Gen 3 Insight Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
2021 Touring, Modern Steel Metallic
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi! New Touring owner! Love this car!! Kind of struggling to understand it. Some days MPG is great, other days not so much even though I try and drive the same way. It migth just be me, but I notice that on some days the HV battery doesn't charge very fast and seems to deplete quickly. I try and use normal in stop/go traffic and then ECON on the highway. I do use the paddles every time I stop. I do use sport mode occasionally. Am I doing something wrong?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
4,313 Posts
Welcome to the forum. How long have you owned your 2021 Touring?

This time of year is a little tricky for fuel economy. Hybrids (and the HV battery in particular) are sensitive to temperature and charges more slowly in cooler weather. Transition to winter gas blend also occurs around this time of year, and the overall net effect is up to 30% decrease in fuel efficiency in winter weather versus summer weather.

Some forum suggestions on managing Drive Modes and Regen Paddles are in the following threads:

You'll improve fuel economy by using Econ Mode in stop/go traffic, and Normal Mode on the highway. Also, initial travel of the brake pedal is regenerative (similar effect to using the paddles) so you can also use the brakes "as normal" to build battery charge. Friction braking doesn't kick in until speed drops to 10-15 mph and/or emergency braking. You can tell when this occurs as the needle will rebound upward in the "green" section of the Power/Charge meter.

I use the regen paddles to recapture energy when I don't want to tap the brakes (e.g. going down a hill) or when I need extra help stopping (e.g. shorten stopping distance with combination of brake pedal and regen paddles).
 

·
Registered
2021 Touring, Modern Steel Metallic
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Welcome to the forum. How long have you owned your 2021 Touring?

This time of year is a little tricky for fuel economy. Hybrids (and the HV battery in particular) are sensitive to temperature and charges more slowly in cooler weather. Transition to winter gas blend also occurs around this time of year, and the overall net effect is up to 30% decrease in fuel efficiency in winter weather versus summer weather.

Some forum suggestions on managing Drive Modes and Regen Paddles are in the following threads:

You'll improve fuel economy by using Econ Mode in stop/go traffic, and Normal Mode on the highway. Also, initial travel of the brake pedal is regenerative (similar effect to using the paddles) so you can also use the brakes "as normal" to build battery charge. Friction braking doesn't kick in until speed drops to 10-15 mph and/or emergency braking. You can tell when this occurs as the needle will rebound upward in the "green" section of the Power/Charge meter.

I use the regen paddles to recapture energy when I don't want to tap the brakes (e.g. going down a hill) or when I need extra help stopping (e.g. shorten stopping distance with combination of brake pedal and regen paddles).
Thank you!! I have had the car for 3 weeks. I will switch up the modes and see what happens. My drive is 31 miles, with the majority being on a 4 lane highway with a 60 MPH speed limit. The temp is going down where I live.
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 OWP Insight EX
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
Welcome! @insightfully's advice on mode usage is on target. Econ mode dampens the throttle response, which is most beneficial in town stop-and-go driving. It may feel odd at first, but give it a few days and you'll get used to it. On the highway, speed is more consistent, so econ has less of an effect. Most use normal mode on the highway, and it should keep battery charge state near the middle of the gauge (4-8 bars). I live in an area of rolling hills, so I remain in econ 24/7. I don't want to waste a long downhill's worth of energy when my battery is already near the top! Econ favors battery usage over engine. The downside is when approaching a big uphill. The mice under the hood are not happy. If you know you have a climb coming up, I generally will go to normal or sport mode, OR deal with a slower speed climb (which I do because I'm cheap). Paddles are not a necessity to use. Light braking does the same thing. I find them useful on long downhills and lazy stops (when not in a lot of traffic). Good luck. Your numbers will get there the more you get familiar with your Insight.
 

·
Registered
2021 Touring, Modern Steel Metallic
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Welcome! @insightfully's advice on mode usage is on target. Econ mode dampens the throttle response, which is most beneficial in town stop-and-go driving. It may feel odd at first, but give it a few days and you'll get used to it. On the highway, speed is more consistent, so econ has less of an effect. Most use normal mode on the highway, and it should keep battery charge state near the middle of the gauge (4-8 bars). I live in an area of rolling hills, so I remain in econ 24/7. I don't want to waste a long downhill's worth of energy when my battery is already near the top! Econ favors battery usage over engine. The downside is when approaching a big uphill. The mice under the hood are not happy. If you know you have a climb coming up, I generally will go to normal or sport mode, OR deal with a slower speed climb (which I do because I'm cheap). Paddles are not a necessity to use. Light braking does the same thing. I find them useful on long downhills and lazy stops (when not in a lot of traffic). Good luck. Your numbers will get there the more you get familiar with your Insight.
Thank you!! My drive has some rolling hills as well. I tired using normal for highway and ECON in traffic. It might just be my unfamiliarity with the car, but it seems the HV battery doesnt stay charged very long. But I would assume this should be the case at highway speed? Yesterday driving home, the HV battery indicator got near the top, the ICE switched off and the EV indicator came on. I was on a 2 lane highway with no stop lights or signs, travelling roughly 50-55 MPH. It seemed like it was just a few minutes later and the indicator was down to 2 bars and the ICE was running. The rest of the drive home (roughly 10 miles) the indicator never got above 4 bars. Am I doing this wrong?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
4,313 Posts
Thank you!! My drive has some rolling hills as well. I tired using normal for highway and ECON in traffic. It might just be my unfamiliarity with the car, but it seems the HV battery doesnt stay charged very long. But I would assume this should be the case at highway speed? Yesterday driving home, the HV battery indicator got near the top, the ICE switched off and the EV indicator came on. I was on a 2 lane highway with no stop lights or signs, travelling roughly 50-55 MPH. It seemed like it was just a few minutes later and the indicator was down to 2 bars and the ICE was running. The rest of the drive home (roughly 10 miles) the indicator never got above 4 bars. Am I doing this wrong?
The most distance I've gotten in pure EV mode is ~5 miles... but that includes 'perfect' conditions like a long downhill stretch, warmer weather, and speeds <40 mph. The "advertised" distance the Insight can travel in EV mode is ~1 mile. Highway-type acceleration also draws down HV battery more quickly, netting much less than 1 mile of travel distance in EV mode and a hit to fuel economy.

In colder weather (<50 F), my HV battery triggers the ICE to recharge when down to 4 bars, but in warmer weather I can get down to 2 bars. The difference means less travel time in EV mode in cold weather, which also reduces mpg. The best I can quantify is this is a -3 mpg impact for myself.

Also in colder weather, the ICE runs more/longer - especially if you're using heating controls, which are directly powered by the gas engine. If you're up for it, passive heating can help with fuel economy. And since you do quite a bit of highway driving, you might find passive heating to be enough without running the climate control. As a side note, using remote start is also an instant mpg hit, as you're traveling 0 miles while the ICE is running to heat up the cabin.

Last thought... in colder weather, need at least 3-5 minutes of drive time to 'break even' to the point where mpg starts increasing. Longer drives yield better mpg in cold weather than short drives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Thank you!! My drive has some rolling hills as well. I tired using normal for highway and ECON in traffic. It might just be my unfamiliarity with the car, but it seems the HV battery doesnt stay charged very long. But I would assume this should be the case at highway speed? Yesterday driving home, the HV battery indicator got near the top, the ICE switched off and the EV indicator came on. I was on a 2 lane highway with no stop lights or signs, travelling roughly 50-55 MPH. It seemed like it was just a few minutes later and the indicator was down to 2 bars and the ICE was running. The rest of the drive home (roughly 10 miles) the indicator never got above 4 bars. Am I doing this wrong?
From my experience thus far you aren't doing anything wrong. Gotta remember that this is a hybrid, not an all-electric vehicle, so the capacity in the HV battery is going to be much less. For perspective, a Nisson Leaf has a 24kWh capacity, a Tesla Model 3 has a 50-75kWh capacity, but the Insight only advertises a 1.2kWh capacity. It's not meant for sustained EV mode like an all-electric vehicle.

I had a Gen2 Insight for 6 years. It called the electric portion of the vehicle IMA (Integrated Motor Assist). The gas motor in that vehicle only turned off when sitting at a stop, granted the engine and cabin was sufficiently heated. The intended purpose behind the IMA was to assist (as the name suggests) the gas motor and help with fuel economy. Combined with the CVT (continuously variable transmission), the electric motor helped assist in acceleration to keep the gas motor from getting into the higher RPMs.

The Gen3s act on a similar principle, but much better. It actually turns off the gas motor completely when not needed and offers the new EV mode. EV mode has its purpose in helping increase fuel economy but was never meant to replace the functionality of a truly electric vehicle....at least not for any extended periods of time. My primary use of EV mode is after I've decelerated off of a freeway and lightly tap the brake to get a good regenerative charge, then once off of the offramp I turn on EV mode and it usually will get me to my final destination gas-free. If you're careful not to do any quick accelerating you can milk the EV mode for quite a while. Sadly, I live in the Bay Area, California, and it's challenging to accelerate slowly here given everyone is very impatient.

One last thought. Having had the Gen2, the eco-assist point system was a good way for me to build up habits when it came to how I drove my vehicle, especially for acceleration and deceleration. Once I grew into those habits I didn't care for the system anymore and it really didn't carry over for me into the Gen3, but it's something worth considering for a while to help build the habits. I tried to think of it as a game or challenge.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top