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  1. #181
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Scott, Hilly terrain is


    Hilly terrain is going to be a problem, my advice is not to try to hold a steady speed on the up hills, but let the speed drop at least a bit. These hills would impact the mpg of a non-hybrid, too, of course.

    I would have a dealer look at the dieseling.

    My experience with our FEH is that you have to use a light touch on the accelerator to keep it in EV mode. It takes practice and patience but can be done.

    Be sure the AC is set to an 'econ' mode or just switched off whenever possible. With the compressor running, you mpg can go down considerably.

    It's doubtful that your car's computer has 'learned' from the previous owner's driving habits.

    Our FEH has delivered 32.2mpg over the past couple of weeks and that includes a 300 mile road trip at highway speeds and the AC on but in econ mode. Others on here report much higher readings. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.

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  3. #182

    Thanks for the input. The

    Thanks for the input. The dealer that looked at it said it is not actual dieseling, just the engine turning on and off... I guess it's normal to start sluggish?

    I always keep the AC in Air/Swamp cooler mode (meaning in HI, when the combustion turns off, the humidity in the car goes up.)

    The hills are a blessing and a curse. Some I can get good coasting on, but the ups and downs mean that a 45-55 mph road I drive daily sucks gas in either manual or cruise control mode. very hard to use the turbo boost method as well, as the traffic is usually pretty thick and steady at about 50 mph.

    Finally, what are your thoughts on cruise control? sometimes it seems I get worse milage after putting it in cruise for awhile... Especially on the highway (60-70 mph range)

    Biggest Gas culprit is it being AWD. I would NOT reccamend anyone to buy a FEH AWD unless you have a GREAT need for the 4wd. The gas cut makes it not worth it. (roughly 2-3 MPG.)

  4. #183
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Scott: For the average


    For the average driver, using cruise control will probably yield somewhat higher mpg if the terrain is fairly flat. On hilly terrain you will get better results without the cruise IF you allow speed to slacken a bit going up hills. Hills are a net negative on mpg since you never get all the of the momentum back on the downhill that you lost on the uphill.

    The AWD version of the Escape does get lower mpg than the FWD version, even when it is in 2WD mode, for two reasons: it weighs more and there are some frictional losses in the system. Still, ours is 4WD and as I said, I'm showing 32.2mpg on the clock right now over that last 3 weeks of driving under a wide variety of conditions. Living in southern Wisconsin, the 4WD comes in handy, especially when the winter is as harsh as this past one was.

  5. #184
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    mdensch, I found the rolling

    mdensch, I found the rolling hills at the MPG Challenge was better for gas mileage than my flat roads here in So Florida. When I was told that Debbie Katz's '05 FWD FEH that I drove was filled with E-10 (ethanol) during that competition, this really made me feel that I'm at a big disadvantage without hills in Florida. The strategy of climbing hills at low RPM's (2,000 - 2,400) and in EV in the '05 got me 61.8mpg in that 26 mile course in Madison WI. I couldn't come close to that mileage with E-10 on my flat roads.

    You are right and I agree the average driver that lets RPM's run away while climbing hills will do worst with MPG. Coasting in neutral is the other key to gain speed on the downhill. I also use "L" to stay under 40mph and prevent kicking on the engine. The extra regen to recharge the battery is also good with using "L".

    My '09 FEH is much better at climbing large bridges than my '05 FEH. The added power allows faster climbing speeds at lower more controllable RPM's.

  6. #185
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Gary: Hmmmm. Clearly, I


    Hmmmm. Clearly, I have to reexamine my driving techniques because my experience with hills differs from yours. I did a ride along with Deb at a Milwaukee Hybrid Group meeting this spring and I was rather amazed at how she was able to climb hills in EV mode that would have caused the ICE to kick in if I were driving.

    As a side note, I have helped organize an eco event here in Beloit, WI, that combines some hybrid seminars and a hybrid cruise-in at a local drive-in with tours of eco facilities here. It's all free.



  7. #186
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Looks like you've met the

    Looks like you've met the gang mdensch! I finally met them all at Hybridfest '07. Debbie road with me in the MPG Challenge and thought it was strange how I climbed hills in EV as much as possible. Your AWD most likely has to much drag, but I climb some pretty steep bridges at 25mph in EV in my '05 FEH. I always gain a little MPG after the bridges here.

    Wayne Gerdes came to Florida and we met up to compare techniques and he made a comment about my conditions here in Florida. What it amounts to is the heat and flat roads leave many hypermiling techniques off the table and I've had learn to overcome other ways to improve MPG. For instance E-10 is much worst on flat roads because there are no hills for coasting. Here I've learned to be a master at coasting, so when I get in hills I'm in heaven. Debbie looked at me after her and said "You Coasted The Entire Challenge!"

  8. #187
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Mileage Report on my 2009 I

    Mileage Report on my 2009

    I have now racked up roughly 1900 miles on my 2009 FEH, and I have a few tidbits to throw out here.

    I have refilled 4 times and here is my actual tank mileage. (Dividing miles driven by gallons refilled into the car)
    1: ~35 MPG Tank
    2: ~36 MPG Tank
    3: ~35 MPG Tank
    4: ~37 MPG Tank

    I am roughly getting 35.5 MPG average... While this may not be Record Setting (like Gary) it is phenomenal when you consider the below elements.

    My FEH is driven about 60% by my wife and about 40% by me. (This is why I have yet to get a 500+ Mile tank.) If it was just me, It would be a lot higher!!!

    I generally reset the NAV economy gauge every time either of us drives. DRIVING STYLE MAKES A DIFFERENCE. I traditionally get 40mpg plus on my trips and she gets about 31mpg. Of interesting note, it is about 50 miles round trip to our grocery store. Her average on that run is ~32mpg and mine is ~39mpg. Those numbers are arriving and returning in roughly the SAME clock time (I take 4 min longer -big wow) This proves to me that its not all about speed as our arrival times are basically the same. Technique alone here makes a difference of 7 miles per gallon – That’s a lot!

    I can do it even better than that, at around ~42mpg but it takes me 11 min longer. when she rides with me on this trip it just "kills" her. Its not the extra time that drives her nuts, even the 11 min she says is irrelevant – It’s the feeling that were going so slow, "feels" like its taking hours and causing a “back up”. On this run I averaged 44mph versus her 55mph ( the speed limit is basically 50 the whole way). Her ass is trained to always be faster than the speed limit and going under is heresy. We all need to get used to being 5-10 under at times is not a big deal – let them pass! So a reduced speed PLUS Technique could yield 10 miles per gallon on this run – That’s a lot!

    My wife has traditionally been one of "those" ( i was too) that is in the "fast lane" in the giganto car moving 20 mph faster than others. She is taking longer then me in breaking those bad habits, but she is learning now, and starting to take advantage of some "eco-driving" techniques.

    When I get into Denver, I still catch myself darting out occasionally when coasting into a red light - into the open adjacent lane, just so I can be the first one thru. BAD HABIT and now I have 3 guys behind me who want to go fast! I should have just stayed in the original lane and used a slower launch upon green. I also still find myself switching lanes when I see a truck (or other slow vehicle) in front of me.... Its best to just stay put!

    I now always try to (at the very least) overcome as much inertia as possible when launching at lights and stop signs in EV. Generally I will not engage the ICE till I am at least thru the intersection if not further - basically its a slow start, but I have learned exactly how much pedal I can give to accelerate in EV. It might irritate the "jack rabbit" behind me, But I have found that it is tolerable as long as you do get moving once you clear the intersection.

    "Rollercoastering" on hills is very important and has been discussed a lot in this forum. I have found that depending on the quantity and size of the hills that often faster is MUCH MUCH BETTER. Remember that I live rural with lots of rolling hills... If I get caught in the trough of a hill at 40mph or less I am going to have to use HUGE pedal to get back up the next hill crest. If in that same trough I am at 65mph then I can rollercoaster up, and peak the hill, topping it at about 25 or 30 and possibly simply rollercoaster the entire next hill or two without any pedal . I (if needed) add pedal on the down sides and do the same for the next hill or hills as needed. Sometimes a slight pedal and lifting slowly while ascending may be needed. (Keep RPMs very low) This basically doubles my fuel economy on certain stretches of roads. I may be turning too green because I am starting to not care about the dude behind me wondering why my speed varies by 30+ MPH.

    Sometimes a higher very steady speed is better on mostly flat roads when you can stay at the speed for a long flat time. - I have found that I can often do better oscillating at 58-62 MPH than I can around 50MPH. My FEH seems to have a "sweet spot" at about ~61MPH. I have been successful in achieving 42MPG on a 120 mile round trip twice now -per the NAV system.
    When I did this trip faster steady at ~70MPH I only got 34MPG.
    When I did it again slower steady at ~50MPH I only got 36MPG.
    I will be continuing to test this routine trip to see if these results were anomalies. All of these trips had 4 people in the car at roughly ~650 lbs,

    My favorite experiment is a round trip to my sons High School. Its a 20 mile round trip:
    With a cold engine start and a reset on the Nav system MPG monitor prior to starting - I did this trip at 67 MPG. - This was of course totally unrealistic driving! I was “timing” the hills and coasting all the way down to almost stopped several times just to barely peak the next hill, then EV accelerate down the next hill and do it again. On one hill I actually poofed out and stopped just three feet short of going down and I was tempted to get out and push it over <grin> - but a tiny bit of EV and down we go Whoooooooo. There is only one stop sign, and no stoplights in this entire trip (our entire county only has like 5 stoplights). I did a lot of Pulse and Glide even on the flat spots. (~50mph to ~10mph etc). This is my best round trip drive yet. (Excluding tiny EV only hops here and there)

    I now am starting to mentally map EXACTLY where on all of my routine drives to lift off the pedal to achieve perfect glides into stops and lights, and where on hills a coast will "land". (This is hard for my wife as she is “programmed” to maintain speed till like 10 feet from the light and then wham the brakes) I also am getting used to the EV capacity and charge states and where it is best to regen, where it is best to budget and use EV mode, and how far I can go before maximum discharge. ) But I am still trying to figure out if there is a best EV speed on flats – is 39 better or is 25 better etc? Which one will go further on an equal charge? Where is the sweet spot– Does anyone know?

    I will continue to drive this thing like it’s a space ship and my wife will likely continue to drive it like it’s a Mercedes gun boat. I know that a lot of techniques that maximize the FEH mileage don’t fit into routine daily driving – But I figure if you know how to do them, you can find places to insert them where they will not be unsafe or untimely. For today though, we are easily beating the EPA combined numbers and THAT IS FANTASTIC!

  9. #188
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Hey Cougar, Now that you've

    Hey Cougar,

    Now that you've had a taste of the kool-aid, it's going to be hard to stop hypermiling when you get behind the wheel. I once had the need for speed, but I have all new habits since I bought my '05 FEH. It's still hard when I look at one of those new GT 500s and want to take it through the gears like I did with my '67 GT 500 so many times.

    I don't like holding traffic back when people can't go around me so I plan my routes accordingly. The '09 FEHL allows higher and stronger speeds in EV, so I've changed many of those routes to get where I want in must less time than I did in my '05 FEH. The '09 FEH is a challenge for me to drive still because what worked in the '05 doesn't work in the '09 and it's getting hard to go from one FEH to the other now.

    It's hard not to get outstanding mileage in the '09 verses the '05 FEH, even though it's no where near what it can get after break-in. My '05 coast much better than the '09, but I know that will change after about 15,000 miles where I peaked in my '05 after break-in.

    I find there are so many conditions to adjust to that the same technique doesn't work the same in all conditions. Heat, cold, wind, and traffic change all during the day and week and that has an effect on speed I drive for the best FE. I take a headwind slower and a tailwind faster generally speaking, but the '09 has a much stronger EV mode and a much stronger gas mode at lower RPM's. There is much to play with in the '09 and things will change as break-in occurs. There is no question the EPA rating of 34mpg City was under estimated. I can get my average above that starting with a cold morning start with a very low SoC within a mile and a half from my home. The '09 also heats up much quicker and goes EV faster from a cold start than my '05 FEH.

    Things will change as the '09 gets broke-in Cougar. You may find your '09 can climb steep hills at 40mph in EV and stay in EV on the coast downhill while using "D" and the brake for regen to recharge the HV battery. The sky is the limit in rolling hills with this new '09 FEH. Someone should hit close to 90mpg or even better at the '09 MPG Challenge next year in the '09 FWD FEH.

  10. #189

    Hey all, I have put

    Hey all,

    I have put through 5 more tanks since my last post... Still no results over a full tank of over 27. Even getting between 26-27 seems to take dilligence.

    I feel that the level of effort I have been putting in... Driving almost dangerously slow at times ... should be getting me way better MPG's. However, nothing seems to help bring me to 28 or higher. (Background - I have a FEH 05 4WD, my range has been 24.7 to 27.0 mpg over 2200 miles. Vehicle Odometer at 27200 Miles)

    Part of my problem as I mentioned before is my daily commute contains a long steady grade followed by "buny hops" for the next few miles for about 7 miles the speed limit is 45, but traffic flows at 55-60. I can "hypermile" the last about 3 (the grade) on the way home, which buys me back a few MPG, followed by a 35 MPH zone downhill that I can get into EV mode for.

    I have a K&N air fliter on order... I've read elsewhere that will help. I experiment with the "super excellerate" method till the EV assist wears back down to the center... that is my main method of getting up the hill. Staying in the 2000 RPM range is impossible to climb the hill at 55 mph. I have been keeping it off of 4000 rpm as much as I can, but I'm at a loss.

    HELP! I'm about a month away from trading it in for a standard engine '09 escape if I can't feel better about driving this soon...

  11. #190

    OK, been experimenting with

    OK, been experimenting with L gear. Uphill the first part of my commute seems to be working better with less gas usage. I have been using the D gear for flat/highway, and L for any hills and or <40 zones.

    I am concerned about the non-stock tires effecting my MPG.

    From a previous post:
    >As far as the Eco Plus tires, yes they have great rolling resistance.
    >After just replacing one because of side wall damage, I found >you must go through a Ford dealership to get them. Retail cost >was $95 and it took a week or longer to get it.

    I switched the tires almost immediately after buying my FEH with my tires on my 02 escape (they had less than 5K on them, the 05 FEH had 25K on them, so I thought it made sense)

    Has anybody experienced or read any tangible evidence that using other than the "eco plus" tires will make a signifigant difference on gas milage?


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