First long charge

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by jeff10236, Aug 15, 2018.

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  1. jeff10236

    jeff10236 Member

    This week I'm up in Minnesota visiting a cousin and uncle. I drove up Sunday (1100 miles each way). Through the mountains in western MD and western PA it did give me some of the angry bees sound I've heard about, but it wasn't really too loud (just not a sound most of us are used to our cars giving us yet). I ran the entire trip on HV to be sure that I had enough charge that I always had enough electric assist for whatever I needed. I averaged 42mpg (real MPG figured off the trip odometer, gas pumped and a calculator, not the 5% or so optimistic trip computer) in the mountains and about 45mpg once I got out of the mountains and on flatter ground. Even on the highest passes (granted, these are East Coast not West Coast mountains) I never had any issues with power and I could easily and smoothly accelerate when needed while climbing the mountains. I was mostly on 70mph speed limit highways, so I was running 70-80mph (mostly in the 72-75mph range, but sometimes in the 75-80mph range).

    Aside from efficiency and power (which I was quite happy with), it is a very nice trip car. The smooth ride and comfortable seating position meant less fatigue on the road. Road noise is quite quiet once out of the mountains (and other than a sound most drivers aren't used to with the "angry bees" it was still relatively quiet there). It really was a pleasant drive.

    My only real complaint was the size of the gas tank. Running on HV mode (low to mid 40mpg efficiency) meant a lot of gas stops. Once I hit more rural areas where I didn't know how far I'd be between gas stops, I really wasn't comfortable going more than 200 miles before getting gas, and I always kept it below 250mi between getting gas, which meant a lot of stops. Still, if you are a bit older, have kids, or (like me) you have certain health problems, you will probably need to stop pretty often anyway. After a while I just started to get gas whenever my diabetes accelerated bladder told me I had to stop for the bathroom (regardless of the miles since my last tank) and make each stop really count.
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  3. jeff10236

    jeff10236 Member

    Oh, my uncle has been letting me charge in his garage every night. I live in an apt and only use public charging stations at home. I have to say, it is really nice starting at a full charge every morning. I really can't wait until I'm able to buy a house in a year or two so I can do this all the time.
    UncheckedException likes this.
  4. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    What we've found is our potty breaks come more frequently than our gas tank needs. So we've altered our long trip logistics to suit and it really smoothed things out. In other words the car can hold out longer than the three of us can. That usually amounts to about 3 hour stretches.

    Instead of stopping at a freeway rest stop to use the toilet we simply seek out a gas station instead. We then always fill the gas tank even if it only needs a couple of gallons. Using this method the number of stops we make on a long trip are the same as when we had the Prius. The difference is we put gas in more often.

    The bonus with this car is I've never felt as rested on a 500+ mile trip as with this car. The seat comfort is one factor, ACC and LKAS help a lot, and the smooth ride holds down on the vibrations and bumps. The car is a winner to be sure.
    Omgswify, amy2421, ClarityDoc and 2 others like this.
  5. AL-B

    AL-B New Member

    I'm getting ready to take a trip from TX to FL and mapping out possible charge point stations along the way. I'm wondering if it's even worth stopping to charge for two hours to maximize battery use or just go the HV route the whole trip and not worry about charging until I reach my final destination.
  6. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Do you have a good book to read while you're charging? Really, the big idea is to let the Clarity maximize the efficiency of your journey as it saves you from worrying about where the next charging station is.
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  8. ClarityDoc

    ClarityDoc Active Member

    It'd be cool to find a EVSE (and grab a few electrons) next to a good place to grab a meal, or at a hotel, along a trip route, but I don't think I'd plan to stop 2-3 hours at a time just to charge.
    jdonalds likes this.
  9. AL-B

    AL-B New Member

    I must have a misconception about HV mode. I was wondering on a long trip in HV mode, doesn't the battery deplete as well? I'm concerned if I don't give it a charge at least once during my trip, I'll be left running on ICE alone and I'm too used to the quiet ride, I don't want that to happen.
  10. Lepori

    Lepori Member

    We have a kid so often need to stop for 1-2 hours anyway so we found a free charger on one leg of our only trip so far and fully charged. I wouldn’t worry about it unless you were making longer stops anyway. In CA we have lots of good options like EV chargers at parks and wineries and such that I sometimes stop at anyway, in which case I would opportunistically charge.
  11. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    In HV mode the car will slowly bleed off the battery until it reaches 58% charged, then it will hold there. Actually what I mean by hold is it goes into a hybrid mode where it switches from HV to EV as needed, and will drain a bit of charge but will restore that amount again.

    The trick is HV mode is cancelled every time the car is shut off so you have to remember to reselect it when you start back on the road. If you don't then the car is in "normal" mode and it does suck the battery down to 2 bars.
    AL-B and ClarityDoc like this.
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  13. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Insightman, on my one of only 2 HV drives I went 250 miles each way starting with a full charge and only lost 2 bars. It didn’t seem as if it would deplete down to the 58% that HV Charge goes up to. Does it really do that or was my trip too short?
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  14. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    On our last 500 mile trip it held onto more than 58% for a long while, like 200 miles, before it started to head down to 58%. At first I thought it was going to preserve the whole charge.
  15. AL-B

    AL-B New Member

    Ah awesome thanks! That totally clears it up for me. What an awesome car, engineers thought of everything.
  16. ZedFez

    ZedFez Member

    Jeff- if you’re near any HyVee grocery stores in Minnesota... they provide Chargepoint chargers that are free. Be sure to download ChargePoint phone app and study up a bit if you’ve never used it to save time. Hope you enjoy your stay!

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  17. jeff10236

    jeff10236 Member

    So, I must have been typing faster than I was thinking. I meant to call the thread "first long trip" not charge, is it possible for an admin to fix that to make my intentions in the thread more clear?

    As has already been mentioned, the ACC and LKAS definitely helped with fatigue on the trip. I was never that impressed with those features when driving locally near home, but on a long trip they are terrific.

    I guess the question about HV has been answered. I noticed it drew a bit faster from the battery in the mountains (about 15miles of estimated charge in ~400 miles), slowed down once I got to OH (about 10 more miles of estimated charge over the next 600 miles). It did draw down as low as 23 miles estimated and regenerate up to about 28 for the rest of the trip.

    I had noticed that the St.Paul area has a lot of public chargers, and I noticed HyVee when scouting things out on Plugshare. My original plan was to stop there for a while to charge up before I left to insure I had a full charge, but since my uncle is letting me use one of the outlets in his garage to charge with my level 1 charger, I'll be leaving tomorrow morning with a full charge anyway.

    On the trip up I thought about stopping somewhere around Chicago (where there are also a ton of public chargers, like home and like here) or Cleveland, but I didn't in order to get here faster. On my way home I don't really have to be there at any particular time (teachers return to work on Thursday so I have plenty of time) so I may take up to 3 days to get home for a more relaxed drive and to see some sights, so I may charge once or twice on my way back (but not at HyVee since I'll be waiting to deplete my charge a bit).
  18. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    It's great that when you're in a hurry you can choose to drive your Clarity PHEV right on by those public chargers, instead of being forced to stop for hours to recharge!
  19. Steven B

    Steven B Active Member

    Just come up with 2 or 3 places with L2s where you might charge during each meal stop and don't try to focus on dedicated stops for charging.
    insightman likes this.

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