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Guest Message by DevFuse

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How do you get maximum regenerative braking?

braking regenerative

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63 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   ffhseattle

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 11:05 AM

Just got a new 2012 FFH. Love it so far, but one thing puzzles me. I've found these forums interesting and helpful, and am hoping someone can enlighten me.

How can you tell when you've maxed out regenerative braking?

I see that the cycle icon has variable brightness as I squeeze the brake harder, indicating varying intensity of regeneration.

But how do you know when you've maxed this out, and are starting to waste energy in friction braking?

Thanks







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#2 OFFLINE   dennisw

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 05:29 AM

The only time you max out as you are calling generating energy while braking is when the battery becomes fully charged. You will always be creating friction while braking and there is nothing in the FFH that allows you an option of turning the regenerative function off you will always be using regenerative braking.

If you are getting the most out of in city driving you should never see your charge higher than the halfway point. If you are seeing your charge above half in the city you are not taking advantage of EV mode, and this is where you get higher mpg numbers. While out on the road or driving a lot above 47 mph the computer will keep the charge at the halfway point, unless you are incountering a lot of down hill.

Don't worry about braking as much as focusing on staying in all electric mode as much as possible, the regen is automatic EV driving is not and takes time to sort it all out. My best advise is, your car is not an electric vehicle it's a gas first with electric assist, learn to take advantage of the electric function and you will be rewarded with improved mpg numbers. Trying to drive the car like an electric vehicle, meaning leaving stop lights while staying in all electric gains you nothing and will lower your mpg numbers.

#3 OFFLINE   ffhseattle

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 08:54 PM

Thanks. I should clarify my question. I understand that regen will stop when the battery is fully charged. What I wonder about is when you are at (for example) 50% charge, so there is plenty of opportunity for regen

You have a choice how hard to squeeze the brake pedal. If you squeeze gently I assume all the stopping power being requested can be provided by regen braking. At some point -- BUT AT WHAT POINT? -- regen braking won't be enough to slow the vehicle so friction braking will be added. How do I tell when friction braking has kicked in?

#4 OFFLINE   dennisw

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:20 AM

There's not one easy way to answer this querstion all stopping situations are different. The best way to max out the advantage of regn is to anticipate stops whenever possible and apply small smooth amounts of pressure to get the regn arrows glowing. This is the best way to get your storage back up. Stopping harder also uses regen but it shortens the amount of time you are charging the batterys. As you use regen and watch your battery level indicator you will learn what is the best. I like to use slow smooth stops anticipating the stop as soon as possible without holding up traffic. If someone passes me so I can stop behind them at the light so be it but I try not to annoy people on the road with me. I have had people ask if putting their foot on the brake pedal and accelerator at the same time works the answer is no.

I hope this helps, I saw you posted this on the Fusion site also, good luck and happy motoring.

#5 OFFLINE   ffhseattle

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 01:29 AM

Thanks. Yes, I did cross-post it. I haven't yet figured out how these sites relate to one another, and another poster said the other one got better traffic.

What they really need is something like the EV drive indicator that goes brown when the ICE kicks on. Perhaps red arrows could show when friction brakes kick in? It would be helpful to know where the limit is between regen and friction...

#6 OFFLINE   dennisw

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 06:37 AM

There is an EV indicator that shows anytime the ICE is running. It is called the PWR graph on the dash display. The best display for learning to drive in electric is the empower mode. This mode shows two graphs the ACC and PWR graph. Keeping the ACC indicator as far to the bottom as possible uses less stored energy and this is controled by electric accessores i.e. A/C, lights etc. anything that uses electric power. This is why I say keep the blower motor as low as possible while maintaining comfort, people seem to always keep the blower at max when it could only be on min and still keep cool or warm.

The all out best display is if you have the Nav screen, on this sceen called the Flow Screen there is a silhouette that shows the car, ICE, EV motor, and batteries, with arrows going in the direction of the envergy flow. When the ICE is not running it is grayed out the same as the others when there is nothing going on they too gray out.

But the empower screen is actually all you need it shows all this information if you know how to read what is going on. The key to good numbers is to keep the PWR indicator as far to the bottom as possible. Anytime the green EV glows with the outline around it you are in all electric and the ICE is not running and you can tell which way the energy is flowing from the batteries by the arrows that will glow at the top or bottom of this graph. If the top arrow glows you are putting energy into the batteries if the bottom arrow glows you are taking energy away from the batteries. There are times when driving in EV mode and not using regn braking that a small amount of energy is being generated and stored in the batteries you can tell when this is happening by watching the PWR indicator and if you are in EV mode and the top arrow glows energy is being deverted to the batteries. While on the nav screen and no energy is being taken or stored to the batteries they call this idle, and idle can be going down the road or sitting stoped. You can tell this mode in empower by watching the pwr graph while in EV mode there are no arrows at the top or bottom of the graph.

The ACC graph is also helpful because you can see how much stored energy is being taken from the batteries by accessories i.e. blower motor lights etc. Keeping the indicator as far to the bottom of this graph helps save energy for moving the car down the road in all electric which as I said is whenever the Green indicator is glowing with the letter EV at this time no ICE is running.

I can't stress enough to not try to operate the car like it is electric by accelerating from a stop staying in EV mode. Now this is not to say that while in residential areas parking lots things like this that you should not drive from zero in EV I just mean while in traffic and trying to get to a destination. I know I sound like a broken record but doing this uses more energy than can be stored back in a fair amount of time which lessens the amount of time you can take advantage of driving in ALL Electric mode using no gas. Using as little gas as possible is of course the key to higher mpg. I have no trouble never getting less than 50 mpg using only these tips. My all time mileage on my car is just below 44 mpg and this is only because I am not the main driver of this car and my wife does not try to conserve. She does have some good habits like using accessories to a minimum and trying to stay in EV while in residential areas and parking lots but on the road with other vehicles she just drives and pays no attention to anything she concentrates on only the traffic. I feel if she were the only one driving this car the car would have average in the 30's.

I also feel anyone that even remotely wants to conserve and learn to use the hybrid system on this car they should NEVER have an average out of the 40's.

The biggest killer in the winter is letting the car sit idling using gas this drops the average severely and it is next to impossiible to gain it back

I have proven that winter temps have no affect on the gas mileage of the car my highest numbers on a tank have all happened during the winter months. I have also not seen any remarkable differences in different types of gas, all my tanks have been in the 40's with my lowest being a mix gas and my highest also being a mixed gas. It all boils down to how much you drive in EV mode using no gas. I guess you can say if you are burning no gas it does not matter if it is mix or not; so try to stay in EV as much as possible by using your stored energy wisely how much regenerative braking you use is not the key the key is using the energy from this in a frugal manner. The engineers have done a great job making all this work automatically it is up to the driver to figure out the best way to use it to their advantage by conserving the energy that is stored for driving in all electric mode.

I hope something I shared with you can help you. I have this system figured out and if you have any questions I am totally happy to share what I have learned. There are many on the forum that do not have a clue and will argue but they are not getting the numbers because they refuse to listen.
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#7 OFFLINE   ffhseattle

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 03:46 AM

A bit off topic, but what gasoline(s) do you use in your FFH? Are there any that you religiously avoid?

#8 OFFLINE   dennisw

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 04:52 AM

I have no brand preference, I try to use none ethanol mix. On the other hand I have not been able to tell any difference with any gas I have used. I can count on one hand the tanks of mix gas and while using mix I have had one of my best and worst averages. I just stick with 87 octane, and I have never had a tank lower than 40 mpg. During my winter driving my all time average increased by 1.2 mpg

#9 OFFLINE   MXGOLF

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:01 PM

Those are very interesting thoughts. Did you have a breakin period that was not as good mileage? Mine is only getting 32 mpg. I do have the 18" wheels and BF Goodrich tires and have heard that will give me worse mileage than stock 16" tires. I drive like a grandma and still only 32. I do only have 900 miles so far. You also say the weather doesn't make a difference? A lot of others say it does? Who do I believe?
Thanks,



#10 OFFLINE   rjent

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:10 PM

I don't understand what you are saying here.  That seems backward to me, so please enlighten me.  (I am ordering a 2013 Titanium Fusion in a month or so, so I don't have any practical experience.  Just trying to learn as much as I can before she come in ... :))

 Trying to drive the car like an electric vehicle, meaning leaving stop lights while staying in all electric gains you nothing and will lower your mpg numbers.


#11 OFFLINE   acdii

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:45 PM

Well, for a brief overview that hopefully is understood, when you apply braking in the Fusion, the computer determines whether to regen or use the friction brakes(pads and rotors). If the battery is low, it will attempt to use as much regen as possible based on the position of the brake pedal, The harder you press the more it will generate power and push it to the batteries up to a set limit*, once that is reached it will switch to the hydraulic brakes.

 

 The Brake Coach can help you with that, if you push too hard it will start using both, too light and it will undercharge. Need to get it just right, the amount of pressure needed to slow the car down at a good steady pace over the distance traveled, so that when you reach your stop, it will be soft and gentle. A good guide is on a rural road @55MPH, when you see the stop ahead sign, start braking and apply enough pressure so that when you are almost to the stop you are under 10 MPH, so that a twitch of your toe is all it takes to fully stop. 

 

 

 

 

*The computer determines how much energy it can force into the batteries based on percentage of charge, temperature, etc. to prevent too fast a charge, or over charge. 


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#12 OFFLINE   rjent

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:01 PM

No, I get all of that, but he alluded to the idea that if driven as EV that "Trying to drive the car like an electric vehicle, meaning leaving stop lights while staying in all electric gains you nothing and will lower your mpg numbers.".  That is the part I don't get....

 

BTW, seeing any improvement in MPG?



#13 OFFLINE   murphy

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:13 PM

Getting the car up to speed from a dead stop uses a lot of energy.  The proven method is to use the engine to accelerate to speed and then release the throttle and then reapply to get it to switch to electric mode to maintain that speed, assuming you are not climbing a hill.


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#14 OFFLINE   rjent

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:16 PM

Getting the car up to speed from a dead stop uses a lot of energy.  The proven method is to use the engine to accelerate to speed and then release the throttle and then reapply to get it to switch to electric mode to maintain that speed, assuming you are not climbing a hill.

Cool!  I understand, and that makes sense.  I am an old hot rodder and still have a couple of classic (70's) Corvettes, so my lead foot will not go to waste, but I am looking forward to "alternative" driving methods this car will demand.  Thanks for the info! 



#15 OFFLINE   lolder

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:30 PM

Whenever you're calling for significant power, the system wants the ICE to do it. Don't thwart that. The EV mode is for lower power demands so don't force it except sometimes when the SOC is high you may be able to massage the EV mode slightly better than the computer. I learned to do that upon approaching home with the 2010 FFH. The 2013 now learns that itself. You really want to have the SOC at normal or below when you park the car long enough for it to cool down. The extra ICE running time on the next startup will bring the SOC up to normal more efficiently. I believe that most 2013 owners are going to get the advertised mileage when they learn the new techniques and the weather warms up.



#16 OFFLINE   acdii

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 10:21 AM

What I find most effective, and the coach agrees, start out rolling on EV for about 5-7 MPH and let the ICE kick in. When you do it right you wont even feel the ICE spin up. What it doesn't like is hitting the throttle from a dead stop, it will drop that bar faster than Congress voting on an unread bill.  However accelerating on EV only up to say 30 MPH does waste fuel because now you have to recharge the batteries with the ICE, and that is where the gas gets wasted. Go read the thread accelerating under the Hybrid tricks forum.


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#17 OFFLINE   rjent

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:07 AM

What I find most effective, and the coach agrees, start out rolling on EV for about 5-7 MPH and let the ICE kick in. When you do it right you wont even feel the ICE spin up. What it doesn't like is hitting the throttle from a dead stop, it will drop that bar faster than Congress voting on an unread bill.  However accelerating on EV only up to say 30 MPH does waste fuel because now you have to recharge the batteries with the ICE, and that is where the gas gets wasted. Go read the thread accelerating under the Hybrid tricks forum.

Thank you, I will do that.  This really sounds like a lot of fun to learn.  



#18 OFFLINE   jeff_h

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:20 AM

What I find most effective, and the coach agrees, start out rolling on EV for about 5-7 MPH and let the ICE kick in. When you do it right you wont even feel the ICE spin up. What it doesn't like is hitting the throttle from a dead stop, it will drop that bar faster than Congress voting on an unread bill.  However accelerating on EV only up to say 30 MPH does waste fuel because now you have to recharge the batteries with the ICE, and that is where the gas gets wasted. Go read the thread accelerating under the Hybrid tricks forum.

 

This is also how I do it, but normally go EV until 10MPH if there are cars behind me and 20MPH if not... then nudge the gas a bit more and the ICE comes on.  I remembered back to being a kid and sliding down hills in the snow and trying to push to get your friend started -- took a lot of oomph to get his fat can moving from sitting still in the sled but once he was moving a bit it took less oomph to continue to get him going as fast as possible before heading down the hill.  So this is what I think of when starting off dead with EV, as going with ICE from a dead stop will likely use more gas than optimal.


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#19 OFFLINE   acdii

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 04:59 PM

Yeah, not really sure when I let the ICE kick on, but with practice, you will get it.

 

Just dont do it with 480# in the trunk.  Also regen braking, not very effective either with that much weight.


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#20 OFFLINE   coach81

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:17 AM

love all the tips!!!!


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