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Old 11-10-2016, 12:57 AM   #391 (permalink)
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Thanks for doing this research. I'm willing to make the switch if turns out it will help MPG.

Anyway, I just looked at your fuel log for Gap Tooth and I see like some of your tanks are in the range I can achieve, but others are way higher in MPG. I've done a lot of stuff to my car, and I think I should be getting higher. I'm wondering if there's anything we're doing differently where I can copy you. Or maybe it's just the nature of my commute. On my very best commute tank I got a little over 78mpg, but I was hypermiling to the max, using every trick I knew, and driving really slow. It was exhausting to do that, and it took like two weeks. But then your best ones blow way past 78.

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Old 11-10-2016, 07:59 AM   #392 (permalink)
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It wasn't until recently that I broke the 80mpg tank barrier. I've been on an upward trend which I think has more to do with becoming familiar with the car than with any mods I'm doing to it. I think largely it comes down to two things: 1) identifying when the car is at its most efficient, and maximizing time spent there, and 2) identifying when the car is least efficient and minimizing time there.

Here's a BSFC chart for this car, with the area I spend the most time in marked in red.




One point in my favor is that Vermont is naturally conducive to high fuel economy. We have mountains which tend to hurt FE, but the vast majority of my driving is done at 50mph, which is ~1825rpm, and at those speeds I'm at about ~80-100mpg in lean burn, which is about 70-80% load and a perfect bulls-eye in terms of efficiency.

I've noticed that when I lean on assist to climb a hill, I pay for it later. Using a little assist for a short time is good, especially if it can keep me from downshifting out of that Goldilocks zone because I get that energy back with regenerative braking, but using enough that over time the battery's SoC drops and the car decides to background charge while driving at speed seems to hurt FE. My best guess is that it's because when you convert from mechanical energy to electrical, you lose X%, then when you put it in the battery you lose X%, and then when you take it back out of the battery you lose X%, and when you convert it from electrical to mechanical you lose X% again. So, mostly I try to keep the battery meter between 70-90%.

When I need to climb a hill, if my battery is close to full I'll use assist and bleed off a bar or two, but more often I'll hit my calpod switch, climb a bit in 5th bleeding a little speed then drop into 4th, and if it's steep bleed more speed and drop into 3rd, to avoid running my battery down and help stay in that Goldilocks zone of high efficiency. I'll generally lean on assist rather than rev the engine up past ~3000 in 3rd to climb.

When it comes to slowing/stopping, I generally prefer to regen rather than coast with the engine off. I figure keeping the battery up is equivalent to an alternator delete (keeps load off the engine). I'll throw it in neutral and hit my kill switch if the grade is just right that I maintain speed, but otherwise I leave it in 5th and let the battery charge. When coming to a stop, I'll regen down 30 in 5th, throw it into 3rd and regen down to ~19, at which point pressing the clutch initiates auto-stop and I can coast the rest of the way to the light or stop sign.

I'm still on the fence about whether or not lean burn at higher RPM is better or not. I really don't know if BSFC is lower in lean burn, or if it just moves where you are on the chart, so I generally try to stay between 1750-2250rpm and go lean where I can.

Other than that, it's a lot of common-sense hypermiling: Drive as though I don't have brakes, think about what's in front of me, and keep my speed low(ish).

~

So, this most recent tank was right around 70mpg. Almost all of it was done driving in Boston traffic, either stop-and-go in the city or on ~20 mile stretches of highway where people are either doing ~70, or slamming on their brakes. Temperatures have been between 30 and 50F depending on the time of day. I've found the biggest challenge here is keeping my speed low in a way that isn't unsafe or uncourteous to other drivers. There's usually a lane I can get away with it in, but generally I've been driving at 55-60 here and occasionally as high a 65 in the slow lanes, because I consider safety to be more important than another 5-10mpg. It's "fun" to get into a stop and go situation though and move at the average speed of traffic.

Last edited by Ecky; 11-10-2016 at 08:10 AM..
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Old 11-10-2016, 09:24 AM   #393 (permalink)
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Super helpful driving tips! Thanks Ecky.

Note: I need a calpod switch.
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Old 11-10-2016, 12:05 PM   #394 (permalink)
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Holy crap, Ecky!

No wonder I could never keep up with you in the fuel logs!

Quote:
Other than that, it's a lot of common-sense hypermiling: Drive as though I don't have brakes, think about what's in front of me, and keep my speed low(ish).
Minus all the other stuff, that was pretty much how I kept mine over 70 mpg
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Old 11-11-2016, 12:28 AM   #395 (permalink)
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I'm beginning to think that when shooting for higher MPG targets use of the IMA might actually hurt you because of the need to maintain the state of charge and the need to regen. DFCO+regen is way worse than EOC because you're losing momentum. Unless you know you're coming to a stop it's probably best to EOC in most situations.
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Old 11-11-2016, 07:32 AM   #396 (permalink)
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I think it's a better alternative than losing auto-stop and gaining an alternator. I don't use assist much, generally only for merging/passing, and I do a fair bit of EoC as long as I've managed to keep the battery up.
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Old 11-12-2016, 05:39 PM   #397 (permalink)
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Not going to make a thread for it, but I'll likely start a gas long. Picked up my brand new (6 miles on the odometer) Chevy Express 2500 work van from the Chevy dealer this morning, courtesy of my new employer. Pics are taken with my new Google Pixel, also courtesy of my new employer.








EPA rating is 10 city / 12 combined / 15 highway, before the ladder rack (which I haven't finished installing yet).

The temperature was hovering around 25F and in Burlington and the tires and engine are brand new. I was averaging 12-14mpg in the city. On my way home, the van's display had creeped up to 20.5mpg before the last hill to my house, aiming for 50mph. I parked it with 19.5 on the display.

I'm not allowed to do any modifications to the van AND they pay for my gas, so I'm mostly going to be keeping track of my economy because it's something I enjoy doing.
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Old 11-13-2016, 01:29 AM   #398 (permalink)
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IDK Ecky, something tells me they'll never notice underbody aero panels!!
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Old 11-17-2016, 07:29 AM   #399 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion210 View Post
How about a 4th option? Run all 4 but with a set of inner shields like they sell for keeping your wheels clean from brake dust. Either aftermarket or diy.



If I had nice wheels, that's what I would do. You get a mix of style and aerodynamic benefit.
So, I've looked around for these and can't find any that fit the Insight. I might try making my own out of coroplast or maybe pie pans, unless anyone else has a better idea.
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Old 11-17-2016, 03:12 PM   #400 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
So, I've looked around for these and can't find any that fit the Insight. I might try making my own out of coroplast or maybe pie pans, unless anyone else has a better idea.
Pie pans - yes. Coroplast - don't even think about it unless losing wheels is a new hobby. It will compress with heat and disintegrate, losing wheel nut torque.

Simon

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