Econ + HV mode

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Andrew G., Aug 3, 2018.

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  1. Andrew G.

    Andrew G. New Member

    Hi all. Very happy new owner here. Close to 300 miles on the clock and ZERO gas used (at least no "bars").

    Question: It appears that while driving in Econ mode, if I then tap HV mode, they are both engaged at the same time. Is this accurate, and if so, does anyone know what the car is doing in this mode?

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  3. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Econ, as I understand, does a couple of things. One is it reduces the energy used for the AC system and directs more air toward the driver. Second it reduces the sensitivity of the accelerator pedal to hopefully reduce battery consumption.
  4. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    When you tap HV once, the Clarity drives like a normal hybrid vehicle combining gas and electric for maximum efficiency (using gasoline). In HV mode, it will try to maintain the charge. I notice that at full charge, HV mode will not keep it at 100%. At lower charges (below 80%), it does a pretty good job at maintaining the charge. If you hold down the HV button, you go to HV charge mode and the engine will recharge the battery to about 58% (won't charge unless below that level).
  5. Tahuna

    Tahuna Member

    The car has three "modes" - Econ, Normal, and Sport. These affect how the accelerator pedal responds, and a few other things. For example, in Sport mode the regen setting stays set after you stop, in other modes it turns off. In Econ mode the climate control is adjusted to minimize power use.

    The car also has three "power source and charging" settings - EV, HV, and HV CHARGE. EV tries to keep the car using only electric power, HV functions as a hybrid, switching between electric and gas as needed. HV CHARGE keeps the engine running to charge the battery even if it's not needed for powering the wheels.

    Given that, you can be in "Econ mode" and have an "HV power source."
    Andyman, Kendalf and iluvscuba like this.
  6. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    The Clarity does not actually have an EV setting available for users to select. It offers ECON, NORMAL, and SPORT Modes with the option of modifying those modes with HV and HV CHARGE Modes.

    HV Mode modifies ECON, NORMAL, and SPORT Modes, as previously explained, to preserve the charge in the battery while the car performs as a regular (non plug-in) hybrid. HV CHARGE Mode, which can also work with the 3 basic user-selectable modes, uses engine power to recharge the battery while it's also powering the wheels.

    There are three underlying modes that the Clarity combines to create the user-selectable ECON, NORMAL, SPORT, HV, and HV CHARGE. Those underlying modes are EV drive mode, HV drive mode, and Engine Drive mode. You can train your ankle to stay in EV drive mode by observing the white/blue curved line on the instrument panel. However, some computer algorithm deep within the Clarity's computers may decide it's time to start the engine for a number of reasons, about which we knowledge-seekers can only speculate.
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  8. Tahuna

    Tahuna Member

    I disagree. From the Owners Manual, page 11:
    You may also choose to use the propulsion sources as follows:
    ● EV - While driving in city traffic or at slow speed.
    ● HV - During highway driving at high speeds.
    ● HV Charge - To charge the High Voltage battery while driving.

    Page 15 goes on to tell you how to switch to HV and to HV CHARGE. If you don't do that then you are using the EV setting.

    This mirrors Sport/Normal/Econ. There is no "Normal" button - if you choose neither Sport nor Econ, you're in Normal mode.
  9. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I think what @insightman was getting at is that there is no “pure” EV setting that will prevent the ICE from coming on at all.
    Some have complained that they can’t completely prevent ICE usage, but that doesn’t bother me because I realize it’s a PHEV and not a BEV. Besides by not going past the pedal detent and driving local, my ICE only comes on for the seldom and short System Checks needed to keep the ICE lubed and ready to start whenever needed.
    insightman likes this.
  10. Please forgive what might be a series of stupid questions, but I've been trying to figure this out and have read so much that I am completely lost. Completely. I keep thinking people are using different terms for the same thing, but I am not sure.

    As of now I understand there is Normal, EV, Econ, Sport, HV, and HV Charge.

    Is Normal what I'm using when I push the D button and nothing else?

    What is EV and how do I use it? At first I thought that is what I use when I push the D button, but now I'm not so sure.

    Is the left button with the green icon on it Econ? Is this EV? Do I have to push it to use it? When would I?

    Where is the EV button if there is one?

    Why is the owners manual written like everyone intuitively understands all this? - rhetorical.

    I'm beginning to think I'm too old to own this car. I spent my life working with computers and it frustrates me beyond belief that I cannot research this and get answers that make sense.

    Thank you to anyone that can make all this clear to me. Once you do I have to teach my wife.
  11. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    First of all there are no stupid questions, just stupid answers.
    Second, it’s not just you, the manual is poorly written when it comes to explaining all the driving modes and permutations. @insightman has done the best job of explaining them, but I can’t find his post. Hopefully he will read this and repost his most cogent explanation here.

    In the meantime, here is my stab at it, but as soon as @insightman posts his explanation just go by that and ignore this.
    The manual states that there are 3 “drive modes” (page 12): ECON, NORMAL, and SPORT. These are engaged using the two buttons in front of the shift buttons. Note that there is no Normal button and NORMAL mode is when you aren’t in ECON or SPORT and is selected by pressing the Econ or Sport buttons a second time.

    These three modes can be used in all three of what the manual calls “propulsion sources” (page 11): EV, HV, and HV Charge. As before, there is no EV button and so it is “selected” by default at start up or by not being in either HV or HV Charge. HV is selected/deselected by one press of its button and HV Charge is selected by holding it down. Note that a quick “stab” instead of a normal push may fail to activate the feature.

    All drive modes and propulsion sources selected can be confirmed by icons on the DDI (Driver Information Interface) normally called the instrument panel by us traditionalists. The exception is NORMAL which has no icon and is confirmed by not having ECON or SPORT illuminated.

    So far so good and we can select:
    Econ EV
    Normal EV
    Sport EV
    Econ HV
    Normal HV
    Sport HV
    Econ HV Charge
    Normal HV Charge
    Sport HV Charge

    So in a nutshell, most would agree that you run EV local and HV on trip longer than your EV rang, and avoid HV Charge if you can. Also keeping an adequate amount of SOC make for a much better HV experience and then you switch over to EV when you are in range of your house. All this is to give you the best driving experience, the most comfort, and the greater economy and it usually works.

    And of course there are some exceptions and a lot of nuances going on (see pages 11-17, 132, and 388-392).
    Foremost is that there is no user selection for what is commonly called “gear mode” on the forum or Engine (Direct Drive) in the Manual (p 132). This occurs st speeds over ~45 mph when the algorithm clutches the engine directly/mechanically to the drive train to achieve more efficiency. This is indicated by a small gear icon in the middle of the Power Flow Monitor which is described on page 132 and shows the 9 possible power flows and sources. This will engage and disengage based on speed and torque and is just as seamless a transition as the friction and regen braking. I have timed it and found it takes bout 3-4 seconds to reengage after the ICE stops for a downhill regen. On rolling hills at highway speeds it engages a lot for me. But it is so seamless that you really don’t have to be concerned about it as long as it’s working.

    Also, unlike the Volt, there is also no way to force a pure EV mode where you’ve got a 100% guarantee that the ICE will never start up. You can however achieve what I call a “Virtual EV Mode” by not going past the go pedal detent (sooner in SPORT). Then the iCE will only occasionally start for a System Check, heavy climate control usage, extreme temperatures, or very low SOC (see p 13). I don't begrudge these occasional short ICE runs since they keep my engine lubed and ready for whenever I need it and with potential condensation problems taken care of, and with precious little gas consumption and should cut off after reaching operating temperature. So for those reasons it’s best no to try and force these infrequent short duration For example I went almost 1 year and 8,000 miles between HV trips on 15 gal of gas and didn’t lose a bar on the gas gauge between HV trips in EV.

    Many have reported that the like SPORT because it feel “zippier” and the regen settings stay so they can get close to one pedal driving. Some disagree but I think that just because they don’t have to press down as far or as hard as I do I ECON so it just seems faster. However I do think SPORT can be just as economical as ECON if you don’t call on the ICE by staying in the blue part of the Power Meter. You’ll have to try both and see which you like.

    And HV should conserve/maintain your SOC by sometimes using some charge, sometimes putting some charge back and sometimes cutting the engine for regen, and even running purely inEV for short times. It basically uses all 9 power flows. However, switching in and out of HV will keep resetting its threshold lower and lower eventually running down your SOC.

    Some will try to maximize their economy on HV long trips by selecting EV when they get just in range I’d their house or charging destination.
    I’ve never used HV Charge since it is the least economical selection. However I guess I could see one edge case for its use if you are approaching mountains and have let your SOC run down. Then you could put some charge in the battery to make the climb have better drive ability/power and better comfort with no angry bees.

    So there is a lot of accumulated wisdom on this form about how to ring every last drop of performance, economy, and confront out of the Clarity...or you could just deep six all the above and just drive the car. It’s software and hardware will work just fine for 95%+ of the time and you will learn the few edge cases were manual intervention will improve things.

    It’s a great car, it’s just a shame the manual is written so poorly, the dealers are so clueless (mostly), and Honda doesn't give us hardly any information about the workings of the car compared to all other EVs.
    Hope this helps: it almost confuses me!
    I hope @insightman will make corrections and additions to keep us all straight.
    Sorry this is somewhat disjointed; for some reason it keeps losing my copy and I have to recreate whole sections out of my shoddy memory.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
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  13. Great summary post KentuckyKen.

    My SOP after about 7 months of ownership:

    1) Engage SPORT mode right after engine start.

    2) Drive until the EV range gets to some predetermined level. That’s usually 10 miles remaining locally, about 20 on longer road trips where I may not be able to charge for a while.

    3) Switch out of HV mode when the distance to home is roughly the same as the EV miles remaining, not sweating it if I miscalculate and it drops to zero a couple miles from home - the car does not turn into a pumpkin if it does.

    And that’s about it. I try to drive gently, in what I call “Geriatric Mode”, and make a game of trying to eke out the best EV miles I can. My wife, a bit less so, so there’s usually about a 5 miles delta in predicted EV miles after a full charge if she’s been driving - which is trivial in the overall scheme of things.

    As an aside, I’ll be turning 70 soon, and took to the modes of the Clarity pretty quickly - albeit with a little help from my friends here. Hang in there, grasshopper!
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  14. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    No criticism here, just curiosity.

    It seems inconsistent that you engage SPORT mode and then try to drive gently. Wouldn't that be more consistent with ECON? Or to ask my question in different words, what is it about SPORT mode that you see as attractive so that you routinely use it?
  15. Since I see no meaningful difference in EV range in SPORT mode...

    1) I like the persistent regen. I paddle it up to 4 and leave it there. Especially nice on winding roads, which predominate in our area, and a lot like downshifting for turns, without having to paddle again for each subsequent turn.

    2) Subjectively, I think it makes the car feel more like a normal car. More responsive. Better, IMHO. ECON, and even “normal”, feel mushy by comparison.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  16. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    Thank you. A very reasonable answer. I don't use the paddles, so that one doesn't apply to me. I rather agree on #2. And yeah, I've not observed much difference in EV range between the modes, which kind of makes sense since the difference is mostly related to driving style.
  17. ClarityBill

    ClarityBill Active Member

    After my recent drunken SPORT-mode extravaganza... I forgot to put it back in ECON mode, and I couldn't understand why the ICE started when I entered the highway. It feels like my head is snapping back, even in NORMAL mode: I need to get back to the geriatric ECON mode. My foot is trained to ECON mode. I have also noticed that my left hand is twitching, even when I drive my Ford van.
    MPower and 2002 like this.
  18. When do you switch into HV mode?
  19. Thanks KentuckyKen

    Do I have it right?

    When I press D it's in EV mode
    While I'm in EV I can press Econ, Sport, or HV to change the way it handles the engine/battery
    Pressing the leaf button places it in Econ and it is still in EV mode by default
    While I'm in Econ I can press Sport or HV to change the way it handles the engine/battery
    Pressing Sport places it in Sport mode and it is still in EV mode by default
    While I'm in Sport I can press HV to change the way it handles the engine/battery
    Pressing HV places it in HV mode and it affects the current mode (Normal, Econ, or Sport)
    Pressing HV Charge places it in HV Charge mode and it affects the current mode (Normal, Econ, or Sport)

    Still not sure what Normal is.
  20. Usually when 10 EV miles remain for local driving that’s just beyond EV range, or 20 to 25 EV miles remaining on longer trips. On our first FL trip I was on HV from the get-go as an experiment. On our more recent trip, I had opportunities to charge, so I would take the battery to about 50%, then go HV, then go back to EV so as to arrive at a stop where I could charge overnight with little or no EV range remaining.
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  21. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    The above answers are really good but don't worry if it doesn't all make sense now, be sure to bookmark their comments and read them again later after you get more familiar with the systems.

    If you are looking for the simplest explanation either for yourself or for your wife, it would be the commonly heard admonition "Just drive it!" In other words the only buttons that you really need to push are Power, D and R (well I guess you don't really push R, you lift it). You don't really need to know or think about modes, the car will handle all of that for you. You will get great mpg, especially if you charge up before you drive off, but even if you don't charge up you will still get very respectable mph for a car this size.

    Okay but likely at some point curiosity will get the best of you and you will want to at least know what mode the car is running in at a particular moment, and why it acts and sounds differently at times. And you might wonder if you might benefit from experimenting with the different modes.

    So the first thing to know is that if you "just drive it" you will start out in Normal mode which is the default. And you will start out in EV mode. As pointed out by KentuckyKen there is no indicator for these modes, unlike Econ, Sport and HV which all have indicators when they are turned on. Now there is an "EV" indication above the speedometer but that does not indicate EV mode, as far as I know it's main purpose is just to create confusion.

    As I mentioned when you start out you will automatically be in EV mode, assuming the battery has at least some charge. It will remain in EV mode as long as you have EV miles remaining. EV range is indicated by bars on the left side of the screen, as well as numerically indicated on the screen depending on what is being displayed on the screen at that moment. When EV range reaches 0 it will automatically switch to HV mode. Now to add a little more confusion, when that happens it does not indicate HV mode on the screen. It only indicates HV mode on the screen when you push the HV button. Which you are not doing right now because remember you are "just driving it".

    While you are driving, sometimes you will be driving only electric, sometimes gas, sometimes both. That's not for you to worry about, or even notice if you don't want to, it knows what it is doing. But if your curiosity gets the best of you and you do glance at the EV range, you will notice that in general whenever the EV range is above 0 the car will normally drive very quiet. After EV range reaches 0 and it switches to HV mode the gas engine will operate, but oddly you won't always hear it. For one thing the Clarity is well insulated, but also even when EV range is 0 the car will still be using battery power much of the time. How can that be? Because EV range 0 doesn't mean the battery is empty, it just means that you will no longer be driving all electric, it will be a combination of gas and electric, just like a normal hybrid. That's why it is called HV mode because it is operating like a standard hybrid.

    Sometimes even when your EV range is greater than 0 the gas engine (aka ICE) may come on briefly. This is normal. There are whole threads about this with lots of consternation and hair pulling, but all you need to know is that it is normal and you aren't doing anything wrong.

    Also in some specific situations, usually related to climbing a grade or incline, the gas engine may become very loud, even alarmingly loud. Believe it or not this is normal also, but it shouldn't happen very often, just know that it is no cause for alarm. Your car is not being harmed, it is just being efficient in a very noisy way. And yes there are hair-pulling threads about this topic also.

    Okay at some point after you gain some experience and also start noticing more what the car is doing, you may (optionally) decide to take at least some manual control over what is going on. To keep it simple and less confusing probably the best one to start off with is the HV button, and use it for one simple purpose, to delay using up the EV range. After driving for awhile you will probably notice that on surface streets the gas engine is more noticeable when it is running, but on the highway you hardly notice it. This is because at highway speeds you have a lot of road and wind noise drowning it out, and also when it gets into its "gear mode" driving steady over about 45 mph the gas engine gets even quieter. You don't have to think about trying to get into gear mode, or really even know about it, it's all automatic. KentuckyKen just mentioned it as part of his explanation about how the car works.

    The main point is that most people would prefer if possible to use the gas engine on the highway instead of on surface streets. Of course if your entire trip will be within your EV range it won't matter, just drive EV the whole time. But let's say you are going on a trip that is 100 miles round trip. Even with a full charge you will be driving HV about half of the time. If you do nothing it will use up the EV range first, and once you get on the highway at say 70 mph the EV range will get used up pretty quickly, then you will be HV for the remainder of your trip until you arrive home. But if you prefer to not use up all of the EV range at the beginning of the trip but save some of it for later when you will be driving on surface streets, well that's what HV mode is there for. When you get on the highway, press the HV button, in this case since the button was pushed you will see the HV indicator on the screen. After pushing the HV button you will notice that EV range will continue to decrease briefly, then stabilize and remain pretty much the same as long as you stay in HV mode. When you later are on a surface street and want to switch to EV mode, simply push the HV button to turn it off. Or if you stop somewhere and turn the car off, the next time you start the car it will automatically be in EV mode, you don't have to press anything.

    The bottom line, if you try HV mode and think "I like this, I enjoy controlling when the gas engine comes on" then HV is something you will want to use. However if you think "Do I really have to worry about this?", no you don't, if you don't see a benefit in using HV mode then don't use it. Or maybe you want to use it but your wife doesn't, or vice versa. It's all good.

    The other two modes, Eco and Sport, you may never need. Sport as the name implies gives a more lively feel to the accelerator pedal, and more control over paddle braking. Eco mode doesn't change the driving feel that much, but it does use the heat and air conditioning systems more conservatively to save power. Eco mode in one sense is for people who are coming from previous hybrids and enjoy maximizing their mpg, even small improvements are a challenging goal to them. However you have to press the Eco button each time you start out, otherwise it defaults to Normal. If you feel that is too much trouble, then just drive it.
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  22. ClarityBill

    ClarityBill Active Member

    The are two separate selection paths.

    Econ – Normal – Sport: This relates to the response of the accelerator pedal and HVAC system

    EV – HV – HV charge: This prioritizes the use of electric motor or gas engine.
    Tek_Freek likes this.
  23. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Roger, you’ve pretty much got it!
    Although, technically, EV is not a Mode as @insightman correctly reminds us.
    You’ll know you’re in “EV Mode” when the Ready EV icon illuminates.
    Then you can press ECON, SPORT, or press again to get NORMAL which is when neither is illuminated.

    NORMAL is kind of like midway to SPORT as it also remaps the pedal to make the engine start before the detent/click; just not quite as soon as SPORT. So call NORMAL a little zippy and SPORT much more zippier.

    You can select HV or HV Charge at any time and with any of the three Modes (ECON, NORMAL, or SPORT) but then you are no longer in EV as the primary propulsion source.

    I think Honda created a lot of confusion by how they addressed this in the manual and how they arranged the buttons and icons.
    For example, the manual states there are:
    3 propulsion sources (p 11):
    EV, HV, and HV Charge
    (But no EV button or true EV Mode)

    3 drive modes (p 12):
    (SPORT not persistent at restart)

    3 power sources (pp 14, 15):
    Electric, Hybrid, and Engine (gear)
    (And you can’t directly select these)

    And if that isn’t confusing enough, you’ve got to add where you are in the blue and white areas of the Power Meter which can change the power source, the absence of a NORMAL indicator, and the close position of the ECON and SPORT Drive Mode buttons to the HV Propulsion Source button. Couple all that with no EV button, a “hidden” HV Charge selector by way of long press of the HV button, and the HV indicator not illuminating when the engine comes on temporarily in EV, and you’ve got a recipe for confusion and misunderstanding IMHO.

    I think it would have been less confusing to separate the Drive Mode buttons (ECON and SPORT) from the Propulsion Source button (HV), and add a NORMAL, EV, and HV Charge button.
    Then you could have a 3 button rocker switch for NORMAL ECON SPORT and a separate multi-push button for EV, HV, and HV Charge that illuminated the words EV/HV/HV Charge next to it. (And, yes, I know that even in EV the engine can come on) This way you could have the Drive Modes (NORMAL SPORT ECON) be user selectable to be persistent at start up while the Propulsion Source could still default to EV at start up. Simple and intuitive if I do say so myself.

    And finally, I would add a NORMAL indicator to the instrument panel where the ECON and SPORT indicators are, and move the HV/HV Charge indicator up to where the Ready EV indicator is so you wouldn’t have to look in several places to see what’s going on. And just for icing on the cake, I’d like the HV icon to indicate when Engine (Direct Drive), commonly called “gear mode” on the forum, is active.

    So would the Clarity Brain Trust take those suggestions as a starting point and come up with the best way to handle all this with the least confusion. My head is starting to spin.

    So, Roger, the Clarity has a technically advanced drive train but with a poorly written manual and a nonintuitive set of indicators and selectors. It’s not just you. Even some of the long time posters and drivers (I’m in this group) and technically savvy people (I’m a wanna be for this group) on the forum go back and forth on all this.
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