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If you live here I don't need to explains. 2 words: steep hills. Some ideas? oh yeah the speed limit is almost never above 45
 

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I live in a hilly area and am looking for tips too. It seems to me that hills are bad in general, it is hard to make up what you lost going up when going down, especially if stops are necessary, so finding a route with less hills and less stops is helpful, I suppose this is obvious. I've also noticed that at about 2500rpms it is possible to climb hills without assist in 1st or 2nd gear depending on steepness. I have a feeling that avoiding assist is useful in some situations because it avoids a later hit to mpg due to regen, but just in what situations this is true I am unsure. So far my experiments with assist or no assist on the 7% grade up to my home have not been conclusive - both ways seems roughly equally bad.
 

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In very hilly terrain, there are several approaches, depending upon what your goal is. Do you want to proceed in a big hurry, but not drain the battery too much? Do you want to just keep up with traffic and acheive good mpg? Or do you desire absolute max mpg? My drives are usually in the latter category. Here's one method: 1/2 mile prior to the hill or climb, slightly increase speed, maybe by 4 mph? As you ascend, allow the car to slow down as it wants; just keeping enough gas pedal to AVOID using any assist. Then downshift to 4th at 49mph. Then downshift to 3rd at 42 mph. If the hill is really steep, downshift to 2nd at 34mph.

All during this time, downshift smoothly while matching the rpm's. It should be seamless. Try NOT to use assist. It takes patience, and cars will be passing you. Then at the top of the hill, slowly let the car accelerate and when you sense the downhill is steep enough to allow the car to speed up using no power, just shut the engine off (FAS) by turning the key back one click, wait 3 seconds, then turn the key on 1 click (to reboot, engine still off) (be SURE not to go back 2 clicks and lock the steering wheel!) Don't restart the engine again untill your speed is level, and just beginning to decline. (50+ lbs of air in tires REALLY helps the car roll !!)

Practicing and perfecting this method can result in SUPER mpg, and soon it becomes 2nd nature. By NOT using any assist, you actually save fuel by not working the engine to recharge the IMA system.

I must note, however, that if you don't wish to drive this slow or don't have the patience, a more moderate approach is called for. Yes, using assist and recharging, as intended, can increase mpg and performance in a moderate scenario. But just remember: there is no free lunch, UNLESS the downgrade hill is very steep, and you would otherwise need to use your brakes.
 
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Hi Bill:

___I could not have said it any better myself! Excellent job on the climbing technique you discovered for higher speed and higher FE climbing.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
 

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What an awesome tip! There is a very steep hill I need to climb on my way back home from work, and I lose about 2 mpg whenever I get to it. I am going to try your method. Let's hope I don't get rear ended! People here in California are always in a hurry - including myself, when I'm not driving the Insight. LOL
 

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I have a question about turning off the engine and then turning it back on. Rather than re-crank the motor while coasting down the hill, would it be ok to just let the clutch out in say... third or fourth gear... and "force" the car to turn on? Or would I be going too fast for that to be safe?
 

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Hi Minako; I usually just turn the key for a quick second; remember, the electric motor is mated directly to the crankshaft, so the engine starts PRONTO, it does not sit there and crank. Wayne likes to do the 4th or 5th gear bump start, which is OK too.....
 

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dfiore said:
If you live here I don't need to explains. 2 words: steep hills. Some ideas? oh yeah the speed limit is almost never above 45

If you would like to meet me somewhere after work I could demonstrate the technique I use on hills. I work off Gallimore Dairy Rd. in Greensboro.
 
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