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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I first purchased the Clarity PHEV, I was getting 58-60 mile range on a full charge. Then they did a recall for a software update and now I'm at 39. Honda claims it's because of weather (it's in the 50s here in DC) and it's within tolerances...but won't tell me how much loss happens at a given temperature, nor will disclose what the tolerance is.

I am intensely disappointed.
 

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Well this is a forum so I'm glad to give my opinion and Clarity PHEV experience. (I've no connection to the manufacturer or its advertising). First of all my experience with a new Clarity has only been about 9 weeks.
In that time I've learned that it's electric range varies a lot with ambient temperature. In the warmer weeks, the AC was on and I got from 2.5 to 3.0 miles/KWH (42.5 to 51 miles per full battery charge). In the colder weeks the cab heater ran under "comfort control" (I didn't use any other available aux heat device) and I got from 2.1 to 2.6 miles/KWH (36 to 44 miles per full battery charge).

I'm retired, don't have that many miles to drive, so can try to drive my Clarity like a total electric car. The charge in KWH that the car takes-in every night is measured. From this and the monthly electric bill I know how much battery charging costs. I'm even careful about not pressing the accelerator when driving downhill so that electric motor isn't powered needlessly. The way one presses the accelerator in the EV mode will of course affect battery use efficiency. I know if I press the accelerator beyond the "click point" (75%) that the car will automatically be thrown into its HV mode and that that mode will remain 'on' for at least 10 minutes, unless the car is stopped and re-started in the EV mode. If I'm in a rush and drive it like a gas engine car, even if I don't press down to the "click point", the battery use will be higher.

Also, it seems to me that "cab heating" takes much more energy (battery KWH) than "cab cooling". So that is what buyers in the Fall experience most shockingly. I do wish Honda would make an effort to advise Clarity customers of its variable efficiency, especially to Fall buyers. Here's the way I think. IF they advertise the car at an average of: 47 miles/(full battery) charge and IF you can get 58 miles/charge as a maximum, then the math might be like:
(58 + x)/2 = 47 => where x = 36 miles/charge (the minimum range Clarity gets)
For a portion (winter) of the year we can expect to be at this 'low end' efficiency value. Of course, I must wait until next year to see if all this pans out as expected :>)
 

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Yep, even my Segway batteries know when the temps are below the 70 degree mark. And I read somewhere the electric heaters use more electricity than the A/C compressor which is electrically powered.
If you search the internet for the issue of electric vehicle range versus temperature you will see that all electric vehicles suffer range lossd in cold weather. During colder weather you will just have to use gas a little bit.

https://blog.ucsusa.org/dave-reichmuth/electric-cars-cold-weather-temperatures
 

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When I first purchased the Clarity PHEV, I was getting 58-60 mile range on a full charge. Then they did a recall for a software update and now I'm at 39. Honda claims it's because of weather (it's in the 50s here in DC) and it's within tolerances...but won't tell me how much loss happens at a given temperature, nor will disclose what the tolerance is.

I am intensely disappointed.
I have had the exact same experience! Three months of extraordinary range; then software update and significantly reduced maximum charge and range. No help or explanation from sevice department or reps.
 

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I still think it is the cold.

Check out the Chevy Volt forums. The Volt has the same cold weather issue. I have seen posts about the Volt's range in the low 30's during cold weather. It was 19 in St. Louis this morning and the EV range was 35. I have found that running in HV mode when on the interstate still gets me to work and back. Combined gas mileage at the end of the day is still greater than 199 mpg.
 

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but I do wish Honda and it's dealerships were more savvy so they could prepare and alert you to these variables and their consequences.
Since I have solar panels on my roof that produce much more electricity than I have been able to consume, it is only the bother and not the expense that frequent charging entails.
 

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Clarity full charging

When I purchased my Clarity July 1, I got 49-51 with a full charge. It has been slowly be full charge with less range. It is December and now a full charge says 34 at the end of 14 hours charging. My garage is 50 degrees. Does the outside temperature make the amount of range the battery charges to change that much? Seems crazy. I did not get any kind of software update unless that can happen at my home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've posted this in a couple other range forums, so I should note it in a thread I started: Not long after posting, I decided to track my actual range from a 100% charge...and found that I am generally keeping above 50 this winter, despite the guage showing 41, 42, 46, etc in the cold. Even today (16 degrees in DC), I showed 42.8 but experienced 52 with a little remaining after my commute.

The guage can be fooled into showing a reduced range for as many as 4 cycles after just one drive with heavy heater/defroster use or long idling.

Cold does have a solid 20% impact (I'm down from 61 at the car's best in August) to 48-52 (Dec/Jan), but it wasnt as bad as I was fearing - 30s for range for 8 months out of the year.

I've read on other threads the heater can use as much as 6 kW per hour, but if you can cope with short bursts of heat/defrost and fire up the seat, you may be able to goose the range back up.
 

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Cold weather effect

The summer here in the 90s I was getting an estimated range of about 60 miles, now in the mid 30s F about 35 miles per full charge. This is consistent with mileage for the Volt that dropped to about 30% from peak when in the 30s. The Volt automatically insists on HV mode below 25F.
The cold weather reduces the battery chemistry so it charges less and has less to give. I just use HV mode at temps less than 40F. I expect a rebound in range when the temps get back above 50F.
The heating is important at 6 KW per hour and worse if you are stuck in traffic. The Clarity normally consumes about 25 (to 30 KWh) per 100 miles so if you go 35 miles at 35 miles an hour your consumption for that 35 miles without vs with heating goes from 8 KWh(10 KWh) to 14 KWh which is from 25 KWh(30 KWh) per 100 to 40 KWh per 100 miles. The range would then be for 15 KWh of usable battery a drop from 60(50) to 37.5 miles.
I have not tried to go without heat to see what happens. Maybe that will be my next test.NOT!

As an aside, I read that super fast charging in cold temperatures degrades the battery quickly and permanently. The Clarity does not have a super fast charge rate but does put some shade on those all electric fast charging cars (Tesla?). What is the advantage of fast charging if you permanently degrade your battery?
 

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Countdown malfunction

After about four months, the HV mileage indicator on the Range window stopped counting down either when EV miles ran out or when I manually went into HV mode. The number of available miles is locked at 271 which represents a full tank of gas. It stays there even though the fuel gauge ( and my ears) shows significant gas usage. This I guess is a minor glitch but my dealership has absolutely no expertise or explanation or even understanding of the problem. They are admittedly clueless and unwilling to even attempt a solution or pass it on to the next level. Utterly useless!
The master mechanic claims he himself must keep the car overnight and drive it for over 25 miles to see with his own eyes that it's not counting down. Absurd since I've been there three times with the same 271miles indicated and it is evident at a glance that the two gauges are showing different readings and two miles driving on HV mode would ascertain it. Another mechanic has already done this with me. It's ridiculous for me to again have to leave them the car especially since they've been unable to provide me with a loaner auto.
Any ideas as to what I can do to simply get it right again? Perhaps refilling the gas tank which I rarely if ever have to do.
 
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