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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    May 2008
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    Maybe buying Civic Hybrid - couple of questions first

    First, thanks for all of the great info in this forum.

    I’m thinking of replacing my wife’s car with a new Civic Hybrid, and have a couple of questions. She takes and picks up the kiddos from school and ends up spending ~ an hour a day idling in the ‘car riders’ lines. In good weather she’ll put the windows down, but in NW Louisiana this is not often. So, I’m interested in maximizing the time the accessories (air conditioning) is running off the battery. I understand that the gas engine shuts off when not needed – like at a stoplight. But what happens after an extended period of time, maybe 20 minutes of no-movement time? Would she have to sit with her foot on the brake… or, can she put the car in park and have the A/C run from the battery? Please let me know if I am missing something here.

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2008
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    From what you are

    From what you are describing, Prius seems to be a better choice if you are ready for a hybrid. HCHII really kicks ass when she can get out on the highway and run for a stretch. If you are sitting in the carpool lane, moving up 10 feet at a time, the stop-start on HCHII will not stop the engine.

    I think an HCHII would not do much better than a regular old Civic (great damn car) in your wife's bus driver duties. The Honda Fit is another good choice for what you describe. But if you are enlightened enough to visit us here at hybridcars.com you know you gotta have a hybrid.

  4. #3
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2006
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    Hi Octane: The Civic Hybrid

    Hi Octane:

    The Civic Hybrid is the only hybrid vehicle that actually uses a "hybrid" AC compressor. That means that it can run off the traction battery, the gas engine accessories belt or both.

    Yes, she put the car in park and the automatic climate control system will keep everyone cool.

    Sitting with the vehicle on in traffic will decimate your battery charge in a hurry. It is also not much better in the Prius either. But I agree with UKTiger that if you are going to drive in stop and go the Prius is better - hands down. But if stopping more than driving then it still depends on how long the stops are because even the Prius with its "deeper" pack will turn the gas engine back on to charge the pack back up. Such is life.

    Despite the inevitability of the gas engine starting at a long stop either car will give you better mileage and less emissions than any other car you can buy.

    Cheers;

    MSantos

  5. #4
    Junior Member
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    May 2008
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    Thanks folks for the quick

    Thanks folks for the quick responses. One more quick question... is there an aftermarket modification to allow charging of the big battery from a wall changer (plug-in)? I ask because most of my wife's driving is with very little braking which, it seems, not allow for the battery much opporunity to charge.

    Thanks again

  6. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    At the moment you're

    At the moment you're unlikely to find such a mod for either the Civic Hybrid or Prius... and if you ever did find one, the voiding of the OEM warranty is the main obstacle for you to factor in. Sorry.

    MSantos

  7. #6

    Spending an hour a day

    Spending an hour a day idling is bad news imho, for any car, and the environment, and kids in the vicinity. I'd say shut it down and crack or roll down the windows, as *soon* as you don't need to go anywhere. The auto-stop is meant for short intervals at red lights.

    Regarding your wife doing very little braking, I don't know why but that has me smiling. I can just picture her blowing through red lights with sirens in tow. Seriously, I can't see any sort of normal driving situation impacting the charge state. Any time you take your foot off the gas the electric motor immediately turns into a generator, putting a slight load on the engine reducing braking effort and charging the battery. And no, I don't think there's any sort of plug-in charge system. It's not designed for that.

    My wife does most of the driving with our '06, round town, multiple short trips daily, it works out fine.

  8. #7

    Hymotion

    Hymotion (http://www.a123systems.com/hymotion) now offers a kit to add batteries and a plug to a Prius. It isn't cheap but would allow longer airconditioner use while idling in traffic. For slow driving (under 35 mph), you can run on pure electric for several miles if you've charged the battery by plugging in.

  9. #8
    Junior Member
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    May 2008
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    I'm also thinking about

    I'm also thinking about purchasing an 06 HCH -- and am wondering if in short stops (like in a drive thru McD's) whether the AC condenser comes on and off all the time like it does on my 4 cyclinder Acura TSX?

    I put about 90K miles a year on my vehicle and am looking forward to some gas $ savings in the future.

    (I hope the Honda is a long-term vehicle and will hold up)

  10. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    The second generation HCH

    The second generation HCH will run the AC on electric provided that you have the climate control on AUTO and you set a reasonable temperature value.

    This means you have to make smart use of the car's Climate Control features. For example, you set the AC temp at 87 or more at first then slowly (every 2-5 minutes) lower the value one degree at a time until you are comfortable. If you do this the AC will always run on electric and the gas engine will stop when it should. Set it too low at first and the gas engine will powering the AC compressor as well - which frankly makes the AC behave like that of any other car - really, this is something you DO NOT want.

    Cheers;

    MSantos

  11. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    0

    Thanks, MSantos... I also

    Thanks, MSantos...

    I also want to ask that, since I put so many miles on my vehicle, whether or not you have heard any long-term reports of how the car is holding up. I hate rattles, by the way, and am wondering how the Civic does in that department as well as mechanically.

    Also, since it doesn't have traction control, is it wise to use snow tires for the winter months? And which is in your opinion the best tire to use?

    Thanks

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