Cold weather mpg - 2018 Honda Clarity Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-27-2019, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Cold weather mpg

Hi, been driving my new 2019 Touring model for almost a month now and enjoying it very much.
We've had some cold weather here in CT lately and I've watched the EV range go down from 47 to the high 30's. I know that happens with these batteries, but I'm wondering what to expect over the winter until it warms up again in the Spring. Are there any owners out there in cold weather states that can tell me what the lowest EV range might be over the Winter?
Also, I've been running on battery most of the time, but yesterday morning I noticed the engine had started even though I was in Econ mode with a full charge. I don't think it was propelling the car because it was a low pitched sound, but wondering why it was running at all. First time that's ever happened, after 900 miles. Thanks for your help!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-28-2019, 10:59 PM
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My Volt just got 39 miles on a full charge, down from the EPA rated 53. Temps were in the mid-20s when my wife and I left for dinner and had dropped to 14 when we got home.

For your engine running, the car went into an Engine Maintenance Mode. This mode pumps the oil and coolant throughout the engine to ensure seals and pumps are kept lubricated. This is normal operations.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-29-2019, 02:06 PM
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Very normal behavior.
The ICE will sometimes run to help the on board heating and engine performance.
The ICE engine will need to occasionally turn on just to run and keep the internals working.

Cold weather complaints and battery range are super common but the biggest drain is the cabin heating.

Cabin heating draws a huge amount of battery power out of your drive.

Since I don't live in your type of weather - I am in Southern California where I still get 60 miles per charge even in winter, where I don't use the cabin heating.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-29-2019, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, both obermd and 4sallypat for your very useful answers. The Engine Maintenance Mode explanation sounds reasonable and I had heard that the heater is electric so that will certainly draw down any battery. I think I'll try preheating while its still plugged in. I was born in San Diego but grew up in CT so I know all about the nice weather you experience. BTW, just had my first gas fill up today after 957 miles...6.7 gallons gave me 142.8 MPGe, which is quite fantastic I'm thinking.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MPG+ View Post
Thank you, both obermd and 4sallypat for your very useful answers. The Engine Maintenance Mode explanation sounds reasonable and I had heard that the heater is electric so that will certainly draw down any battery. I think I'll try preheating while its still plugged in. I was born in San Diego but grew up in CT so I know all about the nice weather you experience. BTW, just had my first gas fill up today after 957 miles...6.7 gallons gave me 142.8 MPGe, which is quite fantastic I'm thinking.
Preheating while plugged in that makes the most sense to avoid draining the batteries.

Yes, the miles per "small 7 gallon tank" is sure amazing coupled with the EV charge.

We rarely use the fuel since our commutes are well within the EV range. I think it's been over 4 months ago we filled up about 5 gallons....
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 04:36 PM
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I think I'll try preheating while its still plugged in.
So long as it's plugged into a 240V EVSE the car will draw power from the grid to preheat or precool the interior. If it's plugged into a 120V outlet the car will draw power from the battery for heating or cooling and then try to recharge from the grid.

I've heard that, like Tesla and Bolt, it's wise to keep Clarity plugged in during cold weather as it will maintain optimal battery temperature by drawing power from the grid. Can anyone verify?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-01-2019, 12:51 PM
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Hi there,

We are based near Ottawa, Canada...30 minutes north near Wakefield, QC...and we've had our Clarity since July 20, have put on 9200km and I've spent $82 on gas (4 fill-ups, the result of 2.5hr road trips to Montreal).

The cold weather has kicked in here, for sure. So, during summer and warm fall months, the highest range I got was 92km (sorry...we're in kms here!). At this time of year, I am averaging 55-65km. This morning it is reading "full" -- according to my juicebox charger app -- at 56km. Last night was a chilly -17C. I have been told it can go as low as 40km. I know...a far cry from 92km, but we are still able to run fully on electric (except for those road trips!) by planning and plugging in at charging stations. So, yes, the drop in range for your car sounds reasonable to me.

The issue with the ICE kicking in is interesting. I haven't experienced it, but my husband did a few weeks ago when he went to pick up our daughter late at night...only about 12km away (we live in the country, btw!). He said, like you, it was very strange. Battery was full, but the engine came on....and then went off later. I have no idea what this is but wonder if it's just the car "running" the engine because it hasn't been run for a while (oil circulation thing? have no idea!), or possibly related to cold temps? Though I doubt the latter...as last night was our coldest yet at -17C and I drove all the way home from the theatre (45km) on electric, even after setting the car to warm up (precondition) half an hour before the show ended (so nice to hop into a warm car, I have to say!).

Not sure if that is any help! :-)
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2019, 08:04 PM
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I live in NJ and the lowest EV range Iíve gotten is 32 miles. Right now Iím still getting around 38 miles but we havenít gotten super cold yet.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2019, 09:16 PM
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Anything below 50F here in eastern Washington, (further north than CT), knocks my range down to 35- 40 miles. Lowest I have experienced is about 32 miles when it is in the teens. (In the summer here when it is above 80F I get well over 50 miles a charge). I park in an unheated garage and take short trips to town. I suspect at a higher speed I would improve range as I would be heating less per mile driven. This is my second winter with my Clarity and I now drive in hybrid mode at temperatures under 50F just to avoid plugging in as frequently. Also at cold temperatures I keep the cab at 65 and use the seat heater on low. Other than that, there is little you can do to compensate for low temperature battery performance.

Details:
- I have read that the heater can consumes about 4 Kw. So sitting in stopped traffic for 4 hours in freezing temperatures would use the total battery charge.
- Due to battery chemistry, cold temperatures reduce the effectiveness of charging and discharging. So regenerative breaking in cold temperatures is much less helpful. I have seen this myself as the first part of my drive is about 1/2 mile downhill. The increase in range in cold weather is about half of the same increase in hot weather over that 1/2 mile.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-05-2019, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I live in NJ and the lowest EV range Iíve gotten is 32 miles. Right now Iím still getting around 38 miles but we havenít gotten super cold yet.
Try driving the car without cabin heating for a couple of days and see if the EV range increases ??
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