Powegian
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed May 08, 2019 10:23 pm

Am I doing damage driving with no charge for too long?

Wed May 08, 2019 10:28 pm

I'm wondering about the practicality of of taking my Clarity on a longer trip, say 200 miles R/T. If I did that, I'd go through my charge after about 50 miles or so then rely on gas. Something the salesman told me in passing about not letting the charge get too low makes me wonder if I ran the car only on gas for an extended length of time. Does anyone know if there's a max distance one should drive the Clarity on gas only without a recharge?

jzchen
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:22 pm
Location: Arcadia, CA USA

Re: Am I doing damage driving with no charge for too long?

Thu May 09, 2019 1:10 am

I have not read of any such concern on the PHEV, only possibly the pure EV version. (I haven't read through the entire manual yet I must confess)...

DucRider
Moderator
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:28 pm

Re: Am I doing damage driving with no charge for too long?

Thu May 09, 2019 6:50 pm

jzchen wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 1:10 am
I have not read of any such concern on the PHEV, only possibly the pure EV version. (I haven't read through the entire manual yet I must confess)...
Not sure what you mean since you can't drive the Electric version at all when it is out of charge.

You can drive the PHEV version as long as you want without gas, but a few owners have reported a loss of power under certain conditions when doing so and routinely manually put it in HV mode for long trips.
Gary
Oregon Electric Vehicle Association Vice Chair
www.oeva.org
NDEW City Captain
www.driveelectricweek.org

jzchen
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:22 pm
Location: Arcadia, CA USA

Re: Am I doing damage driving with no charge for too long?

Sat May 11, 2019 12:15 am

Rereading what I said it doesn’t quite make sense. My apologies.

A brand manager for smart at a local dealership said some EV (ED) owners ran the car until it stopped. This ended up damaging the battery.

DucRider
Moderator
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:28 pm

Re: Am I doing damage driving with no charge for too long?

Sat May 11, 2019 6:41 pm

jzchen wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 12:15 am
Rereading what I said it doesn’t quite make sense. My apologies.

A brand manager for smart at a local dealership said some EV (ED) owners ran the car until it stopped. This ended up damaging the battery.
While generally considered to be not a good idea to drive until a BEV doesn't have any juice left (inconvenient to wait for a tow to say the least), doing so will not in and of itself damage the battery. Repeatedly driving to a very low SOC will be worse for long term battery health, but all manufacturers leave a buffer at the bottom of the pack so it is never truly fully discharged (they car will shut off first). Similar to the 2 bars the PHEV always displays with zero EV range left.
If the smart vehicles were truly damaged by running till they stopped, it is either a faulty BMS or even battery. I seriously doubt the design would allow for running out of fuel to permanently damage the vehicle. It is more likely that the vehicles in question were routinely run to a very low SOC and the battery suffered some degradation as a result - hence the "damaged battery" diagnosis. With a 58 mile range and primarily urban usage, smart cars are more likely to be run to a point with only a couple of mile range remaining.
As an interesting note, on the Bolt forums, some people start espressing "range anxiety" when the estimated range gets below about 80 miles. This is more than the entire range of the smart car, many used LEAF's, first gen cars in cold weather, etc (or even the Clarity BEV in cold weather - it is essentially a "first gen" EV with it's sub 150 mile range).
Most BEV's are not routinely driven to a very low SOC. We typically recharge after 30-50 miles.
Gary
Oregon Electric Vehicle Association Vice Chair
www.oeva.org
NDEW City Captain
www.driveelectricweek.org

darthpuppy
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:30 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: Am I doing damage driving with no charge for too long?

Wed May 22, 2019 2:33 am

For a PHEV, it shouldn't be a true problem, but rather an annoyance. If it was a true problem, something should have been stated in the owner's guide that came with the car.

As for annoyance, the Clarity PHEV does get rather loud when driving at highway speed or up a steep hill at speed when the battery is depleted. If planning a long trip, you might find it useful to use HV mode at various points to keep it from getting prematurely depleted. That way, when you have a hill to climb, you have some battery left so you can tap that rather than go into annoyance mode. On commutes that I know will be longer than EV range, I often start out at freeway speed on HV and then switch to EV when I get to the areas with routine traffic congestion to maximize my gas efficiency. But one of the initial reviews I read of the Clarity PHEV indicated that you can basically set it and forget about - i.e., it is easy and does all the adjustments for you if you don't want to bother with it and attempt to maximize efficiency or minimize the noise during hill climbs.

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