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Discussion Starter #1
Did anyone have experienced any battery issues?

I noticed that the battery on my 2010 insight is always not fully charged (showing some dark space on the battery icon). In addition, every time I drove over a steep slope, the battery power level become very low and the car kept charging even at low speed. Is it a common problem or I should have the dealer check it?
Thanks.
 

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Or you are using a lot of assist, and not letting the regen last long enough.

Willie
 

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Everything you're experiencing sounds normal to me. In particular:

I noticed that the battery on my 2010 insight is always not fully charged (showing some dark space on the battery icon).
There are far more qualified people on this forum to explain this better, but my understanding is that to preserve battery life, the system tries to avoid ever letting the state of charge get to 0% or 100%.

That's not to say that I've never seen it show completely empty or completely full, but it doesn't happen often. Obviously the SoC screen on the MID doesn't give an exact number, but it definitely likes to sit somewhere around 80-90%.

A quick search brings up this Edmunds InsideLine blog post:

[...]How is this possible? By never letting the battery drain to 0% and never charging it to 100%. The key to maintaining long battery life is careful management of its State of Charge or SOC. Hybrids and electric cars take this aspect far more seriously than the charging system of a Makita screw gun or other rechargeable home electronics.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I can understand that the system should keep the battery from being overcharged or overdrained. But what I am really concerning is the capacity. The slope I am talking is not very long although it is kind of steep comparing to normal ones. It seems to me going up the slope consumed a large portion of battery power.

Does anybody has idea regarding the battery capacity? The only way I can test is to let one of my friend drive his Insight over the slope I am talking and see how his insight performs.


Everything you're experiencing sounds normal to me. In particular:



There are far more qualified people on this forum to explain this better, but my understanding is that to preserve battery life, the system tries to avoid ever letting the state of charge get to 0% or 100%.

That's not to say that I've never seen it show completely empty or completely full, but it doesn't happen often. Obviously the SoC screen on the MID doesn't give an exact number, but it definitely likes to sit somewhere around 80-90%.

A quick search brings up this Edmunds InsideLine blog post:
 

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Not really. Where I am living is flat, but most of my driving time is on local roads.
Sounds to me that your car has to charge from engine power since braking isn't going to cover it alone from not having hills to coast down from time to time.

An example, to get to a neighboring town I have to go up a large hill and my battery hits 0% about 3/4ths of the way up it.

On the way back, I can coast down and lightly touch my brake pedal to charge my battery pack. About a mile down the road due to it being flat I can run on engine power alone and park with a fully charged battery.

Your route does not seem to be advantageous in recharging your battery pack. Note, you likely have better MPG than I do, due to the flat terrain you travel.
 

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The battery wants to be at a not-full state, because it needs some empty capacity to store brake-energy. That's why it almost never shows full. The software behind it behaves like this.
 

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My '11 has the same annoying behavior. I have one particular hill, that is not terribly long or steep as hills go. I usually get to it at about 60-80% battery full. That hill starts after a left turn on a traffic light. Only 500 yards after that first turn into that hill my battery drains very low and force-charging from the engine starts while I'm still up that hill. I can never make it over the hill without the engine starting force charging....I still have enough battery that if I hit the gas strong I will get some assist, but that means I would be well over 3K RPM on the engine and that hill only needs 2K or less with the initial acceleration from the sharp left turn (often with a red light) included.

It just seems the capacity of the Insight battery is way low. And the charging/assist algorithm does not include a nice spot for engine-only driving without recharging when the battery is low but the engine is under some load. If it did, I could just ride over the other side of the hill and charge downhill on the other side or on the level road with less engine strain...

It's been like this since new and I assume this is normal behavior.

This is want I am talking about: less than half a mile...

Google Maps link: http://g.co/maps/nnrd3

I also get a similar behavior in the morning on a cold start. There, more understandably, the battery assists more than usual (I presume to minimize the emissions associated with a cold engine operation of the car) and my battery goes down enough very close to my house. But on that commute, at least is has the sense to last to a point where I have a nice gentle downhill where I can bring it back to charge without torturing the engine for it, even though I am still charging it from the engine (the hill is not steep enough to glide down and charge from gravity at the same time - my speed drops below desired level)...

Interestingly enough, on the highway at higher speeds I can travel significantly longer distances uphill with some battery assist and not drain the darn battery low enough to cause force charging. I think the speed matters - the car assumes since I'm going relatively slow (about 30-35mph) on that hill that I'm in some sort of trouble and need more help so it charges the battery for me when least convenient...

I can understand that the system should keep the battery from being overcharged or overdrained. But what I am really concerning is the capacity. The slope I am talking is not very long although it is kind of steep comparing to normal ones. It seems to me going up the slope consumed a large portion of battery power.


Does anybody has idea regarding the battery capacity? The only way I can test is to let one of my friend drive his Insight over the slope I am talking and see how his insight performs.
 

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People are right when they say that the IMA system avoids full or empty charges of the battery and it is done so to preserve battery life.

This was the main problem with the 06-11 HCH II, where the computer that modulated the battery pack allowed the battery to become fully depleted and fully charged. Most batteries then started to die down prematurely, between 40-70K miles. So Honda re calibrated the software that the computer utilizes to control battery use. Annnnnddd now you can see all the lawsuits that are popping up due to owner's reporting mileage comparable to a gas only model.

Honda fixed that with the HCH III and the I2 by making the battery pack bigger and more efficient along with better software utilization.

Our 2010 Insight does charge the battery at low speeds when we drive out to hilly terrain. And the IMA will quit altogether if the slope of mountain/hill is too steep, causing the car to gas only.
 

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The battery assists when cold more because there is lower resistance and to warm itself up to optimal temperature faster. Auto stop is disabled when the coolant or battery temp is too low (23c or 40% SOC per the service manual, pg 12-29). This is a small battery. My 06' HCH has eleven 12-cell subpacks, my I2 only has seven so yes, it drains quickly.
 

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"Honda fixed that with the HCH III and the I2 by making the battery pack bigger and more efficient along with better software utilization."

The 2nd Generation Insight has 84 cells and the HCH II has 132 cells. The 2nd Gen Insight has a smaller pack than the HCH II, which is better because that is less points of failure and a cheaper fix/replacement if something goes wrong.

The HCH III uses a lithium ion battery pack but Honda had discussed that the reason they size their packs as they do is not for the capacity but it is for the amount of power that needs to be produced to get the desired performance. The HCH III can push out 20kw, the HCH II could pull 15kw from the 132 cells. The Insight I, II, CRZ, and I believe the HCH I are all 10kw or so. The HCH I might be 10kw but I don't think it is because it used a pack that is more or less identical to the Insight I, just a neater package. The HCH III has a nominal pack voltage of 144v with the lithium pack, not sure what it's capacity is but lithium can dish out much higher levels of power without adding capacity.
 
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