Hoboken Made a Great Suggestion
The suggestion of using Sport mode on steep hills makes sense. In simple terms, a hybrid is an electric car with a gasoline powered generator. The engine is really there to keep the battery charged, and when necessary, provide supplemental mechanical power to the wheels. So, when the battery drops below the minimum charge level, the engine has to work hard to play catch-up recharging the battery while also taking over more of the work turning those wheels. That requires high engine rpm. Unfortunately, it is an unavoidable consequence of the vehicle design. The longer you can keep the battery charge level above the minimum, the less time the engine has to speed up to make up for lost battery power. One obvious solution would be a bigger engine, but that would add weight and cut down the mpg. So, I guess it comes down to an engineering trade-off. If you live in a mountainous area, a hybrid may not be the best choice. Too bad nobody explains that before people make a vehicle purchase. I appreciate Hoboken's suggestion. It is at least a partial workaround. We all need to learn how to best utilize hybrid technology.