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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I own a 2019 Plug in touring clarity bought in 11/2019. Over the past 4 months there has been a steady increase in EV C harge from 44 mi to now 63 mi. I have two charger cords, one is the original 120 v and an aftermarket 120/240 v cord with adapter cords for 4 plug styes but have only fast charged once. Any other similar experiences and what is the technical explanation? Car running on EV almost exclusively without issues.
 

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I own a 2019 Plug in touring clarity bought in 11/2019. Over the past 4 months there has been a steady increase in EV C harge from 44 mi to now 63 mi. I have two charger cords, one is the original 120 v and an aftermarket 120/240 v cord with adapter cords for 4 plug styes but have only fast charged once. Any other similar experiences and what is the technical explanation? Car running on EV almost exclusively without issues.
First to cover a basic in case it isn't clear, the displayed EV range is just an estimate based on recent driving. It doesn't always match actual EV range. In other words let's say after fully charging it says you have 50 miles of EV range. You then set the trip odometer to 0 and then start driving, odds are that you will not go exactly 50 miles before the EV range reaches 0 and the gas engine comes on. Might be more, might be less. That's normal as again it is just an estimate, or better stated it's just a prediction, which is no more accurate then predicting how far you will go on a full tank of gas because it depends on driving conditions of the specific trip. With experience you will find how much the estimated EV range differs from actual EV range.

Having said all of that, tracking actual EV range is sort of a pain so that's why most of us just pay attention to the estimated EV range since it's conveniently displayed right there on the dash, and at least it gives you and idea of up or down trends, like the one that you observed over the past four months.

EV range is at its worst in cold weather, for a number of reasons. First of all even gasoline cars get worse mpg during winter, but it's not enough to be that noticeable, and anyway most people don't pay that much attention to how many miles their car will go on a full tank of gas unless making a cross-country trip or something. Whereas with an EV (and even a PHEV) we tend to become pretty much transfixed by what our estimated EV range is each time we "fill up".

EV (and PHEV) have additional reasons why the range is lower during winter, one is that batteries inherently have less power when it is colder. Just like you might have experienced when using electronic devices outdoors in the cold. Or like when trying to start a gasoline car during cold winter weather and the 12V battery is cold. So with an EV or PHEV you get less miles per charge when the battery is cold, even though you are essentially putting in the same amount of electricity into the battery.

But the biggest issue during winter, as mentioned by N21HV is the electric heater, it really burns up EV range. Many EV's have a heat pump which generates heat more efficiently. Clarity uses a resistive heater which is less efficient, but is less complex than a heat pump take up less space. And unlike an EV a PHEV has plenty of "free" heat available when the gas engine is running. So for longer trips where you will be running the gas engine a lot it won't matter that much because even when the engine switches off there is some residual engine heat available. But if you do mostly EV driving during the winter, then you will probably be running the resistive heater most of the time and burning up EV range.

As the weather warms up, EV range for most people goes up pretty dramatically, as you have experienced. During summer as you crank the AC the range will go down somewhat, but not that much because modern AC is pretty efficient.

So enjoy the extra range, and then don't become too anxious when the range starts going down again next winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So far , your answers are not helpful. I am not charging to the same full amout and just going farther, the recorded charge has increased from 42 to 62units. And the trip odoneter is recording increased range. This is my second hybrid, first plug in. Second generation prius was my first. Please no preaching about winter EV range changes, I not asking for PHEV therapy. If it is common for everyone to see this level of charge capacity variability then say so. If there is a Physics explanation or specification function please respond with your source

thanks
 

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1) The Clarity PHEV has no "Fast Charge" capability - that is available only on the Clarity Electric and it has the 2 addition pins on the CCS port.
2) If by "units", you mean the range estimate on the display, that will get higher as the weather increases, and lower in cooler weather.

Since this is your first plug-in, you are likely not familiar with the range variation due to temperature. Much is due to heater use, but batteries also have less energy to give up (even when fully charged) in cold weather.

Google is your friend ("EV cold weather range" is a good place to start), but one article here:
https://www.energy.gov/eere/electricvehicles/maximizing-electric-cars-range-extreme-temperatures
 

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So far , your answers are not helpful. I am not charging to the same full amout and just going farther, the recorded charge has increased from 42 to 62units. And the trip odoneter is recording increased range. This is my second hybrid, first plug in. Second generation prius was my first. Please no preaching about winter EV range changes, I not asking for PHEV therapy. If it is common for everyone to see this level of charge capacity variability then say so. If there is a Physics explanation or specification function please respond with your source

thanks
There are others who read these posts and who might benefit from the information given. Sorry if that is not the case for you.

I can only tell you that what is commonly reported by people on forums like this, as well as my own experience, is that it is very common for PHEV owners to experience an increase in EV range from February to May very similar to what you reported, although the actual numbers vary by region. And it seems to happen every year right around this same time. Most of us have accepted that this is caused by the increase in temperature that occurs during those months. Just as we accept the colder temperatures of winter as the explanation for the noticeable decrease in EV range that occurs every year without fail during the winter months. As well as experience that running the heater while driving or parked in EV mode quickly depletes EV range. However you are no obligation to accept this information because:

1. I do not have a degree in physics.

2. I am not a licensed PHEV therapist.

3. I have no sources that I can give you other than my own experience and what I have read reported by many people repeatedly on Clarity and Prius Prime forums. The only people I have heard who don't experience this are people who live in regions with mild winter climates
 

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This "complaint" is the opposite of what we so often hear. Buying in spring/summer - then the outcry of "something's wrong with my car" when the weather gets cold and range drops.
 

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Gee, czadams, you asked the following question(s): "Any other similar experiences and what is the technical explanation?"



You also chose to ask a group of forum members that have 1-2 years of experience with their Clarity vehicles, have lived through the seasonal temperature changes, and have read hundreds of similar posts from neophyte Clarity owners like yourself. They kindly offer their sincere opinions and explanations to help you understand what you are observing in your very first winter-spring transition, and all you can say is, "Please no preaching about winter EV range changes, I not asking for PHEV therapy."


Then stop asking the people who ACTUALLY know about their cars. (which also happens to be YOUR car)



By the way, in my 2 years of driving my 2018 Clarity, I observe a cold day range of 32-40 miles and hot day range of 45-59 miles. And those estimates are pretty damned spot on!



The science of ANY type of battery energy available depending on ambient temperature is well understood. It happens.
 

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It is true that EV range is just an estimate based on recent driving as 2002 said. The EV range mainly depends on the driving speed. If you drive under 60 mph, you will get over 55 miles range. if you drive over 70-75 mph, you will get less than 45 miles range.
 

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High charging capacity

I have to agree with everything stated in these replies. I bought my 2019 Clarity plugin about the same time (Oct 2019) and both estimated miles and actual miles went downhill from there, as expected, living in CT. This Spring as the weather gradually warmed, both estimated and actual began increasing, again as expected. Very typical behavior for any battery that's used outdoors. After driving the car for 7 months (and driving another hybrid for 6 years), I know how batteries react to cold and hot temperature.
 

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The OP's question is unclear if it is about capacity or range. Reference is made several times to capacity (i.e., how much energy is stored in the battery) including in the post title, but then reference is also made to the dashboard display of estimated EV range (i.e., how far the vehicle will travel on a full charge). In this case, this is not nit picking terminology. Also, I'm not stating anything new here that has not already been said, and to be clear I'm generally in agreement with the prior responses, but rather reframing slightly.

If the question is battery capacity, then the relationship between temperature and capacity in lithium-ion batteries, as with any battery the heart of which lies in a chemical process, is well documented. Here is some interesting reading: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/58145.pdf. It describes the physical effect of cold temperature impact in Li-ion as "viscosity changes in the electrolyte lead to sluggish ion transport". In addition to capacity, the rate at which the battery can safely be charged and discharged is also affected. For example, the Clarity PHEV cannot be operated if the battery pack temperature falls below -30C / -22F (per the owner's manual).

If the question is range, then there are more variables affecting EV driving range than can be counted. The major ones have been covered in the other responses, so I won't belabor them here. Suffice to say that temperature ranks fairly high on the list because it has multiple effects (battery capacity, air density, rolling resistance, climate control use, etc). Nobody knows exactly how the dashboard display of estimated EV range is calculated (except for some Honda programmer), but most owners have observed that is it mostly a reflection on the previous drive and charge cycle. This builds in the assumption that the next drive and charge cycle will be under similar conditions, which may or may not be. It's as good of an estimate as any, since the car has no way of knowing most of the variables that will affect driving efficiency. There is nothing in the dashboard displays that directly measures the amount of stored energy in the battery.
 
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