I have been involved with improving the efficiency of my cars since the oil embargo of the 70's. I was driving a Subaru FE coupe at the time. I fitted it with fuel consumption meters, accelerometers, vacuume gauge, and was able to regularly get 40-50 MPG on the 100 mile round trip commute I was doing at the time.
Back in 2000 when the first hybrids were available, I got my self a Honda Insight. After several years and a lot of frustration with the "dumb" decisions that the hybrid controller was making as far as mixing the gas and electric power for best efficiency. I decided that if I could control the electric motor at will that I could improve the already great MPG by making better choices on when and to what extent I applied assist and used regeneration. Several of the guys on the forum where I hung out (Insight Central), and I took out our oscilloscopes and began to analyze the signals between the computers. we determined how to gain the manual control, and I designed a computer based system which is called MIMA for Manual Integrated Motor Assist, which would allow the full control that we felt would improve things.
As of today, there are 56 people with Honda Insights that are enjoying the MIMA advantage with an average MPG improvement of 10-20%.
Not being easily satisfied, I added booster batteries and a drop down E-Wheel that allows EV operation at 30 MPH for a 40 mile free ride. I recharge the booster batteries with solar panels over my garage doors. One day of charging, and I get a 30-40 mile free ride.
I continue to explore hybrid cars, and will resume my Saturday Hybrid electric workshops once the weather gets more cooperative.
If you would like to dig deeper and lend a hand with the projects, all are welcome. The events calender will post when the workshops resume.
Hope I can contribute to your timely forum.