Contradicting battery charge indicators - 2018 Honda Clarity Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Contradicting battery charge indicators

First time poster with a bit of a frustrating mystery. Sorry in advance for the long post.

A little bit of background. We had a Chevy Volt that we really loved minus the cramped interior. We have used a Siemens VC30GRYU Versicharge 240V charger since 2015 that never had any problems charging the Volt. My wife would drive the Volt to its maximum electric range and then we would charge the Volt to a full charge every night.

We leased a 2018 Honda Clarity PHEV in Dec 2018 to replace the Volt. One thing I noticed right away was that no matter how long we left the Clarity plugged into the 240v the center screen Car Energy Information screen would show the battery charged to approximately 80-85% and a range of 39 to 41 miles. However, the battery charge indicator on the main instrument would appear to show a full battery, but the range displayed in the main instrument panel would reflect the same 39 to 41 miles shown in the center display.

I took the car into the dealership two weeks ago and they told me that some 240v chargers have problems charging the Clarity to 100% and told me to try the 110v charger that comes with the car. So for the last week I tried using the 110v charger, including continuously from Friday night to Monday morning. No change so I took the Clarity into the dealership today. Got called back saying they charged the car without any problems and their diagnostics were all normal. However, when I picked up the car, sure enough the center display showed 80-85% charged and a 40 mile range. The service advisor provided a service bulletin stating there would be a variation in charging capacities based on cold weather. I told him that I anticipate the cold weather bulletin was probably meant for the Midwest where they are fighting freezing temperatures, not Southern California where we've been experiencing weather in the 70s (50s at night although I charge in a enclosed garage). Additionally, I said we weren't talking about a small variation. 7 miles less than the advertised range of 47 is almost 15% less than the advertised range. He stated there was nothing really he could do since their diagnostic tools were showing no problems.

Is anyone else encountering this issue? Does anyone have any recommended steps for me at this point?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 06:18 PM
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The graphic in the center tablet energy information screen is the estimated number of miles. The graphic in the instrument cluster behind the steering wheel is the battery state of charge. There are different numbers. At 100% state of charge you may get an extimate of anywhere from the low 30's to the low fifties depending on the the temperature and recent past driving history. Cold temperature and use of the cabin heating are the biggest causes of seeing mileage estimates in the low 30's
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your response, Groves. I get the estimated range can fluctuate. However, why would the battery level show a partial charge as illustrated in the attached picture? And I do not use the heater and it has not changed whether the weather is in the low 60s or high 70s, which is really not that cold when comparing to the rest of what the country is suffering through.

Oh I just realized the bar on the left may not indicate battery charge (since there is a battery display right in the middle). How embarrassing. Does anyone know what the left bar does indicate?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 02:20 PM
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The bar on the left is just a representation of how much pure electric range you have left out of the maximum 47 miles (advertised). All of these approximations are going to vary based upon given factors like weather, driving style and the route itself.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acadork View Post
Thanks for your response, Groves. I get the estimated range can fluctuate. However, why would the battery level show a partial charge as illustrated in the attached picture? And I do not use the heater and it has not changed whether the weather is in the low 60s or high 70s, which is really not that cold when comparing to the rest of what the country is suffering through.

Oh I just realized the bar on the left may not indicate battery charge (since there is a battery display right in the middle). How embarrassing. Does anyone know what the left bar does indicate?
Left bar is estimated EV range. It will be better when it warms up!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-03-2019, 10:06 AM
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I'm in So Cal too....

There is nothing wrong with your car - it's normal and charging is almost 100% as the car determines the ESTIMATED miles per charge.
If you do a search on Google, InsideEVs and here you will see many threads on this "issue".
What you see is not an issue - it's all a predicted representation on how you drive, cabin heating, seat heaters, electrical draw, and weather temps.

If you drive like an old man: feathering the accelerator, using the regen paddles, turning off the cabin heat & ventilation, turning off all electronics including the seat heaters - you will start seeing higher charge numbers.

My style of driving during the week, I see 50-63 miles per charge in the mornings all last month.
That is because I alone commute to work on EV only, slow traffic gets the most regen, no seat heaters needed, no cabin heating (warm Southern California), don't use the infotainment or GPS, and I don't thump the sound system.

However during the weekend, I notice a drop in expected miles per charge as I drive a bit more spirited, more passengers (heavier load), jack rabbit starts, A/C or heating on, music thumping, night time driving with all lights on, etc... So on Sunday and Monday mornings I see 35-45 miles per charge - nothing unexpected due to my driving style.... The range ESTIMATION at the beginning changes drastically depending on how, when, where, temps, etc...

But I can see lately with most of the country freezing under that polar vortex, that cabin heaters and seat heaters were probably being used to the max which will seriously decrease EV range....

BTW: 47 miles per charge is a pure AVERAGE of what you can expect - it's not for everyone in every state, in every situation of driving, in every weather conditions, etc.... 47 miles is a number Honda came up with after testing the vehicle - some may get less while some may get a lot more (like me) - when I drive like an old man, I get a total range of 420 miles (full tank of fuel and 65 miles EV on a full charge) which exceeds other numbers.
Don't fixate on the miles per charge having to be at 47 - that number varies.
If you take all the numbers from every Clarity drive around the nation you will see 47 is an AVERAGE.

Check this forum thread on many of the issues identical to yours:

https://www.insideevsforum.com/commu...miles-ev.4238/

Last edited by 4sallypat; 02-03-2019 at 10:13 AM.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you, all, for the responses and guidance! I should have come here first before taking it into the dealership. Thank you for the solid answers and easing my mind.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 07:57 PM
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All good advice. Ive seen mine go from 41.3 to 47.7 this morning. The difference was some weather (cold front in Florida), but mostly because of my driving style. Ive been consciously driving, using paddle shifters, slow acceleration...long cruising to stop light, etc. My goal is 50! Today...so far...ive driven 25.5 miles, snd i have 24.0 left. Tomorrow, hopefully, i can get to the infamous 50 mark!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 11:11 AM
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Thumbs up I made the 50 mile mark yesterday! YAY

I finally hit the elusive 50 mile EV goal.....the weather was perfect, so no heat or AC. I'm finally learning how to feather the accelerator and gain back as much battery as possible. Gonna enjoy it while it lasts....AC season is coming soon!

Last edited by JadainGA; 02-07-2019 at 11:21 AM.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 08:22 AM
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I am 73. Dont know if I drive like an old man. How does an old man drive? I have 7500 miles on my Clarity and love it. I live in the east and cold weather seems like the biggest factor. Thanks for your advice. 52 in warm weather and as low as 28 in cold weather.
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