Hypermiling the Ford Escape Hybrid ...

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

  1. rdprice64

    rdprice64 Still Learning

    There are so many days that I rage in anger at the difficulty of getting the older FEHs to move into EV mode. It is truly a challenge to my patients, especially on cold days. On warm days it is fairly predictable and much more easily achieved ... but it is still more work than it should be.

    It seems that this wasn't truly addressed until the '09 model, where it does act like it should, going into EV mode simply by letting up on the accelerator anywhere under 40 mph.

    I have often wondered if something similar to your "yuppie button" would provide the signal to go EV under 40 mph, but I am not technically skilled enough to give that a try:eek:
    It would be manna from heaven though.
  2. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Hi Rob

    On cold days sometimes I have to use the brake pedal tap in neutral to go EV in my '05 FEH. This eliminates regen which is sometimes the reason you can't go EV. The battery just can't except MG1 and regen at the same time when it's cold. I warm up the battery faster when it's cold with a few glides in "D" or just using the brake lightly in "D" for mild regen. This light charging is just what the battery needs to get out of this long cycle of staying cold and allows you to go EV faster and longer in the cold weather. In fact, I had to use this technique more than a few times during this winter challenge to maintain a 57.6mpg tank. The objective is to warm the battery by charging it a little faster than it's programmed.

    Hope this helps!

  3. rdprice64

    rdprice64 Still Learning

    Thanks Gary. That is very interesting, because mine does not go EV if I'm in Neutral and I tap the breaks. Every time I do that it stays in ICE mode, so then I end up putting it in D and tapping the breaks to go EV. I have noticed what you mean about it being unable to accept regen before the batteries get warm though, that is definitely not the time for for any LGA. LGA during warm-up just seems to cause the high RPM spin, even when the SoC is in the low 40s.

    So was your 57.6mpg tank in the '09 or the '05? I knew you could break 50 in the '09, but I didn't think that was very possible in the '05.

    Thanks again!
  4. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    I've had a problem with the neutral tap working in temperatures below 40F and had to warm the battery a little first. It made me mad also, so the first time it does that I work on getting the battery warm. Make sure you park at night with a low SoC so you drop below 40% SoC during the warm-up strategy. This causes MG1 to charge faster when the SoC gets near 32% and the warm-up strategy ends no matter what. This also heats the battery in the same way light regen does.

    All I can get here in Florida now is E10 and I can only squeeze 44mpg tanks in the '05 on that. The best I've done in the '05 is low 50mpg tanks on straight gas. I can push the '09 with 70mpg and better on trips with E10 now that I've changed to a faster pulse and the accelerator blip for a restart out of EV. During my pulse, I watch the Charge/Discharge needle to maintain just the right amount of MG1 charging while accelerating. I also surge charge a little with MG1 by letting Off the accelerator for a quick second in "D" to boost battery SoC. It will drop into EV if your not careful with this surge boost but I get excellent results most of the time. I'm very close to breaking a 60mpg tank with E10 in the '09 FEH but I don't have any idea what she is good for with straight gas. I was able to recover a 13% offset SGII from a 55.3mpg reading after being in the shop for repairs to a 59.6mpg reading at fill-up. The Nav tank MPG was reset for some reason in the shop but it had a 62.6mpg reading at fill-up. Of course I go by gas pumped at fill-up and that gave me a 57.6mpg tank using 13.543 gallons of E10. This '09 FEH rocks for me even on E10.

  5. rdprice64

    rdprice64 Still Learning

    I do always park at night with < 41% SoC. I can EV from the entrance of the neighborhood all the way into the garage pretty consistently. In the mornings, I always worry when I get below 36% SoC though. So you really think that 32% is okay?

    I know what you mean about the E10 issue, that is all we have here in KY as well. I was able to get one 44mpg tank late last summer. I am glad to know that "once in a blue moon" I can do as well as you did in your '05 :) I'll just have to keep trying to be more consistent with it.

    I am glad to see just how much the FEH has advanced in the '09 version. I won't be getting anything new for a long time, but I can always hope that the wife does ;)
  6. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Those are phenomenal results, Gary! Rob, looks like you are well on your way to learning how to extend your mileage to the next level, too. :thumbs_up:
  7. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    A 44mpg tank in a '07 FEH on E10 is very respectable and means your doing the right things. I've dropped my SoC near 32% in my '05 FEH so many times it's not funny during the warm-up strategy. It seams Ford followed my hypermiling strategies of keeping a low SoC most of the time because I now have to work on building the SoC in my '09 FEH. I changed strategies in the '09 because there is no heavy regen with the use of the LGA. I try and start my glide in neutral with 43.6% SoC so I never drop down below 42% SoC holding the bag at a stop while the engine is running. When I finish my glide I control the engine running with the pulse back to speed. I continue P&G over and over till I have a 45 - 46% (even higher) SoC for a long EV segment with the CC On. I find CC holds a more efficient steady state speed in EV than my problem feet.

    Sean, thanks for the support. I can't believe the '09 FEH still has room for tank MPG improvement.

  8. hobbit

    hobbit He who posts articles

    So ... back to the other topic, if the older FEHs *did* go to
    EV as easily as a Prius in a wider variety of temps, what kind
    of tanks do you think you'd be pulling out of them then?? And
    has anyone considered a mod to try and force ICE shutdown?
  9. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Hi Hobbit

    It would increase the mileage to go EV much faster and easier by a few MPG but the real impact is ethanol. The older FEH with the 2.3L engine has its limits with acceleration without electric motor assist with straight gas and E10 really has an impact for the worse. I manage EV quite well in the older FEH and it's just a small delay in dropping into EV for me. A mod to go EV would be nice but warranty issues are a big concern of mine right now on my '05 FEH.

  10. CarlD

    CarlD Well-Known Member

    I was initially surprised at apparently how much FE the Ford engineers left on the table with the FEH. However, since I have been fooling around with the software and learned more about it, I think I understand a little bit more why they did certain things. The first thing I did was to increase the EV speed to 45MPH - big mistake! At 45MPH, a restart out of EV when in CC draws tremendous instantaneous current, over 100A. If one was tooling along at 45MPH in EV then mashed the go pedal, the current draw would be even greater as the FEH tried to restart the engine and accelerate with the traction motor. It must be an issue with the 2.3L engine because restarts draw substantial current even at 30MPH. Also, perhaps surprisingly, there is significant current draw when the ICE is turned off. I'm guessing here, but my theory is that the engineers wanted to make sure that if the ICE was turned off, it would be in a situation where it would stay off for at least a little while. Brief large current surges were probably thought to be detrimental to battery life. They also play havoc with the SOC algorithm. My prior dealings with Ford when they used my chips gave me the impression (personal opinion only) that they were very conservative and generally traded off performance and FE for perceived reliability. At any rate, if you are coasting in D and not touching the stop or go pedals, the ICE will turn off on its own at about 30MPH. If you are coasting and lightly apply the brakes, the ICE will shut down fairly quickly at speeds less than 40MPH. This is due to the negative torque request from the driver and can be spoofed. I have decoded most of the CAN messages and know where the various data are but spoofing requires breaking the CAN line and installing a repeater that can modify the specific bytes but leave everything else alone. When my hybrid warranty expires I will probably try to re-flash with some more aggressively modified software. I bought some salvage yard ECUs to play around with and may eventually post some things but my sabbatical is over and I have less time to play.
  11. xcel

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

    Hi Al:

    ___I want to add another perspective and it has to do with the hybrid drivetrain generation. The 10 FEH even with the new 2.5L is still using most of the first generations programming in the few minutes I have driven one. Where the real third generation and later stuff appears is with the FFH. Once above 141, any let off below 45 and its down. This superior strategy trumps not just the FEH’s two generations but also the Prius’ and every other HSD equipped hybrid as anyone who owns or has driven one and knowing what he or she was looking for via a Scan Gauge has experienced failed glides time and time again. The Fusion Hybrid simply does not fail “ever” with coolant temps above the 141degrees F threshold no matter the speed.

    ___Sorry to the FEH owners for incorporating FFH discussion within Gary’s excellent thread.

    ___Good Luck

  12. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Hi Wayne

    Coolant temperature must be a lot higher in my '05 (140 ish) than my '09 FEH to go EV after a cold start. The '09 FEH must not use head or coolant temperature as a requirement for EV. My guess is that Cat Light-Out is the point Ford programmed the '09 FEH to go EV. I've gone EV at 112F coolant temperature many times in my '09 but it varies up to 134F. The '10 FEH I test drove went EV even quicker than my '09 on a cold rainy night.

    The '09 FEH will go EV vary fast at any decel at or below the EV threshold speed and will even go EV in CC at the max EV threshold. Sometimes my '09 requires a 42% SoC to go EV but I've gone EV with as low as a 41.2% SoC during P&G when I screw-up letting it drop that low. I've never had a failed glide going into EV at 40mph and below except with a low SoC or cold battery in the '09 FEH. If Ford changed the programming in the '10 FEH than it might have been because of the electric A/C to keep the battery at a higher SoC. I was having a real hard time in the BMW X6 Hybrid keeping a high enough SoC for EV during P&G so Ford may have had to change the '10 FEH programming, I just don't know from my short drive. I would say it would be impossible for the FFH to drop into EV faster than my '09 FEH because it goes instantly and consistently every time. I even go EV if I shift to "N" for my glide before I've got my foot completely off the accelerator.

    Above 40mph there is a three second delay programmed for decel for full fuel-cut in "D" but you can over ride that delay with a light tap of the brake pedal in the '09. Rick and I found we didn't need the required 46% SoC for fuel-cut if you tap the brake also. Ford must have put the three second delay programming to prevent going in and out of fuel-cut so much. Ford also should have programmed the '05 - '08 FEH to go EV at 40mpg in three seconds like it did at 30mph and below. The brake tap for fuel-cut in the '09 FEH is even much faster than the brake tap to go EV in the older FEH.

  13. ggadwa

    ggadwa New Member

    Questions for GARY G from another Gary G.

    I have just ordered a 2010 FEH AWD. Do you know if the northern states version comes with a Block Heater? Stealer says its not an option. What about EV Battery heaters anyone got these or doing it as an aftermarket effort? Even though our 2010 FEH will be garaged Stanley IDAHO is well known for its very cold temps. Any thoughts on temperature issues much appreciated.

    I understand the 2010 uses a new and different system for the A/C and also for the top end EV speeds. Any knowledge on these changes.

    I'm new with the FEH but always been a Hyper miler with the present 2006 FE and the 2000 FORD Super Duty. Been using the Scan gauge II with X Gauge for about three years now.

    Look forward to learning to Hyper mile the new FEH and especially enjoy reading all I can on this great Forum. Thanks for all your great articles and that goes for Wayne Geddes too.

  14. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    I don't recall Idaho being a state the FEH comes standard with a block heater but even if it did, Ford eliminated the battery heater in the late '08 FEH on. Ford went to cabin venting for the battery in the '10 FEH with an electric A/C compressor so you now have the cabin heater to heat the battery. All good changes IMO.

    The top EV speed for the '10 FEH is 44mph which is plenty for a 330V NH battery and full fuel-cut on decel above that speed. Even with my solid 40mph EV speed, MPG decreases from lower speeds because the battery last longer and I go longer distances at lower speeds in EV.

    I do not use after market parts or systems in either of my FEH's and recommend stock FEH Ford parts and equipment. The SGII is the only thing I recommend as added equipment and I have four SGII right now. Both my FEH have the Nav systems and are fully loaded except for AWD and side steps that reduce MPG way to much for Florida driving.

    The Ford FEH and FFH drivetrains are second to none and based on EPA ratings can kill the competition. I had a slow start in my '09 FEH because of the changes and false stock gauge readings and the SGII Off-Set adjustment requirements. I'm on my way now with a great lifetime mileage average that's increasing everyday. I was hoping a FFH owner would beat me to the lead of the Toyota Prius Lifetime average.

  15. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Thanks for posting this. I just purchased an 08 Escape Hybrid 4x4 last week, and on my first tank I've averaged 31.2 MPG. After reading this thread I have some more stuff to experiment with. Today I aired up the tires to 45 PSI (the sidewall max), and I moved my ScanGauge from my old vehicle to the Escape. The MPG can only go up from here. I would love to take a ride with the people getting 70 MPG in their Escapes. Hopefully one day I will be one of those folks.
  16. rdprice64

    rdprice64 Still Learning

    Congratulations on your recent purchase and welcome to CleanMPG!

    70 mpg might be a stretch for your vehicle. The people getting that high are driving the newer version of the technology in the '09 and more recent ones. You can certainly expect to get some 70+ mpg segments, but for an entire tank, I think that mid-to-high 40s may be a little more realistic.

    It is great that you pumped up your tires, because one of the best ways to get higher MPGs in the FEH is "gliding" in EV mode. Gentle accelerate up to 40mph (or less), double tap, wait for the Tach bounce, shift to N, and ride the glide. Having your tires properly inflated will let the glide last longer and allow you to maintain your speed longer. The farther the glide, the fewer drops of fuel needed. I've kept my tires at 50psi for a little over three years now with very little wear for 50k miles. All of us here find our own comfort zone with tire psi.

    I don't recall any FEH owners in the VA area, but it seems like there were a few videos posted at one time that were very much like "going for a ride". I can't seem to find them right now. Hopefully someone else knows there whereabouts?

    Good luck and again, welcome!
  17. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Thanks, I also realize that the guys getting 70 MPG are also driving the 2wd version. I had already discovered the brake tap to go into EV mode before reading this. I discovered that on the way home from the dealer getting stuck in stop & go traffic on the DC beltway. I'm doing much better than my sister does in her Honda CR-V 4x4, and she can get E0 fuel in her area. I'm stuck buying E10. For as small and light as the vehicle is, it does glide far. My only complaint is that its hard to accelerate in EV mode at a quick enough rate to not piss off the traffic behind me. Also, I've found that if I encounter a hill in EV mode, no matter how slow I try to take it, the ICE will start. I live west of DC, and although I'm not in the mountains, they're not far away so the terrain is hilly.

    I also found it odd that Ford put a 180F thermostat in the vehicle. I'm used to thermostats being 195F. I also noticed when riding a 10 mile stretch of highway the yesterday that the coolant temp (I'm looking at FWT on the Scangauge) stays much below 180, even on the highway. I may have to look into a partial grille block because winter is fast approaching.
  18. rdprice64

    rdprice64 Still Learning

    I only accelerate from a stop to about 20 mph and then blip the accelerator pedal to start the ICE into a gentle acceleration. I think it uses too much battery to accelerate above that, plus it is the below 20 mph acceleration that uses the most fuel.

    Depending on the size of the hill, I take one of two tactics:
    1.) Plan my acceleration to hit the start of the hill at 40 mph and double tap+EV glide over the top. This works for smaller hills.
    2.) For larger hills, I plan my acceleration (between 40 - 50 mph) so that I can use Driving With Load (DWL) at the lowest possible rpms. I still try to use gentle acceleration (<1500rpms) to get up to whatever is my target starting speed is, but sometimes I still go above. DWL requires a very gentle touch on the accelerator pedal and I try to target 1200-1300 rpms whenever possible.

    Here is a link with pictures to adding a grill block to the FEH I keep mine on year round and have never seen my FWT over 198.
  19. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Yeah, I've noticed that even on flat ground, accelerating from a stop in EV mode, the engine will start at about 28 MPH. Its great for residential streets and parking lots though. Yesterday I was able to drive almost a mile through my neighborhood and park in my driveway without the ICE starting. I think my largest challenge is going to be the warmup, as I only live about 3 miles from work.
  20. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    I think I found the YouTube videos you mentioned:



    After watching them, I went out to visit a friend a couple towns over (in rush hour traffic so I can maximize EV mode) On my way there traffic was ok, and I had the cruise set on 55MPH. On the way back I was doing P&G where traffic allowed, and kept the engine in EV mode as much as possible. My scangauge says I averaged 40MPG today. With the scangauge I'm now able to keep the vehicle in EV mode reliably to about 32 MPH, so I can ride at 30 and have the motor pretty much stay off. In the case that it does start I shift to Neutral, tap the brake, and the engine shuts off & I can glide some more.

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