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Discussion Starter #1
Just filled up my tank this morning (regular unleaded from Safeway) and decided to attempt to get the best MPG I could on the way to work. Kept it in econ mode the entire 26 miles (18 of which was interstate), and manually put it in EV (all electric) mode whenever I had 5 or more bars on my battery. Some of the interstate was stop and go traffic, but not too heavy (tail end of rush hour). Used regen paddles whenever I knew I was going to need to slow down, and used ACC on occasion at highways speeds. I drive an EX with no extra weight in the vehicle other than my laptop bag. 51 degrees out and managed to get 55.1 MPG. I am very happy with the results. Thinking of video taping my dash on a future trip so I can see how using the regen paddles and the acceleration/breaking impacts the MPG (was pretty noticeable at times when I was looking at the dash and monitoring it during my drive).
 

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I've hypothesized that I might achieve better gas mileage if put the car in sport mode but drove frugally. My reasoning is that the sport mode defaults to higher regenerative braking. So far my only idea on how to test it is with one take full in economy mode and one tank full in sport mode hoping that the conditions were similar enough between the tanks to yield real data. But, I happen to be taking a long drive from San Francisco to Des Moines and I know that there are flat places along the drive to test. My first opportunity was from Ferley, NV to Wendover, NV. No drafting other cars and temperature was between 20 and 30 degrees F. I drove 50 miles in economy mode at 85mph with ACC on and got 30.9mpg. I then realized that the whole premise of my test was that the higher regeneration setting was going to yield better gas mileage. I'm never braking. But I could not stop there. 50 miles in normal mode and I got 30.8 mpg. No change as my modified hypothesis suspected. Last, 50 miles in sport mode. Problem is that 20 miles into the test, I arrived at Winnemucca and the speed limit dropped to 75, I slowed to 80. Bugger, this is probably going to tip my test to favor sport mode. Then the last 3 miles of my 50 test I started climbing a hill outside Winnemucca. I averaged 29.8MPG. You can see my power output was significantly higher due to the hill climb. Nebraska is coming up tomorrow.
 

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I drove 50 miles in economy mode at 85mph with ACC on and got 30.9mpg. I then realized that the whole premise of my test was that the higher regeneration setting was going to yield better gas mileage. I'm never braking. But I could not stop there. 50 miles in normal mode and I got 30.8 mpg. No change as my modified hypothesis suspected. Last, 50 miles in sport mode. Problem is that 20 miles into the test, I arrived at Winnemucca and the speed limit dropped to 75, I slowed to 80. Bugger, this is probably going to tip my test to favor sport mode. Then the last 3 miles of my 50 test I started climbing a hill outside Winnemucca. I averaged 29.8MPG. You can see my power output was significantly higher due to the hill climb. Nebraska is coming up tomorrow.
Tell me if I'm interpreting incorrectly (?) - but I think you're saying that while all 3 tests netted ~30 mpg, Sport mode MIGHT be the winner because its result also included extra power usage (and regen offset?) for hill climb. Sounds like you'll be doing more driving/testing in the coming days, and it'll be nice to see result for Sport mode on flat stretch in comparison to the other modes.
 

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Tell me if I'm interpreting incorrectly (?) - but I think you're saying that while all 3 tests netted ~30 mpg, Sport mode MIGHT be the winner because its result also included extra power usage (and regen offset?) for hill climb. Sounds like you'll be doing more driving/testing in the coming days, and it'll be nice to see result for Sport mode on flat stretch in comparison to the other modes.
I can tell no difference in any mode just driving straight and level with ACC. At 85MPH, I only go low 30s. Temperature ranged from -12 to mid 20s.

I also ran a 37 mile test of drafting. I use ACC at level 3, 2.1sec following interval. I refuse to drive closer. Drafting a sedan gave me no noticeable improvement. Drafting a semi tractor took me from 31.4 to 32.5. Not sure of the road surface was more of an issue than the draft. There were a few small hill to contend with while driving in the open air vs the draft.
 

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I can tell no difference in any mode just driving straight and level with ACC. At 85MPH, I only go low 30s. Temperature ranged from -12 to mid 20s.
Thanks. Since the 3 modes netted at ~30 MPG each, I thought your conclusion was Sport was best because its route included a hill that the others did not.
 

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Thanks. Since the 3 modes netted at ~30 MPG each, I thought your conclusion was Sport was best because its route included a hill that the others did not.
I got one MPG less in sport mode where I expected to get better due to 30 of the 50 mile test being a lower speed limit. However, the last 3 miles were up hill. I think that trumped the previous 27 miles of slower speed giving me an overall MPG about 1 MPG less than the Normal and Economy mode tests.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thought I would also share my last commute MPG. Was in stop and go traffic for about 1/2 of my 25 miles commute on the DC beltway. Decided to do ACC while in the traffic, and stayed in Eco mode the entire way. About half way home saw my MPG around 68 mpg. At the end of my commute, it was 65 mpg. I didn't use the heater. I have averaged 46.4 mpg since I got my Insight 1322 miles ago.
 

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There are a lot of MPG numbers being thrown around out there, but I never see the often overlooked important data regarding speed (MPH) and elevation points from start to finish. My early testing was all over the map, and not consistent. But within a couple of months I started to figure out what would make reproducible numbers. Basically you have to finish a MPG run where you started, or the results are skewed if you end up at a lower/higher elevation. Then temperature has to be the same. Gas has to come from the same station. And finally, you can't have traffic getting in the way. You have to keep at the same speed from start to finish. Plus tire pressure has to be the same on each run.

So I refined my methodology and went searching for a good test course. I found a section of I-84 that was the flattest section I will find anywhere in New York. It's a 65 MPH section between Stewart International Airport Newburg Exit 5A, and Route 6 past Middletown. 18 miles one way, and 36 Miles round trip from Exit 5A. Although I plan on doing speed and mode tests at speeds between 45 and 95, this course only allows me to do 55, 65 and 75 MPH. Anything slower would be dangerous in that traffic (as it was at 55), and doing 85 might get me a ticket due to heavy enforcement in that area.

Conditions were 38 to 44 degrees outside, dry air and dry road, 68 degrees in the cabin, 35 rear tire pressure, 37 front TP, same BP gas station 87 gas, and few obstructions in traffic. 65 and 75 tests were done twice and averaged due to some small amount of traffic obstruction (results were very similar on each run). The roadway has small rolling hills, but nothing too taxing. Started each speed test in Sport Mode to give battery excess to the next lower mode to be tested. That's more than fair. Adaptive Cruise Control was used on every run to maintain a constant speed. Regenerative Breaking paddles were only used exiting the highway on the off ramps. B Trip Counter was reset on every run at Exit 5A waiting at the traffic light for the left turn onto the entrance ramp. This is also where the Mode was switched.

Here are the results for this one course:

55 MPH Sport Mode = 50.0 MPG
55 MPH Normal Mode = 55.0 MPG
55 MPH Econ Mode = 52.3 MPG

65 MPH Sport Mode = 45.3 MPG
65 MPH Normal mode = 46.2 MPG
65 MPH Econ Mode = 45.8 MPG

75 MPH Sport Mode = 37.7 MPG
75 MPH Normal Mode = 37.8 MPG
75 MPH Econ Mode = 37.3 MPG

At 75 MPH, normal hybrid EV Mode never engaged. Not even on the small downhill sections. That is why the MPG readings were so close between modes at this speed. I'd try and do a set of 85 MPH runs on this course if it didn't have so many troopers in this area. Unfortunately, it's heavily patrolled.

I also did some local 45 MPH testing on a 20 mile round trip flat road around my house in 20 degree weather that came out to 54.6 MPG in Normal Mode. I suspect that number would have been much higher in 40 degree weather. My 26 mile gas station round trip run in Normal Mode with ACC on through heavy traffic and traffic lights, with a mix of speeds from 40-45 MPH to short runs of 55 MPH gets on average 55 MPG when in the 30's temperature range, but 64 MPG at 55 degrees. I expect all numbers to come up with warmer temps. Better hurry up with the rest of my testing before it gets really warm!

Is anyone else doing the same type of controlled testing? If so, what have you been getting for MPG numbers?

Phil
 

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Your test results sort of reflects my experience with the 3 drive modes so the results don't surprise me. At 65mph+ the Insight is sort of a gas car so I didn't expect much difference between the 3 modes. The fuel savings compared to other gas cars probably comes from crucial design decisions like weight, tires, vortex generators, flat undercarriage, etc. The results for the 55mph test is more interesting and it seems like the econ & normal mode will show differences as mph decreases.



Looking forward to see the rest of your test results.
 

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With G3 still being new, I’ve been learning/translating from prior technologies and existing knowledge. The articles below are a bit dated (2010) and a different car/technology (Porsche), but are systemic in the self-testing comparison between regenerative brake pedal, neutral braking (closest parallel Insight’s paddle application), and no regeneration (an option on the test car).

Across the same route, the 3 "mode" options generated about the same energy over the total drive. The test results were similar to yours, netting <5 mpg difference between modes for the same route. This existing info is part of what convinced me that "fussing" with different modes is unnecessary to achieve great mpg.

Original article: Regenerative Braking - Entirely a Myth? - EVTV Motor Verks
Follow-up article: More Regenerative Braking Results. It gets worse... - EVTV Motor Verks
 

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Your test results sort of reflects my experience with the 3 drive modes so the results don't surprise me. At 65mph+ the Insight is sort of a gas car so I didn't expect much difference between the 3 modes. The fuel savings compared to other gas cars probably comes from crucial design decisions like weight, tires, vortex generators, flat undercarriage, etc. The results for the 55mph test is more interesting and it seems like the econ & normal mode will show differences as mph decreases.



Looking forward to see the rest of your test results.
I wish I had more time to do this. I drive a company vehicle M - F, so this testing is a weekend thing. Looking back, I bet the numbers for 65 and 75 MPH would have been slightly better at 44 degrees instead of 38 to 40 degrees. That is what makes testing harder. Unless you do it all in one day of constant temperature, even a few degrees can change the results. The thing that has me thinking it could have been better was my day of extreme speed, where I went a buck five for quite a while, and at least +20 most of the time. I had 30.5 MPG from 300' elevation to 800' elevation (where I checked the MPG before heading back on slower roads, and like 37+ MPG when I got home at 200' elevation. That's a 100' drop from where I started. Still good numbers for driving as fast as I could that trip.

55.2 MPG so far on this current "test tank". 300' starting elevation, home at 200', out to test course to do three runs, and back home at 200'. All on my "best behavior". :smile_big:

If the temperature is right, maybe I can get that 45 MPH test done again tonight after work.

Phil
 

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Managed to squeak in some 45 MPH runs at the end of the day with temperatures in the 43 to 38 degree range. Cabin again at 68 degrees. I was able to maintain constant speed on this 11.1 mile course, which had a soft turn around exit/entrance ramp, and totaled 22.2 miles round trip. No big hills, and actually pretty flat overall.

Here are the results:

45 MPH Sport Mode = 53.9 MPG
45 MPH Normal Mode = 59.2 MPG
45 MPH Econ Mode = 55.1 MPG

Started out warming up the car and going out in Sport Mode. I bet the warm up period impacted some Sport Mode MPG, so I would expect a little more MPG once warm.

Also, Econ mode was at the end of the day and on the colder side of testing. I would expect a little better if it were back in the >40 degree range.

Pretty much what I would expect for ~40 degrees. I can't wait for the 65 to 70 degree days. I'll be doing all the tests again in that temp range. Should be much better on the numbers. I would expect +10 on all...maybe more.

Phil
 

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Very interesting results Phil. Thank you very much for doing the testing!

I notice that in both the 45 mph and the 55 mph test Normal did better then Econ. My guess would have been that they would be similar as in the 65 mph test, and most remarkably in the 75 mph test.

Other then changing air temperature, do you have any speculations as to why?
 

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Very interesting results Phil. Thank you very much for doing the testing!

I notice that in both the 45 mph and the 55 mph test Normal did better then Econ. My guess would have been that they would be similar as in the 65 mph test, and most remarkably in the 75 mph test.

Other then changing air temperature, do you have any speculations as to why?
After doing some reading in other threads, a speculation I have is that Econ drains the battery to a lower level (2bars) then Normal (3 bars) before automatic "EV Mode Canceled" and engine start up. So perhaps in the test runs, the total TIME the engine is running is greater in Econ then in Normal?

With the engine running longer in Econ, the mpg in Normal is slightly higher. At 75 and 65 mph the engine is operating almost all the time, so the Econ / Normal difference tends to disappear.

What do ya, others, think?
 

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Does it seems "odd" that Honda, with all the testing they must do, would release a car with an Econ mode that is not the most efficient operation possible? I had never considered this before reading this thread. Would love to know Honda's methodology but for now I think I will change my default from ECON to NORMAL and see what happens!
 

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After doing some reading in other threads, a speculation I have is that Econ drains the battery to a lower level (2bars) then Normal (3 bars) before automatic "EV Mode Canceled" and engine start up. So perhaps in the test runs, the total TIME the engine is running is greater in Econ then in Normal?

With the engine running longer in Econ, the mpg in Normal is slightly higher. At 75 and 65 mph the engine is operating almost all the time, so the Econ / Normal difference tends to disappear.

What do ya, others, think?
I think you are right on the money, @Moviemike. How can the Insight run on EV if there is not enough battery charge to do so? You end up burning more gas. That's what I see happening. At higher speed, like 75 MPH, they pretty much level out because EV never kicks in at that speed (on average terrain). Makes sense.

And yes, @KlumzyGriver, very strange that Honda somehow got this backwards. Honestly, I think the problem is not enough battery reserve. But I'm not ruling out low temperature as a possible culprit, as I have not had enough time driving in moderate temps to see the difference...if there is any. That day is coming, and we will test again. I guess we are trying to "reverse engineer" what Honda did by watching the behavior. Personally, I like doing that.

I wish I could program my own "Econ Mode". Not only would I manage battery charge differently by NOT limiting the charge to <40% (as it does now), but I would restrict throttle range (in ACC) to stay in the blue area as much as possible without becoming a PITA in traffic. Maybe a "Blue Zone Only" restriction on takeoff. You could always "assist" a faster dotted Gray Zone takeoff if it got to be too slow. And I would want my regenerative paddle settings to stick on what I set them to, even using ACC. Could Honda allow us to set our own Econ Mode parameters through a software update???

Phil
 

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Your test results sort of reflects my experience with the 3 drive modes so the results don't surprise me. At 65mph+ the Insight is sort of a gas car so I didn't expect much difference between the 3 modes. The fuel savings compared to other gas cars probably comes from crucial design decisions like weight, tires, vortex generators, flat undercarriage, etc. The results for the 55mph test is more interesting and it seems like the econ & normal mode will show differences as mph decreases.



Looking forward to see the rest of your test results.

Yep, @andrew28 I do believe that is what we are seeing.

But I have to tell ya, it's so hard for me to stick with "max MPG" driving behavior. It's such a fun car to "Sport" around in. That's why I didn't join Fuelly. My overall number would stink! Not to mention my wife's numbers really stink. She's not known to be a fast driver. Maybe with my wife it's all warm up time for short trips to the store(s). But she did mention she really likes Sport Mode. Hmmmmm :confused:

Phil
 

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I drive normal mode majority of the time but prefer econ mode for city driving speeds (25-40mph). It helps keep me in the blue throttle zone easier. I think the biggest benefit of econ mode is making it easier to stay in the blue zone(at least for me). I'm averaging at least 40mpg per fill up with cold temperature, 5-10 mile trips, and driving it like my previous cars. I love the car just in general so fuel economy doesn't matter as much to me. I must say I do like checking the fuel economy numbers after every trip and get amazed when I pull off a high number.
 

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I wish I could program my own "Econ Mode". Not only would I manage battery charge differently by NOT limiting the charge to <40% (as it does now), but I would restrict throttle range (in ACC) to stay in the blue area as much as possible without becoming a PITA in traffic. Maybe a "Blue Zone Only" restriction on takeoff. You could always "assist" a faster dotted Gray Zone takeoff if it got to be too slow. And I would want my regenerative paddle settings to stick on what I set them to, even using ACC. Could Honda allow us to set our own Econ Mode parameters through a software update???
Can you explain what you mean by Econ limiting charge to <40%? I get to 80+% charge in Econ mode pretty regularly...
 
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