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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Everyday, I'm killing my mpg by getting on the highway with a cold engine. Immediately when I leave work I have this short and steep ramp to a major highway, then immediately after the ramp, the highway is also uphill. All of this results in about 28 MPG average when finally reaching 65mph.

What are the best way to do it? Try to have the battery charged before that (meaning Sport mode before arriving to work?)? Accelerate hard for a short amount of time? Or accelerate as slow as possible (quite hard with incoming traffic)? Sports, ECON, normal mode?
 

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You don't want to accelerate hard with a cold engine. I would give the battery a full charge before arriving to work a try.
 

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Everyday, I'm killing my mpg by getting on the highway with a cold engine. Immediately when I leave work I have this short and steep ramp to a major highway, then immediately after the ramp, the highway is also uphill. All of this results in about 28 MPG average when finally reaching 65mph.

What are the best way to do it? Try to have the battery charged before that (meaning Sport mode before arriving to work?)? Accelerate hard for a short amount of time? Or accelerate as slow as possible (quite hard with incoming traffic)? Sports, ECON, normal mode?
High HV battery charge is what I prefer in the scenarios you described. How 'immediate' is the highway on-ramp, and how long (total time or total distance) are you accelerating uphill? If the total distance is >3 miles, it will be hard to pre-build enough battery charge to carry you through that time/distance/speed, and I'd suggest Sport mode until you get past the hills.

I have a semi-similar situation on my daily drive, in that ~1 mile after leaving I climb a hill for ~2 miles. It's painful (noisy) when I don't have enough HV battery charge, but I can't keep charge high enough before the hill due to the 1 mile stretch consuming battery. (This is where I wish there was a 'save battery use for later' reserve button, rather than the default hybrid logic.)

I vary my approach depending on the traffic/speed I travel the hill. If there's traffic (<45 mph) I keep it in Eco; if I travel at higher speed, I put it in Sport to both pre-build battery and use the charge to conquer the hill. Higher speed consumes battery faster, and I've found Sport to be best for this. Once I'm past the hill, I put everything back into Eco.

A couple other thoughts/tips for your situation...

1 - Maximize your mpg on the 'downhill' trip (aka "what goes up must come down"). Lower mpg due to hill climbing is a fact of life for a hybrid, but there is a 'downhill' benefit you can try maximizing. On the downhill section of my daily drive, I get ~65 mpg (best-ever was 92.6 mpg). On the return drive I get ~35-45 mpg. I try to get as much mpg as I can on the downhill portion to offset the hurt that I know will be coming on the other end.

2 - Consider an alternate route. Is there an on-ramp that is less 'immediate' or helps you bypass the hill section or travel the hill at a lower speed? Putting less speed/hill demand on the car should also help mpg.
 

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Everyday, I'm killing my mpg by getting on the highway with a cold engine. Immediately when I leave work I have this short and steep ramp to a major highway, then immediately after the ramp, the highway is also uphill. All of this results in about 28 MPG average when finally reaching 65mph.

What are the best way to do it? Try to have the battery charged before that (meaning Sport mode before arriving to work?)? Accelerate hard for a short amount of time? Or accelerate as slow as possible (quite hard with incoming traffic)? Sports, ECON, normal mode?
Take advantage of this, if the engine is A)Cold and B) You have to climb terrain that would normally result in ICE use. The gas mileage loss is minimized vs having a warm engine, or you didn't have to climb and accelerate, and the engine wouldn't have normally been engaged.

This isn't the "hyper-miler" handbook approach, but if the ICE was going to be engaged anyways, might as well be using it to heat the engine and climb terrain. Don't look at the short term fuel mileage, it doesn't matter, if you final trip mpg is consistent, regardless of how you conquered the hill, then you did well, and the car did its job.

Put the car in sport mode, build up your SOC while climbing, and reap the long term benefit.
 

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One other thought, at least you don't pull out of your parking lot then sit at a traffic signal for 2 minutes. ICE kicks on and you've gone 1500 feet with an average fuel mileage of 4.5mpg or less. At least in your scenario, you've A) Gone somewhere, B) 700% more efficient than sitting at a stop light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
High HV battery charge is what I prefer in the scenarios you described. How 'immediate' is the highway on-ramp, and how long (total time or total distance) are you accelerating uphill? If the total distance is >3 miles, it will be hard to pre-build enough battery charge to carry you through that time/distance/speed, and I'd suggest Sport mode until you get past the hills.

I have a semi-similar situation on my daily drive, in that ~1 mile after leaving I climb a hill for ~2 miles. It's painful (noisy) when I don't have enough HV battery charge, but I can't keep charge high enough before the hill due to the 1 mile stretch consuming battery. (This is where I wish there was a 'save battery use for later' reserve button, rather than the default hybrid logic.)

I vary my approach depending on the traffic/speed I travel the hill. If there's traffic (<45 mph) I keep it in Eco; if I travel at higher speed, I put it in Sport to both pre-build battery and use the charge to conquer the hill. Higher speed consumes battery faster, and I've found Sport to be best for this. Once I'm past the hill, I put everything back into Eco.

A couple other thoughts/tips for your situation...

1 - Maximize your mpg on the 'downhill' trip (aka "what goes up must come down"). Lower mpg due to hill climbing is a fact of life for a hybrid, but there is a 'downhill' benefit you can try maximizing. On the downhill section of my daily drive, I get ~65 mpg (best-ever was 96 mpg). On the return drive I get ~35-45 mpg. I try to get as much mpg as I can on the downhill portion to offset the hurt that I know will be coming on the other end.

2 - Consider an alternate route. Is there an on-ramp that is less 'immediate' or helps you bypass the hill section or travel the hill at a lower speed? Putting less speed/hill demand on the car should also help mpg.
I have 0.4mi to the ramp, flat. Ramp itself is 0.2mi and them I need maybe 0.5mi the get to speed on the highway.

Problem is, even if I bank battery on my way to work, it will mostly be depleted by the 0.4mi I need to reach the ramp. Unless I put sports mode on but it feels like a waste.

But yeah it does go downhill after so I'm averaging upper 40s usually, sometimes 50s if I'm lucky. But could be quite higher without these 2 miles at 28mpg.

The road to the other ramp is full of potholes so it's not really an option :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One other thought, at least you don't pull out of your parking lot then sit at a traffic signal for 2 minutes. ICE kicks on and you've gone 1500 feet with an average fuel mileage of 4.5mpg or less. At least in your scenario, you've A) Gone somewhere, B) 700% more efficient than sitting at a stop light.
Actually that happens. And I found that it doesn't really matter. It does feel like a waste, I know, but the engine has to be on at some point right? And overall I don't think it matters. It's just perception.
 

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Actually that happens. And I found that it doesn't really matter. It does feel like a waste, I know, but the engine has to be on at some point right? And overall I don't think it matters. It's just perception.
Depends on the total length of drive. For me it's the difference between 42mpg and 100+mpg (personal best is 172.2) on the way home from my last stop (2 miles). Average is 55-65mpg in clear weather, temperature dependent.
 

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If you can, keep it in the blue. The blue band is where the ICE can meet/exceed power requirements. Going over blue with a low SOC will result in you waking up the squirrels under the hood.

When I leave home in the morning with a cold engine, I noticed it will not charge the battery until the engine is warm - about 1-2 miles. If I exceed blue, it will pull from what is left of the battery. If below 3-4 bars, the ICE will wail.

In short, don't ask much of your Insight until the engine is warmed.
 

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I drive 18 miles to work on the highway everyday. I drive in normal mode until I get on the highway and up to 65 - 70 mph and switch to eco mode. By then your car should be warm enough for the battery to start kicking in. I've also noticed that the battery does tend to charge and kick in more when I'm driving in eco mode. When I exit the the highway I switch to EV mode for the remaining 2 to 3 minute drive to my work site. I've been getting 46 - 48 mpg since I started doing this. I used to drive to and from work driving in normal mode and ended up with 37 to 42 mpg. I hope this helps.
 

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I drive 18 miles to work on the highway everyday. I drive in normal mode until I get on the highway and up to 65 - 70 mph and switch to eco mode. By then your car should be warm enough for the battery to start kicking in. I've also noticed that the battery does tend to charge and kick in more when I'm driving in eco mode. When I exit the the highway I switch to EV mode for the remaining 2 to 3 minute drive to my work site. I've been getting 46 - 48 mpg since I started doing this. I used to drive to and from work driving in normal mode and ended up with 37 to 42 mpg. I hope this helps.
Update/
Thanks to member MovieMike I made a slight change. I use eco mode when leaving my house, switch to normal mode when I get on the highway, end the trip with the last 3 to 4 minutes in EV mode. My MPG went up 5+ MPG.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Actually that happens. And I found that it doesn't really matter. It does feel like a waste, I know, but the engine has to be on at some point right? And overall I don't think it matters. It's just perception.
Going to disagree with myself here, since I have learnt a lot using my OBD reader. It does matter to idle at a red light during warm up. Best is to keep moving being super gentle on the gas pedal.

Update/
Thanks to member MovieMike I made a slight change. I use eco mode when leaving my house, switch to normal mode when I get on the highway, end the trip with the last 3 to 4 minutes in EV mode. My MPG went up 5+ MPG.
In my experience I don't think finishing any trip on EV mode helps (of course, it helps "immediately" but not on the average). That's because you have a warm engine which is super efficient at the end of a trip, so I'd rather keep driving normally and not deplete the battery, because I prefer to start the car with more battery to assist the engine in warming up. Overall I believe it pays if you average subsequent trips. At least that is what I have observed, YMMV!
 

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New to hybrids, so besides this guy's situation with uphills, you want to go in EV mode after start up and after it's depleted then to recharge on the way there? Is that the best general strategy? I just learned about the existence of honda insights today and I love that there's a website dedicated just to this car.
 

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New to hybrids, so besides this guy's situation with uphills, you want to go in EV mode after start up and after it's depleted then to recharge on the way there? Is that the best general strategy? I just learned about the existence of honda insights today and I love that there's a website dedicated just to this car.
Well I just switch to Drive or Sport until I get up to speed in the acceleration lane, then I switch back to ECO. The main thing to do when you get up to highway speed is to keep that gauge out of the Grey zone 90 - 99% of your trip for the best results. In situations where the battery is down to less than 3 bars and you need to climb a hill or slight incline, I switch to sport, but I don't push into the grey zone for too long, just long enough to get near the peak and switch back to eco. You can get 55mpg or higher on the highway, but you have to work at it just a little. Just don't tailgate so you can watch that gauge and pulse and glide in the blue to green zone as much as possible.

I stopped using the highway because of the rising gas prices and I went from high 50's on the highway to mid 60's during city driving. Paying roughly 11.50 per week for gas. Before the price increases I was averaging 9 dollars per week from mostly highway driving.
 
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