Please post your low temp experiences from the Polar Vortex here

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by KentuckyKen, Jan 29, 2019.

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  1. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    As mentioned before, the plunging 25 yr record lows from the Polar Vortex will be the first chance for many Claritys to experience extreme low temperature starting and driving. It would be helpful to have all these reports in one place.
    Please give us as much data as possible on the comditions such as:

    Canadian or American Clarity
    Build date, milage, yrs/months owned
    Status of any updates applied
    Location (approximate)
    Temperatures (indicate C or F)
    Level 1 or Level 2 EVSE and Amps and if
    possible charging rates and time to
    Any warning messages or indicators
    How well wipers worked
    Inside or outside with temps for each
    and how long at each so we can
    access cold soaking and battery temp.
    Time and amount of last charge
    Time and amount of preconditioning
    and inside temp fronHonda Link and
    whether it was on EVSE or battery
    EV and HV status and when used for
    how long
    Whether car started ICE without
    manually going into HV or HV charge
    Approximation of ICE rpm/sound and
    how long it stayed on
    Drive ability: same, different, quirks
    Heating/defrosting: any difference
    EV and HV Range, MPG, etc.

    And please post more conditions that you think we should be tracking in our reverse engineering project here. This is our golden opportunity to try to figure out the extreme cold weather actions of our fantastic Claritys. But safety first, formost, and always.

    And lets all be safe out there. In extremis, park it and do public trans, ride sharing, gas mobile, etc. if you have to drive, have a prep kit with food, water, blankets, shovel, etc. and remember that if stopped and running the ICE, you have to keep the tail pipe clear of snow to prevent CO2 poisoning (maybe crack a windo). And we only have 7 gal of gas which is much less than our old cars. Also, let someone know your itinerary and when to report you missing just in case you drive on “the road less traveled”. Keep those cell phones fully charged and an extra battery for them is good insurance.

    Thanks for being willing to take the time to enlighten us all and I hope we have only good stories with a few inconveniences and not tragic ones for driver or car.
    LegoZ, RichL, insightman and 5 others like this.
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  3. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

  4. JKroll

    JKroll Member

    Thanks KentuckyKen -- didnt realize you had already started a thread on that.

    So far no issues in polar vortex. temp going to get to -13 F in indianapolis. Feels like -39 F with wind chill.

    Will have to check after car has been out in those conditions for 9 hours.

    I am not convinced this is ideal car in midwest .. we will see. And I am not worried it charges 28 miles versus 32. More worried if serious issues with battery or other equipment.
  5. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Engine runs a lot more ;) I don't have many details for the car in extreme cold, feels like a hybrid vs a PHEV. I probably won't have time to drive it during this period, just going by what my wife tells me (and what I drove last year). One thing she mentioned is the engine revs up a lot higher, which I presume is to compensate for having less power available from the battery. She also sees the glitch a lot where you are in HV mode, it switches back to EV, but the speedo stays white (instead of returning to blue).

    So in Midwest (Iowa) deal with this maybe 2 or 3 weeks a year at most. Works fine, but definitely feels like a different car than running EV mode all the time. I don't care though, car does well and has a good heater. Washer fluid tank is my only real complaint (salt spray from roads requires it to be used a lot which drains it quickly).

    edit: had a few edits above.
  6. Wdave

    Wdave Member

    Good luck folks.
    Your gonna need it
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  8. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    This was the view from my i3 this morning (windchill was about -50 F this AM), I will ask my wife if I can drive the Clarity tomorrow, it is supposed to be -35 F. Sunday is supposed to be 80 degrees warmer... (+45 F)

  9. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    Not actual experience, but rather an insight on the topic. I had been wondering where the specific number "-22" came from. I just realized that -22°F is -30°C. I think that explains the odd choice of cutoff. I've had two friends chime in that (1) The thermometer in their Prius doesn't show temperatures below -22°F and (2) The documentation for their home thermostat states that it won't operate below -22°F. So the Clarity isn't the only place where that specific temperature is used as a "too cold to work" point.

    My unheated garage only dropped to -9 this morning so I cannot run a definitive test to see if -22 is a magic number for the Clarity.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  10. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    -30 C will freeze the electrolyte in most li-ion cells, rendering them unable to discharge until they thaw (they aren't water based so don't expand on freezing, it is reversible). The US car doesn't have a battery heater, so if you left it outside and unused at temps below -30 C your li-ion could freeze meaning the car won't start.

    If you drive it regularly, the battery will warm from use and it should remain above freezing, although ICE will run to produce the electricity that the li-ion might not supply until the battery warms up enough to provide all the power. Capacity at -20 C is only a small fraction of what it is at 25 C. I think this is why engine starts at low temps, heater plus drive motor power is too much for cold battery.
  11. Starting it this morning at below zero air temperatures in Cincinnati, the engine came on immediately. I thought I recalled that the battery wouldn't work at these temps. My wife took it out, so I don't know if the battery kicked in after a while or not.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
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  13. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    Agreed. This matches my experience below about 10°F. Even after driving for a while and presumably heating the battery a little to increase the power it can provide, I think that the ICE cycles on and off to maintain the temperature in the fluid that is providing cabin heat to minimize that load on the battery. I had the ICE come to life while I was sitting stopped at a traffic light where the only power demand from the battery would be for cabin heat.
  14. jray19

    jray19 Member

    Last evening left work Temp -2 degree F. Battery near full. EV range showing 26miles on the GOM. 25 mile drive home
    - Engine started immediately
    - power flow from battery and engine during early part of drive
    - Then after about 10 minutes would occasionally flip to EV but only a small fraction of the power meter
    - The more and more EV driving with the power meter showing 5-6 white tick marks at the top end of the range. Engine came on from time to time without heavy acceleration, I speculate just to keep engine warm.
    - By end of drive no more white tick marks and all EV driving
    - EV range on the GOM at end of trip 5.8 miles
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  15. Emanuel Green

    Emanuel Green Member

    I have an unheated attached garage. Temperature in the morning was 28 degrees F inside, -8 outside. I started off unplugged with about 70% charge.
    - Preheated cabin for ~10 minutes before leaving. The cabin was still fairly cold, but definitely warmer than the garage!
    - Engine kicked on as soon as I got down the driveway
    - Engine noise was maybe a bit more than usual, but not "angry bees" or anything. Engine RPM was strongly correlated with power demand, which was a little unusual.
    - Commute was 13 miles, the middle 8 or so on the highway.
    - Power was used from both the battery and the engine. In my 13-mile commute I used about 18 miles of HV range and 10 miles of EV range.
    - A couple of times it flipped over to EV mode for just a few seconds, was like, "nope!", and turned the engine back on almost immediately
    - I experimented with lowering the climate control temp. With the cabin set to 70, engine was running all the time. When I turned off climate control or lowered the temperature to about 60, the car switched back to EV mode. This leads me to believe that the engine is primarily being run to generate heat for the cabin, rather than because the battery is unable to supply enough power to drive (though my battery was probably not less than 20 degrees due to overnighting in the garage
    - When I arrived at work, the charge port door was frozen shut and didn't pop open as usual. I was able to pry it open without much difficulty.
    - It's been plugged in (240v, 30A) for about 4 hours now and is still only 85% charged!

    I'm looking forward to seeing how it performs on the way home! :)
    Randy Stegbauer and KentuckyKen like this.
  16. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    Hmmm......except for the @Viking79 photo of driving his i3 at -24F, these reports are from fairly routine cold weather operation. Interesting, but the real good stuff will come from reports of the Clarity operation when it's lower than -22F. I wonder if anyone will actually do that in this weather?
  17. RichL

    RichL Member

    Hi Ken,

    My report of the Canadian PHEV Clarity from Toronto.

    Built: May 2018, 6,000 km in 6 months
    No updates - still as-is from factory (and works fine)
    Temps: today Jan 30: -5C in garage, -20C outside, 0C at work with max morning low last week at -24C
    Level 1 overnight 7-to-7 with 40 % charge remaining.
    Battery warmer works wonders. Gets a steady 52-54 km GOM reading each morning this past 2 weeks with no pre-cond.

    Any warning messages: at shut downs to "plug in vehicle due to low ambient temperatures"

    Wipers work but prefer the old washer jets. With these Smart wipers, the first wipe up is always dry - not nice when the windshield is cover with road salt spray. Btw, the washer bottle to way too small for winter. Don't enjoying getting out to refill in these temps.

    Mornings run, start in EV, switch to HV for highway and back to EV near office.
    No issues with any modes, ICE does rev up with throttle (but no angry-bees) when accelerating from stop and uphill. Regen works fine as long as the battery is not full.

    Run heated seats for 1st minute only to take the edge off.
    Run with climate control set to 16.5 C dash/footwell with lowest fan speed drawing in fresh air (no recirc as windows mists up quickly) sync'ed both sides - no need for defrosters unless it snows. 40 minutes each way commute with heater switched on and I get home with about 40% charge using EV-HV-EV, 20 km each way.

    Tip - have CC temp set the same on both driver and passenger side (sync). Its more efficient. The central heater runs to blow warm air until the higher side temp is reached while the low temp side still blows but blows slightly colder air until temp drops below threshold. The high temp side air warm get mixed with the colder low temp side air to reduce overall average cabin temp - ultimately wasting heat.

    Driveability quirks:
    I've been testing the car on various snow/ice surfaces with my 215/55-17 snows.
    VSA works great at speed and help control stability gradually - works seamlessly without sharp transitions - even when deliberately provoked. ; )

    However, VSA's traction control is too aggressive for standing starts in snowy, icy slush or hard packed conditions. The systems cut power to the drive wheels to prevent wheel slip to the point where the car does not move. I found it quiet dangerous when entering intersections from a side street with cars bearing down on you.

    As a fix, I now drive with VSA switched off in stop and go wintery conditions which disables the traction control but the stability control still works (indicated the the flashing yellow fish-tailing car warning light). This way the car accelerates from a standing start with wheel spin which is easily control by throttle adjustment. The take-offs are more consistent, reliable and also quicker. Maybe I'm not use-to accelerating a 4000 lb FWD car in wintery conditions with VSA on as my previous SUV was 4WD.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  18. weave

    weave Active Member

    20 miles on a full charge today. That has to be a record.

    My range estimate said 40.5 but one of my trip reminders auto resets after each charge, and by the time I got home, the trip meter said 18 miles on it and I had just two miles of range left.

    Now granted I pre-heated it no less than four different times. One was from a cold start, but the other three were mainly keeping the pre-heater running while I ran into some stores a few times. Basically after getting out of the car, I immediately locked it then turned on the pre-heater so it least wouldn't have to bring up the temperature from zero (literally) again.
  19. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    To paraphrase J. Robert Oppenheimer’s famous quote from the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita as he watched the first nuclear detonation, “Now I have become cabin heating, the destroyer of EV range.”
  20. ClarityBill

    ClarityBill Active Member

    I am out of town, and left my Clarity outside overnight. Fell to -10F, but got up to -6F when I left. Plugged in with factory Level 1 charger. Build date 1/18, bought 'new' in 10/18. 9606 miles now. Seems to have all the updates, but I do have problems on some ChargePoint chargers. No warning messages, but the wipers did not move. I broke wipers free of ice before I hopped in car. Car would not precondition on level 1 charger. ICE started immediately when I pressed the button. I drove 'easy' but graph is attached. I included another line - Load: I am not sure what this is, but it appears to be generator load. Value is zero if the ICE is not running. EV range was 28.9 (normal lately) and dropped to 28.7 during drive.

    Attached Files:

    KentuckyKen likes this.
  21. ClarityBill

    ClarityBill Active Member

    I forgot to mention it is an American Clarity, and I am in Upstate NY - Catskill Mountains last night.
  22. su_A_ve

    su_A_ve Active Member

    Last night got home with about 6 EV miles left. A couple of hours later I moved the car so I could charge it overnight. As soon as I hit the power button, ICE kicked in. Range still showed 6 EV and had 4 bars of battery.

    Move the car to the driveway and plugged it in, scheduling for only 5 hours of L1 charge (I get free L2 charging at work).

    This morning at 7am temp was 4F. Charging had stopped and had 21 EV miles on it. Had it warmed up for about 15 minutes since inside it was showing 4F. It slowly went up but barely got to 20F. When I unplugged I had put in 6.88 kWh. The night before when ICE had kicked in, I turned off climate control.

    As soon as I hit the power button, ICE kicked in. Climate control was still off from the night before. Turned it on. Stayed in HV mode all the time, using both engine and battery as we drove semi suburban. Eventually it switched to EV mode, but a second later back out to HV. No high demand on power or anything other than heater on trying to get to 70F. Every 5 minutes or so it would do the same. Switch to EV and back to HV. Econ mode was on. HV mode was off.

    Stopped for coffee and after that the next restart it stayed in EV. But only for a couple of miles until I entered the highway (even though I didn't get past the middle). Back to HV. A couple of miles later arriving to work, it switched to EV mode, ICE turned off, but blue bar never came back.

    US model
    May '18 build (I never checked but 90% sure it's that - bought July '18)
    All updates applied
    Car was outside overnight. Initially both outside and inside temps were 4F. Outside later went up to about 8F.
    Cabin temp set to 70F
    Econ mode on

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  23. su_A_ve

    su_A_ve Active Member

    How did you get those stats or graph?

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