In 2017, Honda added two new models to its Clairity line. The all-electric vehicle (EV) Clarity is well, all-electric and gets about 89 miles of range on a single charge. Unfortunately for those of us on the East Coast of the United States, this model is only available in California and Oregon. The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Clarity has an EPA-rated all-electric range of 47 miles, and a total combined gas/electric range of 340 miles. Unlike its EV cousin, the PHEV Clarity is available in all 50 U.S. states and Canada. Like other PHEV models on the market, the Clairity can switch between using the electric battery exclusively and using the car’s internal combustion engine (ICE) depending on driving needs. Here we take a look at how to use the Honda Clarity HV mode.

It Just Depends

I’m a big fan of the forums on InsideEVs’ website as I mentioned previously. A participant on these forums going by the name of “peterkronenberg” asked the following question last year:

“I know there has been much discussion on this, but I still have lots of questions. What exactly does HV mode do?”

An excellent question, Peter. Basically, enabling Honda Clarity HV mode will use the ICE to drive the wheels and charge the battery. There are essentially three “modes” that your Honda Clarity can operate in: Econ, HV, and Sport. When you turn HV and Sport mode off and Econ mode on, you are operating on battery power like any other EV. The car will run exclusively on electric power until the battery runs out.

When you press the button to put your Clarity in HV mode, your vehicle will oscillate between using the ICE and the electric battery as needed. The car is designed to maintain the level of charge in your battery so that you can toggle back to Econ mode when you please.

Sport mode provides more power by enhancing the response of the gas pedal. This will allow the car to accelerate quicker and be more responsive.

When Do I Switch?

Here’s where things can get a bit tricky. When do I use Econ mode, HV mode, and Sport mode? What am I doing with my life?!!

Unfortunately, I can’t really recommend a good time to use Sport mode as only you can decide when you need to accelerate at a faster pace. I also cannot give you life advice except to say that everyone reading this is important, special, and cared about.

As far as Econ and HV modes, most Clarity owners who are kind enough to offer their advice suggest using Econ mode when driving around town on short trips. The 47 miles of all-electric range is WAY more than enough for most day to day activities including commuting to work. If/when you hit the highway is the time to turn on HV mode. This will ensure a high-level of performance while conserving as much gas as possible.

Any of our readers own a PHEV Honda Clarity? What are your recommendations for when to use the different modes in your car? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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