I thought I would share my (MP)IMA expericences. Sorry I couldn't respond earlier,
but my month vacation had ended, and work became all consuming.
Calpod helped me with the phase 1 install. It went pretty straightforward. He knew
just how to fish in the cables. First day was about 5 hours. The next day I finished
the rest of the install in another 2 hours.
Mike did a really fine job on the installation and testing instructions.
Everything went well, except once I turned on the car without the
cable plugged in, and got an IMA error. No problem, just connected the cable and
rev'd the engine for a while to fix it.
I have two Honda Insights. Why you ask? Read this:
or google "Why the '74 VW Dasher leaves your Prius in the dust"
My 2001 CVT with 140k miles, lifetime milage of 51mpg, (2nd battery pack at 135k),
has California Car Pool Lane stickers and no PIMA. My 2005 MT with 3k miles has
PIMA and no stickers (no stupid atpzef*S#!Mad) .
I MIMA-fied my new car for the same reason I selected a manual transmission.
I wanted an open road max milage car. My CVT is for city commuting, but my
MT/MIMA is for hybrid experimentation. I fly sailplanes, hang/para gliders for fun,
and think of my Insights as road gliders. Find some lift and see how far you can go
in a wing - store some charge and max out your mileage in an Insight.
I live against a hilll in Lake Elsinore, CA and either commute on Interstate 15 (80mph+)
or take Ortega Highway to the coast. Ortega Highway is too steep for the Insight's
battery and invariably, the IMA will drain half way up and then start charging! My mileage
for this 10 mile section is 35 mpg with no MIMA and 48 mpg with PIMA. I am able
to slow the assist rate to get to the top of the hill, and then charge on the way
down. I achieved 80 mpg the other day on my 130 mile round trip commute with PIMA!
(I usually go with the flow at 70++, to avoid getting rear ended)
Driving a PIMA Insight in the mountains is pure joy. You can follow the car in front
of you downhill and never (well almost) need to take your foot off the gas
and hit the brakes.
Another fun activity for the PIMA is to draft trucks. My old Boy-Scoutmaster
was a truck driver and he taught us a trick to draft close: Drive with one foot on the gas
and another hand on the emergency brake. The problem with drafting is that you
need to be really close and when you are close, the air resistance drops too fast
for you to pull your foot off the gas and hit the brakes. With PIMA, any
reduction in the gas pedal, will INSTANTLY slow the car. IMA waits a couple
seconds before it kicks in, PIMA is lighting fast.
I have found that I drive faster and get better mileage than before MIMA. Also
I am able to prevent premature IMA charging, which seems to me to be the
worst mileage waster.
I seem to be getting about 15% better milage reliably with (M/P)IMA. I will
try to get more detailed specs later.