My first road trip

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Heino, Oct 7, 2018.

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  1. Heino

    Heino Active Member

    Today, I have finally had the opportunity to test my new Clarity on the open road. I'm into about 4 weeks of Clarity ownership now, and have mostly operated on EV mode within town.

    The destination I picked was perfect in terms of distance. On the drive to my destination I was able to deplete the battery down to zero, almost exactly as I reached my goal. It was funny watching the GPS inform me I was 2 miles away from my destination, and the car was estimating I had roughly 1.9 miles of EV range left.

    I made it a game and tried to regen just enough to get the EV range to co-inside with the GPS estimate.

    Sadly, the town I visited did not have any public EV chargers available - but that's okay, as I wanted to see how the car drives in HV mode with next to no battery charge.

    Surprisingly, the car handled just fine. Yes, the engine came on, but it was hardly noticeable. The rolling hills did not pose a challenge to the car either.

    I was also able to try out the Honda Sense features, and enabled adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist. Lane keep assist did very well and allowed me to relax a bit. I just find it surprising, that there are no audible alerts when the system wants the driver to take over steering again. Only a visual cue on the display.

    Overall, I'm very happy with the performance of my Clarity. It's exactly what I wanted / needed in terms of having a flexible EV which allows for road trips, without the need of having to find a destination charger.

    Honda did a lot of things right on this car... truly amazing!
    chris5168 and insightman like this.
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  3. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    My wife and I took her Clarity on it's first gas-powered trip last weekend. I made a paper copy of the D button, changed the label to HV, and taped it over the real D button to remind us to always switch to HV mode every time we started our Clarity. On the 640-mile trip at 70-75 mph with A/C, we averaged 49.6 mpg (that's what the Clarity claims anyway). That's about 5 mpg better than our lighter 2010 Insight would have achieved on the same journey--and in nowhere near the comfort of our Clarity. My wife was surprised and amazed to feel the extra 60 horsepower available in HV mode (she never "clicks" the accelerator).
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  4. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    I agree the car is amazing. The ACC and Lane Keep don't beep and I'm glad because they can be working or not quite often. The ACC can lose focus on the car ahead easily, especially on curves. The Lane Keep sometimes fails to see the lines in the road. So it is necessary for the driver to keep an eye on both indicators.

    I like to play with the low speed ACC and let the Clarity follow the car ahead all the way down to a full stop. It takes nerves of steel at first. In this case if the ACC loses sight of the car ahead the Clarity will happily slam right into the car ahead. Please be careful.
    ClarityDoc likes this.
  5. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    The ACC and lane keeping can be set to beep if you want them to. It keeps me from getting distracted from looking down at the display all the time.
  6. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Didn't know that. Thanks Ken
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  8. Heino

    Heino Active Member

    I remember seeing a setting for ACC, but not specifically for "Steering Required" - I'll have to check again.

    On an aside - the Navigation voice on the Clarity is pretty harsh compared to my Wife's Prius. The Toyota voice seems so much friendlier. :)
  9. Umm Yeah

    Umm Yeah New Member

    I've done a few long road trips since we bought our Clarity and one if the key things I've found helpful is to make sure you ALWAYS have some charge in your battery above the bare minimum. If you deplete your battery when you're in HV mode, you'll use a lot more gas because it can't switch over to EV mode as often when you hit an easy patch. I've even used the HV Charge mode on long trips to make sure to keep a decent amount of charge in my battery on long trips. It makes a huge difference!

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Inside EVs mobile app
  10. Heino

    Heino Active Member

    I'm sure not running the battery completely down, and switching to HV mode for road trips makes more sense - but I wanted to see how the Clarity drives in these conditions. To be honest - the performance was more than enough and the engine did not scream.

    Next time though, I will switch to HV mode with at least 10 miles+ left on the battery to get better gas mileage as suggested.
  11. When I tried to drive my Clarity on a depleted battery, it struggles noticeably going up steep hills, which is very troubling for me because I live in a hilly area. For that reason, I've made every effort to always driving with a charged battery. But I'm going to be going on a long-distance trip soon and am very concerned. I've experimented with switching to HV mode in order to save the battery and use only the gas engine, but it seems like it's still drawing from the battery even when it's in HV mode. Am I doing something wrong?
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  13. lessismore

    lessismore Member

    you can press and hold HV button a bit longer, it would turn on batter charge mode. it can bring your battery up to about 50%. I was on a long distance trip with my daughter's clarity last weekend. that's how I dealt with it since I was unable to find a good place to charge the battery. $18 full tank, that was amazing. The ICE does not sound too good, though. 40 mins into the trip on a freeway, I almost suspected there was something wrong and thought about turning back to switch cars. it turned out to be a non-issue. just have to get used to the sound (which is awful to listen TBH)
  14. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    No, your are not doing anything wrong. I, too, am disappointed that our Clarity doesn't use the engine as much as possible to bring the battery's state of charge back to exactly what it was when you pressed the HV button. If a car can hope, my assumption is that the car is hoping you'll have enough downhill driving and/or regenerative braking to restore the charge used to handle hills and acceleration events.

    HV charge will restore your charge to 58% of a full charge, but that's the least-efficient way to drive the Clarity. It's best to hit the highway in HV mode with a full charge, or as close to a full charge as possible. Then you have to do something to remember to press the HV button after you stop the car. I made a paper HV button that I tape over the D button. I'd prefer it if I could decide when the HV Mode persists after shutting off the car, but the paper overlay works for me.

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