True MPG of Clarity PHEV fully charged

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by geminiwave, Aug 7, 2018.

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  1. geminiwave

    geminiwave New Member

    Hey guys,

    Apologies if this already was discussed, but I used the search function and got nothing.

    I understand that once you use the ~47 miles of electric range then it switches over to gas and it's rated for ~44MPG. Does it have different MPG if you use it in Hybrid mode when the battery is fully charged?

    Also, is there anyone keeping track of MPG over time? I frequented some prius forums back in the day and there were loads of threads showing how the Gen 2 and 3 Prius often exceeded their ratings. Just wondering how the Clarity PHEV is faring.

    I am having some trouble procuring mine because I'm picky about color (Solar Silver FTW) but a fellow forum member helped me get a great deal and the dealership is super close to getting me the exact model I want for a good price.
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  3. phevophile

    phevophile New Member

    EV range is far better than EPA estimate under most conditions. I live in a hot area but get 55-65 miles/charge. The estimated EV range on the dash is pretty close to reality, in my experience. Of course it will be less in very cold conditions and it also depends on how you drive the car. Don't know about hybrid mileage because I never use it. There is a bug in the HV range estimation on the dash that can be fixed by the dealer, I understand.
    pinrut likes this.
  4. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    After a few 500 to 1,000 Mike trips we are getting about 44-45 mpg. About 90 % of those trips are at 70-75 mph.

    The car is either in EV mode or some form of hybrid mode. There is only one condition when the car is in (almost) full gas engine mode and that is HV Charge. Even then there are times when the car reverts to EV mode for short periods of time. When in HV Charge the car gets about 30 mpg.

    Whether EV or HV or HV Charge the car is propelled by an electric motor. The gas engine only acts like a generator to send power to the battery and the electric motor. The engine isn't driving the wheels.

    At higher speeds, like 70 mph or so, there is a clutch that may be engaged which does connect the gas engine directly to the wheels, but even then the electric motor is still in use.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  5. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Gas mileage while using EV is sketchy. If it takes you a full charge and 1 gallon of gas to drive 90 miles, that could be 90 mpg plus 14 kWh of electricity (amount used to charge usable portion of battery, experimentally obtained, up to maybe 15 kWh in some cases).

    You can convert the kWh into gallons of gas equivalent (energy content, not cost) by dividing used kWh by 33.7 kWh/gallon, which would give you 1 gallon gas + 14/33.7 = 1.42 gallons equivalent or 63.4 MPGe (this is representative of how much total energy used).
  6. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    This may help answer your question.

    My last trip was an about 500 mile round trip with about half Interstate at 70 mph and half 2 or 4 lane roads at 60-70 with significant hills and a few towns to go through. I started with a full charge in HV mode and finished with just a loss of 2 bars and ~3 kW at end of trip. I did have to sit in a traffic jam on the Interstate coming home for about 20 min which didn’t help things.
    Made the whole trip with only the AC as the only non-motive drain on the battery.
    I recorded the milage and gas and got 49 mpg. I also have an hour meter on the ICE and it ran on and off for a total of ~2/3 of the trip.
    Having a full charge or close to it allowed the car’s algorithm to constantly switch between all of the power flows so as to achieve the best possible efficiency. Also, I never heard the ICE rev up to what is called the “angry bees” sound. On the Interstate, it was barely audible and sounded like a fast idle. On one long, steep hill climb, it did rev up to a medium hum, but only for a short time and it was not odjectionable.

    As to EV driving, I’m tracked kW, milage, and the EV Range for several months. I’ve found the EV range tracks closely to the odometer reading as long as your driving style and conditions remain fairly constant. I find the EV range usually overstates the actual miles I can drive, but only by a few miles. With AC usage on days in the 80s/90s, I’m getting an EV Range consistently in the low to mid 60s and driving up into the mid 50s without getting below2 bars remaining and the ICE coming on. I haven’t tried driving until the ICE comes on to see how far I could actually go on a full charge.
    I’m also finding that I’m using 0.25 to 0.27 kW per mile traveled. At my electric rates that’s just 2.3 to 2.5 cents per mile for all my local driving. Of course that will be more in the winter when I use the heater.
    Since the EPA uses 31kW per 100 miles (Mulroney sticker) to calculate the 110 MPGe and I’m only using 26kW, then in the summer with AC, I figure I’m getting over 130 MPGe.

    The Clarity is a very economical car!
    (If you resist the temptation to go over 70)
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
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  8. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    I misread the question a bit, drive it however you want. I got 40+ mpg at 80 mph with a flat battery or half a battery in hv mode. I might have done slightly better with more battery, but conditions were different as well.

    Only time I got noticeably worse mpg was alternating between hv charge and EV. This got me around 35 mpg or less (about 20% worse, which corresponds to round trip losses to battery and back).
  9. jeff10236

    jeff10236 Member

    It is hard to judge the "real" mileage. Before I got mine, it mattered to me, especially since I can't plug in at home (apartment) and figured I'd only get one or two charges a week at public chargers (I actually charge somewhere between every day and every other day). If you charge and are effectively getting 100mpg, then you are getting 100mpg (to figure your total cost or energy use you do need to add your electricity back- but I don't like the MPGe figures people and the gov't push since they mean little in the real world- the electrical energy equivalent to a gallon of gas tells me nothing about electric measurements, kWh does, or my cost). That said, on trips when I could use little electricity, charged up before I left (and maybe once or twice there) and drove totally in HV mode I've been in the 50-60mpg range. Mixing it up with EV use in town and HV on the highway, I've been running 100-150mpg for the past few tanks. I haven't had a long trip (500+ miles each way) with little to no recharging yet. I will be driving to MN (1100 miles each way) in a week or two where I'll charge up before I leave, and I'll charge at my uncle's house when I'm there (if he has an outlet that will let the charger reach), but I'll be able to do very little charging in between. From what I've seen I suspect it will be very close to the EPA estimates.

    Oh, even though it wasn't really part of your question, since several people addressed it, I have found the computer seems to estimate electric range pretty accurately. Further, on a full charge, I've seen everything from 42 to 54 and change. Most of the time I'm in the 49-52 mile range.
  10. Atkinson

    Atkinson Active Member

    I'm glad someone asked this because I have been wondering if HV mode takes a little juice and skews my MPG on some trips.
    It looks HV mode may borrow battery power and not pay all of it back in some cases.
    If so it ends up being an accounting issue that makes my MPG look better than it actually is.
  11. geminiwave

    geminiwave New Member

    Wow, the brain trust supplied some good data. Thanks everyone! I'm excited to get my car delivered.

    The main reason I was asking is that I am coming from an 07 prius which gets in the high 50s for MPG normally, but more in the high 40s for the kind of driving I do now (more aggressive). For the most part I anticipate I'll be running off electric-only, but for the drives up to Canada, I know I'll be using gas.
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  13. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Generally speaking, compared to the Prius, the Clarity will get a little less gasoline mpg, but be more than offset by a whole lot better electric MPGe. You would have to do more than around around 80% HV vs EV driving to get worse mpg than the Prius.

    So for most is us, the Clarity wins the mpg contest. And it’s a real car with a real back seat and trunk instead of that little Prius. Not to mention it’s quieter, rides better, and looks better inside and out. Sorry Prius, your hayday has come and gone as evidenced by your declining sales. RIP. (But thanks for leading the revolution.)
    Viking79 likes this.
  14. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    For me the gas mileage really sinks after 70 mph. Last weekend, at 75 and 80 mph (those are legal limits here in West Texas) I averaged 37-39 mpg (by the old fill up and divide manual calculations). Even at 70 I was pushing it to get to 40 mpg.

    These are not complaints, as I am driving a full 5 passenger mid-size sedan, in the lap of luxury (and quietness), which is a far cry from the ride in my Prius when it was new...with my Prius at 80 I bested 42 mpg only a few times, so I am a happy little clam in the desert...
  15. Atkinson

    Atkinson Active Member

    Wind resistance squares with speed.
    Speed and the resultant toll of pushing air quickly out of the way takes a big hit out of MPG.
  16. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    I've noticed that if you go into HV mode immediately after a full charge, the car will take some miles off and not give it back. I believe it wants that buffer to maximize gas mileage by being able to maximize regenerative braking (a long downhill for example). However, if you're below 80%, it seems to hold the charge quite well (might take a few miles off after a long run, depending on conditions). BTW, I got 52 mpg as an average of two 200 mile loops in HV mode. That was with significant battery charge and going about 50-60 mph on rolling country roads. The mileage was determined by actual fill ups and not by the car's computer.That Ken got 49 mpg going 60-70 mph is even more impressive because speed is a killer for HV mileage.
  17. LAF

    LAF Active Member

    If you have steep hills to climb during your trip even in HV mode the EV will run down. Over the long haul you could end up using the ICE for mountain climbing more because of this. But overall this is a great car for long trips in HV as well as all EV around town
  18. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I had plenty of steep hill climbs between Corbin KY and Elizabethton TN and did not loose any appreciable EV range, bars, or kWs. I started with nearly a full battery and ended just down a bar.
    As @PHEV Newbie stated, I may have done better to start after 5 miles or so of EV to give the battery room to accept charge as needed.
  19. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Right. It doesn't matter what kind of car you drive, gasmobile or PHEV or BEV, energy efficiency (measured in either MPG or miles per kW) is going to be significantly lower at higher highway speeds.

  20. Vezz66

    Vezz66 Member

    My longest trip was 320km, overall average 3.2L/100km (70mpg) with EV range down to zero.

    With daily charging, overall average on 3 months is over 200mpg, I’ve spent 20 gallons total and an estimated 1000kWh.

    Running until the battery is empty and continuing on HV will not get the best mpg.

    Our highway speeds are lower here, 100km/h.
  21. Numbernine

    Numbernine Member

  22. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you may need the Canadian equivalent of our HV milage range bug fix update. Don’t know what your Service Bulletin # is though.
  23. jray19

    jray19 Member

    I seem to be getting excellent HV MPG on my Clarity like 50+. I calculate as follows. Set Trip computer when I turn on HV Mode and note the remaining EV range. At end of trip take the Miles driven divided by the MPG for the trip from the computer to get the fuel used, then subtract the EV miles (in HV mode it usually uses a couple EV miles from the range I started when I pushed the HV button) and divide that by the fuel uses. So today I traveled 50 miles in HV mode and the trip computer said I obtained 55.1 mpg EV range started at 16 and ended at 13.5.
    50/55.1 = .9074 gallons of fuel. 50-2.5 = 47.5 HV miles 47.5/.9074 = 52.3 HV mpg. Seem like a reasonable way to do it or should I not trust the trip computer?

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