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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I charge at home with the Honda supplied charging cable plugged into a 110 outlet. Lately it has not been charging reliably. So I plug it in, in the evening and when I come out to my car in the morning, it's empty! This has probably happened about 5 times in the last month and it seems to have started after I programed the in-car charge timer for the first time. We have time of use electricity billing, so it's more expensive from 4pm to 9pm. But last night I had the charge timer disabled and it still didn't charge.

Has anyone else had this sort of difficulty? I'm hating this because running with the gas motor, I don't much like the car, it's noisy and the mileage is ok, but as an EV it's brilliant.
 

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The charging timer could be causing your problem.

I was surprised to learn that the Clarity's timer schedule means literally "start charging at the start time if plugged in." Unlike my Chevy Bolt, plugging in the Clarity between the start time and the end time does not initiate charging until start time tomorrow.

If charging does not start when you plug in, try pressing and holding the charging lid button on the remote. The green charging indicator (next to the charging port) should start blinking within a few seconds. That and other suggestions are buried on page 463 of the "2018 Honda Clarity Owner's Manual". Just guessing, you might also have to use the button (or unplug/replug) to get charging started after you disable the timer.

If you haven't already, you can check your charging timer settings via the instrument panel interface (pp.467-468). I find it's easy to get the AM/PM wrong. Some owners have suggested that scheduling via the HondaLink app may be less reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, and WOW. That's shocking. The Clarity has many virtues, but the programing of modes and things like this are sometimes shockingly stupid. I've just abandoned the charge timer altogether. At least once it did not charge when I plugged it in before the starting time, and at least once it did not charge when I plugged it in after the starting time. As a work around I have several alarms at 9pm to remind me to put on shoes go outside and plug the dang thing in.
 

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I charge at home with the Honda supplied charging cable plugged into a 110 outlet.
As a work around I have several alarms at 9pm to remind me to put on shoes go outside and plug the dang thing in.
You could use a 120 volt plug-in timer. Digital and mechanical timers rated for 15 amps are easily available. If you were using a 16 amp charger, you would want a timer rated for 20 amps, which is less common.
 

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The charging timer could be causing your problem.

I was surprised to learn that the Clarity's timer schedule means literally "start charging at the start time if plugged in." Unlike my Chevy Bolt, plugging in the Clarity between the start time and the end time does not initiate charging until start time tomorrow.

If charging does not start when you plug in, try pressing and holding the charging lid button on the remote. The green charging indicator (next to the charging port) should start blinking within a few seconds. That and other suggestions are buried on page 463 of the "2018 Honda Clarity Owner's Manual". Just guessing, you might also have to use the button (or unplug/replug) to get charging started after you disable the timer.

If you haven't already, you can check your charging timer settings via the instrument panel interface (pp.467-468). I find it's easy to get the AM/PM wrong. Some owners have suggested that scheduling via the HondaLink app may be less reliable.
This just seems like a problem with the HondaLink charger programming - even though you say you have disabled that.
 

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I have used scheduled charging almost every day for the two and a half years I have owned my Clarity and I find it very reliable. I can't think of a time when it did not start charging at the scheduled time. I almost exclusively use the HondaLink app to schedule the charging, the only time that I don't use the app is during the rare times when the HondaLink server is down and HondaLink won't connect to the car, in which case I have to go out to the car and set the schedule through the instrument panel. But in two and a half years I have only had to do that maybe three or four times at the most.

That's my experience, if other people say they have had problems with scheduled charging I don't know what would cause it as it works great for me.

Now there is a shortcoming in the programming in my opinion, as noted if the car is not plugged it when the scheduled start time arrives, when you later plug in it does not start charging even though it is still during the scheduled charge time. I don't know why they do it this way, although it doesn't affect me very often because my time of use electric rate plan is 11:00 pm to 7:00 am so that is when my charging is typically scheduled, so as long as I am home and plug in by 11:00 pm then I am fine. If I arrive home after 11:00 pm then I have to change the schedule. Let's say I arrive home at 11:10 pm, in that case I modify the schedule to charge from 11:15 pm to 7:00 am and then it starts charging at 11:15 pm. But then I have to remember to change the schedule back to 11:00 pm for the next night. A slight hassle, but it doesn't happen very often.

Similarly if the power is out when the charging time starts, then of course it won't start charging since there is no power, but then when the power is restored charging doesn't start even though it is still within the scheduled time. The same thing can happen if the power goes out even briefly during a charging session, when the power is restored charging does not resume. I wonder if some of the problems people have reported with scheduled charging were actually caused by brief power outages. It doesn't happen very often but it is certainly annoying if there is a brief power failure and it causes you to miss all or most of a scheduled charging session. But then again the same thing happens when using regular unscheduled charging, if power is lost then restored, charging does not resume. I think this is a poor design, or else the Honda engineers did it for a reason that I haven't thought of. But I don't think all EV's work this way.
 

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I have used scheduled charging almost every day for the two and a half years I have owned my Clarity and I find it very reliable. I can't think of a time when it did not start charging at the scheduled time. I almost exclusively use the HondaLink app to schedule the charging, the only time that I don't use the app is during the rare times when the HondaLink server is down and HondaLink won't connect to the car, in which case I have to go out to the car and set the schedule through the instrument panel. But in two and a half years I have only had to do that maybe three or four times at the most.

That's my experience, if other people say they have had problems with scheduled charging I don't know what would cause it as it works great for me.

Now there is a shortcoming in the programming in my opinion, as noted if the car is not plugged it when the scheduled start time arrives, when you later plug in it does not start charging even though it is still during the scheduled charge time. I don't know why they do it this way, although it doesn't affect me very often because my time of use electric rate plan is 11:00 pm to 7:00 am so that is when my charging is typically scheduled, so as long as I am home and plug in by 11:00 pm then I am fine. If I arrive home after 11:00 pm then I have to change the schedule. Let's say I arrive home at 11:10 pm, in that case I modify the schedule to charge from 11:15 pm to 7:00 am and then it starts charging at 11:15 pm. But then I have to remember to change the schedule back to 11:00 pm for the next night. A slight hassle, but it doesn't happen very often.

Similarly if the power is out when the charging time starts, then of course it won't start charging since there is no power, but then when the power is restored charging doesn't start even though it is still within the scheduled time. The same thing can happen if the power goes out even briefly during a charging session, when the power is restored charging does not resume. I wonder if some of the problems people have reported with scheduled charging were actually caused by brief power outages. It doesn't happen very often but it is certainly annoying if there is a brief power failure and it causes you to miss all or most of a scheduled charging session. But then again the same thing happens when using regular unscheduled charging, if power is lost then restored, charging does not resume. I think this is a poor design, or else the Honda engineers did it for a reason that I haven't thought of. But I don't think all EV's work this way.
I haven't checked with the Clarity, but some EVs will revert to charging instantly if you plug in the J-connector, then unplug and re-plug in fewer than five seconds.
 

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Let's say I arrive home at 11:10 pm, in that case I modify the schedule to charge from 11:15 pm to 7:00 am and then it starts charging at 11:15 pm. But then I have to remember to change the schedule back to 11:00 pm for the next night.
Have you tried the following remote/fob trick after plugging in past the start time? I would think it's easier than modifying the schedule twice:
If charging does not start when you plug in, try pressing and holding the charging lid button on the remote. ... page 463 of the "2018 Honda Clarity Owner's Manual".
Alternatively, you could try the [Start Charge] button in the HondaLink app. I have not actually verified that either one works, and I can't test just now because my battery is fully charged.

.
 

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Have you tried the following remote/fob trick after plugging in past the start time? I would think it's easier than modifying the schedule twice:

Alternatively, you could try the [Start Charge] button in the HondaLink app. I have not actually verified that either one works, and I can't test just now because my battery is fully charged.
Yes all of those methods will start charging in a situation where I am late plugging in for a scheduled start time. However I want it to stop charging at 7:00 am because that's when my electric rate goes back up. If I start charging with the fob or any of the other methods it will charge until full, which in some cases will go a few hours past 7:00 am. If I need a full charge that's fine, but most days I don't need a full charge so I want it to stop charging at 7:00 am. So I just adjust the schedule to start five minutes from now but still end at 7:00 am, it just takes a couple of minutes. Just sort of odd that you can't just plug in anytime during a schedule, you have to be plugged in when the schedule starts.
 

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Yes all of those methods will start charging in a situation where I am late plugging in for a scheduled start time. However I want it to stop charging at 7:00 am because that's when my electric rate goes back up. If I start charging with the fob or any of the other methods it will charge until full, which in some cases will go a few hours past 7:00 am. If I need a full charge that's fine, but most days I don't need a full charge so I want it to stop charging at 7:00 am. So I just adjust the schedule to start five minutes from now but still end at 7:00 am, it just takes a couple of minutes. Just sort of odd that you can't just plug in anytime during a schedule, you have to be plugged in when the schedule starts.
Seems like something that could be easily fixed in software.
 

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Seems like something that could be easily fixed in software.
I thought of a reason why they may have programmed it the way they did. They may have wanted to put a priority on consistency, i.e. when you plug in the cable the green light should always mean the same thing. The way it currently works does this, if you plug in and get a solid green light, then it means charging has started and will continue to charge until full. If however you get a flashing green light this means a charge session has been scheduled, but charging will not start until the appointed time.

However in "the way I want it to work" scenario, if I plug in and there is a charge session scheduled that is still active although the start time has already passed, I want it to start charging immediately and then run until the end of the session (or to full if that is how I scheduled it).

However in my scenario the green light will flash steady when I plug in the cable, even though it may not charge to full. So this creates a situation where a steady green light can have two different results, depending on whether scheduled charging is enabled or not. Of course this problem only arises if someone doesn't know or has forgotten whether a charge schedule has been set. Although unlikely it could happen, and if the software developers are fixated on consistency then they may have made that a priority.

I'm not saying that I agree with this thinking, but in my experience software programmers and designers (often the same people) will often come up with "what if" scenarios, but sometimes they don't have a way to gauge the likelihood of the scenario, so they go with the most conservative approach, feeling this will be safest. But unfortunately creating frustration in a more common situation where people are sometimes late to plug in for a scheduled charge session.

Maybe there are ways they could have dealt with it, like an additional light, or a different flashing sequence of the green light for specific situations, but they may have felt that would add unnecessary complications.

Anyway that's all that I could come up with.
 
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