bobmcd67
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:54 pm

Driving Strategy: When to Use ECO, HV, etc.

Fri May 04, 2018 5:10 pm

New Clarity PHEV owner here. I'm loving this car, but I think the owners manual leaves much to be desired. For example, the impression I got at the dealership was that you basically toggle between the three driving modes, ECO, SPORT, and HV (plus the HV charge option). And I can't find a mention of HV and how to use it anywhere in the manual.

I'm now coming to realize that the driving mode switches are really on/off switches and therefore, there's a "nothing" or "Normal" mode where none of the specialty modes are engaged. And it also appears that you can turn on more than one mode at the same time (though I can't imagine why you would).

So I'm curious, first, if the above interpretation is correct, and second, if there are any strategies any of you have come up with that are beyond the obvious ones.

For example, on the highway on the way home last night, I had 20 mi of battery range left and 15 miles to home. It seemed logical to turn HV off and use some electrons in that battery range to bring me home. Even though HV is more efficient from an MPG point of view, the electrons from the house are way cheaper than gas. Was I thinking right? In other words, does it make sense to plan your driving day, so you usually pull in the driveway pretty much out of charge? Have you guys come up with any other strategies?

darthpuppy
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:30 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: Driving Strategy: When to Use ECO, HV, etc.

Sat May 05, 2018 3:23 am

I think you are on right track using EV if you have the range for the drive.

For drives that exceed the EV range, I try to proactively use HV on the full speed highway sections and EV in the stop and go sections or surface streets. And then of course EV only once I'm in range to complete the drive without using gas.

I'm not an engineer or hypermiler, so I'm not 100% sure this is the most efficient way.

cwhite
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:18 pm

Re: Driving Strategy: When to Use ECO, HV, etc.

Mon May 07, 2018 3:36 pm

Welcome, I think you will enjoy your Clarity. You are correct on wanting to use EV mode. I try to show up with the battery empty at where I will charge, only use HV mode on the freeway when I know I will have some amount of 'around town' driving to do. I would never use EV charge mode, it uses a lot more gas. I think it was designed for Europe where there is a fee to drive in a city using your engine. If you have to use public charging it becomes a trip back to middle-school math class. Of course free is always good and should be used whenever you can. Blink chargers (at .39 pre kWh) should be passed by. At $3.30 a gallon it is cheaper to run your Clarity on gas than paying that much for electricity(I get 43mpg with no charge left). To run on gas costs about 7.9 cents per mile. I estimate I get from 3 to 3.5 miles per kWh (would be nice for the Clarity to tell us this, my wife's Chevy Bolt gives a lot more efficiency info). Based on this I will only pay from 23 to 27 cents per kWh for charging. In reality I have never paid for a charge in the Clarity. Just drive until I get to our destination. If I find a place to plug-in, great, otherwise just keep on driving.

SFClarity
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 6:29 pm

Re: Driving Strategy: When to Use ECO, HV, etc.

Mon May 07, 2018 6:47 pm

For the best description I’ve found: http://news.honda.com/newsandviews/arti ... d=10081-en
I’m not an engineer either, but this is my take so far: The Clarity can run as a serial hybrid (all EV until runs out then gas) or a parallel hybrid (battery supplements gas), the later is like the Accord and other non-plug ins. You choose: EV is the default; toggle the HV button to put you in parallel. Darthpuppy’s succinct response is solid advice on when to use HV vs EV.
ECO and Sport are available in either mode. ECO increases economy at the expense of performance; Sport the opposite. (I haven’t felt the need to use either yet.)
The link above, under POWERTRAIN, describes a passing mode that draws on both gas and electric, engaged by depressing the accelerator pass some click point. This suggests another good reason to preserve some battery by running HV on long trips.
That said, we have been finding FREE charging points using the Honda dash app or Clickpoint phone app. Picking lunch stop near a free recharge station, we got over 100mpg on a recent trip. Enjoy!

bobmcd67
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:54 pm

Re: Driving Strategy: When to Use ECO, HV, etc.

Tue May 08, 2018 5:52 pm

Thank you CW and SF!

CW, that is a good analysis. I have to get out of the mentality that home electrons are free. I'm sure I will, the first electric bill since buying the car is due any day :-) In actuality, I pay about 18 cents/kWh here in Massachusetts and about $2.70 per gallon at the moment. Time to sharpen my pencil.

SF, your explanation is excellent, and the information in the link as well... far better than the meager description in the manual. I'm not sure what you mean by Clickpoint. Is that different from the HondaLink app? I just downloaded that and it does have lots of charging locations listed.

I hope others will chime in as well.

cwhite
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:18 pm

Re: Driving Strategy: When to Use ECO, HV, etc.

Tue May 08, 2018 7:58 pm

I have the opposite problem, having solar at home and charging at work, I tend to think of electricity as free. Does your utility have time-of-use rates? It can save money if your charging uses a lot of your homes power, unlikely I know with the 16kWh battery in the Clarity. WIth our Bolt and Clarity I looked into it before going solar. Hard to calculated the amount I would save charging at night compared to the higher price per kWh during the day in the summer using A/C. So many things to think about. Now I am looking at the hybrid home heating systems that use gas and electricity depending on the cost of each taking into account the current climate and the efficiency of the electric heat pump at lower temperatures. Sometimes I miss my 69' Camaro, only thing driven by the engine belt was the alternator, no A/C, no power steering, no nothing. A small tool box could fix about every potential problem.

bobmcd67
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:54 pm

Re: Driving Strategy: When to Use ECO, HV, etc.

Wed May 09, 2018 4:13 am

SF

I was reading another article and found the ChargePoint (not ClickPoint) app.

For the benefit of other readers, that is another way to find locations to charge when "on the road," often free.

darthpuppy
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:30 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: Driving Strategy: When to Use ECO, HV, etc.

Wed May 09, 2018 4:20 am

Good thought regarding the HV Charging option. I never tried that as I didn't see a benefit and it sounded to me like it would use excessive gas. But for areas where you have to go EV only, I can see the need to preserve a good chunk of battery capacity. Also, keeping some available so you can get the combined performance when you need it seems like a good idea too. Though that should be doable fine with some normal HV use rather than HV Charging mode.

As I'm a fairly laid back driver, I just keep it in Econ mode. Haven't driven it in Normal or Sport since I did the test drive. Of course, my commute routinely exceeds the EV only range, so I figure if I don't keep it in Econ mode, that will result in extra gas burned. And for me that is doubly painful as I also have free solar power available. I think I will try out Sport some when I know the commute will not require gas and see how I like it. After all, if it is in range, then the extra performance is from free energy unless it causes the gas engine to kick in.

darthpuppy
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:30 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: Driving Strategy: When to Use ECO, HV, etc.

Wed May 09, 2018 4:21 am

Yes, ChargePoint is a good app to have, especially if you have their networked stations near you. I also find PlugShare to be useful.

SFClarity
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 6:29 pm

Re: Driving Strategy: When to Use ECO, HV, etc.

Thu May 10, 2018 7:23 pm

Bob, sorry for the late response. Re: "click point" - Following is copied out of the link i posted earlier:
"However, when the driver desires extra power in situations such as highway passing, even higher performance can be invoked by depressing the throttle pedal through a resistance point, or "click point," toward the end of the pedal travel, bringing the full power of the engine and electric motor together for maximum acceleration, regardless of driving mode."

Regarding EV charger location apps, we are finding the Charge Point and Plug Share apps more useful than the one on the Honda navigation because they often give very precise locations: E.g. "third level, west wall" helped us find the chargers on a multilevel parking structure.

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