Adapting Basic Hypermiling Techniques to the HCH-II

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

  1. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    On my way back home today (I live 30 miles from work) the car behaved just like you described for the 08. I think I truly hit SHAM for the first time, I thought I had it before but this time it felt different and it the iFE went from 90 to 100+ range vs. 75-80. Now I need to learn how to hold this up a hill, w/o dropping below 45mph on the freeway. (It may be that our hills are too steep, I can't hold it down a hill, it jumps straight to an engine "off" glide.

    I use the voice command, the button is much more ergonomic on the '09.

    Sorry if this is hard to read, posted from my phone.
  2. jmelson

    jmelson Well-Known Member

    Oh, this is on my daily commute to work, city only driving as the local highway is closed for a year, in moderate and unpredictable traffic with way too many lights.
    On a good day it will do over 40 on the highway. My commute has a lot of hills, which allows a kind of pulse and glide, shutting off the engine on the down slopes.
    Anyway, those experiments have ended, as we've loaned that car to a friend and I just got the '08 HCH-II. I can get about 59 MPG on the commute with that, still learning the techniques. My wife does WAY worse, but she drives in a trance, like using "the force".

    Oh, this is all on 10 to 15% gasohol, the only thing they sell in St. Louis, an EPA compliance district.

  3. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    I wish I could find something other than the 10% blend here in Columbia.
  4. Just want to say hello to everyone. I was reading a article in my local paper about Hypermilers and that led me to this forum. Most interesting, and I see I have much to learn.

  5. jmelson

    jmelson Well-Known Member

    Yes, I can definitely tell the assist is working. I use it a lot to glide over small hills or coast uphill to a stoplight. I know that I wouldn't make it without starting the ICE if I didn't have the assist. But, you can't hear it or feel it, it is VERY subtle. But, running 3 or 4 bars of assist can keep the car rolling even up a significant hill. It kind of bugs me that 3, or especially FOUR, bars is so close to starting the ICE that it is real hard to keep the ICE off. The slightest bump in the pavement will jiggle the pedal and start the engine.

  6. LionGreen

    LionGreen Well-Known Member

    Great article ;) Recently I trade my 98 Honda Civic for an HCH - II :) and this will help me to increase the great FE off these car
  7. jimtbob

    jimtbob New Member

    I have been a lurker for a while and just signed up. I wanted to add a couple comments I have noticed with my 2009 HCH2. I don't know if they made some changes for '09, but here's what I have found so far:

    MPG "recal" - using the ScanGauge, I noticed that the engine is still running when the mpg meter does the "recal". It always seems to happen when the pedal position is lingering just above closed valve coast mode but too low to make efficient power with the ICE (i.e. low manifold pressure).

    Acceleration - I have found that accelerating at ~2500 rpm actually works better fuel mileage for me. My commute has a lot of short, steep hills and it is easy for me to get into forced recharge. I find accelerating at ~2500 gets me to speed with less damage to SoC and keeps me out of forced recharge (see SoC below). It seems like you press pedal to a certain point, and no assist bars. Past that point, you get assist bars, but no more fuel use. That happens until 3 or 4 bars depending on SoC. Then as you keep pressing you use more fuel up to about ~2500 rpm, but no more assist. I should make a graph or something so that makes more sense.

    SoC - did Honda hire a think tank to come up with the dummest battery controller ever? I drive on hills that will discharge the battery, then forced charge begins... and there is no stopping it. It can't be bargained with or reasoned with. It doesn't feel pain or remorse. The forced charge gets the SoC to full 8 bars just in time to go down the other side of the hill. I'm not a powertrain engineer at Honda, but I can figure out that what goes up... must come down. It is maddening to pay a significant premium for regen braking to watch it wasted by dum battery control.

    Cold Weather - I bought this in December and I live in the salt belt. I don't think it has seen one day over 65 degrees. I have found there is over a 25% fuel consumption penalty for temperatures below 30 vs. over 50. I used to average almost 39 mpg in my '07 Civic LX 5MT... I have averaged about 45 with the Hybrid. I keep hoping that terrible result is mostly due to cold weather.
  8. Jax

    Jax New Member

    I purchased the 2009 Civic Hybrid the end of April and, even though I enjoyed the test drive, after getting the HCH home wondered if I had made a huge mistake. I had driven my 2002 SI over 140 KM and loved driving it and, yes, had a heavy foot.

    It has been tarabell's article and msantos FAQ and other posts that have changed my mind. I am now having fun driving the car using the basic hypermiling techniques in tarabells article (which is so easy to understand). I've also increased the air pressure in my tires - the ride is not as soft but the km savings are showing up. I'll be replacing the Dunlop tires before the Canadian winter hits.

    I tend to use cc on the highway because I have a fusion in my right foot and found attempting to keep the km constant was problematic for both the car and my aching ankle (something I had never experienced with any of my other cars and one of the reason for wondering if I had made a mistake).

    In town, I was wondering why the car didn't always "auto stop"; the FAQ section gave me the answer. What I do now in stop and go situations is change from drive to neutral. Neutral engages the auto stop and it is easy to move back into drive.

  9. 4myra

    4myra Member

    Hi Tarabell

    thank you for the complete, readable and excellent article.

    i hope and think most of your advises will be applicable to the new honda insight.

    regards, Eddy
  10. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Hi, Eddy! Yes -- most of what she wrote is applicable to your new Insight. :)
  11. Ohioguy

    Ohioguy New Member

    Hey guys, I'm Dan. Picked up a nice low-mileage 07 HCH-II about 3 weeks ago.
    I haven't seen much about how hills and grades of the road affect FE. My area has nothing but rolling hills and grades of 10-20% that may last for 1.5 miles. I find it very challenging to keep a minimum load on the engine without losing 10-12 mph when even going up a gentle grade on the freeway for instance. [I](Perhaps I just need to practice my accelerator touch!) Anyways. . .does this loss of mph sound excessive? The problem then is, I then need to get the car up to a faster (52 mph or so) to keep up with traffic flow. Of course this process repeats several times on my drives.

    Does anyone have any suggestions about the long, steep grades? With a warmed-up engine, I find I can manage about 25-32MPG going at about 35 mph on a 10% incline that lasts 1. 5 miles.

    Also, it seems that the car is too quick to give electric assist when not needed and sometimes too slow offer it when needed. Is this a function of my needing to be more gentle with the go-pedal? (I've read about the ICU flash-reprogram that may cause these conditions. Does anybody have any info?)

    My overall mileage on three tanks has averaged about 45MPG. I have noticed on some loops that I can average 55-57MPG using the iFCE. At 45MPG I'm overjoyed considering, I got rid of a full size Ford P/U that averaged about 17MPG. Thanks.
  12. Fiatdolla

    Fiatdolla New Member

    I would like to thank you for your work you put into this article. I just purchased a HCH 2, last week. I started out getting about 44 mpg, I was so bummed I thought that I wasted my money on buying the hybrid. I researched what I was doing wrong...and pow your post came up. You are a life saver, today I hit 67.7mpg on a 30mile stretch. Its all because of your work....Thanks again. Here is a pic of my mpg... :))))))
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
  13. tigerhonaker

    tigerhonaker Platinum Contributor

    Congratulations on your new found {Mileage} achievement. :)

  14. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Great result, Fiatdolla !
  15. Bennett

    Bennett Well-Known Member

    Yep, that was my experience too. Drive it like a regular car, get regular mileage. Learn the tricks of the IMA and the cylinder management in the HCH and it's a great little hypermiling car.
  16. all_about_the_glide

    all_about_the_glide Well-Known Member


    69.3 mpg after correcting for the average under report...multiple directions, warm, light's driving.
  17. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    These HCH-IIs are still kick @S$$ at the pump!

    When this thread was bumped from the ether, I called Rani and told her of new found followers. She laughed and said cool :)

    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  18. OCecowarrior

    OCecowarrior Beam me up Scotty

    Great article Tarabell and after 7 years it is still generating responses.
    I came across this article a few years ago when I was researching Honda Insight II when it first came out. I found that the technique could be applied somewhat on my non hybrid car at the time. It seemed to also work on the different busses I drive at work, particularly the hybrid variety. The hypermiling seemed to work hand in hand with my defensive driving techniques and I have been working very hard last few years practicing these on a daily basis (much to the scheduling departments chagrin).
    Last February I finally got my Insight II so now everything I drive brings ire to the car behind. May I say that the numbers I am getting are amazing (as long as I rough it in the heat or cold). The numbers actually improve with the econ button off ( except when the heater or A/C is on).
    Last night I drove the 15 km from work in town not going over 60kph ( around 40 mph) the car putting along at just under 50km per liter) mostly without the use of any electric assist, making it home with 29.4km per liter (approximately 70mpg on the Scangauge).
    This is all due to the car and the technique in driving it thanks to you.
  19. actualccb

    actualccb Just In

    I have found I can create the "0 iFCD" scenario with regularity, much like your EV-Assist" scenario. In fact I think this is when it is in true EV only because the engine
    "is not" getting any FE reporting when the power is Electric only. I could be wrong, but I can maintain this for about 30 seconds at a time and only seem to get there when the acceleration is so minimal that that are no assist bars and no regen bars and the iFCD must be at/get to 100 to initiate the scenario, and by maintaining just a slight pressure in an effort to propel the car forward it will take off and maintain the speed or even accelerate slightly and smoothly as the iFCD goes to 0.

    So I have felt the smooth acceleration you are talking about but I have never felt the telltale bump of the engine kicking back in. The only thing I have to compare to is that I have discovered if I am on a downhill in stopped traffic I can very slightly lift up on my brake and roll forward without engaging the engine, the tach is at 0 because the engine is still in Auto-Stop. I am coasting with nothing but gravity. At about 25 mph, the engine will kick in with a bump so I know how that feels. I do not seem to get a FE rise for this but I am sure it is not hurting my FE, it is just that it is all at relatively low speeds.

    The EV-Assit mode I think is the phenomenon you describe when your speed starts to go up but your Tach does not and this is hard to maintain but it possible to create regularly when the speed, traffic and road work together at moment in time and it will drive your FE up over time.

    Thank you for all the effort you put into this, it really has and will continue to help a lot of people interested in improving their mileage with Honda Hybrids.
  20. tigerhonaker

    tigerhonaker Platinum Contributor

    I see that was your 1st Post on CMPG. :woot:

    A major welcome to this Internet site.



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