Hmm... many sub-questions/sub-points within the single question. I'll try to add a few points that andrew28 hasn't already touched on:
Q1 - So.... my owners manual really is silent on the issue so I will defer to the experts out there in the forum.
If desired, a hard copy of the Owners Manual
can be ordered from Helm for free by the first owner, within the first 6 months of purchase. As andrew28 mentioned, it offers more detail than the Owners Guide that comes with the car at delivery. A PDF version
of the Owners Manual can also be downloaded. The PDF version is handy because it can be searched offline.
Q2 - With the Prius there is an indicator, gauge, that shows how efficient you are driving.
While not directly comparable to Prius indicators, this thread
offers some info on how to find/replicate some of the measures on the Insight.
Q3 - So with the charging indicator, there is a narrow green strip that grows into a wider green strip.
Maybe we're thinking of different indicators, but I think the width of the color strips is equal throughout. The position of the "pointer"
indicates how much charging or use is occurring.
Q4 - To get maximum regen braking/charging am I to attempt to keep the indicator in the thin green area of the indicator. Does doing this keep the car from totally using the conventional brakes.
The conventional brakes aren't applied
until the foot pedal is depressed AND the car is slowing to <5-10 mph. Any regen or charging before that point (including regen that occurs when you first put your foot on the brake pedal, before the 5-10 mph slowdown range) is done by engine/electric controls. The shift between electrical regen to friction brakes is unnoticeable, which is a compliment to Honda. Regen happens while going down hills, increasing the level/use of the "left" regen paddle, and by initial "dragging" of the foot brake.
Q5 - Also with the throttle area, there is a similar blue bar area and then a power area that indicates how aggressive you are with the throttle input. If I keep the throttle on the first half of the blue area, am I using electric only?
When in the blue area of the "power/charge" circular indicator on the drivers interface, you're using a combination of electric and/or gas, as determined by the system need. The colors correspond to what you see on the Power Flow diagram. Anything in blue/green includes use of the electric motor. Once in the "gray area" the car is being driven by the gas engine.
Q6 - Please keep in mind I am using eco and ev modes all the time.
I use ECO mode exclusively, and toggle to Sport mode only for extreme hills or freeway on-ramp acceleration.
Q7 - My only dig is that there is no spare tire and that they didn’t even provide a can of fix a flat.
Attached is a mini-diagram of the compressor included in the trunk. There's a dial where "air only" or "repair/sealant" can be selected, depending on desired use.