Report from the Desert, while pushing the Clarity to the Limit

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Geor99, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. Geor99

    Geor99 Active Member

    I had to travel for work out to the Desert. At one point, I was literally in the middle of nowhere. So, I decided to see what the Clarity had (Hint: it's not a Lamborghini.)

    And yes, I know that it is a commuter car that's not designed for high speeds. And I know that it performs much better with a fully charged battery .

    Within a few minutes of 100+ mph driving, the last of my battery was drained. I did manage to get to over 100 mph though.

    At one point, I was going up a hill with no battery left at 95mph; and the engine was screaming and riding very roughly.

    This must be the famous "angry bees." I then punched the gas, and the car just couldnt accelerate anymore.

    I literally never drive this way; but over a 15 minute period; I lost my conservative driving manner.

    I love the car; but a high speed sports car it is not. Obviously, everyone already knows this; but the high speeds quickly eat up ev miles. And the ICE by itself while going 95+mph is not a Ferrari:)

    It was interesting to see what it would do, while pushing it to its limits.
    dnb, Pegsie, Domenick and 3 others like this.
  2. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    You may need to change your forum handle to Enzo, Stirling, or Mario. Thanks for the info for us under 75 mph drivers. Now I don’t feel tempted to try this myself.
  3. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    I believed that the Clarity cut off EV power at 100 mph (I think Car & Driver said that). My gen-1 Insight does that. You're teasing us with "100+ mph." What was the biggest number you saw on the speedometer? Do you think you could have gone faster if you'd started your banzai run with a fully charged battery?
  4. Geor99

    Geor99 Active Member

    I don't want to give you bad info. I know for certain that I got to 101 mph.

    I was pretty nervous as I believe that you go directly to jail at that speed.

    I think that I got to 104. But I will only swear to 101:) I definitely was in the 95-101 range for a minute or 2.

    If you are going downhill, I bet you could get to 110.

    I was also nervous about blowing out a tire in the middle of nowhere without a spare, as I had an important meeting to get to:)

    I'm sure that others have gone faster than me. I see oeople on the freeway going faster than this occasionally.

    Just not in a large, plug-in hybrid:)
    insightman likes this.
  5. Geor99

    Geor99 Active Member

    It really loses its acceleration big time at 95, obviously. That little engine screams above 95.

    I wish that I had paid more attention to the speed after breaking 100. I really wanted to hit triple digits, which I did .

    But I'm a wimp. I was sweating bullets worrying about there being a cop around every turn:) I just toggled between 95 and 101 for a couple of minutes. I think that I hit 103 or 104, but I'm not certain:)
  6. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    The battery drain at that speed is tremendous, no matter the vehicle for sure. I've seen YouTube videos of Tesla Model 3's going in excess of 100mph on the German Autobahn. The decrease in the battery meter on the display is very FAST.

    No different from ICE vehicles. A Challenger Hellcat can drain its tank in short order at over 100mph.
  7. fotomoto

    fotomoto Active Member

    The EV portion in my Energi is good to 84mph; after that, it's pure ICE but I've never tried to see what the top end is on it. One thing it's really good at is 60-80 mph passing power. That's a very important real world spec most reviewers don't test or speak about; another is 0-40 mph.
  8. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    The 0-40 acceleration on the Clarity is one of my favorite aspects of the vehicle. Plus, it isn't making a lot of racket like any ICE vehicle does when you punch the go pedal. The 'stealth' acceleration catches ICE drivers off guard and allows me to squirt ahead in traffic when I need to get over a lane.
    Walt R and fotomoto like this.
  9. Dante

    Dante Member

    You were trying hard to break that car down... Can't say I'd be inclined to "stress test" my hard earned dollars that way.
  10. Dante

    Dante Member

    Red or Blue key??? LOL
    Mowcowbell likes this.
  11. Geor99

    Geor99 Active Member

    I did it once for just a handful of minutes. Going 100mph one time shouldn't harm the car, I hope.
  12. Geor99

    Geor99 Active Member

    Is going that fast a ticket to a jail cell, or is that an urban legend?

    I never plan to do it again, barring a life or death emergency, but I'm curious.
  13. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    I guess it depends on the state, and whether or not you have out of state plates on your vehicle. In West Texas where the speed limit is 85mph, I doubt you would have got more than a ticket or maybe a warning if lucky.
  14. Danks

    Danks Member

    This is what happens when both car and driver go into Sport Mode at the same time.
  15. vin seeram

    vin seeram Member

    Interesting test Geor99 . I will take mine up and down Pike's peak , in colorado, some day and see how it behaves.
  16. Geor99

    Geor99 Active Member

    I lived in Manitou for several years. I've driven that several times. I bet it would burn out the Regen braking system:)
  17. JCA

    JCA Member

    Yes, very interesting report. I'm planning a more thorough report myself, but we just took ours through Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Parks last weekend, sea level to 7000 feet and back, including a 5500 foot elevation gain over 18 miles and a 4000 foot descent over 10 miles, with 4 people and luggage in the car. I thought it handled well and sounded pretty much how I expected -- the "bees" were busy on the ascent, but they seemed excited to help out rather than angry! We started the ascent with battery SOC around 1/2 and it did go down despite being in HV mode, so I do believe that starting from empty (2 bars) on a long ascent could be different. Gained a lot of the battery charge back the next day on the descent.

    The regen is definitely computer limited after a while -- on the 10mi 4000ft descent after a few minutes of a normal range of regen it started maxing out half way to the first segment of green, with no change when pedal braking around hairpin curves like usual, likely meaning friction brakes were being applied. Since we gained about 6 bars of SOC (~5kWh) in about 30 minutes, I'm calculating that there's a time-averaged regen limit of on the order of 10kW.
  18. Geor99

    Geor99 Active Member

    Yes, it would seem dangerous for the battery life to recharge too quickly from a massive regen braking stretch.

    The batteries are not designed for the repeated "quick charge" that constant long downhill stretches would present.

    But Im far from an expert, and my statements are little more than guesses.
  19. JCA

    JCA Member

    Exactly, that's what I figured -- I waited until not steering my family down a twisty cliffside road to do the math, but it makes sense that while it can handle higher regen charging bursts, over the course of minutes the regen charge limit would be close-ish to the plug-in charger design limit.
  20. vin seeram

    vin seeram Member

    Did it just friction break or did the ICE turn on to provide engine breaking? Pure friction breaking can be unsafe on long steep declines.

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