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Old 12-23-2012, 12:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hybrid comparisons? Chime in with your experience.

Hey Guys,

My C-Max is the only hybrid I have ever owned or driven (with the exception of driving a 2010 Prius for a couple miles).

When I bought my car, I really had no idea how it would differ from other hybrids other than what I have read about it. However, I wanted to share some experiences here that I have not mentioned anywhere else and find out how other hybrids function in various conditions.

First, and this is nothing you guys have not heard yet, there is a lot of controversy regarding the EPA claims on mileage. This has been discussed at length already (http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...rid-24125.html ). So, I do not wish to regurgitate that here. My mileage is 46mpg average and I am fine with that (until warmer weather when I can install some aero mods).

Anyway, what I am mainly curious about is engine on and engine off operational characteristics of various hybrids. What I mean by that is, my C-Max has a 1.7 kwh pack IIRC. I have driven 2 uninterrupted miles on EV mode on numerous occasions. Is this good for a non plug-in? Also, it will run nearly 65mph in EV mode. On the highway, the engine will shut down on flat areas and any downhill grade what-so-ever. How do other hybrids cycle (engine to EV)?

When I look at my odometer, in 6,100 total miles driven, the car has run EV only for over 3,900 miles of that distance. So, my engine only has 2,200 miles on it.

Also, according to my scanguage, the engine will start if the climate control is on and the engine is under 136 degrees F. How do other hybrids function in this area?

I think that is it.

Oh, I have to say, driving a hybrid is very entertaining, to say the least! I love keeping tabs on what is going on with the various systems and doing my best to maximize everything. It is quite a fun hobby! I also like stopping for gas so rarely. I used to stop for gas every 2 days with my minivan. Now, I gas up once per week.

Matt


Last edited by MetroMPG; 12-23-2012 at 02:26 PM.. Reason: (added link to Ford hybrid MPG controversy thread)
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, I gas up more like every 2-3 weeks with the Insight, and have gotten to where I only put in $20 worth at a time (because the cheapest station I usually pass has automatic bill takers, and is about 5 cent/gal cheaper than credit).

I do get rather better than EPA mpg (71.4 mpg over 110K miles), driving mostly in mountain country.
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Recumpence View Post
When I look at my odometer, in 6,100 total miles driven, the car has run EV only for over 3,900 miles of that distance.
That seems like a remarkably high proportion of EV mode driving.

Does the car count distance covered while engine-off-coasting as "EV miles"?

Or were all of those 3900 "EV miles" achieved with the electric motor consuming energy to propel the car?
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
That seems like a remarkably high proportion of EV mode driving.

Does the car count distance covered while engine-off-coasting as "EV miles"?

Or were all of those 3900 "EV miles" achieved with the electric motor consuming energy to propel the car?
I believe so. I know the regen miles are listed separately. In my case, 245 miles were listed as regen miles.

It is surprising how little the engine actually runs.

One thing to add;

When the engine is running and charging the pack, the mileage is incredibly low most of the time. I have seen 46hp on my scangauge driving 35 mph on a flat road. This was when the battery was very low requiring a large amount of power to recharge. When the engine is running and battery is full (like above 65mph on the highway), the mpg is very high.

It seems to me that this car was designed to pull a lot of power from the engine to quickly recharge the pack, then run EV for long periods of time.

Matt
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Does it have an eco driving mode? I know that is becoming more and more common to have a sport or eco mode and that Ford has put out statements saying that they want their cars to be fun to drive so they make sacrifices.
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Recumpence View Post
When the engine is running and charging the pack, the mileage is incredibly low most of the time. I have seen 46hp on my scangauge driving 35 mph on a flat road. This was when the battery was very low requiring a large amount of power to recharge. When the engine is running and battery is full (like above 65mph on the highway), the mpg is very high.
FYI, this is why serious hybrid hypermilers minimize use of electric assist as much as possible to get really good MPG. It sounds counter-intuitive, but avoiding the MPG hit from "forced recharging" is an important part of getting really good numbers. That means minimizing EV-mode driving, and maximizing engine-off coasting.
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
FYI, this is why serious hybrid hypermilers minimize use of electric assist as much as possible to get really good MPG. It sounds counter-intuitive, but avoiding the MPG hit from "forced recharging" is an important part of getting really good numbers. That means minimizing EV-mode driving, and maximizing engine-off coasting.
Yes. I have found that allowing the pack to drop too far gives a very short lived high mpg, but sacrifices long term mpg. When the pack drops too far, it takes too much engine power to bring it back up. This bears out when driving with Eco cruise. The cruise does not allow the pack to drop that far. It always tries to keep the battery at close to half charge. This eliminates the high power recharge requirement seen when the pack is quite low.

The best method I have found for high mpg is to use the engine for hill climbing and acceleration and reserve EV for flat roads with sustained speed only and not allowing the pack to drop too far. Also, knowing your terrain is super important as well. If I know there is a hill coming up in a given distance, I can tailor my driving accordingly to target optimum efficiency through using the EV when most useful and using the engine when most useful.

Matt
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Recumpence View Post
If I know there is a hill coming up in a given distance, I can tailor my driving accordingly to target optimum efficiency through using the EV when most useful and using the engine when most useful.
If I remember right, the Plug in hybrid C-max uses the GPS to track common routes so you can do things like ending your trip home where you charge, with a dead pack instead of having the engine kick on a mile from home.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes, mine does the same thing. Ford calls it "EV Plus". The car memorizes common driving routes and alters the operating parameters to maximize mpg.

It is cool because over time you notice the car behaving differently as you drive common routes.

Matt
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Recumpence View Post
Yes, mine does the same thing. Ford calls it "EV Plus". The car memorizes common driving routes and alters the operating parameters to maximize mpg.

It is cool because over time you notice the car behaving differently as you drive common routes.

Matt
I want that!
-mort

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