Clarity in PA? - 2018 Honda Clarity Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-02-2020, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Clarity in PA?

Anyone have any experience with the Clarity on the interstates through Pennsylvania? Will I need to keep the battery charged driving across the PA "mountains" at 65-70 MPH or is the ICE sufficient?

2018 Honda Clarity Touring PHEV - Forest Green w/Tan interior (wife's car)
2017 Volt LT - Heather Gray; black bow ties, Charcoal VoltShelf
2012 Cruze ECO MT (hail totaled 5/8/17 103,600 miles @42.5 MPG)
2010 Mit Lancer GT MT (traded for ECO @31K miles)
2002 Pont Montana AWD - title to son at college graduation
1990 Pont Transport (traded for Montana @240K miles)
1986 Fiero GT MT (traded for Transport - needed more seats)
1985 Fiero 2M4 MT (traded for Fiero GT @8K miles)
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-02-2020, 07:26 PM
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Anyone have any experience with the Clarity on the interstates through Pennsylvania? Will I need to keep the battery charged driving across the PA "mountains" at 65-70 MPH or is the ICE sufficient?
If I hear you right, you’re basically asking whether the ICE alone has enough power to propel the Clarity at a speed of 70 mph up the steepest incline in PA. I see that you live in Denver. Is it possible that you could test this out on a fairly steep mountain road near you? I would imagine that if the engine can handle that load in Denver then it will be a piece of cake in PA where you’ll be at a lower altitude with denser air.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-02-2020, 08:16 PM
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I think obermd is used to the 7000 feet mountains near Denver.

Highest peak in PA is somewhere around 2500 feet.

I took a trip from upstate NY this spring going through PA on I 81 down through the West Virginia mountains to AL running ICE all the way with fairly decent climbs 70 - 80 mph, no issues.

Eastern mountains are molehills next to Colorado. I was in Estes Park this early fall, now there are some real mountains nearby.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-02-2020, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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If I hear you right, youre basically asking whether the ICE alone has enough power to propel the Clarity at a speed of 70 mph up the steepest incline in PA. I see that you live in Denver. Is it possible that you could test this out on a fairly steep mountain road near you? I would imagine that if the engine can handle that load in Denver then it will be a piece of cake in PA where youll be at a lower altitude with denser air.
I can attest that the Clarity's ICE is insufficient to power the car up our high mountains. This is why I asked the question.

2018 Honda Clarity Touring PHEV - Forest Green w/Tan interior (wife's car)
2017 Volt LT - Heather Gray; black bow ties, Charcoal VoltShelf
2012 Cruze ECO MT (hail totaled 5/8/17 103,600 miles @42.5 MPG)
2010 Mit Lancer GT MT (traded for ECO @31K miles)
2002 Pont Montana AWD - title to son at college graduation
1990 Pont Transport (traded for Montana @240K miles)
1986 Fiero GT MT (traded for Transport - needed more seats)
1985 Fiero 2M4 MT (traded for Fiero GT @8K miles)
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 04:19 AM
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I can attest that the Clarity's ICE is insufficient to power the car up our high mountains. This is why I asked the question.
That is very interesting. Have you found that it will climb certain inclines albeit at a lower speed like 50-60 mph? There is a general rule in aviation that Im sure applies to any normally aspirated internal combustion engine, at 8,000 feet above sea level an engine can only make 75% of the power it does at sea level.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Trolle View Post
I think obermd is used to the 7000 feet mountains near Denver.

Highest peak in PA is somewhere around 2500 feet.

I took a trip from upstate NY this spring going through PA on I 81 down through the West Virginia mountains to AL running ICE all the way with fairly decent climbs 70 - 80 mph, no issues.

Eastern mountains are molehills next to Colorado. I was in Estes Park this early fall, now there are some real mountains nearby.
Yeah, Ive driven across PA on the turnpike from around Pittsburg all the way to Philly in our Chrysler Pacifica PHEV. It is a heavier vehicle with a bigger 6-cyl engine and it had no problem keeping up at 70 mph.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 08:56 AM
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"at 8,000 feet above sea level an engine can only make 75% of the power it does at sea level"

Very good point, that has to factor in.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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That is very interesting. Have you found that it will climb certain inclines albeit at a lower speed like 50-60 mph? There is a general rule in aviation that Im sure applies to any normally aspirated internal combustion engine, at 8,000 feet above sea level an engine can only make 75% of the power it does at sea level.
It struggled up the north side of Grand Mesa at 40 MPH. Grand Mesa tops out at 10,000 ft. and it's a 4,000 ft climb. Regen on the way down the south side was nice - almost half the battery was recovered. Later on the same trip I made sure I kept the car in HV mode and it had no problems getting over Red Mountain (11,018 ft) and several other passes of 10,000 ft or higher.

2018 Honda Clarity Touring PHEV - Forest Green w/Tan interior (wife's car)
2017 Volt LT - Heather Gray; black bow ties, Charcoal VoltShelf
2012 Cruze ECO MT (hail totaled 5/8/17 103,600 miles @42.5 MPG)
2010 Mit Lancer GT MT (traded for ECO @31K miles)
2002 Pont Montana AWD - title to son at college graduation
1990 Pont Transport (traded for Montana @240K miles)
1986 Fiero GT MT (traded for Transport - needed more seats)
1985 Fiero 2M4 MT (traded for Fiero GT @8K miles)
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, Ive driven across PA on the turnpike from around Pittsburg all the way to Philly in our Chrysler Pacifica PHEV. It is a heavier vehicle with a bigger 6-cyl engine and it had no problem keeping up at 70 mph.
My 2017 Volt is will very happily drive anywhere in the US with no battery reserves.

2018 Honda Clarity Touring PHEV - Forest Green w/Tan interior (wife's car)
2017 Volt LT - Heather Gray; black bow ties, Charcoal VoltShelf
2012 Cruze ECO MT (hail totaled 5/8/17 103,600 miles @42.5 MPG)
2010 Mit Lancer GT MT (traded for ECO @31K miles)
2002 Pont Montana AWD - title to son at college graduation
1990 Pont Transport (traded for Montana @240K miles)
1986 Fiero GT MT (traded for Transport - needed more seats)
1985 Fiero 2M4 MT (traded for Fiero GT @8K miles)
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 01:49 PM
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My 2017 Volt is will very happily drive anywhere in the US with no battery reserves.
I wonder if some of that is due to the lighter weight of the Volt, even though it's not all that much lighter. That may also be why the Volt will let you stay in EV even with the accelerator pressed to the floor.

What I think really hampers the Clarity in these situations is its unwillingness to use battery power below the set point for extended periods of time. You could have 90% SOC but if you have reached the set point in HV mode then it refuses to use the battery and will even try and charge the battery if it drops below the set point. You can do HV reset (momentarily turn HV off then back on again) which sets it a little lower, but that only helps briefly and anyways you shouldn't have to do that. The fact that people are doing HV reset means the software is not doing what people want. There should be a mode (maybe called HV Power) that you can select where it is willing to use some battery power to supplement the engine for extended periods like during a hill climb. If the SOC starts getting too low then you can always switch it back to regular HV Mode. In fact this version of HV mode could also make life quieter on city streets, for those willing to give up some EV range it would keep the engine off as you accelerate from a stop and then only start using the engine when the acceleration is finished (or tapering off), at that point not as much power is needed from the engine plus wind and road noise will pretty much drown it out anyway.
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