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A friend of mine just bought a Honda Civic Hybrid and is experiencing 47 mpg on his 1st 400 miles. That's higher than I thought would be.

I had assumed that the Civic would be like the Accord hybrid--- gas first and then electric (what they call half-hybrid). Then I met another Civic owner and he says that the engine on his new 2006 Civic turns off at lights. Sounds like it works like the Prius. Anyone know?
 

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rhackenb said:
A friend of mine just bought a Honda Civic Hybrid and is experiencing 47 mpg on his 1st 400 miles. That's higher than I thought would be.

I had assumed that the Civic would be like the Accord hybrid--- gas first and then electric (what they call half-hybrid). Then I met another Civic owner and he says that the engine on his new 2006 Civic turns off at lights. Sounds like it works like the Prius. Anyone know?
All of the Honda hybrids turn off when stopped at lights. (Unless you have the A/C on full blast.) Honda's system acts as an electric 'boost' to the gas engine. The 2006 Civic, however, has the option of running ONLY the electric motor at certain slow speeds. It appears (from what I've read,) that it is the same basic setup as the older Honda hybrids, but if you are VERY light on the pedal, the electric motor will turn the entire crankshaft assembly to turn the wheels. (Which means you are not only electrically turning the wheels, but also causing the ICE to spin without applying gas or spark.) This is in opposition the Prius, where when you're running on pure E, the ICE doesn't spin at all.

Heck, there are 'conventional' cars out there that turn off the engine at stops. GMC/Chevy market a 'hybrid' full-size pickup that does this. (Although in this instance, 'hybrid' is a bit of an overstatement, as it's just an auto-stop truck with a built-in high-power generator . The electric motor on them doesn't provide any force to turn the wheels, ever.)
 

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The good part of electric drive at low speeds is that it takes quite a bit of torque to get the car moving even at a slow speed, and ICE can't provide torque at 0 RPM. So the electric motor can get the car rolling, then the ICE can take over from there.
 
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