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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to upgrade from a Gen2 Prius, and I'm much more familiar with Toyota's parallel hybrid vs the Honda systems. My wife has an extremely short commute (less than a mile) with a fairly steep uphill section, and currently uses the Prius. I'm curious how the Insight's system compares to our current car.

The Prius's ICE begins running upon startup, and continues for basically the entire trip, except for maybe when pulling into the parking lot. Does the Insight ICE fire up immediately as well, or only when the battery is depleted below a certain level? I'm sure the uphill section will flip it on, but I wonder if it'll make the entire reverse trip without it. After all, it's not like our grandfathers' days - it's only uphill one way.
 

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Now that it’s summer, my Insight's ICE has been staying off when the car is started. I have a quarter mile downhill before I get to the main road. But once the ICE turns on, it stays on until the battery reaches half charge.

In the winter, the engine turns on more frequently to heat the cabin.
 

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It will initially stay off provided you don't run cabin heat, sufficient battery charge exists and you keep to the lower blue area of the power band. So, do not plan on the ICE being off initially, but understand is CAN happen. Once it kicks in, the ICE will stay on until the car is up to operating temperature - like your Prius. If you try to force EV mode in the Insight upon initial start up, it will not allow it and will display a message that the engine is too cold.
 

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Maybe I'm confused by the post... but both the current Gen3 Insight and Prius operate as series-parallel hybrids (versus mention of Prius as parallel-hybrid). The hybrid transition / temperature trigger points will differ by manufacturer algorithm; but both cars have a power-split gearbox that connects the gas engine, electric motor and generator together into one unit to allow various combinations to work together and power the car forward. The older (Gen1, Gen2) Insight and Honda Civic hybrid were parallel hybrids, where the electric motor and gasoline engine constantly worked together (in parallel) to propel the same drive train. Prius hybrids have long been referred to as series-parallel hybrids, and the Gen3 Insight technology catches up to the Prius in this regard.

That said, the Insight's ICE does not always automatically run from cold start as others have already responded. The climate control system and/or temperature difference between cabin and exterior is the main trigger for the ICE at cold start. Turning the climate control fan off before shutting down (and at 3-4 bar sufficient battery charge) is one way to consistently start the car in EV mode without gas engine. @andrew28 is one forum member who shared this and consistently starts in EV mode.

The Prius Chat forum link was posted in 2005, about 8 years after Prius launch. It nicely breaks down the Prius algorithm for when and how long the ICE runs, and is something that Gen3 owners have guessed at based on observations so far. Hopefully we get something as nicely detailed for the Gen3 Insight in <8 years from now. It would help understanding of Honda's programming conditions for "EV Mode Unavailable" and "Battery Charging to Full" with ICE still running.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I meant it more as the Prius ICE can power the car directly along with the electric motor at lower speeds, as opposed to the Gen3 insight ICE powering an electric motor that powers the wheels. My understanding is that the Insight ICE is only connected directly to the wheels at higher speeds.

I used to hate Priuses, until I actually bought one. Amazing reliability, the forum knowledgebase is extremely deep, and they're surprisingly fun to drive. I mean I still prefer the manual transmission in my Porsche, but hybrids are definitely interesting from a technical standpoint.
 
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