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In having the new Insight for a couple of weeks, I've noticed that if you use the Regen Paddles at certain times, it seems as though you can preserve some key electric power in order to prevent estimated mpg from decreasing too much. When the battery power gauge goes down to two or three bars - seemingly a really low level that generally brings about that engine whine - I try to use max regen when approaching traffic lights from a distance. In other words, I try to glide to the light while barely - physically - touching the brake. That is, assuming there isn't too much traffic around. Using Regen to glide slowly to stop lights is certainly not pleasant for traffic waiting behind you. In tapping regen paddles at one or more traffic lights, I can often get the battery power gauge up to four or even five bars (if I am lucky) and the car will not as easily default into that high engine whine (and lost mpg). Of course, accelerating too quick from a stoplight will subsequently ruin the hypermiling effect.

I've heard and read that the Prius has a nice system whereby drivers can literally use "one-pedal" braking to conserve mileage. Although the Insight has a much more limited system with the Regen paddles, I think any mpg improvement because of hypermiling is helpful.

What have you all been doing as far as hypermiling in your first month of owning the car?
 

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Hypermiling in this is definitely not the same as my 2006 Civic Hybrid. That thing was a beast at getting good MPG on the highway with the IMA system. Best tank I got out of it was 71 MPG. Very consistently got 63 MPG per tank out of it. Almost all highway with minimal traffic.

This one is going to take a lot more learning to get that kind of MPG out of.

So far, in a touring, we seem to be getting a pretty consistent 51 to 52 MPG per tank. Mostly highway with A/C on. I use the paddles at every opportunity. I use the EV button for accelerating from almost all red lights as it keeps you from getting into the ICE with mild acceleration. Definitely stay out of sport mode. I keep it in econ mode the rest of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Tyler,

Thanks for your response. I didn't necessarily think about using EV to accelerate from stop lights (on a town road), as I have been kind of trapped. Trapped as in: when I have pressed the EV button - and almost always on a highway - the car keeps giving me the "cannot use EV mode" signal. In my head, I have been associating the highway as push-button EV time and town roads as not the time to use EV button. I find that I rarely have more than half the bars needed on the battery gauge to work with, so maybe I need to figure out how to more regularly get more bars so I will get my 45-60 seconds of - specifically - push-button EV at high speed. I get plenty of EV action automatically by the car at low, continual speeds...what I want is the ability to use the EV button to play with when I want.



Hypermiling in this is definitely not the same as my 2006 Civic Hybrid. That thing was a beast at getting good MPG on the highway with the IMA system. Best tank I got out of it was 71 MPG. Very consistently got 63 MPG per tank out of it. Almost all highway with minimal traffic.

This one is going to take a lot more learning to get that kind of MPG out of.

So far, in a touring, we seem to be getting a pretty consistent 51 to 52 MPG per tank. Mostly highway with A/C on. I use the paddles at every opportunity. I use the EV button for accelerating from almost all red lights as it keeps you from getting into the ICE with mild acceleration. Definitely stay out of sport mode. I keep it in econ mode the rest of the time.
 

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"best practices" for attaining highest MPG in CITY driving

I know that this topic has been discussed all across the forums here, but I'm wondering whether we could collectively summarize the best practices that lead to the highest MPG in the Insight.

  1. EV mode?
  2. Use ACC at low speeds (above 25 mph, of course)
  3. Coast as much as possible to be balanced against breaking relatively hard (to increase regen) before one gets to a stop?
 

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Leave early so there's no pressure.
Slow acceleration.
Anticipate everything.
Coast to stops when possible.
A/C can be a hit to mpg, but I haven't found it to be significant enough to not use it.
Combine trips - the ICE is more efficient once it's at operating temperature.
Get the 20# bags of concrete out of the trunk.
I only use EV mode for a final push when I know I can get to free energy (downhills).
"Death metal" music is not conducive to efficient driving.

That about sums it up for me.
 

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The car seems to 'naturally' optimize itself at lower speeds and city driving (<45), parallel to Honda/EPA ratings for city mpg being better than highway mpg for this car. Most discussion on mpg optimization has been for higher speeds and/or highways (45+), where the gas engine runs more to drive the wheels.

I really haven't had to work hard to get outstanding (60+) mpg in stop-and-go or city conditions:
  • Use Econ mode - which is especially effective in city stop/go driving.
  • "Manage the battery" by coasting as much as possible, keeping a steady speed, anticipating slowdowns, and planning for hills.
  • Try to maximize the time in EV mode when accelerating from stop. Gradually accelerate from a full stop, trying to stay in EV as long as possible, and letting off the throttle once at ~30 mph to bring EV mode back on as soon as possible. The electric motor gives more low end torque (and is ‘free’ energy) vs the gas engine.
  • Use regen paddles if more convenient in stop/go traffic, but it's not ‘required’ for high mpg in city driving (since initial travel of the brake pedal is regenerative as well).
I choose not to use ACC in traffic due to the number crazy drivers around me that can't be detected fast enough by radar or camera. I can also read traffic flow better and manage the throttle more evenly.
 

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I choose not to use ACC in traffic due to the number crazy drivers around me that can't be detected fast enough by radar or camera. I can also read traffic flow better and manage the throttle more evenly.
I've found I can do better than ACC in terms of MPG since I can anticipate better vs. (radar and camera). I rarely use it unless I know there is zero traffic to deal with and the road is relatively flat.
 

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So I've only had my insight for 3 weeks....but here's what I learned.

1) City driving is more efficient then highway driving...but about 5-10 mpg. I have my apple map app set to avoid tolls and highways, but keep my Waze app allowing it in case I need to get somewhere quicker.
2) Learn to use the paddles...I really only use the left one. When you see a red light or stop sign use it to slow you down to it and coast the rest of the way. Keep in mind traffic behind you since they might not like it so much.
3) Learn to coast the hills and recharge the batteries. She has issues with really steep hills, so if you have one coming up - use sports mode.
4) Use ECON mode for city driving under 50 mph. Use EV to help with hills and maximize MPG when on flat roads.
5) Lean the technique I call "gun and run" (probably has a better name somewhere). Essentially use smooth acceleration to get to speed, then keep going another 5 mph and then release gas pedal, then slowly apply gas. To get you to speed it'll probably use ICE...but releasing the pedal and catching it again should put it back in EV mode and allow you to maintain speed. You want to be in EV mode as long as possible.
6) If its super hot outside....use open windows for first 2-4 miles...then turn on AC. This allows ICE to kick in and won't hurt MPG too much.
7) Use ECON Drive on left gauge to learn to drive her well...I did a couple days of watching it and got my MPG pretty high up.
8) If you have a fairly straight road for a long period...you can use ACC. Keep in mind that if it does come to a stop and you resume, it accelerates at a not so gas friendly way. So what I do is disable ACC when stopped, accelerate gently, and then resume.
9) Record trips using the current drive power flow and learn what routes get you better MPH.
 

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Check and adjust tire pressures first thing in the morning once a month.


As recommended, or above, tire pressures (I run 40 psi front 39 psi rear) to further reduce roll resistance. This means less total power needed to cruise down the road, and more battery regen from longer distances coasting (as described above).



(I checked this carefully in my gen 2 Insight hatchback, and found an amazing 40% mpg improvement.)
 

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Check and adjust tire pressures first thing in the morning once a month.


As recommended, or above, tire pressures (I run 40 psi front 39 psi rear) to further reduce roll resistance. This means less total power needed to cruise down the road, and more battery regen from longer distances coasting (as described above).



(I checked this carefully in my gen 2 Insight hatchback, and found an amazing 40% mpg improvement.)
If you're adjusting your tire pressure to 40 front 39 rear first thing, doesn't that mean in the summer once the car is warmed up the fronts are probably running 46 and the rears 45? Isn't that a bit too high?
 

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If you're adjusting your tire pressure to 40 front 39 rear first thing, doesn't that mean in the summer once the car is warmed up the fronts are probably running 46 and the rears 45? Isn't that a bit too high?
He checks it once a month, which is at least a minimum for those of us with huge temperature average variations. Tire pressure is meant to be checked and adjusted cold, iirc max cold tire pressure is 44 or 46 lbs.

I've been contemplating experimenting with a different acceleration techniques as of late because of the number of stops on my daily commute, this was inspired by my significant other. She drove the car recently, and much more aggressively than I would have, yet got better gas mileage than I do on average. She accelerates to speed quickly (about 1/2 on the power band), and brakes much later than I would have.

I aim to keep the power in the blue section during acceleration as much as possible. Although this was a hyper miling theory I've heard of before, harder quick acceleration to speed, then minimal throttle input to maintain speed. This may work so well in the Insight because it effectively forces ICE operation, but for as short as possible. I plan on trying to combine this harder acceleration with my more predictive, longer coasting stops, to see if this method is a benefit for those of us who are terrain/traffic light challenged. I've found that it can take 15+ seconds to achieve 45 mph while staying in the blue section of the power band, and most of the time in ECO, the ICE engages as soon as the meter hits 1/2 of the blue section. I've only got a day or two left before my next re-fuel. I plan on trying this method for the next tank and comparing the results.
 

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He checks it once a month, which is at least a minimum for those of us with huge temperature average variations. Tire pressure is meant to be checked and adjusted cold, iirc max cold tire pressure is 44 or 46 lbs.

I've been contemplating experimenting with a different acceleration techniques as of late because of the number of stops on my daily commute, this was inspired by my significant other. She drove the car recently, and much more aggressively than I would have, yet got better gas mileage than I do on average. She accelerates to speed quickly (about 1/2 on the power band), and brakes much later than I would have.

I aim to keep the power in the blue section during acceleration as much as possible. Although this was a hyper miling theory I've heard of before, harder quick acceleration to speed, then minimal throttle input to maintain speed. This may work so well in the Insight because it effectively forces ICE operation, but for as short as possible. I plan on trying to combine this harder acceleration with my more predictive, longer coasting stops, to see if this method is a benefit for those of us who are terrain/traffic light challenged. I've found that it can take 15+ seconds to achieve 45 mph while staying in the blue section of the power band, and most of the time in ECO, the ICE engages as soon as the meter hits 1/2 of the blue section. I've only got a day or two left before my next re-fuel. I plan on trying this method for the next tank and comparing the results.
Yeah, I have noticed this odd quirk with the car where I get better fuel economy numbers on the few occasions I drive more aggressive than usual. :surprise:

If I lose EV while accelerating I would just get up to speed quickly instead of trying to stay in the blue. I focus on staying in the blue section when I'm at speed and sometimes let go of the gas pedal a few seconds to see if EV mode comes back on by itself.
 

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Yeah, I have noticed this odd quirk with the car where I get better fuel economy numbers on the few occasions I drive more aggressive than usual. :surprise:

If I lose EV while accelerating I would just get up to speed quickly instead of trying to stay in the blue. I focus on staying in the blue section when I'm at speed and sometimes let go of the gas pedal a few seconds to see if EV mode comes back on by itself.
I wish there was an interface that showed uptime of ICE vs current tank, or even drive. It'd be interesting to compile data on this.
 

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If you're adjusting your tire pressure to 40 front 39 rear first thing, doesn't that mean in the summer once the car is warmed up the fronts are probably running 46 and the rears 45? Isn't that a bit too high?
Well no. The maximum tire pressure is printed on the tire and is a number below my numbers above. The printed pressure is the "cold tire" pressure. So should be, and has been safe.



Mornings would be the coldest and most convenient time to check tire pressures and may add to accuracy. I've done similar amounts of additional pressure in other cars. Tread wear has been even and tire life equal to or greater than design expectation. I've heard it said that under inflating tires build heat hotter and faster making the tire at greater risk of blowout, especially in hot desert areas.
 

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....Although this was a hyper miling theory I've heard of before, harder quick acceleration to speed, then minimal throttle input to maintain speed. This may work so well in the Insight because it effectively forces ICE operation, but for as short as possible. I plan on trying to combine this harder acceleration with my more predictive, longer coasting stops, to see if this method is a benefit for those of us who are terrain/traffic light challenged. I've found that it can take 15+ seconds to achieve 45 mph while staying in the blue section of the power band, and most of the time in ECO, the ICE engages as soon as the meter hits 1/2 of the blue section. I've only got a day or two left before my next re-fuel. I plan on trying this method for the next tank and comparing the results.
Am very familiar with the theory! It is called "pulse glide." The "pulse" being your "hard acceleration" for a relatively short duration / distance followed by a long as possible "glide" using minimum ICE engine rpm, or EV mode to maintain speed, or to begin slowing for up-coming traffic lights or traffic slow downs ahead.

The theory was created to fit the ICE / CVT - electric motor/battery set-up in the gen 1 Insight. The gen 3 should be even more efficient if you are able to use EV for the "pulse" phase by pushing the button and then moderating acceleration to the blue/gray boundry (on the power meter). Followed by use of low rpm ICE for battery charging in "glide" phase, and battery charging paddle shifters for needed braking.

As Sir Issac Newton said; "bodies at rest tend to stay at rest, bodies in motion tend to stay in motion " especially if they get a little help from the EV button and throttle.:)
 

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Am very familiar with the theory! It is called "pulse glide." The "pulse" being your "hard acceleration" for a relatively short duration / distance followed by a long as possible "glide" using minimum ICE engine rpm, or EV mode to maintain speed, or to begin slowing for up-coming traffic lights or traffic slow downs ahead.
Pulse & glide usually means getting to a speed where you can then keep the throttle right at the zero point between charge and power. I found this worked great with our Prius, but not as reliably with Insight since the ICE is not as predictable.

I now often switch to "pulse & coast" where I accelerate above the limit then keep enough throttle for a mild coast and repeat to charge up the battery so I can later use EV on a stretch where I know it is optimal. I've tried sport mode for charging, but I've found it frequently keeps ICE running at full stops even when the battery is above half full. So, I either pulse&coast in eco mode or switch to sport only when I'm moving and wanting to charge up, then back to eco or EV.

Well no. The maximum tire pressure is printed on the tire and is a number below my numbers above. The printed pressure is the "cold tire" pressure. So should be, and has been safe.



Mornings would be the coldest and most convenient time to check tire pressures and may add to accuracy. I've done similar amounts of additional pressure in other cars. Tread wear has been even and tire life equal to or greater than design expectation. I've heard it said that under inflating tires build heat hotter and faster making the tire at greater risk of blowout, especially in hot desert areas.
Agreed! Also, maximum load for a tire is often at a pressure above the vehicle manufacturers recommended pressure. Plus there may be a another margin above that to maximum cold pressure and then above that to an unsafe high pressure. The main downside of a modest inflation above Honda's recommendation is a decrease in ride comfort.
 

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Pulse & glide usually means getting to a speed where you can then keep the throttle right at the zero point between charge and power. I found this worked great with our Prius, but not as reliably with Insight since the ICE is not as predictable.

I now often switch to "pulse & coast" where I accelerate above the limit then keep enough throttle for a mild coast and repeat to charge up the battery so I can later use EV on a stretch where I know it is optimal. I've tried sport mode for charging, but I've found it frequently keeps ICE running at full stops even when the battery is above half full. So, I either pulse&coast in eco mode or switch to sport only when I'm moving and wanting to charge up, then back to eco or EV.
Terrain in my area has lots of short or medium length ups and downs. Most of my driving is in the 30-50 mph range with ECON on for subtle throttle control (ECON off for highway speeds 55+mph). I really like your idea of a "zero point." !!!

My challenge has been how to get best use of the downs. Currently I use the beginning part of a downgrade for charging just below the zero point. Followed by zero point coasting or light power just above the zero point at roughly the midpoint of the downgrade, to gain speed for the coming upgrade. In my Civic Hybrid it was easy to do the equivalent of zero point, and I know there are some inefficiencies in converting the force of gravity into speed, in this kinda compromise that I'm doing.

But with the gen. 3 I find myself becoming preoccupied with keeping the engine off as much as possible, and not knowing for sure when its going to turn on. I'd like to use the SOC meter as an indicator, but its not very accurate e.g. "3 bars" can mean EV is about to cancel due to mandatory EV cancel at 2 bars. Also 3 bars can indicate EV mode is available, by pushing the white EV button (EV is always available at 4 bars at 35 mph or less, and sometimes at higher speeds as well).
 

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After my posting yesterday I did some exploring with using "zero point" instead of light battery charging, on some short downgrades. I found that, yes I got more speed / further distance before the need to add power. Yet later in the drive, less battery charge was available for hill climbs or traffic related speed ups.


I am grateful for the "glide and coast" concept, and will explore it further. :)
 

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I have found that if you pay attention to your power flow, if you are driving with the engine running and the battery powering the motors at the same time, you are shooting yourself in the foot.

Back off the acceleration a little and at least get the engine to power the wheels AND send energy to the battery. This way you aren’t drained too low once you get to cruising speed, and can utilize battery power to maintain your cruising speed.

Also, you can manually switch to EV to help get you moving from a dead stop without using gas if you can.

When I know my turn is coming or I see traffic braking ahead I tend to pull the right paddle to kick me out of Adaptive Cruise Control and start lightly regenerating. If I want to slow down more i tap the left paddle a few times to increase regenerative friction.

Also, when braking with the pedal try to allow yourself enough room so that you can fully utilize the regenerative braking and not so much the brake pads. You will see if you brake hard that you can quickly max out the regen rate, and any excess you brake isn’t transferred to the battery. Try to ride that charge meter 50-75% for as long of a distance as you can to grab some blips on your battery level.
 
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