Two different experiences with engine usage

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by BrettB, Oct 23, 2018.

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  1. BrettB

    BrettB New Member

    I had an interesting day of Clarity driving today. I have a little over 2k miles on the car, nearly all of which has been electric, so that's the personality of the car that I know and love. Today brought two different alternate experiences: the good and the bad of the ICE.

    1) Since I was at 1/2 battery on a longer-than-battery-range drive this morning, I put the car into hybrid mode for ~15 highway miles. This is the longest I'd run in hybrid mode so far, and it worked great! I observed that the blue-to-white transition point on the power curve adjusts dynamically and the car was cycling the engine on during uphill stretches, off when coasting, but it was completely smooth, quiet, and not noticeable. Nice.

    2) I didn't have time to recharge and was running a local errand tonight when I hit 0 EV range. Under this condition, the hybrid experience was far less nice. With the battery run down, even with fairly mild acceleration the engine would rev quite high. I don't know if this is "angry bees" level, but it's higher than I've heard before, and was loud enough to be significantly noticeable and distracting as it came and went (I didn't have any audio on at the time). Now I understand what people - and reviewers - complain about with driving when the battery is low. Can't imagine what I would have thought if the car I test drove had been in this state.

    My take-away from both of these experiences is absolutely consistent with what others have said: use hybrid mode anytime it's likely battery won't suffice, and turn it on well before hitting 0 EV range. There's nothing like having your own experience to make good advice sink in!
    Kendalf, insightman and ClarityDoc like this.
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  3. neal adkins

    neal adkins Active Member

    I think you've got it. Another advantage when using hybrid mode preemptively is not only keeping the car's performance up but also a good habit to enhance battery longevity.
  4. Heino

    Heino Active Member

    I’ve gone on a road trip and let the battery run down to 0 and let the car automatically switch to HV mode. Worked great... and performance was acceptable for highway driving. Engine sound was not very noticeable.

    But, for stop and go traffic I can see that being different. Either way, the engineering put into the Clarity is amazing!
  5. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    I agree with your experience on the flats because you don't need much power to cruise and the little engine is sufficient to generate the electricity under that load. Where the battery is needed in HV mode is when you drive on upgrades. If your battery is depleted, you'll be in the slow lane with those semis inching up the grade and the ICE will be racing just for that. With at least half a battery charge, it will supplement the ICE to power you up those hills, keeping up with the sports cars with the ICE humming nicely. I've found an added benefit of maintaining a charge is better gasoline mileage in HV. It can use up some EV miles and then recharge when most efficient. With a depleted battery, it doesn't have that option so your mileage suffers.

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