What is the most efficient driving mode for long commute?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by MisterS, Oct 15, 2018.

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  1. MisterS

    MisterS New Member

    Approaching 2 months in my Clarity. Loving it. I am still mastering the art of Electric vs Gas in HV Mode. I drive 100 Miles each way/4 days a weeek (200 total). As I understand it, there are three options.

    1) Just Drive and let EV go until 0 then gas
    2) Push the HV button once and it will automatically decide between Gas/Electric
    3) HOLD the HV button and it keeps the EV charging

    In the end, not sure either will help me, but what is the best way to maximize driving for my situation? Thank you..
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  3. megreyhair

    megreyhair Active Member

    For long trips, I will do HV on highway and EV on locals until batt is drained. Then HV the rest of the way. With gas being so expensive, I don't think it is economical to do HV charge
  4. jorgie393

    jorgie393 Well-Known Member

    You will get many different answers here. Big picture: most agree that 3 is worst. I don’t think that anyone has compared 1 and 2 in terms of total energy/mile, in part because they use different fuel sources.

    That said, a large number of us do a modified #2: EV until you get on the highway, then HV until you get near destination, then back to EV for the end of trip esp. the city part. This minimizes engine noise (since it’s obscured by highway speed noises). Some claim that it probably most efficient also for various theoretical reasons (gives car most flexibility in choosing ICE/EV/clutch, as it’s not near battery “floor” so there are no constraints). This is my view.

    That said, there are some who swear by “1” as it wrings the last electron out of the battery, and these people don’t seem bothered by the engine noise at journey’s end.
    KentuckyKen and ClarityDoc like this.
  5. stacey burke

    stacey burke Active Member

    below 60 EV over 60 HV never HV charge unless you need to have extra power for mountains or hilly areas.
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  6. petteyg359

    petteyg359 Well-Known Member

    Consider that preemptively using HV mode may get better MPG overall than draining the battery early in bad traffic. If you drain the battery, the car can't back down to EV mode as often when you're in stop and go traffic. Was the difference between 42 MPG and 48 MPG on one of my longer trips.
    insightman and KentuckyKen like this.
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  8. Chuck

    Chuck Member

    Hi, I totally agree with petteyg359. I got 42-43MPG on a long trip after running the battery to 0. If I kept 20-25 miles of EV range before hitting the HV button I got 51MPG. ALSO, do you have hills? I switch to EV mode at the base of a 4-5 mile 5% grade. I run thru alot of the battery charge by the time I get to the top but recover a majority of it by regenerating it via the paddles on the way down. Going South down I-5 I hit the HV button sooner to keep most of the battery charge for helping with the hills. That way the gas engine does not rev up(or even come on most of the time). I never use the HV-Charge mode.
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  9. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    As others have already said: Whatever you do, avoid the HV Charge mode. That is the least energy-efficient way to drive, and should only be used for special circumstances.

    But to answer your overall question, I think the best response on this forum is here, altho that comment uses the term "EV" mode when it means "Econ" mode. As has been pointed out, there is actually no pure "EV mode" in the Clarity PHEV; the car will use whatever mode is most efficient under the circumstances. Even in Econ mode, that occasionally means running the gas engine.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  10. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    In addition to the above advice save 1/2 of the battery until the end. Set your GPS to the destination. When the GPS says the number of miles remaining until the destination is equal to the remaining EV miles turn HV off and finish the drive using just ECON/EV.
    Vezz66 and insightman like this.
  11. ClarityDoc

    ClarityDoc Active Member

    Agree, with caveat that the destination has charging available. If uncertain, I keep some charge until definitely within reach of L2 charger.

    Sent using Inside EVs mobile app
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  13. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    For our long trip, we went all HV, expecting we'd forget to return to HV after stopping and accidentally use up EV miles we'd want to have available later. Fortunately, the paper HV button I made to cover the D button reminded us to activate HV mode every time we stopped. For 640 miles, 75% on the highway at 70-75 mph, we averaged 49.6 mpg, which impressed me greatly. Matching that number would be difficult or impossible in our 2010 Insight.
  14. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I got the same results as @insightman. Started with a full tank and charge and switched to HV at hwy/Interstate. I also got 49 mpg on a 500 mile trip that was a round trip so topography and wind direction are cancelled out. I then used EV locally. If I wanted to squeeze the last drop or electron out of the possible efficiency, I would have switched to EV when in range of a destination charger. But I wanted to see what the gas mpg was in HV mode so I didn’t. BTW, I never heard the angry bees even on steep hills (only a medium-low sound like a gasmobile engine rpm increase downshifting for a hill), and had plenty of power at all times. It was interesting to see the algorithm switch between every possible energy flow seemlessly giving me the best performance and economy. Checking my hour meter, the ICE ran about 2/3s of the total HV trip time and so for 1/3 of the trip it was either regenning or being powered solely by the battery. Only went down one bar on the battery gauge for the whole trip. This car continues to amaze me.
  15. Breezy

    Breezy Member

    Similar stats on our 1k+ mi trip we've just returned from. (and also had the paper HV button, but one time forgot anyway). Averaged a bit over 50mpg.
    insightman likes this.
  16. ryd994

    ryd994 Active Member

    My commute is short, ~6mi one way, but I live close ro highway, and I don't recharge until empty. So my experience can add up to match a long commute experience.

    Recently, because the oil change maintenance minder issue, I decided to burn some gas and correctly run-in the engine.

    I simply used NORMAL. In NORMAL mode, engine is on for the most of times on highway. Except long deceleration, which you apparently don't need the engine. For the last tank of gas, 60mpg.

    I don't really care about mpg, as this is just a temporary fix for the oil change issue.

    NORMAL all time is much less diatracting than switching between HV and ECON
  17. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    I continue to see a direct relationship between keeping a major charge in the Li ion battery, amazing HV mileage, drive performance. When people report high mileage (like yourself, Insightman, myself, and others) it seems that they always have a major charge (50% or greater). That also seems to be the case for reviewers. Car and Driver reported 46 mpg on a 75 mph loop that bested a Volt (39 mpg) and was about the same as Prius Prime (47 mpg in the similar trim). I suspect Car and Driver did not drive with a depleted battery. Consumer Reports reported lower mpg but they also described depleting the battery and how loud the engine was. It seems that their negative review mostly came from the car's behavior in HV mode with a depleted battery. I agree with that. During a road trip, I had to drive around for a while in HV mode with a depleted battery and it was not a good experience because it felt sluggish and loud, relying mostly on the electric generation from the small ICE which is insufficient. Once I charged up with HV charge, all was good again. To maximize fuel efficiency and drivability, I suggest never driving in HV with a depleted battery.
  18. lanb

    lanb Active Member

    So, if we are in a situation where the battery is fully depleted (2 bars), is it best to drive in

    a) HV mode
    b) Normal mode (all buttons off as ryd994 mentioned above)

    assuming a 50/50 highway/local blend of commute ?
  19. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Isn't the Clarity in sort of in default HV mode when the battery is depleted? How would selecting HV change how it operates?
  20. AnthonyW

    AnthonyW Well-Known Member

    At highway speeds the RPMs live in the 2200 to 2400 range until you get to about 20% charge. At that point it lives in the 2400 to 2700 range. When using HV Charge it stays around 3000 RPMs.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
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  21. Breezy

    Breezy Member

    Huh. Having gone from a manual trans to the Clarity, I miss a tachometer. Do you have something special hooked up, AnthonyW, to see RPMs?
  22. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Yes, AnthonyW has subdued the OBDII port and bent it to his will.
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  23. AnthonyW

    AnthonyW Well-Known Member

    I have a Scangauge but any OBD II should pull simple stuff like that. At least my Scan Tool did before I got the ScanGauge.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
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