Los Angeles to Santa Barbara road trip

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by ProspectiveBuyer, Jan 23, 2019.

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  1. Has anyone driven the Clarity (Hybrid) from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara? Just wondered how the car handled when the electric charge runs out and the car has to drive on the gas engine alone. I haven't driven this trip in a long time and I seem to remember there are some stretches where the grade is higher and wondered if I might run into issues.
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  3. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I live in KY, but here’s a suggestion.
    The consensus from many posts in several threads is that you will get a much better driving experience with regards to efficiency, economy, power, and comfort if you do not let the battery deplete to 2 bars/0EV range. This is especially true at high speeds and on steep hills, however on speeds under 60 and flat or rolling hills, I have found that you don’t need to. Try it both ways (same travel direction and area) and you see.
    With sufficient charge, the algorithm is more able to select and switch among its several power flows to achieve better power and economy usually without having to rev as high and summon what some call the “angry bees”. This is especially true on longer or steeper inclines.
    I understand the desire to use all the SOC on a trip for economy’s sake as I share that too. What I do is use a little EV SOC locally to get on the highway and then switch to HV so as to have plenty of charge available. I mostly keep that level and never get a loss of power or the angry bees that way. Then when I am in EV range of my destination, I switch to EV and try to end with 3 or 4 bars. It’s like the best of both worlds or having your cake and getting to eat it too.
    Let us know what you try and how it works.
    Agzand and insightman like this.
  4. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    This is exactly the technique I use. I'd rather arrive home with a little EV range left and enjoy the better driving experience of having some charge that the car can call on as needed. My experience, with my vehicle, in my driving environment, is that I don't lose EV range when I run in HV mode on the highway.

    Maybe one day there will be an option for the car controller to do this automagically, based on the GPS report of the distance to "home".
  5. I've found that even when I'm in HV mode that the EV starts running out. Is there anything I can do to prevent that from happening?
  6. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Will you allow the car controller to determine your speed to ensure it can complete your trip without depleting the battery? "Alexa, why are we going only 29 miles an hour on the expressway?"
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  8. MPower

    MPower Well-Known Member

    My experience is that the loss of EV range when running in HV is very much dependent on the variables of your trip. I drove 1000 miles solo in 2 days on only the initial charge and lost less than half thenoriginal chrge and that includes a few start ups when i forgot to put the car in HV right away. Temperatures were mainly in the 50Fs while driving and the route was mainly flat interstate at 68 mph.Very little heating needed.

    Last Friday I drove 350 miles on a route that was very hilly, one mountain pass, with temperatures in the single digits to 20Fs, with 3 people in the car and the heating on, mixture of ordinary roads and interstate, generally slower speeds than my previous trip. The full charge that I started with was down to less than 1/4 by the time I got home.

    In less than 1/3 the distance, I used much more battery on the second trip. On the occasions when I was able to monitor the little gear icon it appeared quite a lot on the first trip and not at all on the second trip.
  9. Agzand

    Agzand Active Member

    It shouldn't drop significantly. It might drop if it is a challenging road, but not a lot. You might see a drop in EV range, this doesn't necessarily mean the battery charge is dropping, once you are on a highway at high speed, the algorithm might decide to reduce the EV range to reflect higher speeds on the highway.
  10. Agzand

    Agzand Active Member

    Yes, as mentioned above you don't want to start climbing on a depleted battery. Depending on how long the climb is, try to start with somewhere between half to near full battery. Once you are near the top of the pass, you want to be at about half or 1/3, so you can use regeneration on your way down.

    I think it is only a major mountain pass that needs some planning, on a rolling hills or flat highway the car runs effortlessly in HV mode. You don't need to even think about it.

    In Europe there are these huge SUVs and vans that run on a 1.5l gas engine. No batteries or motors, whatsoever, and they don't get stuck on mountain passes as long as I can tell.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  11. ClarityPHEVer

    ClarityPHEVer Member

    Last summer I drove from San Luis Obispo county to Riverside and back, which includes the LA to SB stretch. I left with a fully charged battery, but switched to HV as soon as I got on the 101, and didn’t switch back to EV until exiting the highway. I didn’t charge in Riverside, and drove home with the same strategy. I had no issues with any of the hills. I find I always lose a few miles while driving HV, but it’s less than 5, so nothing to worry about.
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