Adapting Basic Hypermiling Techniques to the HCH-II

Discussion in 'Articles' started by tarabell, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. msantos

    msantos Eco Accelerometrist


    I have been visiting this and other similar sites for some time now... gee come to think about it... my interests in green car technology go back quite a few years.:D

    Anyhow, most of us will agree that it is pretty hard to realize the potential of our hybrid vehicles by relying solely on the Users's Manual and the kind "expertise" of your local dealerships. That's why sites like this one are so important. As a whole we can amalgamate quite a knowledgebase on what works and doesn't - all for the common goal of saving gas, the environment, and in the long run perhaps a little more than just money.

    I just thought that when an individual such as Tarabell places this kind of effort into something that helps a larger groupo of individuals (if not a cause), it ought to be acknowledged. :)

    That's why I registered my first post - just to say thank you... and HI to all!! :D

  2. tigerhonaker

    tigerhonaker Platinum Contributor

    Hi msantos,

    We have some other members from Canada and certainly hope that more will come here to

    Tarabell, did a Fantastic job on her Article as well as the gentleman (Xcel) that did the editing of the Article with Tarabell. Nice words from you and I'm sure Tarabell and (Xcel) will appreciate them.

    Don't be a {Stranger} come and visit frequently and hope you will continue to enjoy this "Forum". :)


  3. tigerhonaker

    tigerhonaker Platinum Contributor

  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Terry:

    ___If I did not know any better, I would almost bet you work for Barnum and Baileys “Greatest Show on Earth” … or love your HCH-II just as much as Tarabell does ;)

    ___Good Luck

  5. tigerhonaker

    tigerhonaker Platinum Contributor

    Tarabell, Wayne,

    Just received this E-Mail Notice from GH. Thought (You-Both) might enjoy the "Words". ;)

    Today, 06:10 AM
    PCK [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Real Name: Perry
    Location: South Florida
    Hybrids: 2006 HCH w/Nav
    Age: 48
    Posts: 38

    [​IMG] Re: Adapting Basic Hypermiling Techniques to the HCH-II

    Thanks for posting that here it is a very well thought out and written article.



    This is taken from, GH
    Adapting Basic Hypermiling Techniques to the HCH-II ... 2-Replies... 151 Views and Climbing :)
    tigerhonaker Today 07:33 PM
    by tigerhonaker

    Last edited: Jul 11, 2006
  6. wburke8302

    wburke8302 Active Member

    This is a great article. I'm anxious to try some of the techniques to see if I can improve my mileage significantly. Thanks for all the hard work in putting this together!
  7. tigerhonaker

    tigerhonaker Platinum Contributor

    Say if I did not say this earlier and I should have.

    Welcome to :D

    And now that I have your Attention. Are you going to put a little time aside and go to 2006. It is the 22nd of July in Madison, WI. Saturday. I live in Frankin, TN. and will be driving up on Thursday for the Event on Saturday.

    Come on and drive up and meet the Administrators of in {Person}. I will introduce you to them myself. That means there will be more than 1-person from TN. at 2006.

  8. Regaj

    Regaj New Member

    Tarabell, like others, I just want to add my thanks for your efforts in writing what clearly is the definitive article on optimizing FE techniques in the HCH II. I was pointed to your article while browsing greenhybrid (thanks, Tiger, for posting that link) a couple weeks back. Your article was no small part of my decision to go ahead and pull the trigger on a new HCH II (my first hybrid). I picked it up last night and, with the fresh benefit of 70-odd miles on the car, read your article again this morning (some of the nuances you describe make more sense after actually having driven the car). I'm psyched about exploring all the techniques you talk about.

    Many thanks for taking the time...

  9. tarabell

    tarabell Well-Known Member

    Since our usual welcoming committee is on hiatus, let me say hello and I'm very glad you joined our group here. As a new hybrid-owner myself I found driving this car quite a learning curve. I bought it mainly for the HOV stickers and assumed the increased mileage would require no effort on my part. Then...oh the irony....I found the actual fun part of driving it was in the effort.

    Hope to hear your experiences and observations!
  10. MoGryph

    MoGryph Member

    Tarabell- I want to add my thanks to the long list from others. I'm so glad I was able to find an article that explained so much, so early after buying my new HCH-II.

    I just bought it 2 weeks ago, and have been using your wonderful techniques. I haven't seen the great FE that you have, but then again, there's no way for me to get anywhere I need to get, without hitting huge hills over and over again.

    I do have a question, for you, or anyone else that wants to answer- do any of you actually notice, or "feel" the assist? I've tried to see if I could notice, climbed some fairly acute angle hills (very low slope), had my FE at 100, and slowly got my Assist up to 3-4 bars, but haven't been able to notice any differene between a Glide (0 bars both directions) and an Assist of 3-4. Is it possible that the Assist is just being shown, but isn't really working? (I assume it must be working, since my charge level's gone up and down quite a bit)


  11. tarabell

    tarabell Well-Known Member

    Welcome MoGryph! Personally no, I can't detect or hear any difference between Glide and EV-Assist modes either. The electric motor seems to operate silently. I can feel and hear a slight difference when the ICE comes back on though. Your gauges are telling you the story. Enjoy your car and feel free to post more if you need help with those hills or anything else ;)
  12. MoGryph

    MoGryph Member

    Thanks Tarabell. It is a comfort to know that it's not just me.

    I've been using all the techniques you've mentioned- I'm sure people are giving me the finger on the highway (65 mph, I'm P&G, rr at 65-50) but I avert my eyes from the left lanes :p

    I have gone from around 46 mpg in my first 150 miles (driving by experiment), to between 50.1 and 52 on this fresh fill up (driving with your tips,) for the past 160 miles, but, that's not calculated at the pump. If it's anywhere near correct, considering all the hills around here, I must be doing something right, but I can't get over the feeling that I wouldn't notice any difference between 0 assist, and 4 bars. * shrug *
    I'll just have to keep playing. :)
  13. exbauer

    exbauer New Member

    thanks for the write up. after reading this i used some of the tips and got a higher mpg than i usually do on the same route...41ish to 46.6 this morning. we will see how the commute home this afternoon goes.
  14. tigerhonaker

    tigerhonaker Platinum Contributor

    Welcome to CleanMPG. Looks like your 1st Post here. Nice always to see a New Name show up here on the Forum.

    Terry (tiger)
  15. rhwinger

    rhwinger Well-Known Member

    I'll add a "Thanks" as well. I was initially getting 46-49 GPM on my commute. After reding your tips, it's up to the mid '50s. Once I made a radical route change and the run came in at 65.1 MPG!

    Sent a hyperlink for this article to the salesman at the dealership asking him to let other customers know about this great source of info.

    "Every Mile $tarves a Terrori$t!"
  16. MoGryph

    MoGryph Member

    Well, over a month of driving my new HCH-II, I've gotten my averages much farther up. In my last post, I mentioned that I got 50.1 to 52 MPG in my typical segment to/from work. Since then, I've actually increased that to 55-65 MPG.

    Originally, I was getting better FE from driving on the highway, than on the back-roads. Both have extereme hills, but after learning and practicing your list of techniques, I've definately increased my back-road FE.
    There are just a couple of things you might like to add- at least, these are things that I've personally noticed:

    1) I don't want to knock the P&G technique, but as you mentioned, on certain terrain, it's not easy, or for that matter even feasible. Although with much of my commute, I have large hills, with a few parts I have some gradual rolling hills. P&G at slower speeds (20-40) on this type of terrain can sometimes be exteremely annoying, because you'll find yourself slowing down much faster than you want to, while gliding, and then having to use up precious fuel to work yourself up from b-speed, back up to a-speed. In many situations like this, I've found that it's better to get up to speed, and as quickly as possible, get my iFCS up to the 80/90 MPG zone. I can even sometimes, if I can get my foot pressure just right, get it up to 100 MPG. I've been able to hold it in this area (slightly dropping down to 75 MPG for small segments, then bringing it back up), for about the same distance as I'd have to P&G at least 5 or 6 times, and it's my belief that I'm getting much better FE by this technique. Don't get me wrong though, if there's enough of a decline where I don't loose considerable speed for a long enough distance, I still prefer the Glide mode, as it is FE that is immeasurable, but otherwise, the accels I need to go through to get back up to speed seem to use much more fuel, than the glides tend to make up for.

    2) You mentioned briefly how 40 MPH is about the optimal speed for FE, however, I think some people might not understand why this is, and might just gloss over it, so I think you may have sold it a little short, and I believe I can explain why 40 is better than less than 40.
    40 MPH seems to be the lowest magic number to be able to easily coerce the car between ICE-On, and ICE-Off. Anything lower than 40 MPH, and it takes the patience and preciceness of a doctor's hands, in your foot, to be able to keep the ICE from kicking on while gliding. I've tried this a number of times, and 40 definately seems to be some sort of hurdle point to allow you to do it with somewhat ease. Even at 39, bumps in the road can sometimes bounce your foot and everything in the car enough to push it into ICE-On while attempting to glide. And the more you pump up your tires above the "recommended level", the more you'll notice those bumps.

    I'm also working on a third point, about what I call the "Magical Speeds", but I'm still trying to work them out more myself. There seems to me, to be 2 magic speeds where you can easily hold MPG at special points.
    At or around 30MPH, I feel like I can hold my iFCS around 50 MPG even with gradual changes in my accel pedal., and the iFCS seems to "stick" right on the 50 MPG mark.
    At around 40 MPH, I notice the same thing, but with what I believe is the 75 MPG mark.
    If anyone else has noticed this, please post, so I know this isn't all just in my mind (or foot, :) ), otherwise, I'll just keep watching this, and try to figure out a better or more precise way of explaining what I've noticed.

    Anyhow, I just thought I'd add those points to give back a little.

  17. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi MoGryph:

    ___I do not believe Tarabell was actually discussing a full blown P&G regiment in the HCH-II article as she was trying to avoid the manual manipulations so as to keep the article on track for those that want to use the built in EV-Glide modes, not the manual tools the hypermilers like myself would use whenever and wherever appropriate. A full blown P&G regiment is not only a very advanced technique/approach for max gain in the HCH-II; you have to take manual control to maximize its effect. Tarabell made it quite clear to me that she wanted to discuss the built in HCH-II EV-Glide modes in her descriptions, explanations, and pictures to minimize confusion yet still provide the average new HCH-II driver every opportunity to achieve excellent FE improvements without actually having to take control via manual means in which most new owners would find very uncomfortable at best …

    ___Even with my own hour or so behind the windscreen of Terry’s HCH-II, I still do not know where the proper rates and ranges are let alone pretending that this is even close to the best you would ever achieve over any given RT segment … I hope the following pic should dissuade any comparisons regarding a manually controlled P&G regiment vs. the built in EV-Glide modes as Tarabell has described in great detail within her article.


    ___About your situation #1. You may have a hill(s) in which DWL or Glide coming into a trough leads to a far to slow an approach speed for the ascent ahead to maintain a given slower speed target and if so, a slower speed Glide transitioning into DWL will/could fall apart? With too slow of an approach before the ascent and a heavy accel needed to maintain some minimum during that ascent, you can bet your FE will get killed. By all appearances, you are attempting to match your trough speeds so as to maintain some minimum while nearing the following crest but remember, each hill and valley has to handled slightly differently. There is no way for an article or even a paragraph to describe the exact approach speed and or technique for a given rise of 20’, 35’ 75’, 175’ with a descent of 1/2, 3/4, 1:1 of said rise or more over a given distance of 300’, 750’, 2050’, or even a mile? The description(s) simply becomes too complicated with the varying terrain, road and traffic conditions … This is where the art of hypermiling comes in, not the science. Given your Connecticut location, you may be facing terrain quite a bit tougher then what many of us have to face on a daily basis … or possibly not? I can say that rolling hills with ~ 50’ deltas over ¼ mile rises and falls with at most maybe ½ - ¾ of a mile between crests is the type of hills where an HCH-II using its built in EV-Glide tools could possibly approach and even maintain a 100 + mpg segment in a pseudo P&G type regiment. Whether you live in an area where you could take advantage of this kind of terrain with limited traffic speeds is a question I now have of your daily commute?

    ___Situation #2. Look at her CC and non-CC rated 30 and 40 mph FE data. I am sure your results are mirroring some of what she has achieved but what she has also explained. At 30 mph without CC, I have seen the HCH-II dropping into and out of EV-Glide (I saw this time and again just last Saturday afternoon with 2 new HCH-II drivers in fact) and we all know how a small amount of EV and into Glide can push a shorter FE measured segment into the stratosphere! See some of my thoughts as to what the HCH-II’s ECU may think is going on in the region below …

    ___Finally about the iFCD at ~ 30 mph. I believe the HCH-II’s CVT is still moving the belt up and down the pulleys (hunting for lack of a better term) looking for the minimum load with adequate torque to maintain a given/demanded speed via torque demand. By 40 + mph, I can almost bet the CVT is locked up tight with the largest side/smallest side pulleys and belt set to their highest ratios and thus the higher FE at ~ 40 in CC then without rather then the CVT still hunting somewhat at 35 mph and below. This would be a guess since I have so few hours behind the wheel of an HCH-II at slower speeds but have seen similar action in Tom’s CVT based HCH-I when traveling at speeds down in the 30 mph range as well … IIRC, his HCH-I’s best FE actually arrives a bit higher then in the HCH-II up around 45 - 53 mph if you can believe that!

    ___Good Luck

  18. tarabell

    tarabell Well-Known Member

    Hi Mo, always glad to hear your progress and thoughts from another HCH-II driver. As Wayne mentioned I didn’t cover P&G in this article because it was only intended to cover the basic stuff that a new driver could do right off the bat. Plus it was so freaking long already…. But I’m glad you brought up the subject!

    I’ve been looking at P&G with a lot of curiosity and plan to seriously jump into it after Labor Day, as soon as I finish this tank and go take a week's vacation. I know Wayne must have been quietly tearing his hair out as I’m long overdue on starting this phase, but I didn’t want to tackle something new midstream while a couple mpg away from hypermiler status as I’m convinced the basic techniques can carry you a long way -- and now feel pretty justified, as I’m heading toward my second 60+mpg tank without doing anything special. As I’ve mentioned somewhere before... I’m more of a hound than a sprinter. Now that I’ve got the 63 mile bug killed and the oil changed, the final thing when I return from vacation will be to get my tires rotated and (finally) pressed up to 44psi. Then I will be ready to go into full-fledged tail-up, nose-down, ground-sniffing, FE-hunting mode again.

    The few times I’ve tried it, I’ve also noticed two things you mentioned – one, it often feels like I have my Ps and Gs not coordinated with the road, as I always seem to run into an upslope or a downslope at exactly the wrong time to screw up my rhythm. Second that the 100mpg glides do seem very brief and a lot of work in comparison with simply maintaining 75-80mpg iFCD with feather-light gas pressure. But again I don’t know wth I’m doing yet and there’s a lot of learning and practicing to come. Plus I don’t know how well P&G is going to work out for me at freeway speeds of 50-60mph -- and taking into consideration the heavy LA traffic. But as can be seen from Wayne’s pic posted above, the results can be remarkable and I feel it’s worth a good sustained try. If successful, there might be a new chapter or article devoted solely to P&G for the HCH-II, sometime this fall.

    Regarding that “sweet spot” at 40mph, remember that was only when using cc, and according to my pics I wasn’t in EV-glide while in cc. In any case I haven’t used cc since those tests, so unfortunately haven’t seen any more great effects at this speed. Without cc I still find it easier to cross into EV/glide w/assist, at 30mph than at 40mph, I agree, because at 30 it’s just so easy at 1K-rpm tach. At that tach, EV/glide is indeed very easy to hold for long periods. When your tach is in the higher range after 35mph or so, it takes a little extra effort to get into and of course, hard to sustain for more than a short time.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2006
  19. MoGryph

    MoGryph Member

    I'm sorry- you're absolutely right- for a beginners article, anything more than you've put in would be overly confusing.

    I find it interesting though, that we're getting so different of effects- you say that you find it easier at 30, than at 40, but mine's easier at 40, than at 30. Maybe it's one of those differences you can see between identical cars, so perhaps the whole conversation I started on it is moot. *shrug*

    Congrats on your second 60+ tank. I haven't gotten there yet- my best tank so far has been around 58. This one might be better, since I've had a number of 60+ segments, and even one 71.3mpg segment. There are quite a few 55-58's, and I had 2 around 48, so they might throw the whole thing off. I don't believe I'm going to see much better- my commute to and from work is only 10.6 miles, and about a quarter to half of that can be warm-up. That's okay- I didn't expect to even get this good of FE. Either way, I'm not at all disappointed in my results so far, and I can't wait until I get my first oil change, and switch to Mobile1 synth.
  20. philmcneal

    philmcneal Has it been 10 years? Wow

    hey so guys, ever since you guys have gotten so comfortable with your HCHII and getting down the techniques. What are your strategies for pure stop and go traffic? if there is a huge accident up a mile ahead or two and your stuck in gridlock. Are you able to travel through that mile or two without barely using the engine? If yes then how would your SOC drop to if one were to give an estimate?

    I'm just trying to see if the HCHII can dog it out with a prius II in 1 or 2 miles gridlock traffic jam.

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