Photo: Flickr, CC
Squeezing More From Every Drop in Stop-and-Go Traffic
Honda is updating the stop-start system (aka anti-idling) in its Insight hybrid to allow the car's gasoline engine to stay turned off for longer periods, allowing it to be more fuel efficient in certain situations (especially good in really bad stop-and-go traffic, but won't affect highway driving). So far, the Insight's stop-start only allow the engine to be turned off for 30 consecutive seconds. This has been changed to 90 seconds.
"The previous system had been programmed to assume worst-case humidity for obscure patenting reasons - rain, five people on board, tropical conditions - and this limited the 'stop' duration to only 30sec. Now, it can remain off for up to 90sec in eco mode."
This change will also be applied to the brand new Honda Jazz hybrid (the Jazz is known as the Fit in North-America). It doesn't look like the Civic hybrid suffered from the same limitation, though.
More on Hybrid Cars
Nissan Launches the Fuga Hybrid in Japan (Coming to US as an Infiniti in 2011)
Volvo to Make Plug-In Diesel Hybrid Based on V60 Wagon in 2012
2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid to be Eligible for $1,300 Tax Credit