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Most of my driving since buying a plug-in Clarity has been pure electric. For trips that exceed the EV range, I'm curious about managing the driving modes. For example, I'm trying to figure out the best variations on a one day trip. Using round numbers, I'm thinking about a trip that starts with 2.5 miles of city driving, then a highway leg, with another 2.5 miles of city driving at the other end. Identical return trip to get back home. For simplicity, I'm assuming a full charge to begin with, showing 50 EV miles, a full tank of gas, and no convenient place to recharge .
The first 3 trips listed below should be all electric.
My question is: what is the best way to handle modes for the longer options? For trips exceeding 50 miles, do I just leave it in ECON mode the whole time and let the car figure things out? Or, are there benefits to switching to HV mode at some point during one or both of the highway portions? For the sake of economy, should I have a goal (regardless of how many miles over 50 I travel) to return home with zero electric miles left? If switching to HV at some point makes sense, is it better to do it early in the trip, or maybe later on, or does it make no difference?
I'm not looking to get extreme electric mileage, but my gut feeling is that I don't want to leave any EV miles unused if I'll be going beyond the total available range before the next time I recharge.
I'd appreciate hearing from folks who have experience in regularly driving beyond the pure electric range of their Clarity.

first leghighwaysecond legreturn leg 1return highwaylast legtotal miles
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2.5​
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2.5​
30​
2.5​
15​
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2.5​
15​
2.5​
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2.5​
2.5​
20​
2.5​
50​
2.5​
25​
2.5​
2.5​
25​
2.5​
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2.5​
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2.5​
30​
2.5​
70​
2.5​
35​
2.5​
2.5​
35​
2.5​
80​
 

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For trips exceeding 50 miles, do I just leave it in ECON mode the whole time and let the car figure things out?
I think the term that you meant to use is EV, not ECON. ECON, along with NORMAL and SPORT are the three driving modes that you can select which mainly affect accelerator pedal sensitivity and climate control. Some people have said that it also affects cruise control aggressiveness, but I can't really tell a difference. Very little difference in fuel economy between these three modes, so unless you are trying to eek out every tiny bit of efficiency just drive with whichever of those three modes gives you the driving experience that is most to you liking.

EV and HV modes are what your question is about. If the HV icon isn't illuminated on the display then you are in EV mode. The exception is if you are down to 0 EV miles then you will be in HV mode whether or not the HV icon is lit.

To add a little bit of confusion there is also an EV icon located in a different part of the instrument panel, however the EV icon can appear in any mode and merely indicates that the gas engine is not running at that moment. There is a companion icon on the energy screen which shows a picture of the engine, when the picture of the engine is illuminated the gas engine is running, and the EV icon will disappear. When the engine stops running the picture of the engine grays out, and the EV icon will appear on the dash. To reiterate, the appearance or absence of the EV icon does not indicate whether you are in EV mode or HV mode, it only indicates whether the gas engine is running at that moment. To prove this point you will sometimes see both the EV and HV icons illuminated on the display at the same time. That means you are in HV mode but the engine is not running at the moment. After all HV is "hybrid mode", and all hybrids turn off the gas engine at various times.

For the sake of economy, should I have a goal (regardless of how many miles over 50 I travel) to return home with zero electric miles left?
Depends on electricity and gas prices in your area. If it costs you less to drive electric then on gas, which is the case for most people, then it will be more economical to drive EV as much as you can, which includes arriving home with 0 EV miles if possible.

If switching to HV at some point makes sense, is it better to do it early in the trip, or maybe later on, or does it make no difference?
From an efficiency standpoint it won't make that much difference. The main reason to purposely switch to HV is for drivability reasons. Most people find that they really appreciate being in EV mode on surface streets (your 2.5 mile sections) because of how smooth and quiet it is. However when cruising on the highway it makes little difference whether you are in EV or HV because you barely hear the engine over the wind and road noise. Also driving in EV at high speeds uses up battery charge at a very high rate. Whereas when driving at steady high speeds in HV the gas engine will go into direct drive mode where the engine connects to an efficient overdrive gear. This is the only time that the gas engine directly turns the wheels, all other times it merely generates electricity to be used by the electric motor. So it will be somewhat more efficient to try and allocate HV driving to highway and EV to city street whenever possible.

But the biggest reason is to make for a more pleasant driving experience. If you never touch the HV button in your +50 mile scenarios, then you would use up your EV when you still had some city street driving remaining, which means you get to hear the gas engine on those remaining sections. No big deal, but if you want to avoid that then you can switch to HV at some point during the return highway segment. Then when the remaining miles to home equals the remaining EV miles you can turn off HV. In theory you will then arrive at home just as you reach 0 EV miles. But of course that won't always happen exactly. If you wind up arriving home with one or two EV miles remaining, no big deal, next time try switching from HV to EV a little sooner. On the other hand if you come up short and reach 0 EV miles before you get home, then it switches to HV and most likely the gas engine will come on, however since it's already warmed up the gas engine will probably turn back off when driving at slow speed through your neighborhood.
 

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Most of my driving since buying a plug-in Clarity has been pure electric. For trips that exceed the EV range, I'm curious about managing the driving modes. For example, I'm trying to figure out the best variations on a one day trip. Using round numbers, I'm thinking about a trip that starts with 2.5 miles of city driving, then a highway leg, with another 2.5 miles of city driving at the other end. Identical return trip to get back home. For simplicity, I'm assuming a full charge to begin with, showing 50 EV miles, a full tank of gas, and no convenient place to recharge .
The first 3 trips listed below should be all electric.
My question is: what is the best way to handle modes for the longer options? For trips exceeding 50 miles, do I just leave it in ECON mode the whole time and let the car figure things out? Or, are there benefits to switching to HV mode at some point during one or both of the highway portions? For the sake of economy, should I have a goal (regardless of how many miles over 50 I travel) to return home with zero electric miles left? If switching to HV at some point makes sense, is it better to do it early in the trip, or maybe later on, or does it make no difference?
I'm not looking to get extreme electric mileage, but my gut feeling is that I don't want to leave any EV miles unused if I'll be going beyond the total available range before the next time I recharge.
I'd appreciate hearing from folks who have experience in regularly driving beyond the pure electric range of their Clarity.

first leghighwaysecond legreturn leg 1return highwaylast legtotal miles
2.5​
10​
2.5​
2.5​
10​
2.5​
30​
2.5​
15​
2.5​
2.5​
15​
2.5​
40​
2.5​
20​
2.5​
2.5​
20​
2.5​
50​
2.5​
25​
2.5​
2.5​
25​
2.5​
60​
2.5​
30​
2.5​
2.5​
30​
2.5​
70​
2.5​
35​
2.5​
2.5​
35​
2.5​
80​
My experience has been that performance is better if the battery does not get run down. Once the battery is at 50% it may be a good time to switch to HV.
 

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When going beyond all electric range, I try to keep the battery more or less in the middle. That allows for good regen braking and also leaves plenty of electric reserve for hills etc. I'll usually burn off the top third of the battery from the get-go and then switch to HV. I'll stay in HV for high speed driving. Any slow speed sections along the way I may switch temporarily to EV and then back to HV resuming high speed driving. Getting back home, I'll use a map app to give me distance remaining, then switch to EV once the distance home is about 3 miles less than remaining EV range, with the goal of landing back in the garage with about 3-4 bars left on the battery.
 
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