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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello Community,

We recently bought a 2018 Clarity Plug-In with the intention of fuel economy especially to save on gas. Without doing so much research and based on other driver's experience shared hybrid saved them on gas, we got this vehicle pre-owned certified at an authorized dealer in the Bay Area California. We are not experienced drivers, especially the new technology of fuel economy but we jumped to buy for the good price and condition compared to other models and makers available in this tight market. We will use it for personal use: errands 5 miles surrounds, working commute up to 30 miles each way, once in while weekends get away, and long trips once or twice a year.

The amount of information on how to use this car is overwhelming and sometimes confusing and takes a lot of a learning curve to drive. But I have a couple of simple questions if it was the right car or at least to maximize utility based on our situation.

First question: We don't have a garage or a private place to charge the car overnight. We will be relying on public charging stations. How often does it need to be charged? Is it safe for the car that the gas engine charge the electric battery (70% of the time) when the battery is empty or running low? I don't know if waiting two hours to charge would be ideal. Could you stop the charge at the time you need to take off?

Second question: We have driven the car on Economy mode (the tree green icon) and driving on electric. If the electric battery is dead, will it automatically switch to gas engine or do we need to manually switch to HV mode or any other mode? Will we be stuck in traffic if we don't act promptly? I heard there are two modes of HV: when you press once, and when you hold it for 5 seconds. What is the difference?

Last question: We will be planning to make a long trip from the Bay Area to LA. What mode does it need to be driven to get the 300+ miles range as advertised.

I know most of this has been covered, and sorry if opening a new post to answer these questions would be considered spam or duplicates to previous threads. Again the amount of new information out there is overwhelming. So far we love the car, it's a smooth drive and very fun.
 

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Welcome aboard and congrats on the Clarity ownership!

Here are the answers you posted:
1. Charging is optional - as long as you have fuel in the small 7 gallon tank, you are good to go. It helps to increase your miles by having a charged EV battery. At public L2 charge stations, your Clarity should fully charge within 2-3 hours if empty. You can stop the charge anytime you wish - just disconnect the charger from the car.

2. Driving it on the city streets with Eco and EV are the best way. When the EV battery runs low, it automatically switches on the gas engine to recharge and drive the car. This switchover is automatic. Pure EV driving is most efficient in bumper to bumper traffic as the coasting & brakes help regenerate power back into the battery. If you drive on high speeds for distance, it's best to switch to HV mode (hybrid) manually (press once). Then if you are running low on EV charge and want to recharge the battery a bit while driving in HV mode, press and hold the HV to enter the "HV Charge" mode where your gas engine will also charge the EV battery.

3. The best way to tackle a long drive would be to map out where you want to stop for recharging (if possible). If you don't plan on stopping to recharge, I did the LA to Sacramento drive recently and got about 420 miles per full charge & tank of fuel. On the city driving before the freeway, I used EV only. Then when I got on the freeway at sustained speeds over 50 MPH, I switched on HV mode which was the most time it spent. Once I got off the freeway, I switched back to Eco EV mode and saved fuel. I did manage to get a full charge at my destination at a public county charge station for free (took 2 hours) using my Charge Point app on my phone.

Take the time to sign up different apps on your mobile phone: EV Go, Charge Point, Blink, and my favorite locator app: PlugShare.

Feel free to ask us more questions as this car is definitely high tech and there are still more ways to gain EV miles out of this wonderful car!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thank you for your simple but detailed response. I guess we will rely on gas fuel for the most part since plug-in charging for two hours in a public place would not work for us. I learned this model is not enabled for fast charging.

Would audio and climate control still work on an empty electric battery running on gas? We recently hit two bars en EV battery and the app shows 9% driving = O miles so I'm getting range anxiety on how much will last. When Eco mode and electric battery depletes, does it automatically switch HV mode with no driver input and runs on gas? We just don't want to get stranded.

Welcome aboard and congrats on the Clarity ownership!

2. Driving it on the city streets with Eco and EV are the best way. When the EV battery runs low, it automatically switches on the gas engine to recharge and drive the car. This switchover is automatic. Pure EV driving is most efficient in bumper to bumper traffic as the coasting & brakes help regenerate power back into the battery. If you drive on high speeds for distance, it's best to switch to HV mode (hybrid) manually (press once). Then if you are running low on EV charge and want to recharge the battery a bit while driving in HV mode, press and hold the HV to enter the "HV Charge" mode where your gas engine will also charge the EV battery.
Let me understand this. When users mention Eco mode refer equally as driving on EV exclusively? If so, is there a way to start the car from gas engine? How?

3. Thank you for the tip of maximizing fuel efficiency on longer driving trips. I'm still confused of the different HV modes. The pressing once and the other by holding for 5 seconds. What is the difference between those two?

Sorry that I'm throwing many things at once or if in the process I am repeating myself.

Thank you so much for explaining how this vehicle works.
 

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Would audio and climate control still work on an empty electric battery running on gas? We recently hit two bars en EV battery and the app shows 9% driving = O miles so I'm getting range anxiety on how much will last. When Eco mode and electric battery depletes, does it automatically switch HV mode with no driver input and runs on gas? We just don't want to get stranded.
4sallypat already answered your question here:

Charging is optional - as long as you have fuel in the small 7 gallon tank, you are good to go.
Clarity is a hybrid, it will run on just gasoline. Your radio will work, the headlights will work, everything will work and you can go as far as you need to go as long as you have gas in the tank. That's the whole point of a PHEV, that the car will still function even if you are not able to charge.

You can drive the car without pressing any buttons and it will all work fine and handle everything automatically. The only thing you have to pay attention to is the fuel tank indicator which is the bars on the right side of the instrument panel.

In your case even though you won't be plugging it in to charge, you can still charge the battery using the gas engine. You don't have to, but you will have a more interesting experience with your car if you do. This is called HV Charge and you do this by pressing the HV button and holding it for a few seconds. On the instrument panel you will see a small HV Charge indicator when it is turned on. As you drive with HV Charge you will notice that the bars on the left side of the display will start increasing as the battery gets charged. In the middle of the screen is an estimate of EV miles and HV miles (gas miles) but those estimates are not always accurate so you should not consider them as reliable information but just for ballpark estimate. The bars on the left and right however are not estimates those are actual battery level and fuel level, so those are the ones you should mostly pay attention to.

Here is an experiment that you can do which will allow you to experience driving in EV. On your next 30 mile commute, on the way to work turn on HV Charge and leave it on the entire time that you are driving to work. Notice how far up the bars go on the left side of the display, and you will also notice the estimated EV miles increasing. When you turn off the car HV Charge will automatically turn off. Then when you are going home don't press any buttons, just start the car and drive it. You will notice that the car is very quiet that's because it is in EV mode and the engine is not running. There will also be an EV indicator on the instrument panel. As you keep driving the bars on the left will keep going down and the estimate EV miles will go down also. When it gets to 0 EV miles then the gas engine will automatically come on and you will then be in hybrid mode the rest of the way home.

I would try the above experiment at least for a couple of commutes and don't do any other button pushing, you will probably get confused if you try too many things at once.
 

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Hello Community,

We recently bought a 2018 Clarity Plug-In with the intention of fuel economy especially to save on gas. Without doing so much research and based on other driver's experience shared hybrid saved them on gas, we got this vehicle pre-owned certified at an authorized dealer in the Bay Area California. We are not experienced drivers, especially the new technology of fuel economy but we jumped to buy for the good price and condition compared to other models and makers available in this tight market. We will use it for personal use: errands 5 miles surrounds, working commute up to 30 miles each way, once in while weekends get away, and long trips once or twice a year.

The amount of information on how to use this car is overwhelming and sometimes confusing and takes a lot of a learning curve to drive. But I have a couple of simple questions if it was the right car or at least to maximize utility based on our situation.

First question: We don't have a garage or a private place to charge the car overnight. We will be relying on public charging stations. How often does it need to be charged? Is it safe for the car that the gas engine charge the electric battery (70% of the time) when the battery is empty or running low? I don't know if waiting two hours to charge would be ideal. Could you stop the charge at the time you need to take off?

Second question: We have driven the car on Economy mode (the tree green icon) and driving on electric. If the electric battery is dead, will it automatically switch to gas engine or do we need to manually switch to HV mode or any other mode? Will we be stuck in traffic if we don't act promptly? I heard there are two modes of HV: when you press once, and when you hold it for 5 seconds. What is the difference?

Last question: We will be planning to make a long trip from the Bay Area to LA. What mode does it need to be driven to get the 300+ miles range as advertised.

I know most of this has been covered, and sorry if opening a new post to answer these questions would be considered spam or duplicates to previous threads. Again the amount of new information out there is overwhelming. So far we love the car, it's a smooth drive and very fun.
Recognize that the roadside charger services outlined specialize in DC Fast Chargers (DCFC) or Tesla Superchargers. The Clarity PHEV does not have a DCFC CCS Combo port. If you're going to use on-line tools like PlugShare to find available chargers, be sure to change the default setting filters to only show so-called "Destination Chargers", or "L2", or "Level 2" that have "J1772" outlets. The clarity only supports J1772 connectors. You can use a Tesla Destination Charger, with an adapter. (The adapters tend to be pricey. I've got one, and it works great.) There's no way to use a higher power Tesla Supercharger or a CCS Combo charger with the Clarity PHEV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Recognize that the roadside charger services outlined specialize in DC Fast Chargers (DCFC) or Tesla Superchargers. The Clarity PHEV does not have a DCFC CCS Combo port. If you're going to use on-line tools like PlugShare to find available chargers, be sure to change the default setting filters to only show so-called "Destination Chargers", or "L2", or "Level 2" that have "J1772" outlets. The clarity only supports J1772 connectors. You can use a Tesla Destination Charger, with an adapter. (The adapters tend to be pricey. I've got one, and it works great.) There's no way to use a higher power Tesla Supercharger or a CCS Combo charger with the Clarity PHEV.
Thank you for clarifying. Today we tried from a fast charging station. Obviously it wasn't successful. For now we're driving on automatic HV mode. Getting this adapter and using it on a fast charge station, will it charge "fast 30 min"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
4sallypat already answered your question here:


Here is an experiment that you can do which will allow you to experience driving in EV. On your next 30 mile commute, on the way to work turn on HV Charge and leave it on the entire time that you are driving to work. Notice how far up the bars go on the left side of the display, and you will also notice the estimated EV miles increasing. When you turn off the car HV Charge will automatically turn off. Then when you are going home don't press any buttons, just start the car and drive it. You will notice that the car is very quiet that's because it is in EV mode and the engine is not running. There will also be an EV indicator on the instrument panel. As you keep driving the bars on the left will keep going down and the estimate EV miles will go down also. When it gets to 0 EV miles then the gas engine will automatically come on and you will then be in hybrid mode the rest of the way home.

I would try the above experiment at least for a couple of commutes and don't do any other button pushing, you will probably get confused if you try too many things at once.
This is a good suggestion. So every time the car starts, it does on EV mode automatically. What is the difference is Eco mode and Normal Mode? How to know if car is in Normal Mode?
 

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This is a good suggestion. So every time the car starts, it does on EV mode automatically. What is the difference is Eco mode and Normal Mode? How to know if car is in Normal Mode?
Wow. This is the exact thing the marketers are trying to figure out. So far, PHEVs have been a pretty small niche market because it has been difficult for the average person to wrap their minds around the concept. Since the car has a charging port, some people associate it directly with a BEV and don’t understand its versatility. What is really unusual is that you bought this car without really understanding exactly how it works. That was a bold move and you are to be commended for trusting that this would work for you especially with apparently not having a way to charge it at home. That being said, you can drive it pretty much like a regular hybrid and never charge the battery if you like.
I’ve noticed some Hyundai commercials on TV as of late that seem to try to clear things up so the average person can get a better idea of how this technology works. Reading the owner’s manual and frequenting this forum will go a long way in helping you to understand it.
 

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I would try the above experiment at least for a couple of commutes and don't do any other button pushing, you will probably get confused if you try too many things at once.
What is the difference is Eco mode and Normal Mode? How to know if car is in Normal Mode?

Above is what I recommended. In your situation I think you will be better off trying things out one at a time and not try to learn it all at once. Feel free to follow this recommendation - or not.

If this approach is too slow for you and you can't wait to understand all of the buttons, it is all covered in the owners manual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow. This is the exact thing the marketers are trying to figure out. So far, PHEVs have been a pretty small niche market because it has been difficult for the average person to wrap their minds around the concept. Since the car has a charging port, some people associate it directly with a BEV and don’t understand its versatility. What is really unusual is that you bought this car without really understanding exactly how it works. That was a bold move and you are to be commended for trusting that this would work for you especially with apparently not having a way to charge it at home. That being said, you can drive it pretty much like a regular hybrid and never charge the battery if you like.
I’ve noticed some Hyundai commercials on TV as of late that seem to try to clear things up so the average person can get a better idea of how this technology works. Reading the owner’s manual and frequenting this forum will go a long way in helping you to understand it.
In this market with no car inventory to choose from is what we ended up. We like the car and thrilled about it. Sorry if the average driver like us don't understand the technology but that's the challenge when introducing a new technology to the average user and planned to be the standard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Above is what I recommended. In your situation I think you will be better off trying things out one at a time and not try to learn it all at once. Feel free to follow this recommendation - or not.

If this approach is too slow for you and you can't wait to understand all of the buttons, it is all covered in the owners manual.
Thank you so much for responding and explaining in a simple and clear way. We are still waiting for the manual from the dealer. I know there is a PDF manual to download but it's 500+ pages to print and not practical to read from PC or tablet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hello Community,

We recently bought a 2018 Clarity Plug-In with the intention of fuel economy especially to save on gas. Without doing so much research and based on other driver's experience shared hybrid saved them on gas, we got this vehicle pre-owned certified at an authorized dealer in the Bay Area California. We are not experienced drivers, especially the new technology of fuel economy but we jumped to buy for the good price and condition compared to other models and makers available in this tight market. We will use it for personal use: errands 5 miles surrounds, working commute up to 30 miles each way, once in while weekends get away, and long trips once or twice a year.

The amount of information on how to use this car is overwhelming and sometimes confusing and takes a lot of a learning curve to drive. But I have a couple of simple questions if it was the right car or at least to maximize utility based on our situation.

First question: We don't have a garage or a private place to charge the car overnight. We will be relying on public charging stations. How often does it need to be charged? Is it safe for the car that the gas engine charge the electric battery (70% of the time) when the battery is empty or running low? I don't know if waiting two hours to charge would be ideal. Could you stop the charge at the time you need to take off?

Second question: We have driven the car on Economy mode (the tree green icon) and driving on electric. If the electric battery is dead, will it automatically switch to gas engine or do we need to manually switch to HV mode or any other mode? Will we be stuck in traffic if we don't act promptly? I heard there are two modes of HV: when you press once, and when you hold it for 5 seconds. What is the difference?

Last question: We will be planning to make a long trip from the Bay Area to LA. What mode does it need to be driven to get the 300+ miles range as advertised.

I know most of this has been covered, and sorry if opening a new post to answer these questions would be considered spam or duplicates to previous threads. Again the amount of new information out there is overwhelming. So far we love the car, it's a smooth drive and very fun.

I appreciate the people who kindly and directly responded to some of my questions. It really introduced me to understand better to some things that were confusing to grasp. I confess we're learning the new vocabulary and terms for this car system.

I would say it's safe to close this thread.
 

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In this market with no car inventory to choose from is what we ended up. We like the car and thrilled about it. Sorry if the average driver like us don't understand the technology but that's the challenge when introducing a new technology to the average user and planned to be the standard.
No need to be sorry. I understand that it’s difficult to comprehend it all. Glad you’re a new owner and I hope everything goes well in your endeavor!
 

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In this market with no car inventory to choose from is what we ended up. We like the car and thrilled about it. Sorry if the average driver like us don't understand the technology but that's the challenge when introducing a new technology to the average user and planned to be the standard.
There are very few people who can hop into a PHEV and understand it all. Some of us came from regular hybrids and that helps somewhat as there is a lot of similarity, but there are still things that take everyone a while to learn. That's why I was recommending to not try and figure out too much at once. As I said the car works just fine without doing anything special, but after you get more familiar with it there are things you can do to customize your driving experience more to your liking..

There is an Owners Guide which is 162 pages long that comes with the car. I'm guessing the previous owner didn't provide that when they sold or traded the car.

Also you aren't the only one who has bought a PHEV when they didn't have an easy way to charge it. Some people have bought them just so they can get HOV stickers. But as I said by using HV Charge you can still get pretty much the same experience, just without the advantage of using grid electricity instead of gas.
 

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I appreciate the people who kindly and directly responded to some of my questions. It really introduced me to understand better to some things that were confusing to grasp. I confess we're learning the new vocabulary and terms for this car system.

I would say it's safe to close this thread.
Closing this thread.
 
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