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Hacking the Insight?

3395 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  james
Has anyone tried hacking the Insight's battery/charge controller, or learned anything about it beyond the published specs?

I ask because I've confirmed something that I suspected: the designers didn't take mountain roads into account in the control software. Here's an example: I live near Reno at about 4500 ft. To go to Tahoe, I climb over an 8900 ft pass, then descend to about 6300. Starting from the bottom, I use all the battery in the first 1500 ft or so. Thereafter, whenever I'm driving less than "pedal to the metal" (as when I get stuck behind a !$%@# RV or some such), it goes into charge, even though I'm still climbing, and even though I know that I have 2500 of effing descent on the other side in which to charge.

Needless to say, this isn't very good for either the performance or the MPG. So what I'd like to do is to find some way to put in a switch or something that says "don't charge now".

I'd think there might be something like this hidden in the circuitry already, for test/diagnostic purposes. I've got the manuals on order, but there's apparently a lot of information in them, and I was hoping someone else had waded through it first.
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james said:
I've also mulled the possibility of adding a second battery pack, if I could figure out how to work it into the IMA logic. (If only it was open source...) I expect the Insight engineers sized the pack for average conditions. That average includes a lot of places east of the Rockies, where climbs over 1500 feet are a rare thing.
Why stop there? Find a totalled Insight and snag the entire IMA system. Wire the IMA's up as independent systems and install both motors in a custom bellhousing. :twisted:

Of course, you may need to widen the car...

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