The present offerings in Hybrid cars have one obvious omission, there is no way to directly control electric assist or charging. You always have to press down on the throttle, use more gas, and then when the engine load, and resultant reduction in MPG reach some factory predetermined point the electric drive kicks in and adds power. Same with the charging. We are only being offered one option, gasoline priority, automatic hybrid activation.
The mix of gas to electric is not adjustable.
What if you could adjust the activation points, or even better activate the electric assist at will without any changes to the throttle?
You come to a small hill, and just add a little electric assist,to top the hill with no change to the throttle. To recover the used energy, you charge aggressively on the down side to recover the energy, and to control the vehicle speed without the need to use the brakes.
The resultant system will surely improve on the rather crude control systems that are now being offered. How can the computer see the hill or stop light ahead, and use the available hybrid drive more efficiently than a skilled driver.
The control system would need to be able to see ahead, by tying into an on board GPS system with topographical look ahead feature which to my knowledge is not available.
After some experimenting, and lots of hard work, I have managed to design and build a manual electric controller for my Honda Insight. The idea made a lot of sense to many other Insight owners, and now there are eight systems in daily use. The system is called MIMA for Manual Integrated Motor Assist, and it offers a programmable mode that allows assist and charge set points to be set, and adjusted while driving.
The system has only been in the hands of the first users for a short time but so far it is showing improvements in efficiency and also performance.
We can buy cars with automatic or manual transmissions, why not automatic and manual operational modes on all hybrids to better use the powerful computer in our heads to learn how to best control the Hybrid systems.
More info is available at:
Be sure to follow the link at the bottom of the page for the full MIMA info.
Discussion by MIMA users:
Mike Dabrowski