Getting Familiar with MIMA Just use the joystick at first to see how the extra assist and regen works and feels, and use it to run your battery up and down to see how that works.
Get a feel for max assist in all gears, feel max regen in each gear. Get in an open parking lot, and with the engine idling, let up the clutch and cruise with engine at idle. Foot off the gas. Use MIMA to accelerate the car and decelerate the car. This works all the way up to third. Get back on the road, and run your battery gauge up to the top with regen, and avoid assist, until you get the SOC gauge to the top. Then use assist a lot until the battery runs to the bottom and starts to limit assist. Bring the SOC back to the middle and you are ready to try boosting your MPG.
Always blend the assist with a slight increase in gas to accelerate. Use too little gas, and you are not at the optimum efficiency point on the gas side. Except for the parking lot fun, never use assist without also using gas, at least drop the MPG down into the 100MPG range. This gets the gas engine so it is producing power for the gas that is burned. If you try to do it with all electric you will deplete your battery quickly.(Lead finger syndrome) The trick is to meter in just enough assist as required to maintain best efficiency of electric and gas power plants.
Hills are everywhere around here. The best technique for using MIMA on hills depends on the hill. The guys in mountains that look at our hills call them bumps. The small battery packs in the Insight will give between 3 and 10 minutes of very strong assist. That can be stretched to forever if that energy is used wisely. The guys that have a 8000 foot climb to work, verses the CT highways with their rolling hills, San Fransisco, Florida.
The flatlanders: On flat areas we have a predictable load on the power plant, with accelerations and decelerations the main areas where MIMA can help. A slight background charge with ABC to trickle energy into the pack, and shots of assist whenever a slight hill or overpass comes up, and a shot when you need to accelerate slightly, can add up to a nice MPG boost. Keep the pack in the top area, but do cycle it occasionally to "blow out dendrites" and keep the pack strong.
The hills: You know the terrain, you must learn to meter out the assist where it will do the most good, and how to be a regenmaster. You must balance the gas and electric efficiently, with an eye on the maintenance of a charge on the HV battery. OK, I admit the maintenance of a charge when that MIMA joystick is right there is a hard one. You must be a regenmaster, and like a Jedi warrior, learn to use every opportunity to grab any wasted energy you can, but only in a way that will maintain the best MPG. A Zen meditation for sure!
Some sources of wasted energy: Engine breaking Idling or driving with very light loads Using the hydraulic brakes acceleration of mass deceleration of mass
MIMA is different for everyone.
I have resisted offering advice as to how to use MIMA to achieve better MPG or performance, as I did not feel that my driving style was representative of how many of the MIMA owners will use it. Some are hypermilers others just want to drive with the flow and get better milage. Some want the performance boost as well as the MPG improving advantages. Then there are the people with weak batteries hoping to whack them back into shape. In the near future we will have a booster battery that can really help people with a short commute by giving them a strong electric boost for 20 miles or more depending on terrain and speed.
I would love to hear some MIMA tips from the people that have become masters in using it for their unique driving conditions. Many people that would potentially want MIMA are stopped in their tracks by the mention of ABC, PIMA, and many of the terms like regen and assist that we throw around so freely, and don't have a clue as to what we are talking about. So please all of the 114 MIMA systems out there, I am sure that many of you have learned some tricks to using MIMA for your particular commute and driving style that others would like to hear about. Just send them to me and I will put them here. Keep your MIMA Grin going. Mike