Dave, congratulations on your new iMiEV! Whereabouts are you located?
You have two sources of information that should have come with your car (if not, get back to the dealer right away): the Owner's Manual and the illustrated Owner's Handbook (sort of a quick-start guide). I spent the first few hours of ownership of my iMiEV poring over these.
Check out these two threads to see that you are not alone in trying to figure out the Remote.http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=129http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=222
In case you have no manuals, with the ring facing down, the upper right button held down turns on the Remote (later, when momentarily hitting that button it acts to "transmit" to the car when you make a change). The middle button toggles turn-on time, turn-off time, and a/c enable. The bottom button cancels any setting programmed with the Remote. The two silver buttons on the face change the displayed time UP and DOWN, or, in a/c mode, toggle cool-heat-defrost-a/c off. The way you work it is to set whatever feature you want with the silver button(s) and then hit the transmit (upper) button. The remote turns itself off in about 30 seconds or can be manually turned off by holding the upper button for a few seconds.
What I found works best is to always first enter the turn-on time then transmit then hit the middle button to go to turn-off and then set the turn-off time and then transmit. To minimize my own confusion, I always enter both settings no matter what was there before. If you get an "Error" on the Remote, wait about ten seconds and push the transmit button again… for some reason, that usually works.