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Describe that a little more, if you would. I have a Honda Civic Hybrid with CVT, and I understand how it works. The IMA is fixed to the crankshaft, so they are both turning at the same speed. The CVT is a steel belt on movable "pinch" pulleys to provide the variable ratio.
I don't understand the mix of two electric motors and the CVT in the Escape. Short of buying the service manual, can you point to a decent reference for how it really works? I've seen some misguided crud, but no real explanation. I assume that it is the same as the Prius, so reference to that would be good, unless I can spot a discrepancy.
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Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8,-122.5
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wrote:

The Escape uses pretty much the same system as what Toyota uses, which is way different than the straightforward Honda Integrated Motor Assist.
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Try this treatise: http://home.earthlink . net/~graham1/MyToyotaPrius/Understanding/PowerSplitDevice.htm
I can't vouch for it being 100% correct, but it is similar to what I've read before about the Toyota hybrid drive. Basically, by varying the motor/generator1 speed, one can control the ICE rpm.
It's pretty neat, but also complex. 2 high-power motor/generators.
Another reference: http://www.me.utexas.edu/~tomr/body.htm
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That site is by Graham Davies, one of the genuine Prius gurus. He writes that he looked into it very carefully, and it is true - under many conditions MG1 is used as a generator to provide power to MG2. It makes my head hurt to visualize it.
Mike
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Yep. That's how you can have a 50 kW motor, but only a 25 (30?) kW battery driving it. Sometimes, actually quite often, at least part of the electric power to drive the second motor comes from the ICE driving the first motor as a generator. Basically, an electric transmission. Generally I would not expect that to be as efficient as a mechanical clutch.
So the Prius system acts as both a mechanical and electrical transmission.
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wrote:

The efficiency is supposed to be about 90%, considerably less than a manual gearbox. OTOH, it allows the engine to operate in more efficient ranges more of the time, so it's an overall gain in city driving. On the freeway it would be hard to beat a manual tranny for efficiency. (I understand ATs with lockup come close.)
There is a narrow speed/power mode where MG1 is stationary and the transmission is strictly mechanical. I think that speed is different in the first generation Prius (before 2004 MY) than with the second generation, because the MG maximum speeds are different now.
Mike
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wrote:

By that way of looking at it, SHS has two transmissions, like pretty much all cars. The planetary "power split device" is a skewed differential and could have been made like a typical differential if ruggedness weren't important. No gears ever shift, there are no clutches or belts or hydraulics or solenoids or forks. It is all fixed gearing, which makes it different from automatic transmissions. The device should be bulletproof as long as the lubricant is kept up, without the weaknesses of manual trannies (no synchros, no clutch, no gear crunches possible).
The way I describe the system is to visualize an engine connected straight through to a differential. Instead of wheels, there is a motor/generator on each side of that differential. Connect another conventional differential and wheel setup to one side, and there you have it.
Mike
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Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

sweet! I also was under the impression that hybrids were only AT (probably because Prius came out first), and I was saddened that I would have to give up MT if I ever wanted to get a hybrid. But now I can have the best of both worlds.
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No, the Prius came out after the Insight. Insight: 2000. Prius: 2001. Civic Hybrid: 2003.
The Insight was available with both manual and auto trans, as is the current Civic Hybrid.
The Toyota is a complex system; the Honda is simple and straightforward. Integrated Motor Assist is probably more bang for the buck.
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In the US, you are correct. But the Prius was released in Japan and Europe before the Insight was produced. Honda reportedly rushed out the Insight to beat Toyota to the US market. Succesfully I would say as a lot of people think Honda made the first commercial hybrid!
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Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

OK fine, is this better? =)
I also was under the impression that hybrids were only AT (probably because Prius was the first hybrid to be popularized in the mainstream US media).
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I think of the IMA as an electric turbocharger. It uses mostly wasted energy later, to add some power to the little tiny gas engine that is able to get high mileage. I wonder what kind of mileage the civic would get if it just had the 1300cc engine, and no IMA. It is very simple to understand, and rather obvious in operation.
I don't understand the Escape very well yet. Definitely a different animal, and a precursor for the heavy hybrid (no pun towards the weight of the SUV). The electric-only mode could be extended with a heavier battery set and different logic so that it could operate completely electric and be charged at night, and yet have the gas engine for long distance usage. I have seen 99mpg on my average mileage display over a 10 mile stretch of commute traffic. Then the engine starts, and the mpg plummets ;-)
I picture today's Escape as a Gas-Electric Hybrid, where the next generation might be an Electric-Gas Hybrid.
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was introduced in 2001, and Honda engineers reported the electric assist gave it off-the-line acceleration equivalent to a 600 hp engine. When we realize the technology is in its infancy, the future is amazing indeed.
Mike
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Honda did report on this. I forget the exact numbers, but it is something like 1/3 due to the hybrid itself (regen, more efficient power management), 1/3 engine downsizing and advanced technology, and 1/3 lightweighting of the vehicle. Something like that.

Same as Prius. See other posts.

Definitely doable. But it all depends what you want out of a vehicle, and what you are willing to pay. Extended operation off the battery requires a bigger, higher energy capacity battery. The cost of the battery (and mass and volume) are pretty much directly proportional to that energy capacity.
And if you want sustained performance, ex: climbing Baker Grade in california towing a trailer, you still need a lot of continuous capability.
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I would have purchased a pure electric car, except that it didn't have enough range. If the Electric-Gas hybrid had an electric-only range of 30-40 miles, that would suffice for most around town runs, but the gas would always be available for the cross country jaunts.
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Definitely. This will probably be an area where hybridization appears last - towing packages and trucks of all sorts. The IMA approach is still attractive (in a technical sense) in that it can improve passing ability and the ability to gain speed after a stop, but I think it will be a long time before the economics of that make sense. Turbocharging is better for towing and trucks, and even that still isn't universal yet.
And as to the topic, I've driven manual and AT rental trucks up grades and I despise autos for that sort of thing. They also bite the big one off road, especially on slippery snow/mud roads. Throttle/slippage is much easier to control with a manual.
Mike
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wrote:

I doubt that IMA can return over 30% in fuel consumption. I recall, on Edmund's Hybrid Forum, one of the Insight driver was operating without IMA. He was still getting over 50mpg, without any electrical assist. The IMA might return over 30% in optimum condition, but from normal driving, It's probably more like 15%.
I think Honda's Hybrid system could be improved if the battary capacy was improved and the car was allowed to charge-up overnight (or the IMA can be user programmed to expect overnight charging). In this case the 30% improvement could become a norm.
Honda's system does seem more cost effective when compared to more complicated and expenive system. I'm looking forward to seeing the system on more low priced entry level cars.
Hopefully, Honda will bring back the Insight (which is in it's last year of production), but with a go-fast suspension system and a better IMA mated to the 1.3L.
Pars

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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com (Dave) wrote:

But the Accord Hybrid is rather different. As far as I can tell, the electric motor is to keep the engine running smoothly when it's switching in and out of gas saving modes. The power meter shows little activity and the 15 HP electric motor is tiny compared to the 240 HP gas motor.

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Kevin McMurtrie wrote:

thats kinda cool. i wonder if they can use that in place of balance shafts?
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It's probably technically possible but I bet it would eat a lot of power.
How much does the balancer weigh? The 05 Accord Hybrid engine seems to rev up slowly compared to my simple old 97 Civic HX. It's the one thing that disappoints me a little - major downshift lag when stepping on the gas. It makes me miss a 5 speed manual.
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