I think some owners have modded them so they can plug the car into the mains and use it like a plug in, there are lots of mods you can do. There are devices to enable you to control the amount of electric you use, max boost etc. There's so much to learn, kind of wish I had more time, Im starting to feel guilty for buying a project with very little spare time to dedicate to it!
Well I've been using the Honda for a few hundred miles now with IMA disabled, and whilst I cannot do a full comparison V's IMA enabled as my battery pack was old and tired when I bought it, I can say with some level of confidence that it's more fuel efficient without the hybrid system.
There are many reasons why, the most noticeable one for me is that the regen brakes don't kick in, usually there is slight friction when you lift off the accelerator so the battery can be charged, and you usually feel extra bite when braking to help charge too. This means in gear coasting lasts longer now, so you can travel further without the need to accelerate. Another reason is that with a dying pack, the engine is used more as a generator to charge the battery up. I'm getting mid to late 70's MPG now as opposed to mid to late 60's. I'm in no rush to fix the battery really, although the lack of electric boost is missed a lot when accelerating, overtaking or going up hills, you have to work the engine harder for longer, but it doesn't seem to hamper fuel economy too much.
Glad you're getting better economy - shame it seems that comes from totally disengaging the hybrid system!
Do you still think that a fresh battery would give even better economy, or are you now feeling that an unhampered petrol motor is the overall most efficient means of propulsion?!
I'd always hope for better economy whatever I'm getting, probably.
However, I can't really fault the Prius. It is (just!) beating my old Hyundai i20, and is giving around 20 more miles per gallon compared to a diesel car of comparative size on the same route.
I STILL haven't sussed out a definite best driving style to maximise the economy with the hybrid system!
As per the Insight Central comments, it's possible that an old battery pack will reduce the overall consumption because the engine is constantly trying to charge the batteries, in this scenario, disconnecting the battery pack will get better results.
I'm no expert, but would imagine that with a fresh battery pack the economy would improve with the pack connected.
I simply refuse to believe that Honda would add all the weight and complexity of the batteries to reduce the overall economy, it simply makes no sense, and also if this was the case, the guys over at Insight Central would have figured this out and they would all be running with their batteries disconnected and removed to save weight.
Draigflag, having said the above, I do think you are right to disconnect your battery pack, which you know to be suspect and I would have done exactly the same thing. It's a big expense to replace the pack and if you don't use the car much, the payback will take a long time, it would of course increase the value of the car if you ever wanted to sell it though, so a lot to weigh up there.
I do hope that you are still enjoying it and I'm still very envious as I would love to have one and maybe one day...
Well I only did 2 tanks with the IMA enabled, and as I said, the pack was well on its last legs anyway, also, my journeys were very random and inconsistent too, so to compare my (so far) half a tank with IMA disabled to the other two is not really a true fair comparison.
The trade off is of course poor performance. I didn't anticipate the car being this slow with the IMA disabled, I had wrongly assumed a 1 litre 3 cylinder in such a lightweight car would be pretty nippy. A lot of my first few cars had engines less than a litre or around a litre, and I remember them being pretty quick for what they were, they were a lot less aerodynamic and were heavier too. Maybe I'm just used to turbos, as I said before, it must be 8+ years since I've had a non turbocharged car, it's hard to live with! I would definitely rather have slightly less economy if I could replace/fix the battery, as the current performance very much dulls the experience and removes a lot of the fun factor.
I'm going to be a bit controversial now and say that the insight is almost a compromise too far. It sacrifices quite a lot, practicality, comfort, refinement, perhaps safety? Performance? I guess that's why it did badly sales wise V's the Prius. Maybe I'm being unfair as things have improved a lot since the insight was designed 17 years ago. It does make you appreciate modern cars, driving the Renault after feels like a Rolls Royce, so smooth, quick, quiet refined and still very fuel efficient (averaged between 75 and 87 MPG on a short 45 mile trip just an hour or so ago!) But then the insight was designed purely as a fuel saving car, and you can't forget how well designed it is in the aesthetic and generel construction, and it is still a really fun little car to own and drive, and doesn't break the bank. For all these reasons and more, you forgive the insight and from an engineering/technical perspective, I cant help but have a lot of respect for this little thing. The fact that it has a manual box in a hybrid is also a big plus, I'm getting tired of reading auto journalists 90% of the time complaining about the dreadful, annoying CVT gearboxes most modern hybrids have now. In some cases, the engine is absolutely screaming on the motorway, not for me thanks!
Are you still using her on petrol alone, or retiring her till a new battery pack can be fitted? The only scream from the CVT in the Prius is under full acceleration, and you would get exactly the same in a manual as you blasted through each gear.
Having been a life long supporter of the manual, having turned down dream cars because only auto examples were available (Citroen XM, with the 2 not 2.5 diesel!), i now much prefer the CVT. If anything, it enhances the fun if you want to do some brisk overtaking, or just speed things up a bit. I've not done any motorway, but no screaming on the dual carriageways so far. The car is almost always silent under normal driving and EV, not something you can say for a diesel or most petrol cars.
I would still like an Insight if i won the lottery, but with a brand new battery pack, and in Citrus!
Havn't used the Honda for a while Ben, not had a chance really been away the past few weekends. Starting to think I shouldn't have bought it, it will end up as "lack of time forces sale" job on eBay! Only had 2.5 days off this year, kind of annoying.
Yes just petrol. It's hard to compare whether its more fuel efficient without the hybrid system as my journeys have been very inconsistent, I've just been using the car here and there and going where I want, some long journeys, and some short. I would have to do a long term (1 year+) to do a fair comparison, but I'm still pretty pleased considering.
In any car, when you lift off the accelerator, you can feel the car instantly slowing down. This is far less noticeable in the Honda due to it's lightweight and super slick aerodynamic shape, you don't realise what an enemy weight and drag are in a car until you drive something like this, it teaches you a lot really. I'm pretty sure I'm learning techniques I can apply in my Clio too, as I'm currently getting my best indicated figure in that too.