Range in Tahoe

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Douglas Firs, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Douglas Firs

    Douglas Firs Member

    I went 67 miles on EV, going up and down the hills around the lake. 1.8 to spare but probably could have hit 70 (had to make a stop off a several miles from home and didn’t want to run on engine.) I’ve heard that lower oxygen at higher altitude = less drag. There’s also little wind and, of course, lots of regen going down those hills. I’m pleased.

    I am not so pleased by the intense burning plastic smell that came from the engine as we were ascending from the Central Valley...dissipated after a gas stop but added to my anxiety about this car’s ability to perform under strenuous conditions.

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  2. Wenjun

    Wenjun New Member

    I always wonder if the plastic burning smell is normal. It smells like burning tire. I noticed the first day when I bought my clarity driving back from LA to Sacramento. I drove with empty battery all the way to Sacramento. It doesn't look like it is normal, and I notice the burning smell when you push the engine.
  3. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    If the burning smell continues after you have driven many miles using the engine, you should have it looked at. If you smell burning when the engine hasn't been running at all, have it looked at immediately.
  4. ukon

    ukon Member


    Do you live in Tahoe? If not I am curious how much range it took off to get to Tahoe in HV mode from Sacramento? (and probable temp/speed from then.) 6000-7000 feet I guess. If you use I-80 instead of us 50, I think it is 8000 feet at Doner pass. A good data point to understand loss of range on outliers.
  5. Agzand

    Agzand Active Member

    You should read my trip report to Mammoth.


    Basically my car kept the EV range around 40 miles through the entire trip to mammoth.

    Going back I climbed from Tahoe basin to near Echo summit in EV mode. I lost about 15 miles of EV range (from about 38 to 21) climbing about 1200 ft.

    I smelled the burning clutch also after long uphills. I assume it is the clutch that engages the gear mode. It was relatively new (the gear mode doesn't engage under load unless you do long uphills), so I assumed the smell is normal.
    ukon likes this.
  6. ukon

    ukon Member

    Great trip report. That answered my question. I lost 4-5 miles max and regained most back on CA-1 hills. Tahoe test in few weeks.

    One of the issues I also have is the battery load if we go uphills in EV mode. I would imagine discharge rate will be much higher and sometimes there is no way to avoid engine start up. Although the battery will protect itself from extremes, I still doubt if this is good way to do hills. Engines can strain far more than battery from our consumer cost point of view.
  7. ukon

    ukon Member

    Also, in sport mode I think the car is completely different machine. I felt more like I am sitting on a Bike! the torque is crazy but levels off quite quickly; just like driving a dirt bike.
    Agzand likes this.
  8. Agzand

    Agzand Active Member

    Going uphill eats the battery. The gravitational potential energy stored in the vehicle is equal to weight x elevation. Going up 1000 ft in a 4500 lb loaded car means 4,500,000 ft.lb of potential energy is stored in the car. This is equal to 1.7 kWh (1,000,000 ft.lb = 0.377 kWh). Assuming this is at close to 4% grade (like Highway 50 for example) or about 5 miles, you need to add another 5 x 31 /100 = 1.55 kWh for normal drive train loss and air resistance. So in a typical mountain highway situation the car uses about 3 - 3.25 kWh to climb 1000 ft (varies slightly depending on slope). Assuming the car has 12 kWh usable battery capacity, you can climb about 3,500 to 4,000 ft using battery only, which means about 18 miles at 4% slope. If you can force the engine to run (for example if you put in sport mode and push the accelerator aggressively to start the engine) probably you can climb for longer. But this is the ball park on how much we should expect from this car.
    ukon likes this.

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