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Old 03-20-2009, 11:59 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Fabio View Post
Anyways I've always felt that electronic assist can only have the power to assist your vehicle when it actually is assisting it; likewise when the IMA isn't in use, it's not going to be of much help, thus it's weight can only hurt mileage at high speeds.
You're not thinking it through. What you need to appreciate is that it doesn't take a lot of power to move a car at steady speed on level ground. The power's needed to accelerate (or to climb hills). This is basic to (non plug-in) hybrid design: the battery pack provides extra power for acceleration, so that the car's IC engine can be smaller and run closer to the best spot on its BSFC map.

Also, as I said before, the Insight's battery pack & power electronics just don't weigh that much - maybe a hundred pounds or so - while its engine is very light. I doubt whether you will find another engine, especially a larger one, that doesn't cancel out most of the weight that'd be saved by removing the IMA system.
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