42 mpg). At moderate highway speeds though, the ICE absolutely does not run full time. It comes on and off and it clutches and de-clutches with regularity. Using the information display, one can of course see the ICE and clutch indicators alternate).

    I am guessing that the drop in SOC is just due to rounding errors of the HV program profile as it changes from ICE to EV and overshoots or undershoots the what is probably only an approximate SOC number, because even when the car is used in full HV mode for a full tank of gas, I was constantly (but very slowly) loosing SOC, so the manual is in fact incorrect in that the true SOC is not maintained as shown in the graphs depicted in the Owner's Manual, but for most shorter highway trips (100-200 miles) one would probably only loose 1 or 2 bars if the car where in HV mode from power on to power off.

    Overall, I was pretty pleased with the mileage. Again, I drove the car consistent with the way I used to drive my Gen 3 Prius and Gen 1 Insight, and I had expected to have sacrificed some highway mileage when taking trips in the Clarity, but on this 2300 mile trip, I would say that I got more or less the same mileage as I got in the Prius on similar trips and driven the same speeds. The Prius normal low mpg on a similar trip would be about 44 mpg (calculated, because the Prius MPG display was also optimistic, but not nearly as much as the Clarity display is). I had some tailwind segments with the Prius of over 65 MPG, and I had some tail wind segments in the Gen 1 Insight of 85 MPG (Segment being fill to fill).

    Your description of the way the car behaves in HV mode though is consistent with my own experience. Most people drive faster than I do, and my guess is that at speeds over maybe 70 mph, the ICE would probably stay on most of the time, but this is a pretty slippery car and has excellent glide characteristics, so at 65 mph, I was clearly running on battery power alone on and off, on and off.

    When I would leave the highway, the ICE of course was coming on quite regularly and while sometimes it was at an idle speed, even a slight touch of the accelerator would bring on a mid-RPM drone. So this means that at least some of the mileage recorded above included some small amount of city driving (exit to friends home, off highway for meals, etc).

    Clarity was very comfortable on the trip and got much better fuel economy in HV mode than I had expected, but once again, I am a very long time hybrid driver that has driving for high fuel economy for 15 years (since the original Insight, which itself was not all that great on the highway unless you drove at 55 mph with the AC off, and doing that in Texas would get you killed, or turn you into a dried tomato).

    I do worry about the long term life of the ICE clutch. It picks and drops a lot on a long trip, but I only do maybe three long trips a year. It is pretty seamless though so maybe they are doing rev matching rather than just starting the engine by engaging the clutch (which would give very high wear if this were done constantly at highway speeds).

    A very pleasant car to tour in though. I really my time in the car because it is far more comfortable and quiet than the Prius, and the trip comfort was what made me eventually tire of the Prius (and the Insight before that). Finally, a really comfortable hybrid.
  22. Rajiv Vaidyanathan

    Rajiv Vaidyanathan Active Member

    After switching to Sport mode as a test several months ago, I now use it exclusively. Recently on a highway trip, I forgot to switch to Sport mode and found the car almost undriveable. The sluggish way it gets back up to highway speed after slowing down was unacceptable given the traffic on the highway.

    If you don't want to get addicted, avoid Sport mode. Once you use it, you can never go back to normal or econ modes.
  23. Eddgie

    Eddgie Active Member

    Well, sport mode doesn't do anything to change the power avialable to the driver. Sport mode re-map the throttle for more aggressive tip in (the power you feel when you press gently on the throttle).

    I actually prefer the very smooth and linear response of standard/econ. I feel like this gives me the ability to very easy and exactly adjust current draw, and makes it very easy to hit a glide. Gentle acelleration and good gliding are fondation skills for high efficiency driving.

    For people used to ICE only cars, I can of course completely understand why they would prefer sport mode.
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