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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I am new to this forum, just bought a plug in Touring mode, it is being prepped and I will pick up soon.

Alex on Autos, whom I think is the best car review person, said that the battery can only supply 121 hp to the 181 hp electric motor, and that the gas engine/generator has to supply the rest. I can not find any corroborating info.

If this is true, I am a bit disappointed, as I was planning on staying in electric all the time around town, only using gas on trips, and thought I was going to have the performance/acceleration of 181 hp while in electric.
 

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?There is a lot of debate on how Honda determines the hp of their hybrids. I think you will find you have plenty of acceleration to drive in all electric when commuting around town.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Clarity battery only HP

Hello Groves,

Thank you for your advice. I posted that same question on the Facebook owners group, and InsideEV, and I dusted posted this there: Thank you for the thread, it was one more piece of the puzzle. I have not found a definitive answer anywhere, but a few more hours of searching, I turned up bits and pieces, and from that I have deduced that the battery can only put out a certain amount of power, and that power after adjusting for losses, ends up as 121 horsepower that the electric motor can put out. If you want more power to the electric motor, the gas engine has to come on, and the generator connected to it supplies the needed power so that the electric motor is able to put out the 181 hp. I guess I will find out how that sounds when the motor kicks in when I take the car home, I did not notice anything on my test drive, but then I was treating it kindly at the time while talking with the very good salesman that was with me, and the engine may not have kicked in. The motor would not be maxed out anyway, as it only needs enough output so that the generator gives enough to the electric motor so it can produce the 60 Hp (roughly 60% of the gas engines maximum output) more to reach 181 Hp, so may not make much noticeable noise. I can certainly live with the engine coming on once in awhile, it is a great car for the money, in Washington state we just this summer (I think we had it before for awhile, not sure) enacted a law that allows for the first 25,000 of MSRP not to have sales tax, over 2,500 in savings there, and the 7,500 Federal credit, so 10k less than MSRP, an economical move + Honda reliability. I could not have purchased a comparably equipped Hybrid Accord for that, not even close. And this was the last Touring model in the State. Only 5 Standard left in the state, wonder if any more will ever come this way, or even if a 2020 model is going to be produced. I hope so. Honda is great at engineering, but kind of strange is some ways, evidence being their lack of success with Accura, as compare to Toyota and Lexus.
 

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Don't bother with ECO mode. Not only does it cut the acceleration but it also limits the HVAC's ability to heat and cool the cabin. The overall MPG in non-ECO mode is just as good as ECO mode. If you want to stay in EV mode under all conditions until the battery is exhausted, your only option is the Volt, which GM discontinued. The Clarity will engage the ICE if you floor the car and at very high speeds.
 
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Read Your post on the EV forum. Good answers there. Most really like and enjoy this car. Looking forward to you comments and questions after you have driven a little bit.
 

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I have noticed that when I switch from EV to HV with a cold engine that ICE does not seem to initially contribute much power while it is warming up. Hard to decipher much from the energy flow display but when I watch EV range immediately after switching to HV the EV range continues to drop at the normal rate for the first mile or two, then as ICE warms up it starts to contribute more power and the EV range stabilizes. Makes perfect sense to me and that is how I would expect it to work in that situation.

What I don't know is what happens when you activate ICE by flooring the pedal with a cold engine, since you are quite clearly letting the system know that you need maximum power and you need it now. I mean I have done it (floored the pedal with a cold engine) but I haven't done any 0-60 tests to see if there is less power in that situation as opposed to flooring it while in HV mode, or EV mode after recently switching out of HV. If it seems to have as much 0-60 power with a cold engine as with a warm engine, that could mean that the engineers felt that the engine lubrication is up to the task and that wear would be minimal, especially since it would only be happening occasionally and will be for only a brief period until ICE warms up. Or there is another theory that in those situations the electric motor will go beyond its rated horsepower, again since it would only be for a brief period of time while waiting for ICE to warm up that the electric motor would have to make up the shortfall.

Unfortunately there is some vagueness in the published horsepower ratings so it is not easy to know other than by running 0-60 tests in various situations, which I haven't had a chance to do yet and I haven't heard of anyone else doing it. Or maybe other tests I just used 0-60 as an example.
 

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The Eco and Sport buttons really don't do much other than control the throttle mapping. Eco also limits the HVAC and Sport allows you to set a regen level and hold it. HV mode maintains the SOC as best it can by using the ICE more frequently and HV "charge" mode runs the ICE constantly to bring an empty battery up to 59% SOC while also powering the vehicle.

"Around town" varies: I live in a nearly totally flat part of my state - there are no hills to climb and the in-town speed limit is 30 mph. To visit the next town, 25 miles distant, I can take either the old 2-lane highway at 55 mph or the Interstate at 70 mph. Using either route with a full charge I can make almost the entire round trip without the ICE engaging.

Honda has created a control algorithm that makes the PHEV use the most efficient power source that it can in the given circumstances. Sometimes it engages the ICE, other times it does not. Sometimes the ICE comes on for no apparent reason - maybe the battery requires additional heat or maybe the cabin does or maybe it just feels like running for a few minutes. We may never know.

 

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Honda has created a control algorithm that makes the PHEV use the most efficient power source that it can in the given circumstances. Sometimes it engages the ICE, other times it does not. Sometimes the ICE comes on for no apparent reason - maybe the battery requires additional heat or maybe the cabin does or maybe it just feels like running for a few minutes. We may never know.
The ICE needs to run periodically to ensure the seals and pumps are working. Thus, the car will periodically start the ICE, run it through a preprogrammed cycle, and then turns it off.
 
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The ICE needs to run periodically to ensure the seals and pumps are working. Thus, the car will periodically start the ICE, run it through a preprogrammed cycle, and then turns it off.
That should apply only to owners who rarely use ICE due to short work commute, retired, etc. who may go weeks at a time without using ICE. However for those people I have never heard anyone having determined the time interval, i.e. they notice that system mode runs once a week, once every two weeks, etc. I suppose some might say the calculation is more complicated than that, but why would it be? Either ICE is used or it isn't, and if it isn't then it needs to be started every X number of days and I'm not sure why the number of days would be variable. Unless maybe temperature i.e. in cold weather an engine needs to be started more often, but that's just speculation I have never heard that when storing a car you need to start the engine more often in cold weather than warm weather.

I use ICE two or three times a week and as far as I know I have never had system mode occur. For me ICE only starts outside of HV mode when I do hard acceleration or regen with a full battery.
 

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That should apply only to owners who rarely use ICE due to short work commute, retired, etc. who may go weeks at a time without using ICE. However for those people I have never heard anyone having determined the time interval, i.e. they notice that system mode runs once a week, once every two weeks, etc. I suppose some might say the calculation is more complicated than that, but why would it be? Either ICE is used or it isn't, and if it isn't then it needs to be started every X number of days and I'm not sure why the number of days would be variable. Unless maybe temperature i.e. in cold weather an engine needs to be started more often, but that's just speculation I have never heard that when storing a car you need to start the engine more often in cold weather than warm weather.

I use ICE two or three times a week and as far as I know I have never had system mode occur. For me ICE only starts outside of HV mode when I do hard acceleration or regen with a full battery.
I have no idea what Honda uses to trigger ICE engine maintenance. It feels like it's somewhere around once a month and if the cycle doesn't complete it restarts every few days until it completes. I know the Volt is every 6 weeks - documented in the owners manual.
 
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I have no idea what Honda uses to trigger ICE engine maintenance. It feels like it's somewhere around once a month and if the cycle doesn't complete it restarts every few days until it completes. I know the Volt is every 6 weeks - documented in the owners manual.
I can believe once a month especially if you say the Volt is six months. And for sure if the cycle doesn't complete it will try again. But if you are saying that it's not uncommon for the cycle to not complete, that sounds like System Check takes longer than I thought it did. I was assuming it just has to get up to operating temperature like it does when ICE is activated by hard acceleration, and since that doesn't take that long it seems like it would be rare that system check doesn't complete by the time you arrive at your destination, and even more rare that it would happen twice in a row that it doesn't complete.

If I activate ICE by momentary hard acceleration, it usually takes only five minutes or so to warm up and go back to EV mode depending on what type of driving I am doing (and outside temperature). But it's interesting what it does during that warmup time period. For the first few minutes it acts sort of like it is in HV Charge mode because ICE always runs even when sitting at a stoplight or slowing down. Then after a few minutes it starts to act like regular HV mode, i.e. ICE shuts off at a stoplight or during deceleration, confirmed by the EV indicator coming on. However I don't see the partial blue circle like you normally do when the EV light is on while in HV mode. Basically the screen looks like the manual says it does when in system check, which is what makes me think that system check and ICE startup from hard acceleration use essentially the same routine. Another thing I notice during the time when the blue circle is not displayed but the EV light is on, is that ICE is a little more sensitive to starting up when accelerating. Normally I have to move the throttle indicator well past 12 o'clock to activate ICE, but in ICE warmup mode it takes a little less than that to restart ICE. After five minutes or so I know warmup is ended and I am back in EV mode because I see the full blue circle and it becomes harder again to restart ICE.

It works similar if I switch from EV mode to HV mode. Once ICE starts it won't shut off even at a stoplight, then after a few minutes I will get the EV light at times but no partial blue circle like you normally get in HV mode, but then after about five minutes it acts like normal HV mode, i.e. either the engine is on with no blue circle or engine off with a partial blue circle.

So anyway, I have this theory that ICE activation by hard acceleration, ICE activation due to regen with full battery, ICE activation by switching from EV to HV, and System Check caused by not using ICE for several weeks, all use the same routine. I can't confirm this because again I don't think I have ever had system check run since I use ICE at least weekly. There are people who use ICE fairly often who claim that System Check still runs sometimes, but I suspect in most cases it's something else, like they didn't realize that they had momentarily accelerated hard enough to activate ICE, as it only takes a momentary "blip" over the limit to start it, and normally during harder acceleration you are watching the road not the gauges, or at least you should be, unless doing testing with no other cars around.
 

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The Volt is every six weeks if the ICE hasn't been run long enough to warm the engine.

The Volt doesn't fully warm up the engine. From what I've seen, the Clarity fully warms the engine up which takes about 15 to 20 minutes depending on conditions and driving.

Here's another question - does the Clarity do anything about old fuel. My Volt hasn't seen a gas station since Feb 28 of this year. If I don't stop for gas I expect the car will go into Fuel Maintenance Mode (FMM) to burn out the final 2.5 gallons of gas sometime in early February.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks all for the replies, I am picking up the Clarity tonight, a friend is driving my wife and I down to the dealership as I had my right foot operated on last Friday, and can not drive for another 6 weeks. The dealership said they would do the capacity test on the battery, and I am thinking that every year when I bring it in for a service I will have that done so I can track the battery degradation over the years, would be interesting if all the owners did this and we could compare results.
 

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I have always heard how the Volt will burn off old gas if not used for a long time, but I have never heard of Clarity doing that. With the smaller gas tank and its propensity to start ICE maybe it's not as much of an issue.
 

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I have always heard how the Volt will burn off old gas if not used for a long time, but I have never heard of Clarity doing that. With the smaller gas tank and its propensity to start ICE maybe it's not as much of an issue.
Very real possibility that Honda didn't anticipate the Clarity having year old fuel in the tank. The Clarity's tank is only 2 gallons smaller, but the Clarity will use ICE under hard acceleration and other high HP scenarios. The Volt is a full BEV as long as it has available battery. I frequently use full throttle to get on the freeway in the morning. My Volt stays EV but my wife's Clarity engages the ICE to assist.
 
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