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Couldn't seem to find a thread as a basic primer on how the hybrid functions for these cars. Must one charge the car, or does running gas engine suffice? Can one run solely on gas? In short, we have never had a hybrid, and trying to get info on this car's 9 year old hybrid system has been difficult.

Thanks for any quick explanations re how these work. We don't have a garage/live in a condo, so need to be sure we can consider buying one of these Hondas.

Thank you all.
 

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You can ignore it is a hybrid. this has been discussed to death. The only difference is the car uses the IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) system to extend range and to start. Unlike a Prius and other Hybrids that are electric cars with an Internal Combustion Engine to extend range. A CR-Z never runs 100% electric and uses the IMA system to extend range and to start. The ICE engine is always needed . It does not need a charging infrastructure, it gets all its charging from the gas engine. There is no way to plug it in to charge the IMA battery ( Big expensive battery under the floor in the rear). There are many threads on all of this on this forum and the battery in a CR-Z is the first question many people considering them think and worry about.

To put this simply, forget it is a hybrid but due to not having an alternator if anything weird happens with one have the under hood 12 volt battery load tested or replaced first.

Just drive it like any other vehicle you may have ever had.

Couldn't seem to find a thread as a basic primer on how the hybrid functions for these cars. Must one charge the car, or does running gas engine suffice? Can one run solely on gas? In short, we have never had a hybrid, and trying to get info on this car's 9 year old hybrid system has been difficult.

Thanks for any quick explanations re how these work. We don't have a garage/live in a condo, so need to be sure we can consider buying one of these Hondas.

Thank you all.
 

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2014 CR-Z, Base, CVT
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646 Posts
The battery is recharged as you drive, with most charging occuring while you're braking. You can absolutely drive it like any other car and it'll be fine. But if you get in the habit of braking really gently (basically riding your brakes), you can get more charge into your battery which translates to more MPG.

The hybrid system of the CR-Z is very simple. It's just a small 15hp electric motor (20hp in 2013 and newer cars) that is directly attached to the gasoline engine, with a small high voltage battery, called the IMA battery, connected to it. When you accelerate, the electric motor, called the IMA motor, provides power and helps the gas engine to save fuel. When you brake, the IMA motor works as a generator, which slows the car and generates electricity to recharge the battery. This is why the CR-Z can't drive on electric power only.

Some cars, like the Prius, have a more advanced system with multiple electric motors, some attached to the wheels directly. This allows them to operate on electric power only for very short distances at low speeds, such as a parking lot. Some vehicles, such as the Chevy Volt (not to be confused with the Chevy Bolt) have high power electric motors and larger batteries which allows them to run on electric power alone for longer distances at high speeds, with the gas engine only working to extend the electric range.
 

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Thank you all for commenting, I am currently running on gas only. Need to service IMA soon.
 

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see @PeterPerkins postings for Ideas and what issue(s) are you having with your CR-Zs IMA? Depending on the failure no IMA means no under hood charging. Since you just got it make sure the switch for the IMA is not turned off, Backup fuse is in place and not blown and depending where you are there is a very tiny chance the IMA warranty is still in effect but being a 2011 probably not. I usually recommend with odd electrical issues either replace the under hood battery or at minimum have the under hood battery load tested. Many owners have had IMA lights and other errors that were resolved by replacing the under hood battery. Next most popular issue is the IMA fan ( now in very short supply).

Thank you all for commenting, I am currently running on gas only. Need to service IMA soon.
 

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Also, make sure your 12v battery isn't being drained if you drive the car. The IMA motor also works as an alternator, so even if it isn't charging the IMA battery, it still generates a little bit of power for the 12v system. Just turn the car on and measure voltage on the 12v battery. If it's 13.8 or higher, you're good.
 
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