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Hybrid Gas Mileage Good? Bad? As Expected?



  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi Mr. Shiftright:

    ___Here is one idea in regards to Hybrid’s. If you drive from 0 - 60 in 10 seconds all the time (no mass produced and available hybrid can achieve that as of this writing), you will receive very poor mileage. You will also receive really poor mileage in the much faster std. ICE equipped counterpart as well. If you want to achieve extremely high mileage, the Hybrid can deliver in spades whereas the std. ICE is limited by its larger ICE and its lower overall gearing in most cases.

    ___Here is an example. An HCH might be able to achieve 70 mpg in a max mpg run. A std. Civic might hit 55 at best. If you flog the Hybrid, its fuel economy will not impress but neither will the non-Hybrid.


    Another issue is when the person babies the accelerator pedal. Slow accleration impairs efficiency. Brisk accleration yields higher MPG. Of the course, the other end of the spectrum is speeding. Driving the legal limit increases MPG.

    ___That is pure BS. You really need to improve your fuel economy driving skills. Your comments about speed are dead on however.

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > That is pure BS.

    I suggest you study HSD some more.

    An engine is most efficient at around 70 percent utilization. Brisk accleration takes full advantage of that.

    Remember, the resulting electricity caused by the excess thrust generated by the engine running at a higher than necessary RPM comes into play as a benefit later. And I have lots of real-world data from many Prius owners which prove that.

  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    And Joe - what you may not have stated is that you live in an area where every turn is a steep, uphill climb (we live in the same neighborhood). You can't get from point A to B without doing long and short hill climbs. So the fact you drive like a demon AND on steep grades might not be the best combo?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    yeah, the "terrain" I live in, added to my own driving habits, isn't really an ideal combination for a hybrid vehicle.

    If I can't take advantage of the electric motor (let's say hauling up to Lake Tahoe from San Francisco), all I'm really driving is an odd-shaped Echo.

    I think I'd do better with a VW TDI in this hilly geology (earthquake territory last couple hundred thousand years).


  • "If I can't take advantage of the electric motor (let's say hauling up to Lake Tahoe from San Francisco), all I'm really driving is an odd-shaped Echo."

    Let me get this straight. You want to use a compact car(classic Prius?) to tow something from SF to Lake Tahoe? You'll need the right tool to do the right job. Try Highlander Hybrid or Lexus RX400H with 3,000lbs towing capability.

    You don't need to take advantage of the electric motor(s). HSD will do that for you in combination with ICE (either gas for diesel).

  • For those who had not become aware of the true potential of HSD, let me post a real owner(Markus) experience which was posted on Toyota-Prius yahoo group.

    I alluded to the 2004 Prius performance going up the Eisenhower
    Tunnel in CO on I-70 (11OOO ft) yesterday. Since I got several
    personal replies and questions, I will also post more details here.

    The Eisenhower tunnel climb is probably not the longest or steepest
    climb on a US interstate, but considering the 1100O ft elevation, it
    might be the most demanding overall. One side is very long but
    mostly gradual, the other very steep (for an interstate). Speed
    limit is generally 65.

    Here are the details for a 2004 Prius, 2 adults, skis, gear, ~30-40 F

    I-70 westbound - long but mostly gradual 5000 ft climb with some
    steep hills:
    You can keep it over 65 all the way to Loveland ski area. Only in
    the last mile on that last hill right before the tunnel, the speed
    dropped to 63 since the battery was at its lowest level (one purple
    bar) and could longer contribute power full time. Even then I was
    still passing cars on the highway.

    I-70 eastbound - from Dillon it's an 8 mile, continously steep (5-
    7%) climb up to over 11000ft:
    The Prius will go over 65 for several minutes until the battery is
    at one bar. Then the speed will gradually drop to 60 (floored).

    This is about the same speeds as I could go with our Nissan truck (4
    cylinder) or with my very old Acura (maybe it would have done better
    by putting it in 2nd and redlining it, but that's bad for the
    engine). All gasoline cars lose a significan amount of power at such
    high elevations (just like people do too), so I'd say the Prius is
    about average for a reasonably priced "regular" car. Also, if you
    live in CO, you'll know that I-70 is usually clogged up on weekends
    and going over 60 is often not an option anyway.

    The Prius passes the test for me on such hard climbs, especially
    considering that you still get great gas mileage (45-50mpg

  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    (maybe it would have done better
    by putting it in 2nd and redlining it, but that's bad for the

    Since when redlining a Honda engine is a bad thing for the engine? Honda engines are designed to be in the upper limits of the rev range. One misinformed former Honda/Acura owner.

    On the driving skills question. Someone posted that brisk accelerations may yeild better fuel economy. Although I am not sure about that, but a few years back, there was an article on the advantages of shifting 1-3-5 at redline vs 1-2-3-4-5 in the sub-3000 rpm range. The article concluded that by doing 1-3-5 shifts at redline they achieved better fuel economy vs doing 1-2-3-4-5 shifts at 3000 RPM. The 1-3-5 shifts may not work on a very tall geared Hybrid, but they work fine on the Si I have. I get consistently better "in-city" mileage than highway, because of the short gearing and i-VTEC (modified VTEC-e of yore). The i-VTEC on the Si, essentially operates as 12 valve engine bellow 2200 RPM, providing the engine with a very stratifed fuel charge and inducng "swirl" with un-evenly sized valves. Once over the 2200 the engine operates in the 16 valve mode. meanwhile, VTC is constantly advancing or retarding ignition to provide the most torque. I have to say I am very impressed with the technology that went into the new i-VTEC. Please don't confuse this i-VTEC with the ones on the RSX-S and TSX, which are true VTEC on the intake and exhaust.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    By the way, Prius really doesn't have a "redline".

    Engine speed is artificially limited to just 5000 RPM, which is quite tame by most standards.

  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi Blueiedgod:

    ___In the 5-speed Insights, a 1-2-5 will get you higher fuel economy to 55 mph but it takes 1 to 2 miles of hidden charging to get you back to the same SOC. The much gentler 1-2-3-4-5 acceleration methods fuel economy is higher overall because there is no charging needed given that you didn’t use Assist or very little in the first place.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • "it takes 1 to 2 miles of hidden charging to get you back to the same SOC"

    This is very true.

    Recovering a partially charged battery will always consume more energy, there is no free lunch.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    When the experiment was set up Hybrids were Science Fiction!!!!
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi Blueiedgod:

    ___Hybrids can produce excellent fuel economy when need be (my trip home tonight …) but most are not even close. It is truly sad that those who talk the talk cannot walk the walk just because they are simply to proud or foolish to learn the tricks of the trade :(


    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • They should teach your techniques in driving class.
    I believe most people mistakingly think cruise control gets the best result.
  • Our new 2004 Prius was delivered on Sept. 2, 2004. We filled up with gas just a couple of miles after the gas gauge's second to the last bar disappeared, having driven 422 miles since delivery. Those miles were mostly around town, with lots of short trips, and with perhaps 75 miles of area interstate driving. It took just under 9 gallons to fill. The computer showed 47.1 mpg; I calculated 47.05. Yesterday I took the car on a 220 mile round trip, mostly interstate driving (55 to 70 mph) with some city driving and stop-and-go traffic jams. My average for the trip was in excess of 51 mpg (per the computer). My wife and I are very pleased with this first mileage experience and we love the car.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    The lifetime calculated average (20,328 miles) for my 2004 Prius is 49.3 MPG.

    That's pretty darn good considering the fuel I use is E10 (which lowers efficiency by about 1.7 MPG), I switched to high-traction tires (which lower efficiency by about 3 MPG until broken-in, then by about 1.5 MPG less afterward), and I live in Minnesota where winter-formula fuel and the extremely cold temperatures absolutely kill efficiency (in all types of vehicles).

    In simplistic terms, the expectation this next year is to average mid 40's in the winter and low 50's in the summer.

  • Thanks for your reply. I visit your website frequently. Thanks for all of the great information and for promoting this wonderful technology. What happens to your mpg when you have the bike rack and bike on the back? Bob.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    With my previous Prius, having a bike on back caused a 3 to 5 MPG drop (depending on the direction of the wind).

    With the 2004, I have no idea. The need to carry more than 2 bikes hasn't come up yet. So all my travel has been using internal storage... which is pretty sweet. I love having a hatchback!

  • I've gotten 55-59MPG calculated tanks since February in my HCH. I don't have a lifetime meter but I'd guess it should be around 56-58.

    I found useful driving tips around the net but mainly Wayne's (xcel) suggestions helped me to drive more efficiently.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Many of those tips only apply to IMA.

    The PSI suggestion is should not be used. Never exceed the cold pressure beyond the MAX stated on the sidewall of the tire itself.

  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi Stevedebi:

    ___It looks like Sylvia nixed the post so hopefully you received the links … Let me give credit where credit is due however. Rick Reese and his 5-speed Insight out of the Carolina’s (best high fuel economy - long distance hill driver in the world imho), Chisight and his 5-speed Insight near me (best high fuel economy - city driver in the world imho), and Billy and his 5-speed Insight out of Washington State (best high fuel economy - mountain driver in the world imho) taught me most of everything I know in regards to high fuel economy driving …

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
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