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I like the picture of the 4 insights. I don't think anyone is going to break the 100 mpg barrier however as they have a lot of restrictions but it does look like fun. The extra weight of the navigator is the one I don't like. If you took rual highways that have speeds of 55 it would help but they also tend to have poor road surfaces with a lot of dips and turns as well. It also looks like the sites have changed since I last looked in April. I seam to recall sites in Oregon and DC at that time. Have fun, Rick
 

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Thanks for the info! That's a very tempting activity. I'm no high mileage specialist, but going to Saratoga Springs at a leasurely pace with the tires at 50 psi in a friendly competition sounds like fun. Anybody from Quebec going? I've sent an inquiry to know if it's still possible to register.
 

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One rule is no tires over 45 PSI.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Competition Results

This isn't going to be official and complete, but here's some of what happened at the Tour de Sol competition:

The best modified Insight performance was with the "MIMA" (manual IMA) system, a project that is discussed extensively on this thread:
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... &start=165
Congratulations to everyone involved in that project--which I was very excited to learn about.

The official number for that was 107 mpg. The best unmodified Insight mpg was officially 79 mpg. And of course the Insights were well ahead of the Priuses (which had official numbers in the 60s) and the Ford SUV hybrid which won awards with 42 mpg ("most fuel consumed?" no, "best Ford", and "Best SUV". That's like getting an award for being the "smartest idiot".)

But the official numbers don't mean much: there was no consistent standard for how much the gas tank was "topped off."

As discussed in this thread:
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... p&start=15
it's possible to cram up to a few gallons extra into the evaporation canistor. They were doing a lot of extra pumping at the finish line, and what happened at the start lines apparently varied all over the place.

My personal experience was a computer reading of 99.8 mpg, and an official number of 75 mpg. Quite likely there were other unmodified Insights that got over 100 mpg, but got their official numbers dinged because they didn't fill the evap canistor at the start.

I'm not sure it matters who went home with trophys or not, but what I think is sad about this is that there will be (I hope) a bunch of mainstream press articles, and it would misrepresent our collective experience if they said that the best one can do with a stock Insight is 80 mpg, when if fact one can do much better.

Obviously a better method is needed for the next competition. One good thing they did was a distance calibration run at the end: 10 miles actual was compared with the odometer reading, plus a little trick of finding exactly where the tenth digit rolls over, in order to get a little more precision. Mine was 2.5% high, which is surprising with high pressure in the tires--should be the opposite.

I wish I had done more to collect better information on others' performance to post here, but I had gotten up at 5 AM to get on the road before 6 (so as to take slow back roads and be on them before there was much traffic) and was exhausted and not thinking clearly by them time everyone was gathered. So perhaps we can do that information gathering here?

For that purpose, here are my results in full:
Start point: Greenfield, MA
Miles traveled: 193
Computer reading: 99.8 mpg
Correction: 2.5%
My best estimate: 97.4 mpg

By the way, for those who were there: I put a sign on my (blue) car claiming a LMPG (since I reset it after I bought it used in February) of 96. That was wrong. I must have read "trip B" or something. Since this is by far that longest trip I'd taken, in my hazy state that afternoon, I thought it was plausible that I pulled my previous high-seventies number up to 96, but that can't be right, even though I'd only driven some hundred of miles before this trip. My LPG was probably more like 80, and is now down to 78, after I drove home directly over the Green Mountains in pouring rain, getting 76 mpg on that segment.

Charlie
 

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Great job. I have never filled the evap canister and am a little troubled that the event topped off the tanks in this maner. I don't think one fill is going to really hurt anything but I seam to remember someone saying long term it was not a good thing. In regards to the odometer 1.5 - 2% is what mine reads with the tires at 50 psi. I have done a few long distance comparisons. Have fun, Rick
 

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Hi Charlie,

It was great to meet you and the others at the auto show in Saratoga yesterday. The disappointment about hearing that your LMPG is not really 96 has let the wind our of our sails, but your indicated rally numbers are truly amazing!

It was interesting to see the topic about the 13+ gallon tank capacity on the Insight. I had missed that one, but it's now helping me to explain some, but not all of the confusing mysteries about the mileage results from the Tour de Sol rally.

Similar to your results, we had a 2.3% correction factor as determined by the calibration run. I wonder what "standard" reference was used for the 10 mile path?

Our indicated trip fuel consumption rate for 158 miles travel in the rally was 93.5 mpg, which exceeded our expectations for that route.

Like you, we started in Greenfield, MA. Considering that your total distance mileage was different, I assume you may not have followed the same itinerary as ours, which went over the Berkshires on I-90. Following the suggestions of the Greenfield starter, our tank was filled without rocking the vehicle and without any overflow. In the refill at the finish line, the rally organizers rocked the car (to remove any air pockets) and overfilled the tank, with lots of gasoline spilling onto the ground. (Sputnik has never before been this full!)

Now, after a return trip to the home base of 215 miles, plus another 7 today, the fuel gauge indicator still shows at 100%. Before reading about the cannister capacity, I couldn't understand how this could be possible. Our return route from Saratoga was over the scenic but relentless Berkshire switchbacks in northwestern MA (where no car should have to go) with looong grades of > 10% (a bicycle tourist's nightmare). On those segments, in the interest of avoiding overheating and battery stress conditions, the MIMA modificaion adds little or no value, and consequently was not used for those climbs. The downhill segments provide more than enough kinetic energy to overcharge the battery pack, so it was necessary to use the brakes at times. With little or no use of the MIMA mode and exhausting hyper-miling driving techniques, our indicated return trip fuel economy was consequently only in the 80s, seemingly confirming additional tank/cannister capacity in the Insight.

In the spirit of the Tour de Sol event, our attitude entering the rally was not about competition with other entrants, vehicles or technologies, but instead it was against unnecessary fuel consumption and inefficiency in general. Our feeling was that in the rally, we represented the best interest of the MIMA project initiators, developers, collaborators, and enthusiasts, as well as the conscientious Insight and hybrid vehicle owner community, who are proving to the world that is it's possible to have a smaller "ecological footprint" without sacrificing a safe and exhilarating driving experience.

While I'll admit to anxiety about the warranty on my Insight IMA system, my interests in the MIMA project are not commercial. My available project time in the near future will be dedicated to an electric motor assist commuter bicycle. This will hopefully reduce the weekly commuting mileage on the Insight when the weather is favorable. However, I hope to continue to participate in this exciting collaborative project, occasionally posting results about commuting fuel economy with conservative and discretionary use of the MIMA feature. I fully expect a 10 to 15% improvement in fuel economy.

Next year, the Tour de Sol organizers will no doubt "raise the bar" with the big challenge being > 100 mpg.
 

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"relentless Berkshire switchbacks in northwestern MA (where no car should have to go) with looong grades of > 10% (a bicycle tourist's nightmare)."

Funny you should mention bike touring & grades. Just did a little tour yesterday, Lausanne to Gruyere, on a route described by the Swiss bike site (http://www.suisse-a-velo.ch) as "Level of difficulty: low to medium, for young people, adults...." Right. So I get to the top of one long climb, not even the steepest, and look back to see a sign "Warning: 18% Grade".

Sadists, I tell you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
nemystic said:
Like you, we started in Greenfield, MA. Considering that your total distance mileage was different, I assume you may not have followed the same itinerary as ours, which went over the Berkshires on I-90.
That's right--we went through the Berkshires too, and ultimately through the same pass at the NY border, but we followed smaller roads for lower speed limits and (sometimes) lower grades, and ended up with a longer, windier route. It was necessary to resort to more primitive means, without having MIMA installed (yet).

nemystic said:
Now, after a return trip to the home base of 215 miles, plus another 7 today, the fuel gauge indicator still shows at 100%.
Yup, after 200+ miles back, our gauge also still shows 100%.


nemystic said:
proving to the world that is it's possible to have a smaller "ecological footprint" without sacrificing a safe and exhilarating driving experience.
Yup, and you made a fantastic contribution to that. I'm hoping to see some news media reports about about 107 mpg Insights soon...

Charlie
 

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Did the Tour de Sol rally this week-end and the refueling thing screwed-up my results big time. I was so ticked about that...and still am! We did 232 miles to get there (left from St-Jerome, north of Montreal) and our final average as per the on-board computer was 75.9mpg, or 3.0l/100. Not exactly as good as I was hoping (I was going for 78 or under 3.0l / 100 km), but considering the hills we had to go up on I-87 (maybe not the best choice of road) and the need as per the rules to stay within 10 mph of the posted speed, that's about as good as we could go. Thankfully, the last 70 miles were really smooth and we averaged 84 mpg there to bring back what was lost earlier in the trip.

But once in Saratoga Springs, the refueling got to 3.907 gallons (below 60 mpg!). That one is still a mystery to me. Ah well. My day was shot from there on! And hearing other stories of flubbed results at refueling did nothing to endear me to the concept of this competition. A friend in a HCH was credited for 74 mpg, but averaged 4.3l (56mpg?) the whole way there as per his computer. Another participant from our start site suffered overflow at the pump once there and had to re-do his run. So anyway...Something needs to change for these contests to work because out of three cars from our location, all three got their runs affected, for better or for worse.

Thankfully, I met a few of you guys there and that was fun. But my Insight is officially retired from MPG competition after one event.

**

I left in the afternoon to come back home and I drove the car like a Porsche the whole way at around 85 mph with the AC on...and still got 4.0 l/100. Not too bad!
 
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Hi All:

___Anyone have any details on Brian’s excellent 107 mpg run? Temperatures, wind speed and direction relative to overall direction of travel, elevation changes, average speed etc.? Did he hit the average of 55 mph? I know at least 3 current and former Insight Hypermilers here that are dying to know ;)

___In regards to the top offs/vapor recovery fill, I wish they would have let you guys fill your tanks with the judges watching as there is absolutely no need to spill even a drop when filling an Insight to almost 14 gallons of fuel. The item I would have been ticked off at is if they couldn’t do vapor recovery fill when you first took off (you cannot fill it to that level every time …) and then they added 6 gallons after you finished (with a vapor recovery fill) after just 200 + miles. That would be the worst scenario I could imagine :(

___Secondly, does this group ever have a comp in the Midwest?

___Thanks in advance.

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:2wdl1i1c][email protected][/email:2wdl1i1c]
 

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Discussion Starter #13
xcel said:
___Anyone have any details on Brian’s excellent 107 mpg run? Temperatures, wind speed and direction relative to overall direction of travel, elevation changes, average speed etc.? Did he hit the average of 55 mph? I know at least 3 current and former Insight Hypermilers here that are dying to know ;)
I don't know when he did the run (for which I think 93.5 mpg is a better estimate than 107 mpg). My 99.8 mpg run included 150 miles on Saturday morning during which time a weather station halfway along the route registered a temperature range of 50 to 60 F. The weather station reported no rain or wind, but I ran into two brief (5-10 minute) rain spells heavy enough that the pavement was fully wet and I had my wipers on. My other 40 miles was on Friday evening with a temperature of 65 to 60 F, wind reported as zero (but with a few tailwind gusts up to 8 mpg). For that segment I got 108.5 mpg. I think the lack of rain and hills on the first segment had more to do with the good results than the few gusts of tailwind (which I didn't notice at the time).

xcel said:
___Secondly, does this group ever have a comp in the Midwest?
The name of the organization is the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association; the Tour de Sol has strayed as far as Washington DC, but is pretty consistently in the Northeast.
 
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Hi Chrs:

___Thanks for the info so far … Did you say he may have not received 107 mpg because of the fillup mess the organizers caused? What about the elevation changes? Lastly, any info on actual speed as this is the make or break for me. EricBecky said he would lend me his Insight for the next one and if I attend, I intend on my normal 100 + mpg depending on the terrain/temps/velocities. Maybe Chris and Amy would let me borrow my old one? If it’s in the high 60’s – low 70’s with no wind or a tail wind, the warm air mods can be discarded but the 45 #’s might cause me some problems ;)

___Thanks again.

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3ft12tsi][email protected][/email:3ft12tsi]
 

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Discussion Starter #15
xcel said:
___Thanks for the info so far … Did you say he may have not received 107 mpg because of the fillup mess the organizers caused?
Right--as I understand it the 107 is a made-up number because they nor he believed the number from the fillup (which I think was maybe 120), but they'd set a policy of going primarily by the fillup number rather than the computer, which read 93.5, as he says in the post above. 107 is the average of 93.5 and 120. But the policy of averaging the two wasn't applied to anybody else, as far as I know.

xcel said:
What about the elevation changes? Lastly, any info on actual speed as this is the make or break for me.
Well, the ways the rules work, you get to pick your own route, as well as start point, and you must go between the speed limit and 10 mph below the speed limit. I used a lot of back roads with speed limits typically 55, 45, or 30 in towns, so I went 45-50, 35-45, or 25-30 according to which I was in.

Brian took interstate I-90, and presumably went 55 mph.

I wish you'd come this year--there was a $5k prize for over 100 mpg and over 500 miles distance. I bet you would have taken it. I was tempted to try for it by taking a longer, less hilly route than I took, but I couldn't get away from work early enough to do it without driving all night.

Charlie
 
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Hi Chrs:

___Thank you again for the info and after re-reading this thread, you performed very well indeed!

___I just do not think 100 + mpg is available to any of us in 50 - 70 degree temps w/ no warm air mods and only 45 #’s in the RE92’s at 55 mph is all :( 55 mph in 75 degree + temps and little in the way of elevation changes including a tail wind or the perfect close in draft w/ little elevation changes, definitely ;)

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1rzar5bd][email protected][/email:1rzar5bd]
 
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Hi CalPod:

___I will agree to disagree with you on MIMA’s capability to date … The power conversion is still a lossy solution although if you were not a DWL proponent, it would help those that drive like they had a cruise control imho. Assist while in the ECO mode of the AH works similarly (to maintain the AH in its 3-cylinder ECO mode) but exclusive DWL while maintaining ECO mode proved to be the most efficient in my limited 139 miles behind the wheel of one last month.

Operation: MaxMileageMadison

The AH is worth even more ...

___On another note, have you ever seen one of these comps in and around the state of California? Illinois would be a great state for such an event given the lower speed limits in the less-rural areas but this is the land of the SUV and high HP monster machines. There are 2 Hummer H2’s within 3 houses on each side of me as I write this up :( To bad as Illinois could use a dose of environmental challenge like the above to raise awareness.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3fep9eqi][email protected][/email:3fep9eqi]
 
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