Hypermiling the Ford Escape Hybrid ...

Discussion in 'Ford Hybrids' started by GaryG, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. Green FEH

    Green FEH Member


    Go to uspto.gov and search on "an/ford and neutral and hev" There were 6-12 patents found, the one I quoted was what I wanted to learn about.
    Last edited: May 27, 2006
  2. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Thanks, here is the patent for everyone to go to http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6793034.html

    If I'm corect, "N" will have an overall coasting improvement of 38% with either ICE-ON or OFF with this new information. The drag of regen to go EV caused the 36% results in my test. Please, if anyone wants to compare results, do the same test. Remember to go from "D" to "N" at 10mph to avoid the creap feature or you'll never completely stop.

  3. philmcneal

    philmcneal Has it been 10 years? Wow

    which is why i still believe auto trannies can be good coasters if you don't mind feeding the engine just ENOUGH GAS (N) so that it doesn't stall. And that when slowing down the torque converter doesn't have to feed more power to the wheels (if you know your going to stop evenually).

    Or for those long coasts, kill the engine although sorry for this post not related to the FEH at all!

    Hey how many hills do you guys have to go down to fully charge the battery? Or do you think most of the charging comes from the engine?
  4. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Hey Phil

    There's not many hills here in Palm Beach County, but I use the large bridges all the time for some nice regen. On the big bridges that aren't draw, in "L", I can get almost halve my battery charged. Most of the time, the battery is dead low by the time I get to the top because my driving technique seldom has half a charged battery with all my EV driving. Generally, two Fake Shifts give me 25-30% SoC and I'm back in EV gliding in "N". The key to killer mileage is to charge with regen (FS's in "L") for a short distance with ICE-ON and shut her down ASAP for the EV glide. Use P&G till the ICE starts back up and repeat FS's as you pulse back to speed. If you let the engine and small generator charge the battery, it takes about two miles. I never charge the battery that way any more because the FS saves so much fuel.

  5. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Hi John:

    Neutral causes the axle to disconnect, which does not allow any regen. If your getting regen in neutral, your axle is not disconnecting like mine. My tests were done on level gound from 40mph, not from a stand still on a slope. I'm sure xcel had a reason for me to conduct the test in this manner. The reason "N" will allow me to coast 38% further, is because of no regen and the disconnect from the gear set. Your results may be why "N" and "D" are the same, your still getting regen in "N".

    The shop manual is very clear about the disconnect, so I would take your FEH to the dealer and get it repaired. I shift into neutral at least 100 times a day, and the eCVT is still solid as a rock.

    Does anyone else here get regen in neutral?

  6. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member


    The fact that you don’t physically notice the profound release of the gear set and regen in neutral, tells me you’ve got a problem with your axle disconnect or linkage. It’s no wonder you have pushed deadbanding over neutral all this time. It’s all making sense now.

    Trust me John, the Helms shop manuals are clear and it is a completely new hybrid section written for the FEH eCVT.

    You’ve got another problem, if I can’t convince you, how are you going to convince the service tech’s. One way would be to show them a copy of that patent that Green FEH posted about and I gave a link to. Show the Tech page 307-01B-2 under Neutral that states: “With the range selector in NEUTRAL: 1. NO POWER FLOWS THROUGH THE TRANSMISSION. 2 THE OUTPUT SHAFT IS DISENGAGED FROM THE DRIVE WHEELS.

    There is no physical way to get regen with the output shaft disengaged period, end of story. If you show regen to the tech in neutral, tell him to fix the **** thing. You will send me money for steak and lobster when you get that thing fixed John. Gliding in Neutral will increase your mileage and save you big bucks.

  7. Green FEH

    Green FEH Member

    Gary and John: I think this is a case where you are both right, but talking about two different operating states for the FEH.

    1. If you are below 40 mph, in EV mode, and Neutral, you have disengaged the wheels from the ICE with the clutch. There is clearly no regeneration. From everything I’ve read from Gary, he’s able to drive a significant part of his trips below 40 mph, and thus gets maximum benefit from the clutch disengaging in neutral and the lower rolling resistance due to reduced drive train drag.

    2. If you are above 40 mph, the ICE is on (and in my experience, “floats” the rpms). I don’t think John can use “regeneration” as a measure of whether the clutch is engaged or disengaged since the FEH will try to reduce the harshness (or “bump”) for when it is put back into gear at high speed. This means it is trying to match speed (and possibly and torque also??). Since the ICE is idling at an increased speed, the generator will be running so the ICE can be at the proper state for clutch reengagement, and thus you will see an energy flow to the battery. This is discussed in the two patents:

    - 6,853,892 (Strategy to control a clutch to connect an engine to a powertrain of a hybrid electric vehicle), and
    - 6,907,325 (Method of operating a hybrid electric vehicle to limit noise, vibration, and harshness).

    What this all means (at least to me) is that above 40 mph, the ICE is running at a higher idle rpm against the generator, and thus the fuel economy benefit is minimal, if any because of the ICE loading in “idle” at speeds over 40 mph.
  8. xcel

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

    Hi Green FEH:

    ___Wonderful post as usual and thank you.

    ___Good Luck

  9. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Hi Green FEH

    It is my understanding that the two patents you listed concern the ICE and the small gen/starter motor and perhaps a hand off to the traction motor. The axle disconnect is between the traction motor and output shaft which is where neutral is involve.

    When the ICE is running, there is no question that the small gen/starter can charge the battery. I also believe the ICE is causing current to flow from the traction motor to the battery, but it’s not regen from the axle and doesn’t increase drag of the FEH.

    The increased idle in neutral I believe is due to small gen charging and no drive axle resistance or braking.

  10. Green FEH

    Green FEH Member


    I believe we are saying the same thing. In my post I was trying to explain why John seeing regen is not an indication that the clutch is or is not disengaging the drive and that he needs a different explanation to support his viewpoint. As we have discussed some time ago, Neutral does do the disengagement.

    By the way, I was thinking about your comment about your son coming home soon. Was wondering if he has the knowledge/capability to access and reverse engineer the fuel economy averaging software so we can all know once and for all how the FEH does the long term average.

    Take care.
  11. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Green FEH, thanks for confirming the disconnect. I’ve gotten some PM’s also confirming the big difference in gliding in “N” over “D”. If we didn’t have the disconnect, deadbanding would be an alternate choice as it appears in John’s case. My personal choice would be, just coast in “D” like I did before Wayne enlighten me about doing the “N” coasting test.

    I found a patent awhile back that had a Japanese name on it, but it did not give a clue as to what manufacture uses it. It’s hard for me to believe that all auto using a eCVT don’t have an axle disconnect of some sort. Hobbit and other’s have stated that deadbanding was better than “N” gliding, so you would think the Toyota’s and Honda’s don’t have a disconnect for “N”. In the Ford patent, it talks of the need for their disconnect not only for “N”, but as an inertia switch for auto accidents and motor freeze.

    Check the GH thread for the Navi info.

  12. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Hi John:

    You know, the air in FL is dense, so I also have that problem to deal with. So, if I come across as being dense, just remember where I’m from.

    There are too many complicated systems in the FEH & MMH for me to understand fully. If you prefer a deadband coast, that’s fine. If you think your FEH is performing as it should, that’s fine also.

    Just a repeat, when in EV and neutral, there are never any arrows on my navi energy screen. As you must know, the gas pedal does nothing while in “N” while the Ice is on or off

    Anytime I shift to “N”, all regen is cancelled below and above 40mph. Pressing the gas pedal has no effect. If you are seeing any effect in the gas pedal while in “N”, you have a service repair that’s needed.

  13. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Hi All

    Hypermiling the FEH during the hot summer is a challenge, but can be done with a cool head. Day after day for the past two months, I’ve tried a number of things to find the best FE results in my FEH.

    The fast moving thunderstorms, the strong cross winds coming off the Atlantic and the hot sun taking it’s toll on our brains and the FEH battery, make it hard to concentrate on the best technique for FE. After spinning my wheels and not seeing those cool winter FEH MPG here in So. FL, I’ve got some success to report.

    My last two tanks have been in the 42-43mpg range, which I consider a big hit in my tank average that have been in the upper 40's to the low 50's in march and April. I’ve driven more highway miles in those two tanks than I have in a long time and also trying different technique that just didn’t work like they did in the cooler weather. The problem was, it was hard for me to change my driving style. I kept trying to force the battery to perform, instead of letting it perform.

    It didn’t take me long to figure out the problem, which was keeping the battery and myself cool. It took me too long to change my driving habits for the hot weather. I kept trying to push the limits on some days, because I thought the weather was cool enough for the battery to operated without running the ICE to cool the battery. Take it from me, make sure your running the ICE (A/C compressor) enough to keep the battery on the cool side. Try not to drain the battery till you get a restart, but if you do, let it charge back to 50% and maintain that level in city driving. A good gauge is to have the normal A/C recir on and keep the ICE running to keep yourself happy between EV mode driving. The battery will charge faster and last longer if you just keep it cool. The long term life of the battery, I suspect will be much better also.

  14. xcel

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

    Hi Gary:

    ___Nice job on the latest update with the steady state speed - FE data! It appears as if that Atkinson designed 2.3 L is one darn efficient ICE in a heck of a vehicle.

    ___Good Luck

  15. DebbieKatz

    DebbieKatz ФЕХ Царйца

    Hi Gary --

    Wow, thanks for this info - I've been driving around mostly in L for the last month or so, thinking I was charging the battery faster. Now I want to take the afternoon off, just so I can drive home in D, & see what that does for my FE! :D

    Also, thanks for your thoughts on hot-weather (90+ temps) driving. We don't have a lot of days that warm up here by Lake Michigan, & fortunately my drive to/from work is mostly right along the Lake, where it's cooler, but for a couple of days earlier this week, I was disappointed not to see my mpg go up as much as I've been used to. Now, if there's someone who can offer some ways to counteract the effects of temps below 40 :(

    Absolutely true! :) :) :)

    It's so much fun! :D :D (That's me, the FEH cheerleader ;) )
  16. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Hi Debbie

    Glad to help find the things that can hurt our MPG. My 14 year old son sat shotgun and took notes on the readings of the SG as I drove. When I called out the end of one mile, he called out the MPG reading. When he came up with an odd reading for the 30mph test, I started looking around and noticed the shifter was in "L" during that test run. After my 40mph test with CC, I ran that test in "L" to see if this would happen again, and it did. At the 50mph test, "L" didn't make that much of a difference. This may from the wind resistance at that speed causing a constant push on the accelerator. However, that was with CC, and I know I'm constantly backing off the gas pedal as I drive with my foot, to reduce RPM"s whenever I can. If I'm in "L", this means my FE is dropping at a time I may not need regen for the battery level.

    Just to explain a little more about the Steady State Test I conducted, I reminded Wayne that there will be a problem with the HV battery kicking the A/C compressor on and off. Leave it to Wayne to find a solution. He recommend I cool the cabin and the FULL battery down real good with the A/C, then shut it off just before each one mile test run. It worked great, but I put at least 50 miles on my tank with very little EV and heavy A/C. All the test were run on the same road segment, and in the same direction. BTW, my son and I together are about 470 pounds, he's tall and medium size, I'm not.

    Debbie, I feel like you, also wanting to find out how much my FE improves. I don't let the shifter stay in one position to long at a time, so my improvements won't be that much. At least I can correct any steady state driving in "L" for the better.

    I like to give a big thanks to Wayne Gerdes for helping us FEH owner's improve our mileage. He was the one who lead me to this test and the "N" coasting test 8 months ago. Whenever he ask me to conduct test, I'm very happy to help him and other FEH owner's (including Myself) out.

  17. nitramjr

    nitramjr New Member

    I read on GH some time ago that using L kept some small amount of regen going. I forget who posted it but it was whoever was doing all the research on the different patents (Vietvet maybe?). Since I read that I started using D except when I want to decel. I don't think it has changed my mileage much since I was already in the habit of using the gas pedal to keep it out of regen.

    Have you driven an '06 at all Gary? Now that I have a year or so in each it is real easy to tell the difference in how they are programmed. I have to allow much longer distances for "no-brake" decelerations in the '06 than in the '05. The regen is stronger in the '05. The '06 revs lower however when the ICE kicks on after long downhill regens than the '05 does. I guess that is the tradeoff.

    Don't know if it is just a long lasting effect of learning how to drive the hybrid but the '06 has a lifetime average that is about 2 mpg higher than the '05.
  18. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Hi Nitramjr

    Great to see you here on CleanMPG posting. If it wasn’t for you, the LGA would not be an issue that brought xcel into helping the FEH owner’s with FE so much. Back then, you and Pravas Prime were talking about driving at highway speeds in “L”, and I thought you guys were nuts. It got me wondering, is this possible? After trying it, I was totally shocked. Now I bet most FEH owners use “L” to go EV, and a lot are using the FS in “L” to recharge their battery. We have all learned a lot since that time, and we still continue to find new ways to improve FE.

    The fact that I left the shifter in “L” instead of “D” during the Steady State test shows I’m doing it and not giving it much thought. After driving yesterday, I can see it’s going to be a hard habit to break.

    No Ray, I have not drove the ‘06 FEH, but that is interesting. Not sure I would like less regen because I know when and how to use it. Someone who doesn’t use “L” for heavy regen would benefit in FE it appears from your comments. I still don’t care for the high revs and try to avoid it as much as possible by shifting to “D” or “N”when the battery level gets high.

    If the ‘06 is getting better mileage by the same driver, it must be a program change or something.

    Ray, go to the introduction section and tell the member’s here about your background. You have a lot to offer to this forum and many here know you, but many don’t. Was hoping you would join the group! Thanks

  19. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Banned

    Wow, very well done, Gary. I'm impressed.
  20. xcel

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

    Hi Gary:

    ___As usual, you add something new and worthwhile each and every update. Loved the overpass, drafting, and using L only to get into EV and back to D for everything else. Thanks for the new info!

    ___Good Luck


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