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best FE technique for steep highway hills?

1259 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  ElectricTroy
My little red Insight is up to around 450 miles on the clock now. Lmpg is steadily climbing from the 18.7 it had when picked up .. it's around 48 now I think.

The car unfortunately didn't come with a manual (the dealership misplaced it while the car was on display at the recent New England International Auto Show) and I haven't yet gotten one, so please help me out with something:

This weekend I'm taking a highway trip out of state. The ride will involve some pretty serious up- and downhill grades .. this is New England! From playing on the local roads, I've learned how to rollercoaster the car through the occasional dip and climb. For prolonged steep hills, however, I haven't yet figured out how to keep the car out of assist.

How high do the rpm's need to be (probably in 2nd) to keep the assist from coming on when going up a long steep grade? And whatever rpm that is, is it too high for an engine that's still in its break-in period?

Can't wait to get the car up to 5K+ miles so we can put synthetic in the engine. Huh, maybe it's worth doing a _lot_ of driving this year just to get it up there. I can think of lots of excuses to go shopping! :D
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Guys, thanks for the helpful hints. My long trip got delayed for a week, so yesterday I drove out there & back. For some of the steeper upgrades, it worked nicely to be in 3rd gear at 3K rpm .. it kept the electric assist mostly off.

Yesterday was a fantastic training opportunity. The traffic was pretty light, so I mostly had the right lane to myself. There was lots of rollercoastering on dips & climbs, and I got to learn all about, uhh, losing momentum gracefully while keeping the FCD at a fixed point, before finally being down in 4th or 3rd to climb the rest of the grade. There's sort of an art to feeling out the gas pedal pressure, when downshifting as you lose momentum, so that it lands on a setting that causes neither electric boost (thus depleting the battery faster) nor excessive loss of speed (causing momentarily high mpg's).

Yesterday's highway time made me much better on the local roads today. For a trip up to NH and back, I averaged over 70mpg for the segment.

I saw the discussion elsewhere about calculated mpg's vs FCD readings. According to the A trip segment, I did 69.06mpg yesterday, but according to the odometer and the amount required to fill-up afterwards (using the same pump at the same station and stopping when the auto-stop thing engages, of course) the trip yielded 66.83mpg ~ approx 3% difference.

Lmpg is finally above 57!! Somebody pinch me! :)
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