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Hi fellow Insighters -

I expect this had been addressed before in other threads, but I am giving it its own topic now. How many Insights have been modified with an added cable that will plug into the many public e-vehicle charging stations that exist in many municipalities?

Personally I park in at least four parking lots with several e-vehicle charging slots on a regular basis. Most of the time these are unused, or sparingly used.

Most of these stations offer free electricity to whatever vehicles are able to make use of them. In fact I have never seen one yet that is on a pay basis. I'm assuming the connector is extremely expensive or we would see many old Insights and Prius's with aftermarket e-vehicle charging connectors.

How many people have tried this, and how many have been successful in adapting their Insights to use the public e-vehicle charging stations?

Thanks in advance,
 

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I haven't heard of anyone around here doing that. Unless you have an oversized alternative pack or buddy pack or something, seems like it wouldn't be worth the trouble...
 

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Since the IMA battery has such a small capacity & the Insight has no electric only mode?
I was thinking just the small capacity. But I guess one would need some kind of manual electric mode, like MIMA or IMAC&C, or an electric-only mode, to make a larger capacity pack really worth while. So I guess they go hand in hand.

The way the IMA is managed stock, it seems more fruitful to think of the pack as being more like a super capacitor than a 'real' battery pack, meant to store energy short term and deliver and receive it very quickly... Not a perfect analogy, yet the storage is so small compared to real EVs that it doesn't really help to think of it in those terms. To me, it's much more important that the pack deliver high amps and take in high amps than it is to store a lot - at least, the way the IMA is managed stock...

I guess it might depend a bit on the kind of environment you're in, and the kind of driving you do. More storage would be beneficial if you have a lot of mountains to climb, even in the stock form... But most around town driving, country jaunts, regular highways, don't require a lot of storage. It's 'get more in, get more out', and then get more in and even more out, back and forth... For this the stock storage size seems about right...
 

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How many Insights have been modified with an added cable that will plug into the many public e-vehicle charging stations that exist in many municipalities?
As the owner of a pure EV and an Insight, I am quite familiar with public charging stations. The more common Level 2 variety (208-240 v. AC) uses a standard J1772 plug that plugs into a matching socket on the EV. This charging station isn't a charger but is merely an intelligent charging cable; the charger itself is in the EV.

Building a cable with the J1772 socket wouldn't be the main problem. All EV charging incorporates an electronic signaling protocol to insure safe charging even when wet, to set the charging station amperage to that requested by the EV, etc. So to charge your Insight's battery pack using a Level 2 public charging station, you would need to add a charger to your Insight that would implement the J1772 signaling protocol. I think that you would find this requirement to be too expensive to be worthwhile for the tiny Insight battery pack whose charge level can never be below ~24%. You would either need to signal a very low amperage to the charging station or implement better battery pack cooling than now exists to keep your battery pack from overheating during charging.

The less common Level 3 public charging station uses a different plug and socket. This charging station is a high-voltage (400-500 v.), high-amperage, high-speed DC charger that charges the battery pack directly (no onboard charger needed), but it would be way overkill for the tiny Insight battery pack. You would need to install a DC-DC converter to lower the voltage to ~180 v., electronics that would implement the electronic signaling protocol necessary for the charger to function, and much better battery pack cooling.
 

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Ive seen people with block heaters take advantage of those spots. :mad:
That's impossible for the usual 208-240v. J1772 charging station that implements an electronic signaling protocol that a block heater power plug doesn't implement. I'm guessing that they're plugging into a standard 120 v. outlet that the facility owner might have installed for Level 1 EV charging (all EV's come with a Level 1 charging cord that plugs into a standard 120 v. outlet). The OP could plug a grid charger into one of these outlets without any modifications needed.
 

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If there are standard 110 volt outlets why not grab a top-off for your insight whenever one is available? Would it really save you any money?
 

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Would regularly topping off the charge on an insight with a grid charger at charging stations degrade the battery or lessen its life. I haven't used my grid charger since the installation of my last, higher capacity battery. No need. So doing so is not worth any reduction of battery life. Especially since mine just died 2 years into a three year warranty.
 

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Would regularly topping off the charge on an insight with a grid charger at charging stations degrade the battery or lessen its life. I haven't used my grid charger since the installation of my last, higher capacity battery. No need. So doing so is not worth any reduction of battery life. Especially since mine just died 2 years into a three year warranty.
ARISE ZOMBIE THREAD! THOU HAST BEEN DORMANT FOR OVER TWO YEARS. ARISE!

Yes.

Batteries last as long as they do because they are limited to 20-80% SoC range. In reality, the vast majority of cycles are in a MUCH smaller range, e.g., 65-75% SoC unless you operate regularly in hilly terrain.

Regularly pushing the battery to 100% SoC merely accelerates deterioration for little to no measurable benefit.

Lastly, while you may not perceive it needs it, simple grid charging for 12 hours (~350mA) every six months can insure the pack balance stays in a healthy range.
 

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ARISE ZOMBIE THREAD! THOU HAST BEEN DORMANT FOR OVER TWO YEARS. ARISE!

Yes.

Batteries last as long as they do because they are limited to 20-80% SoC range. In reality, the vast majority of cycles are in a MUCH smaller range, e.g., 65-75% SoC unless you operate regularly in hilly terrain.

Regularly pushing the battery to 100% SoC merely accelerates deterioration for little to no measurable benefit.

Lastly, while you may not perceive it needs it, simple grid charging for 12 hours (~350mA) every six months can insure the pack balance stays in a healthy range.
Does the tedious process of "conditioning" in which you charge and discharge 3 times with progressively deeper discharges followed by a cooling off and then a full charge and balance/leveling really add any significant life to the pack?
 

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I realize I could have combined several of these posts but I keep seeing "You must have posted ten times to see this" and ... oh, look, this is number ten.
 

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As I understand it:

All Insight batteries gradually drift out of balance, because the car has no in-built way of keeping the different sticks and cells in balance. This affects usable capacity, and may have effects on lifespan too as the different cells are used in different parts of their SoC.

Grid charging in theory will reduce the life of the cells as it's a wear cycle plus some overcharging, so I wouldn't do it every day. However, the wear of doing it infrequently is almost certainly less bad than letting the battery get out of balance.

Deep discharge cycles can revive a failing battery for a while, but I would not do this on a healthy battery. I grid charge my battery 2-3 times per year overnight to keep it balanced, and I have done a deep discharge once to see if I could get a bit more usable capacity out of it. My battery is healthy to begin with and I didn't perceive any more usable capacity.
 

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Okay. Thanks. Wanna buy a grid charger?
No. You need to keep it for 12 hr (overnight) grid charges a couple of times a year to keep your pack at peak condition. If you want to sell it anyway, you need to post in the Insightful Deals section. Please make sure you read the rules.

Does the tedious process of "conditioning" in which you charge and discharge 3 times with progressively deeper discharges followed by a cooling off and then a full charge and balance/leveling really add any significant life to the pack?
Tedious? The whole process requires about 1 hour of your actual time.

In most cases, yes, particularly for a pack that has been showing deteriorated mileage and frequent recalibrations or has just thrown its first IMA light. Many have gained years of additional use out of their battery. For those that have ignored it and continued to drive it with partial function, chances diminish.

As I understand it:

All Insight batteries gradually drift out of balance, because the car has no in-built way of keeping the different sticks and cells in balance. This affects usable capacity, and may have effects on lifespan too as the different cells are used in different parts of their SoC.

Grid charging in theory will reduce the life of the cells as it's a wear cycle plus some overcharging, so I wouldn't do it every day. However, the wear of doing it infrequently is almost certainly less bad than letting the battery get out of balance.

Deep discharge cycles can revive a failing battery for a while, but I would not do this on a healthy battery. I grid charge my battery 2-3 times per year overnight to keep it balanced, and I have done a deep discharge once to see if I could get a bit more usable capacity out of it. My battery is healthy to begin with and I didn't perceive any more usable capacity.
Agreed. I would not ever actually "deep" discharge a healthy one. I would discharge it to 1V/cell at low current (25-40W bulb) checking the 10 tap voltages to ensure they aren't out of whack. I would terminate discharge when the first tap hit 12V.

Not almost certainly less bad... Definitely WAY less bad. Cell life is typically 500-1000 cycles, and that's to an arbitrary 80% SoC - which is still very usable in-car if it's balanced. The benefits of grid charging/discharge vastly outweigh the cycle "damage"

Two rules about reconditioning:
1) Grid charge on a calendar schedule (3-6 months) for preventive maintenance or when you sense noticeable deterioration/repeating recals.
2) Conduct a discharge when #1 doesn't improve results like it used to - maybe once/year.

There are two grid charger related links in my sig.
 

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" Two rules about reconditioning:
1) Grid charge on a calendar schedule (3-6 months) for preventive maintenance or when you sense noticeable deterioration/repeating recals.
2) Conduct a discharge when #1 doesn't improve results like it used to - maybe once/year."

Good to know this. Maybe the root of one of my problems!
 
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