Winter EV operation

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by prestoOne, Mar 11, 2018.

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  1. prestoOne

    prestoOne Member

    About to buy a car and looking for those upsetting things that would make me regret the purchase. A little more than 1/3rd of the year is 0 Celsius and below where I live.

    What range are people getting on the EV in winter? 50Km as per a review but leaving this hear for others to see.

    What is the procedure in the morning when I know what time I leave and I have the car plugged in? Does the engine turn on, will it heat up on electricity etc.

    Ideally I don't want the gas engine on at all but I know that probably wont happen. I hear it comes on for 10 minutes at a time? Is that true or does it just come on for that function that is sucking up the extra juice?

    thank you
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
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  3. iluvscuba

    iluvscuba Active Member

    Range depends on many factor like temp, speed, wind, driving style etc. Since the car only been out since Dec, not a lot of data are available but judging from all the actual owner review, it seems to range from a low of about 45km in the north to 70km to the US.

    If you car is plugged in, then you can preset the car to pre-condition the car to warm up before you leave. The engine does not turn on as it will use your plug in electricity only if you are on 220V. I believe Honda has change the app now that it will even pre-condition the car when plug in to 110V outlet

    If the engine comes on due to low battery or heavy foot, it will stay on until the engine is warm up and then turn off if there is enough battery charge, of course if battery is low, then the engine will stay on and you will be driving in hybrid mode. Use ECON setting and be light on your foot during acceleration and the engine will not come on even if you are driving at sub -10C temp and highway speed as long as the battery is not cold
    prestoOne likes this.
  4. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    PrestoOne and Iluvacuba, I don’t live in the frozen north but I can confirm that my US Clarity delivered in Feb does not allow preconditioning from Honda Link or key fob when charging on 110v.
    I’m assuming you live in Canada since you referenced the evil Metric system :). An additional feature in your Canadian Claritys is the battery heater that we don’t get. Don’t know if you also need 220 charger to activate this. I would think that preconditioning to lessen the parasitic drain of interior heater and keeping the battery warm to increase its output would significantly mitigate cold range reduction and increase your range meaningfully if not back to full.
    Even if you have to run the ICE some in the dead of winter you’ll still get close to the 42 combined mpg or whatever that is in metric liters/Newtons/Sieverts/coulombs????
    So get a Clarity and don’t obsess over some Winter ICE usage (bad pun) and enjoy pure EV the rest of the year.
    iluvscuba likes this.
  5. prestoOne

    prestoOne Member

    Sounds great. Do you leave your car in the garage at night? Does it matter?
  6. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    No and no. Just turn off, exit, and plug in. Then use Honda Link to schedule preconditioning for before you leave. Then your ride will be toasty or cool without any loss of range since the power is coming from the charger. Note that this only works on a level 2 charger.
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  8. prestoOne

    prestoOne Member

    It is warm where you are it is cold where I am.
    The other poster has car that is equipped with the battery heater.
    Yes, it does matter :)

    So when it is -15C on a regular basis is it better to have it much better for the health of the car to have it in the garage or sitting on the driveway?
    What do you like to do Iluvscuba my northern brother?
  9. Stephen

    Stephen New Member

    Just bought the Plug In model, and I get 37-38 miles on a fresh charge in Upstate NY. Hoping for greater range with warmer weather. Car drives like a dream.
  10. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Of course it’s always better in the garage for slower cold soaking of the battery. My point was that it needs to be plugged in to a level 2 charger every night (inside our out) even if it doesn’t need a charge just so the battery heater will keep the battery warmer and ready to give better range.
    insightman likes this.
  11. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    My US Clarity (no battery heater) this past winter was in engine running mode most of the time at temperatures less than 0 F (-18C), part of the time for temperatures between 0 and 10 F (-12C) and very little of the time above 10 F. This engine running mode still slowly drains the battery. It also depends a lot on where the car is, if it is coming from my attached but not heated garage with ambient of 5F (-15C), it would usually run EV until you stopped somewhere for a while, when restarted it would go to engine running mode.

    My range on battery ranges from around 25 miles at the really cold temps up to 45 miles once temps are around 40 or 45 F (4 to 7C, depends a lot on heater use). I had the heater off the other day, it was sunny and 42F and got 50 mile range. It hasn't been much above 50F here since I bought the car in early Dec, so will comment on warm weather range later.

    Every year, plan on many threads near start of winter wondering if their car is broken, the range is decreasing dramatically, and in spring comments about how much their range has increased ;)
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  13. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    PS The cabin heater doesn't seem to influence EV vs engine running modes, at least at temperatures above 0F (-18C). The cars electric heater seems relatively efficient. However, battery pack temperature seems to influence it, and given US model has no battery pack heater, it might run the engine more than you suspect at temps around -15 C or colder. I am trying to get Canadian owner to comment on how much the battery heater helps (might reduce how much the engine runs)

    Charge rate will also drop to around 4kw if the battery is cold (up to 7.2 kw when it is warm). One could probably time the charge to end about when they leave for work to have a warmer battery, since the battery naturally heats during charging.

    So in my area (east central Iowa), I can probably expect about 1 month of moderate gas usage per year, and maybe 3 months of reduced ranges (including the 1 month of gas usage).
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  14. JKroll

    JKroll Member

    I havent used clarity as much but my impression is that dont think I am getting anything near 47 claimed miles on battery here in winter. I am finding 47 miles restrictive .. would have been great if honda had increased capacity by just 15-20 miles.
  15. iluvscuba

    iluvscuba Active Member

    The claimed range is an average based on a set of simulated driving conditions. Actual range will depend on outside temp, your speed, wind speed and direction, if the road is wet or not, are you lead-footed so everyone's range will be different. Your winter range will be lower due to colder temp, your use of the heater etc but your spring and fall range should be higher than the stated range.

    You can't have everything in the world. There is a trade off on the range, weight, power and size of the battery plus the cost difference. Every manufacturer will have to figure out what and how they want to play with these trade off. The way I looked at it, Honda has done an excellent job of balancing the weight, range, price and roominess of the Clarity compare to most if not all the other PHEV on the market right now.
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  16. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    It is a PHEV, burn gas when the range isn't enough. When the outside temperature warms up your range will be much higher. There is always the tradeoff in range vs cost/weight with a PHEV. If you find you are always wishing for slightly more range, a BEV might be in order.

    15 or 20 miles range would add maybe $1500 to the price and 150 lbs to the battery, reduce cargo capacity by a bit. It would be nice, but at what point is it better just to have a BEV?
  17. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    When the temperature has been in the 20s and 30s, I've been getting 38 - 40 miles on a full charge. On a few days when the temperature has hit 60s, the range has increased to 53 - 55 miles on a full charge. I blame the electric heater for most of the reduction when the temperature is low.
  18. iluvscuba

    iluvscuba Active Member

    Does the US model has a heat pump like the Canadian one?
  19. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    If I were in a seriously cold climate, I'd probably not even consider a BEV or a PHEV. While I'm sure those who live in such condition learn to adapt their driving and parking behavior, the reduction in range because of the extreme cold can still last for months. If one is buying the car in the hopes of maximizing their miles in EV mode, then the months you experience such reduced ranges would be irritating at least and disappointing as well. If one can live with that, then it's a great vehicle. Just don't expect to see the range that will appear when the weather warms up. If one lives in a climate where the car can't even start when it gets seriously cold, then it's also not a great purchase. While one can always park it in a garage, there will eventually be times when you are forced to park it outside. Forget needing a snow chair in that case. LOL
  20. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    I think it does, as it seems to do really well heating in the temperatures around the freezing point, it seems faster and more efficient than my Volt. At lower temperatures, where a heat pump would stop working I notice it starts the engine. However, this is just speculation on my part as I don't know how to verify it. Maybe if I can look to see if the AC compressor is running or something.

  21. For the heater is has resistive heating element I believe.
  22. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    The issue is they don't advertise what type it is. There is a comment in the FAQ section on their page that indicates it is heat pump, but that could be a copy paste error from the EV version. However, it would surprise me if they were different as well.

    The only reason I suspect heat pump is it gets hot very quickly (less than 1 block) where the resistance ones usually heat coolant to warm the cab which takes a few minutes.

    It is possible that it is a more modern resistance heater that is much more rapid to heat. I am just basing vs my Volt which is relatively slow.
  23. I thought I saw it in a review but I could be mistaken. It does seem quick and I believe the heat pump is more efficient with the battery.

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