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Discussion Starter #1
So the insight is our first hybrid in the family and my youngest is a bit of a geek like me and really likes watching the flow on the center console. She had an interesting question yesterday that I didn't know the answer to. In the past, I'v run out of gas in my car. Since the insight can function in EV mode, would it be able to be completely out of gas and still run on EV to get to a gas station? Not really wanting to test this..but was a good question.
 

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As with any car, I think you can physically drive it to "absolute empty" - zero gas and zero charge. But there are a lot of risks.

The high voltage battery is limited (10 bars max) and hasarad estimated that under load, a battery bar depletes every 5-10 seconds (100 sec max). You'd also need to drive the car/throttle "lightly" enough that the car's normal hybrid programming wouldn't trigger the ICE to kick on:
https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/266-2019-honda-insight-range-mpge-economy/2044-how-drive-my-new-insight-3.html#post19190

With no alternator, it's the high voltage battery that keeps the 12V charged - so depleting the high voltage battery puts all other electrical systems at risk of failure:
https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/7-2019-honda-insight-general-discussion/768-battery-gauges.html

Once you stop the car in "absolute empty" state, there's risk that it may not start-up again since the high voltage battery has discharged too far. (The manual warns that extended periods at low charge shortens battery life, and to run the car at least once every 3 mo to prevent HV battery discharge that will make it 'impossible to start the power system.'):
https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/202-honda-insight-charging-batteries/2380-how-trickle-charge-12v-when-laying-up-insight.html

...and aside from running electrical systems, the 12V battery runs ECU checks at start-up, which would fail and prevent re-start:
https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/153-powertrain-technical-discussion/736-premature-driving-before-system-ready.html

Running to zero gas also puts your fuel pump at risk:
https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/7-2019-honda-insight-general-discussion/2620-dangerous-territory-have-you-ever-been-completely-below-slash.html

...and the manual warns that running out of fuel can cause the engine to misfire, damage the catalytic converter, and of course the actual amount of fuel left may differ from the gauge reading (p128).

So I guess in the end, the answer is "it can run to absolute empty gas/battery" but there would be a huge price to pay on the other end. I also think Honda is 'smart' enough to have interlocks and tons of messaging that would alert you and possibly stop the car before irreparable damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Great info as usual. I usually fill it up as soon as the light comes on since on my Focus it came on at around 30 miles left...and my daily commute is 60 miles. Will keep doing that and not attempt to run her dry.

As with any car, I think you can physically drive it to "absolute empty" - zero gas and zero charge. But there are a lot of risks.

The high voltage battery is limited (10 bars max) and hasarad estimated that under load, a battery bar depletes every 5-10 seconds (100 sec max). You'd also need to drive the car/throttle "lightly" enough that the car's normal hybrid programming wouldn't trigger the ICE to kick on:
https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/266-2019-honda-insight-range-mpge-economy/2044-how-drive-my-new-insight-3.html#post19190

With no alternator, it's the high voltage battery that keeps the 12V charged - so depleting the high voltage battery puts all other electrical systems at risk of failure:
https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/7-2019-honda-insight-general-discussion/768-battery-gauges.html

Once you stop the car in "absolute empty" state, there's risk that it may not start-up again since the high voltage battery has discharged too far. (The manual warns that extended periods at low charge shortens battery life, and to run the car at least once every 3 mo to prevent HV battery discharge that will make it 'impossible to start the power system.'):
https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/202-honda-insight-charging-batteries/2380-how-trickle-charge-12v-when-laying-up-insight.html

...and aside from running electrical systems, the 12V battery runs ECU checks at start-up, which would fail and prevent re-start:
https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/153-powertrain-technical-discussion/736-premature-driving-before-system-ready.html

Running to zero gas also puts your fuel pump at risk:
https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/7-2019-honda-insight-general-discussion/2620-dangerous-territory-have-you-ever-been-completely-below-slash.html

...and the manual warns that running out of fuel can cause the engine to misfire, damage the catalytic converter, and of course the actual amount of fuel left may differ from the gauge reading (p128).

So I guess in the end, the answer is "it can run to absolute empty gas/battery" but there would be a huge price to pay on the other end. I also think Honda is 'smart' enough to have interlocks and tons of messaging that would alert you and possibly stop the car before irreparable damage.
 

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2019 OWP Insight EX
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I had a friend with a Prius that ran out of gas on the highway. He drive on electric to the next off-ramp (less than a mile away) before he ran out of juice. He was able to walk to the service station for gas. No damage to his car, but it wasn't an Insight. I would think the Insight would protect itself (the battery) in such a situation, but I can't find anything on that in me research.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm sure eventually they'll be some stories on here. Worst part with my old car was when the engine went, everything went with it. Brakes were super hard to press, wheel was hard to turn, and no electronics....thankfully both times I was close to a station.

I had a friend with a Prius that ran out of gas on the highway. He drive on electric to the next off-ramp (less than a mile away) before he ran out of juice. He was able to walk to the service station for gas. No damage to his car, but it wasn't an Insight. I would think the Insight would protect itself (the battery) in such a situation, but I can't find anything on that in me research.
 

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I know that when you "emergency shut off" the car (press power button 3 times), everything shuts off but the car remains steer-able/brake-able. But not sure if the car shuts ITSELF off whether these capabilities still function.
 

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Short answer, yeah, if the battery pack was at operating temperature, you could potentially drive a very short distance. The brakes and steering are powered from the HV-pack.

Long Answer:
In theory yes, in practice, there are too many risks to confidently test this. I haven't seen any engineer dissect the battery pack to know the number of cells, nor do I know the software situation on the battery pack. Most lithium cells have a soft cut-off and a hard cut-off.

For Example: Take an 18650, 3.7v nominal cell. 3.2v soft cut-off, 2.7v hard cut-off. Most software recognizes the soft cut-off and won't allow operation below that point. It doesn't hurt the battery in any way, getting down to the hard cut-off will affect the lifetime charge cycles of the battery (how long it lasts). Also due to minor internal resistance differences, some cells discharge at a different rate, using the soft cut-off guarantees that all cells stay above the hard cut-off. As you approach hard cut off, the cathode and anode plates are saturated with ions, and a small percentage will never return to the electrolyte solution that allows charging/discharging. Proceeding towards hard cut-off damages the plates as well.

I have been able to push "ev" mode drives a couple of miles using terrain to my advantage, and keeping speeds low, but unless an absolute emergency, I would never consider allowing the car to run out of gas.

As previously mentioned, the fuel pump, evaporative system, and fuel filter would all likely suffer, not to mention the misfires, and catalytic converter damage that may occur.
 

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Yes.

I drove down a road and the "engine" got water in it and shut off.

The battery was just above half and was able to drive me about 1/2 mile to high ground, dry even.

The "motors" can get the car moved, maybe at most 2 miles all by itself in an emergency.

Just remember that it is an emergency, and your thought process needs to be;
1 get to a safe place for you.
2 put the car in a position that makes it easy to be hooked up to a tow truck.
 

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I drove down a road and the "engine" got water in it and shut off.
Glad you were okay from that emergency scenario. Was this a flooding incident or driving thru high water level? Did you need to have the engine(s) inspected, or did all systems work okay on its own once dried out? Did you notice if any other systems were impacted?
 

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2019 Honda Insight EX (White Orchid Pearl)
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Yes.

I drove down a road and the "engine" got water in it and shut off.

The battery was just above half and was able to drive me about 1/2 mile to high ground, dry even.

The "motors" can get the car moved, maybe at most 2 miles all by itself in an emergency.

Just remember that it is an emergency, and your thought process needs to be;
1 get to a safe place for you.
2 put the car in a position that makes it easy to be hooked up to a tow truck.
What happened to your Insight? Did you drive through a flooded road? :surprise:
 
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