How do you use the paddles?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Pogue, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. Pogue

    Pogue New Member

    Hi all! Maybe you guys could answer a Clarity question that Honda's PR woman could not:

    I understand what the steering-wheel paddles do: They let you dial up to 4 levels of regenerative braking during coasting or going downhill. But doesn't the brake pedal work exactly the same way? Under what circumstances would you use the paddles instead of the brake pedal, since they both do the same thing (recharge the battery)?
  2. There's often the suspicion that the brake pedal is blending too much friction braking into the drag (this, from my experience in the Volt community) so this seems like undiluted braking so to speak.
    Volts and Prius cars don't generally use the friction pads until very slow speeds in gentle stops but there's always a suspicion...

    Welcome aboard, by the way.
  3. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Yes I believe the paddles do exactly what the brake pedel does. The only advantage I can see is the paddles will never engage the physical brakes whereas if I push the pedal too far I may engage the brakes. We sold our 2008 Prius with 162K miles and the original brakes were still in good condition.

    For a while I was using the paddles when going down the 1/2 mile long 14% grade on drives away from our house. But then I discovered that the cruise speed is maintained going down that hill by using regen. So if I set the cruise to 40mph and the car wants to speed up because it's going downhill then the regen kicks in and the car is held to 40mph. This is different than the Prius which would let the car free-wheel going down that same hill even when I used cruise control.

    To me the paddles are a toy now. When I'm in need of slowing the car I have a choice of using the brake pedal or paddles and sometimes for fun I play with the paddles. As far as I can see Honda could have left the paddles out and I'd be okay with that.

    Now some people like to use Sport mode and set the regen level using the paddles. That gives them a "one pedal" driving experience. Push down on the accelerator to go faster, let the accelerator pedal up and the car will slow because the regen level is not cleared in Sport mode. This is a mode we never use but some like it. This may be the best use of the regen paddles.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  4. Pogue

    Pogue New Member

    THANK YOU!!! I didn't realize the paddles don't reset in Sport mode.... I'll have to try one-pedal driving!
  5. Fidzio

    Fidzio Member

    Some cars allow users to manage vehicle "dealer" settings with an OBDII interface like "Carista" On my previous car (a diesel Jetta which VW "kindly" repurchased after "dieselgate") I was able, for example, to increase the number of flashes when the turn signal stalk was lightly pressed from the factory standard 3 flashes to 5 flashes, and make the headlights switch off automatically when the ignition key was removed.
    It would be nice if there was a way to make the paddles NOT reset in Normal or Econ mode as well as in Sport mode.
    Emanuel Green and KentuckyKen like this.
  6. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    OK then, does this mean that there is no regenerative advantage to using the paddles at level 4 over just moderate breaking? So can I get the same amount of regeneration by being easy on the brakes as in the physical brakes are only used at the end of a moderate slowdown to come to a complete stop? If this is true then I can understand why they don’t retain their setting except in sport mode. Then they are just for playing with in sport mode and perhaps to maintain speed on steep downgrades when not using cruise control.
    Inquiring minds want to know.
  7. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    What I’ve noticed is that whatever range you gain with the paddles, is almost immediately lost as you resume from a stop. So if you gain .3 miles from regenerative braking as you come to a stop, that .3 is lost in .1 of a mile. That makes me question the accuracy of the range gained upon braking.
  8. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I see your point but think it may not be that airtight. Wouldn’t you “loose” the .3 on acceleration whether you gained it or not with any regen beforehand. I don’t see how the two are tied to each other. The “loss” on accel is always there assuming you have to come to a stop anyway. Wouldn’t the real question be how can I get max regen in order to get max range? Or am I missing something?
    jdonalds likes this.
  9. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    You’re right about the added demand of acceleration and its toll on range, but this seems to go beyond that. Even as you’ve come to your desired speed, it seems that range you’ve gained just ticks off more quickly than it should. I haven’t kep an eye on it recently, since I’ve put that ‘range gain’ from braking in the same category as the stated HV range that we know is wildly inaccurate.

    I’ll take another look.
  10. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Active Member

    Does the Clarity truly coast? Is there a way to lift your right foot and have NO regen?
  11. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    Looking back at a lot of hybrid and EV car reviews, one common complaint is how terrible the braking feels, to the extent that it's scary. I actually don't know from experience but the description is always that it feels unnatural and non-linear because of initial aggressive regenerative braking and then noticeable gap before friction braking is engaged. This complaint goes for even the most expensive cars like BMWs and Benz. For the Clarity, I think there's no dispute that the braking feels completely natural so that many of us wonder how much regenerative braking is even being applied (there definitely is some). Honda doesn't seem to get credit for this remarkable achievement and instead a common complaint is how lame the paddles are. When combined with the smooth braking mechanism, I really like the paddles. Now that I'm used to them, I use them as a safety feature to help me slow down so I don't ride on the brakes. For long downhills, the control is great because I can maintain the speed I want using the paddles without riding the brakes at all. This feature might save your life one day because the brakes will stay cool and ready for emergencies along a long downhill stretch. That it also gives back some EV range is a bonus.
    Pogue and jdonalds like this.
  12. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info. I agree that the Clarity brakes are wonderfully seemless when it comes to blending regen and actual brakes.
    So do we know if under moderate breaking we get as much regen as paddle level 4?
    The power/regen gauge seems to show the same regen level either way. Question? If you don’t brake hard enough to get gauge to go all the way to the bottom are we in full regen w no brakes until the last when gauge goes to “neutral” power flow and we come to a complete stop?
  13. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    The whole question of braking feel and the level of regenerative braking is a give & take equation. The less regenerative braking, the smoother the braking feel but the less the range gain The higher the level of regen braking the better the range increase but the lesser the feel. I really love the regen braking in my Tesla S. I can come to a turn and never hit the brake as the regenerative braking slows me naturally into a turn. However the amount you let off the accelerator to go into a turn is something that's learned with a Tesla, it's not an instantaneously learned experience. Once you do though, it's a fantastic experience. The range increase is also significant.

    In the Clarity, I never quite get the confidence that I can slow into a turn quite the same way if I'm traveling at a fair rate of speed. The giveback is that it's an easier process for someone not familiar with regenerative braking to get used to, simply because there's less of it.
  14. Rajiv Vaidyanathan

    Rajiv Vaidyanathan Active Member

    Sometimes, when I'm going above 30 or so and I apply the paddles to slow down, they will not let me go over 2 or 3 ticks and the paddle regen indicators flash. Any idea why that happens? Is there a limit to the use of paddles?
  15. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    I have never seen that. In fact, this is the first I have heard of that.
  16. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Yes and I've wondered why they flash too. Also when increasing the speed using the + cruise control button that number will also flash.
  17. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    I believe if the cruise is not in use the car will coast.
  18. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Great info guys.
    But I still want to know does moderate braking give me the same regen as paddle level 4?
  19. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    I think without some kind of test equipment, that question can't be answered with any kind of precision.
  20. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Sigh, I figured as much. Guess we need to go kidnap the chief Clarity EE and water board the facts about of him (Home Land Security-this is just a joke).

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