In an effort to make it clear that my car has three inter related modifications, not just one, here is the full story about my car:
The MIMA system is one mod,
V-Boost booster battery and controller is the second,
The drop down E-wheel is the third.
I will try to simply explain the complex parts of my cars systems, so many of your questions will be answered.
Hybrid cars have two sources of power to propel the car, a gas engine and electric motor.
How the gas and electric work together is under full automatic computer control on all hybrids today. Toyota's hybrid system called the synergy drive, Honda calls it the IMA.
I refer to the ratio of gas power to electric power that is used to propel the car as the hybrid mix. More electric will yield more MPG. Electric priority means that electric is used for acceleration. Gas for steady state power. Assist is when the electric motor helps push the car, regeneration or regen is when the motor changes to a generator and charges the HV batteries which robs energy and slows the car down like brakes.
MIMA lets the driver be the controller of how much assist and regen there will be, and when it will be applied, thus the M for Manual IMA, or MIMA. It removes control of the IMA from the computer and puts in the drivers hands.
A skilled MIMA driver (yes it involves skill) can boost their MPG by 10-20%, as they learn to be subtle, timely and selective in using assist and will either trickle charge the battery with gentle regen, or dump a lot of charge when decelerating and stopping.The manual control feels great,as you immediately feel that this is how it should have been done to begin with.
The first experience usually brings the MIMA Grin.
MIMA users realize that the MIMA system is limited in the MPG boost it can achieve almost exclusively by how much electric storage the car is carrying.Unlimited battery capacity would allow nearly constant assist, and would bump the MPG to over 100.
Without V-boost, or the soon to be released V-Buck system to increase the effective AH of the pack, we use MIMA carefully to squeeze all the MPG we can out of the system.
Why does this matter?
The stock battery pack holds only a bit more than 4 AH of useable capacity.
Each use of assist drops the charge on the small HV battery.Full assist @ 100A will deplete the 4 AH in only a few minutes.
When you run out of HV,and assist, you will need to put the charge back in. The stock computer will charge at a moderate rate until the charge is replaced. This takes power from either the cars momentum, or from more gas use, as the engine now has the additional load of recharging which will drop your MPG substantially.The stock system will even charge while climbing hills, where anyone would know you want all of your engine power for climbing the hill.
With MIMA, you can control the replenishing charge so that it is only a gentle trickle charge, which will be nearly invisible from a MPG standpoint, in the same category as a light headwind.
The ABC feature of MIMA has a user setable amount of regen whenever the MPG is greater than a user set value, so whenever you are accelerating, the regen stops, and whenever you have a light load on the engine,the small trickle charge accumulates charge in the pack.
Most first time MIMA users want to see how much the electric is contributing to the power mix, so they are not so subtle or discriminating as to using assist, and seem to always find the pack empty or low. The learning curve with MIMA is mainly in learning how to best use the newly gained control of when and how much assist or regen is used.
Here is Randall (Highwater) Burkhalter describing his MIMA driving technique:
When running with v-Buck on, we make the IMA hybrid system behave like a plugged in rechargeable electric shaver, as long as you don't use the power faster than the charging system can replace it, you can shave forever, or in the case of the car, you can use much more assist, and the pack never needs recharging with the gas engine, so you get super MPG. Once the booster pack is empty, things change, and not only do you go back to having to worry about not running out of HV, but you are now carrying all of the dead weight of the batteries, and they are not helping at all, so the MPG will be worse.
You want to be back home and plugged back into the solar panel before the charge is used up, so you never get into that situation.
The drop down electrically driven wheel represents the biggest new concept here, and the one that generated the most interest, as it allows the ability to flip a switch, drop an electrically powered E-wheel and drive for 30 or more miles with pure electric drive.An instant EV conversion.
One day of solar charging, and I can go 30 or more miles driving at 30 MPH. This is free, and directly from the sun to the wheels with no carbon production. Infinite MPG,as you are not using gas at all.
The only way to fly.
|The good - The things that Honda did right with the Insight|
|MIMA the enabler|
|Need more juice for more MPG|
|Need heavier springs to carry the extra battery weight|
|The 5th wheel or Ewheel|
|Does it all work|
|Filling my electric tank with zero carbon produced electrons|
|Charging while at work|