First "Road trip" and a bit confused with HV

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Mariner91, Nov 11, 2018.

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  1. Mariner91

    Mariner91 Member

    Nothing major, but have been driving the car for daily commute for the first 3 weeks, and have literally used HV once, and barely for a minute so nothing to observe. That is, until today.

    Round trip 61 miles each way, started with 56 Est EV (based mostly on daily bumper to bumper 26-28 miles round trip) and 352 HV (mostly factory gasoline and estimate as I got the car with 5 miles on it)

    Started both trips mostly on HV and finished last 10 miles or so on EV, both on Econ except for a few miles on Sport to get up the hill (most of the trip was hilly).

    So here what's confusing me. Car spent quite a bit of time charging the battery, with blue lines coming from the top while green lines going down at the bottom (i.e battery is charging while gas engine moving the car). First time I noticed this, I thought I accidentally turned on HV Charging so I went back to full EV and then again switching to HV making sure I only pressed it once.
    After first trip to destination, even with EV on last 10 miles or so, my 54 EV was down to 48 EV estimate. Again this was after 60+ actual miles. HV estimate was down to 250 or so (from 352)
    After trip back, EV is at 38 and HV is at 187. From visual check, my gas went from full to almost exactly half tank , so ~3.5 gallons (?) used and remaining. This means on average I did about 34.5 mpg for those 120 miles

    Does this sound about right? What would happen on a longer trip? Will my battery stay close to full at all times, as long as I have gas?
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  3. Dan Albrich

    Dan Albrich Active Member

    My experience with HV varies a lot depending on terrain. If I have say 60% EV charge, press HV, and drive 100 miles on flat ground, I'll likely keep 60% EV or maybe it goes down to 57%. In other words, all things being equal, HV mode tries to preserve the battery charge you have. Now same trip, over lots of hills or large mountain. HV engaged. My EV range goes down in equal measure to how much 'up hill' I have to do. Admittedly, you tend to get some of that (maybe even 1/2) as you regen going down hill. Once you lose it, you don't get it back even on flat highway (you stop losing it)-- unless you plugin or long press on HV.

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  4. lordsutch

    lordsutch Member

    In HV mode, the car will occasionally switch to EV-only power after the engine is warmed up, and it will add charge to the battery if the car thinks that's more efficient than down-throttling the engine (typically on the flat or slightly downhill) and then take some power back out when going uphill or accelerating. If you go continuously uphill - for example, if you drove up from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe - it will keep drawing from the battery to help the engine stay in its optimal RPM range. But if your trip is flat on average, it won't take much (if anything) from the battery - for example, I drove from Savannah to home near Macon, Georgia yesterday, which is mostly flat, and the EV charge level stayed about the same from when I kicked on HV mode just outside of Savannah until I switched it off when I got off the freeway and had about 30 miles to go.

    The EV estimate will change a bit even based on gas usage; both EV and HV basically is an estimate of how much further you could drive if you kept driving like you did over the past 10-15 minutes. So your EV range will go down at highway speeds (particularly over 65 mph or so) and then rebound a bit when you are either on back roads (50-60 mph) or in more stop-and-go traffic.

    Also, the gas gauge isn't entirely linear; you probably will burn about a gallon before it moves off "full" and in my experience it'll take over 4 gallons showing "50%". I've run it down to zero bars and put in 7.5 gallons, so the real tank capacity with 87 octane E10 at "room temperature" near sea level seems to be in the 7.5-8 gallon range even though it's rated at 7.0 gallons.
  5. petteyg359

    petteyg359 Well-Known Member

    Did you get the October "recall" software updates done? One of those had to do with HV range estimate wackiness.
  6. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    I agree with Dan. The basics of HV are to switch between electric only drive and having the gas engine supply power to both the motor driving the wheels and to keep the battery at the same level as when you switched to HV. In my experience the car will often drop into EV when HV is selected. All it takes is a downhill, even at 70mph on a relatively flat and straight road. In the general case the gas engine won't charge the battery above 58% full, and the EV range may drop and stay lower depending on the terrain as Dan said. Regen can charge up to 100% if you experience a long downhill.
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  8. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    My experience with HV on a round trip (250m each way) with small rolling hills on Interstate and some some serious hills on 2 lane roads went very well with plenty of power, no high reving “angry bees”, and 48 mpg (after taking the small amount of charge expended into account).
    I have an hour meter on the engine and it ran for approximately 2/3s of the time on the trip. I started out with an almost full battery and only lost 2 bars even with forgetting to switch back to HV immediately after rest/gas stops. (I wish it would remember it was in HV. I need to make a note like @insightman did) I saw on the display that it cycled through every possible energy flow including turning the ICE off at times and direct mechanical coupling at times. However I could not determine what conditions called for the direct mechanical coupling. It seems to me that the algorithm attempts to maintain the charge while giving the best power, quietness, and economy. The engine was surprisingly quiet except on a long steep hill where it reved up to a very tolerable mid range rpm kind of like a gas engine downshifting. I have never heard the angry bees or had loss of power even when experimenting once with 0 EV (2 bars) during local city and highway driving (but no big hills).

    I highly recommend doing your highway HV with a significant charge in the battery. This allow the algorithm the freedom to choose among all of the possible power flows. Then switch to EV when in range of your destination. If I could not charge at my destination, I would keep it in HV until in EV range of home. I would not use HV Charge as a rule due to it’s poorer MPG. I only see it useful if I’m in the position of approaching mountian hills without much of a charge. As always, YMMV.
    Is this car great or what?
    ClarityDoc and insightman like this.
  9. Dan Albrich

    Dan Albrich Active Member

    My first road trip on my clarity (started with full charge) and HV mode selected right at beginning was from Eugene to Crater Lake NP. It's about 174 miles each way but that doesn't tell the story. You effectively summit two mountain passes, and then the rim itself is sometimes extreme up and down.

    So heading up willamette pass (highway 58) in HV mode, the EV gradually dropped and went to two bars (0 miles EV range) right at the summit. I got a little back going down the other side but not as much as I would guess. i.e. Still wanting to use gas pedal even while going down hill to keep pace with (limited) traffic going about 70 miles/hr.

    What I know now, is the flat stretch on 97 south would of been perfect time to long-press HV to get the battery off 0 miles but I didn't do that. Car drove fine in HV mode with no battery left. Started up the long slow elevation gain to the crater (was a mountain that blew its top off), got the angry bees and big time. Very loud in the cabin. Got to the top. The really steep up and down at the rim was on again off again angry bees sound.

    Wife and I went for hike at Annie Springs. Oh look, free electric charger. Plugged in. Didn't have SB-18-079 yet, and got the electric failure deal. "SYSTEM POWER (orange)" Plugin Charging System Problem- Range limited. Yikes. Brand new car, two weeks old, I'm in a remote place. Sun has gone down, and temperature is freezing.

    Since this issue locked out the electric side, and I mean even regen didn't work, I got 174 miles all the way home with agry bees non-stop! So I'm thinking, geez, I'm heading home but am I damaging the new car? That ride home totally sucked. I picked the path most likely to have cellular signal (which is very limited in my home state). i.e. Wanted to be able to call for help as need be.

    Made it home. Someone in this forum posted that putting the car in park with door open (may have procedure wrong at this point) then plugging in charger, then closing door and locking helped reset things. I'll be darned, it cleared the dash warnings. By morning all warnings disappeared but I took to dealer to get 18-079 public charging patch. Now that my estimated mileage is always low, I took back to dealer for 18-097. No help in my case (still low range full-charges).

    But yes, this first trip to Crater Lake was a doosey.

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  10. Mariner91

    Mariner91 Member

    Thanks, all! Not really sure what I was expecting but I guess part of that was a continuous drain on both the EV and HV estimates when on HV but obviously, that's not the case, It sounds like for flat plain driving, expect to maintain a decent amount of EV and just keep refiling the gas for HV mode.

    TY ALL!
  11. I have a long range trip coming up and am very nervous about the car's handling. So it sounds like the best strategy is to start the drive in HV mode. But it sounds like even with a full electric charge and you're driving in HV, there's a good chance the EV charge will eventually drain. Is that right? Any suggestions or should I just be prepared that the car is going to struggle going uphill and cross my fingers?
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  13. Pretty sure someone said it was a good idea to take at least some percentage out of the battery initially, so that the regen braking doesn’t have to use the engine in lieu of the battery to dissipate kinetic energy.

  14. If you battery level is low and you anticipate going uphill, you can always use HV charge mode for a while before you approach the hill. As you know, HV charge uses a lot of gas, so best I use it only as needed.
    David Towle likes this.
  15. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    It's mostly people who live on top of a hill and use braking regen immediately after fully charging their cars who have the problem of the engine running to use up the regenerated electricity.
  16. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    "Lot" is relative. Even in HV Charge, the car still gets better mileage than most others. Not to say I will often find a need to use HV Charge (I am a flatlander) but it's not all that dire if you need to.
  17. rodeknyt

    rodeknyt Active Member

    We did a nearly 4,000-mile road trip in October, a lot of which was in the Rockies and the Cascades. It is true that even when in HV, the battery will lose some capacity since the car will use battery power at various times, either with or without the ICE running. However, the car never struggled at all going uphill (sometimes grades of 8-10%), and at the end of a 5-6 hour driving day, the battery was never below the half way mark on the gauge. And that included some days where we didn't have any opportunity to charge, beginning the day with less than a full battery.

    So, don't sweat it. Enjoy your trip and the car. You'll love how comfy it is and how well it drives.
  18. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    What was your experience regarding finding charging stations along the way? Did you make a specific effort to stay at places with that facility? Take your charger along with you?
  19. rodeknyt

    rodeknyt Active Member

    Being a Hilton Honors member, I just booked places with them. It turned out that several of them had on-site charging stations that weren't mentioned anywhere in the property description. Just got lucky, I guess. Some of them didn't have chargers, so we just did without but never ran out of battery using HV (which was the mode I used the whole time).

    We stayed with family in a couple of places and used the OEM unit that came with the car.
  20. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    This pleases me. I also stay at Hilton properties a lot but have not taken a trip since buying the Clarity. Amazing how one doesn't notice things like charging stations when one doesn't have a reason to notice them.
  21. leop

    leop Active Member

    Have you had the October software updates? LeoP
  22. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Only update I have applied is the HV range one, Service Bulletin 18-069.
    I have not had any of the other problems like warning lights or “chargus interruptus” (that one’s for @insightman) so I am hesitant to apply other updates and possibly upset the apple cart. Especially since my Clarity is working so great with no angry bees and plenty of power even at 2 bars. But I haven’t tried a public Charge Point EVSE. Mine works fine on a dual Aerovironment one though. If any problems do pop up, I’ll apply the updates but until then it’s steady as she goes matey.
    Best car I’ve ever owned.
    insightman likes this.
  23. Dan Albrich

    Dan Albrich Active Member

    My take, is 100% of the time I know I'll exceed electric range is to start (if more than one start needed, every start) in HV mode. The car seems to like having the option to use both electric and gas engines as need be, and preserving electric is great. I don't worry too much about it, but if I remember when coming home (or to a charging destination) to go all electric to save gas I will. So for example, I drive 200 miles. All of it in HV mode, but the last X miles, lets say 30 I put in electric only mode (just tap HV button again) to minimize gas use. I then arrive at home and plugin.

    I live in a somewhat rural location, with lots of elevation changes. What I notice: Even in HV mode, the EV battery absolutely does get drained going up hills. By hill I really mean more like mountains. But anyway, where I go on the weekends seldom permits me to keep EV charge even with my best efforts to do so. So yes, before I even drive out of my driveway, HV mode is selected. I'm still burning a lot less gas than I used to. If I preserve some electric charge, then the car can work out whatever synergy it likes. Notably, I get a quiet ride. The only time the "angry bees" sound comes out is if electric range goes to zero.

    And like I say, for many of my trips it's unavoidable-- so I do what I can to minimize it.

    All this being said-- If its the case my trip is long and flat (which it almost never is, but lets imagine), then I can keep my electric charge for all of it. i.e. HV mode tries to keep electric range. I can and have diven 100miles without losing any electric range on flat ground in HV mode. Going up a mountain or two, even if slow and gradual, forget it. EV range will go to zero.

    And even all this being said, I absolutely love the car. My weekday commute is 100% EV mode, and I sometimes go two weeks without using any gas-- just depends on my longer outings (or lackthereof).


    PS: one last detail: When driving up my nearest mountain (or down it for that matter), I find using cruise control when possible seems to do the best to preserve the battery. I'm gentle on the gas peddle but somehow the car does better when 'automatic' for that.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018

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