test drive question

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by ProspectiveBuyer, Jun 9, 2018.

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  1. I've been trying to make a decision on whether to purchase the Clarity for a while now. The sticking point for me has been this whole "angry bees"/high revving. Tonight, the salesman contacted me because the charge was low and he knew that I wanted to test it on a low charge. There were two bars. But I wasn't sure if this meant the battery was completely depleted or not. How can you tell? Is there somewhere on the dash display where it says the electric range is at zero? And if it's at 2 bars, is it likely the battery was depleted?
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  3. Dreamgt

    Dreamgt New Member

    Yea, it was "completely depleted". The battery saves a small percentage of charge to allow the car to operate in Hybrid mode, you can tell by cycling on the digital dash menu to the range view, or in the infotainment system you can go to Info>Energy Something and you can see the "EV Range" and "HV Range", "EV Range" would of said 0, even with the 2 bars you saw. Honestly, the high revving has only happened once or twice with me so far in a week of 750 miles. I didn't hear anything until I turned off the radio after the battery died going higher speeds on the freeway. Sure the acceleration will feel a little lethargic, but you need to think of the gas pedal as a glorified gasoline / electric golf cart then it starts to make a bit of sense :p.
  4. DaleL

    DaleL Active Member

    To hear what has been described as "angry bees", when you test drive a Clarity, just floor the accelerator. That is the only driving situation in which the engine is noisy. When the high voltage battery is depleted, the Clarity transitions to the HV mode. The high voltage battery retains enough charge for rapid acceleration. The engine then recharges it enough to keep it from becoming truly 100% depleted. The HV mode can be switched on even with the battery fully charged. I normally do that on the interstate on trips over 50 miles.. That saves the battery for later.
  5. KenG

    KenG Member

    4 months, 2000 miles... never heard the bee’s... this is a forum out of 10k Clarities sold... only a fraction have gotten on line to talk about it.... Buy the car... It’s Great!

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
    CaryLyn, AndyBA and Gearhead like this.
  6. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I wouldn’t worry about the angry bees. Almost all of us are not experiencing this. I’ve never heard it in 2,400 miles and had to put an hour meter on the engine just so I could tell when it runs. In HV mode it’s barely noticeable in mine and sounds less noisy than the fast idle in my old CR-V, probably because of the superior sound proofing of the Clarity.

    At 2 bars the useful charge of the HV battery is depleted to 0, and the car will enter HV Mode automatically. The total battery capacity is about 17 kW and we are allowed to use about 14kW. This protects the battery.

    On the interstate at 70 mph when EV depleted the battery to 0 and 2 bars , I experienced no loss of power and no excessive engine noise in HV Mode. The car cycled seamlessly through several power regimes and drive normally.

    You can see for yourself by test driving until it reaches 2 bars and enters HV.
    To me, this is the perfect car for comfort, quietness, roominess, economy and the environment.
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  8. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    On a recent trip from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas and back (about 800 miles), I experienced the angry bee (engine rpm between 4500 and 6500) for about 70% of the trip. I think the problem is I live at about 5000 feet and the trip took me over mountain ranges that exceeded 6500 feet. An ICE looses power at higher altitudes and clutch on the car which connects the engine directly to the wheels would not stay engaged. The speed limit for most of the trip was 80 mph with a few sections at 75 mph and a little distance at 70. The 1500 cc engine in the Clarity has a difficult time pulling a 4000 pound car at those speeds and altitude. I started the trip with 62 miles of EV and it slowly decreased over the trip to 17 miles. I never was below that.
    So, would I purchase the car again? Yes, I love the car around town and on short highway trips in EV mode, but I doubt I will take it on a long trip again.
    Johnhaydev likes this.
  9. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    I am taking the car on vacation on Monday. It will be the first extended trip that I have driven personally. My wife took it on a few 3-4 hour drives without me already. My route will take me over the Appalachian Mountains so I am curious to see (or rather, hear) how it will do. I will probably put around 1200 miles on it over the course of the next week.
  10. Johnhaydev

    Johnhaydev Active Member

    I test drove the clarity PHEV yesterday. Like others have mentioned, this local dealer did not have the car charged. The battery was at two bars. I drove the car up a steep hill at a pace of 40 to 50 miles an hour. You could certainly hear the engine but I don’t think it was terribly loud: it’s no worse than when I drive up The same hill with my Lincoln MKZ hybrid. I am planning to buy a new car in a few months. I am uncertain if it will be the clarity PHEV versus the Honda Accord hybrid. I like the drivers seat lumbar adjustability and slightly better infotainment features on the Accord. I have bad depth perception. The clarity back up camera is good and I know you can get the parking distance sensors installed in the rear bumper by the dealer. However the touring trim of the accord hybrid has them already installed at the factory. In the end, I’ll have to decide whether not having the PHEV ability in the clarity outweighs the features in the accord hybrid.
  11. LAF

    LAF Active Member

    The key difference is that you will never drive in EV mode in the Accord Hybrid which makes driving in the Clarity ( 100% of the time in EV up to 50 miles a day) a true delight.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
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  13. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    I traded in a 2014 Camry Hybrid which got about 40 mpg in town and on the road which cost me between $35 and $40 per month for gas. I purchased the Clarity in December 2017 and installed a 240 volt charger that measures the KWh used to charge the car. My highest monthly charge for power used has been $11.40.
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  14. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Bpratt, did you start your trip in EV and switch to HV at some point or did you start in HV and the terrain climb used up the battery faster than HV could keep up with? We’re the angry bees constant or did they come and go for that 70%? Thanks, just trying to figure out what the ol’ Clarity is doing.
    (On fairly level interstates at 70mph I get a much lower ICE rpm in HV.)
  15. Tailwind

    Tailwind Active Member

    How did you determine the engine RPM?
  16. AnthonyW

    AnthonyW Well-Known Member

    I have never heard anything exceptionally loud from the car.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  17. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    I drove about 4 miles to the freeway in EV mode and once I hit about 50 mph I switched to HV mode. We then ran in HV mode for the entire trip. I had high engine rpm or angry bee for about 70% of the trip. The only time the clutch would finally engage was after driving down hill for about a mile. On level ground the rpms ran at about 4500 to 5000 and climbing up hill they would increase to about 6500.
    When I was younger I use to race cars including several with 4 cylinder engines. I always had a tachometer and could tell the engine rpms within about 100 without looking. Actually the 6500 I reported was a conservative guess.
    Ken, you mentioned your get much lower ICE rpm in HV mode at 70 mph. I did too at the first part of the trip. The high rpms really did not start until the EV gauge dropped below 40. Then they seldom went back down for the rest of the trip.
  18. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Bpratt, so either the added power requirement of going uphill by itself or along with the partial depletion of the battery triggered the angry bees. Just a guess.
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  19. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    I think the 1500 cc engine doesn't develop enough power to push the car at 75 to 80 miles per hour at 5000 + feet of altitude without using some additional power from the motor. The only way the car can keep the battery from being depleted is to disconnect the clutch and run the engine at high speed to feed the motor with power from the generator.
  20. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Sounds very plausible. So I will guess you get angry bees with the combination of altitude (partial loss of ICE power) and substantial uphill (extra power required) while I’m under 1,000 ft with no large hills and never get the angry bees.
  21. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    Yes, but not just uphill. I also get the angry bees on level ground above 5,500 feet once the EV reading has dropped below 40.
  22. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the additional data point. If we accumulate enough maybe we can kind of reverse engineer what our Claritys are doing and why.
  23. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Do you know if the engine will run continuously to provide engine braking as you descend a mountain if you start with a fully charged battery?

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