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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The 2012 Honda Civic hybrid has been rolled out at the NY auto show along with it's EPA estimated mpg numbers. This car is Honda's first hybrid that uses Li-Ion batteries that have more capacity (in this case 5kW more powerful - 20kW) and a bit lighter in weight.

The gas engine has changed in capacity too, from 1.3L to 1.5L, offering a combined 110 hp. Even though the displacement is the same as the CR-Z, the heads are different: the Civic Hybrid is an 8 valve SOHC vs 16 valve on our cars.

So here's where the rubber meets the road...

The EPA numbers for the previous Honda Civic Hybrid were 40/43/41. (city/hwy/combined)

The numbers for the new model with bigger gas engine and Li-Ion based IMA is 44/44/44.

So roughly about a 7% improvement in the combined score. :thumbsup:

If we say that the fuelly average for a CR-Z is about 38 combined, this would translate to about 41 mpg. A modest little bump, but enough to break the 40 mpg barrier on a more consistent basis.

This motor also is the first instance of a Honda IMA system that allows electric only operation off the line. If the battery charge is sufficiently full, it can propel the car from stop to speeds up to 45 mph using only the electric motor.

Good stuff.
 

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It's not just the battery, the IMA motor is putting out 23 HP (up from the previous HCH's 20hp). In all likelihood, the stronger motor is made possible by Li batteries, but I still don't know if just adding the batteries would move our motor from 12 hp to 23? (somehow I'm doubtful)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good point. I forgot that the Civic uses a different IMA motor. Previously I thought the old motor was too thirsty for it's battery pack, forcing a ECU firmware revision that hampered efficiency. Perhaps the additional capacity of the battery pack would allow the more powerful IMA motor to be fitted to the CR-Z in the next version?

The CR-Z's chief engineer is on record for saying a new IMA system that would allow electric only operation was slated for the CR-Z.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Any link for this, sounds like a good read.
Actually, as I re-read the article, the part about the decoupled electric only operation appears to not be stated by the engineer, but is conjecture by the author of the article. But most of the points appear to be spot-on and consistent with what has been revealed on the HCH.

Hot CR-Z will be a hybrid - Autocar.co.uk

18 March 2011

Honda R&D chief Tomohiko Kawanabe has confirmed that the firm is working on a high-performance CR-Z hybrid.

In an exclusive interview with Autocar, Kawanabe admitted that development work on the more powerful two-door has started, and that — contrary to earlier reports — it will keep its IMA hybrid system.

“It’s true: we are working on a more powerful CR-Z,” he said. “Our problem with the car as it stands is that it looks very good, but it doesn’t have the performance some customers expect.”

Autocar’s sources suggest that Honda might turn to a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine for the new CR-Z, but Kawanabe refused to confirm this.

"The decision on the engine hasn’t been made,” he said. “Turbocharging is an option, but a high-compression petrol engine would work better in tandem with a hybrid assist system.”

It is highly likely that the faster CR-Z will use Honda’s next-generation IMA system, which will appear first in the US-market Civic Hybrid next year.

Featuring lithium ion batteries, the new IMA will be capable of producing twice as much power as Honda’s nickel-metal hydride system, without requiring a larger battery.

A more sophisticated coupling should also allow it to fully disengage from the engine during brake energy regeneration (something the current IMA system can’t do), allowing it to recapture more kinetic energy to recycle as electric power.

The problem for the CR-Z’s performance will be Honda’s efficiency targets. “It will not be acceptable for the new car to be less fuel efficient than the current one,” Kawanabe said. “The CR-Z must deliver low CO2 emissions, as well as be fun to drive.”

That being the case, a combined petrol-electric power increase to 160bhp is likely, delivered without compromising fuel efficiency thanks to that more powerful hybrid system.

Matt Saunders
Hot CR-Z will be a hybrid - Autocar.co.uk

I keep hearing a rumor about a next gen hybrid Accord that uses two IMA motors in tandem. This could be an approach Honda takes on the hotted up version of the CR-Z, but I have more confidence in them adopting the HCH decoupled IMA system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Now the real question is can the batter and/or the new IMA be placed in the current CR-Z?
If you mean current CR-Z, as in retrofit, not without a lot of expense and labor.
 

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I keep hearing a rumor about a next gen hybrid Accord that uses two IMA motors in tandem. This could be an approach Honda takes on the hotted up version of the CR-Z, but I have more confidence in them adopting the HCH decoupled IMA system.
Actually, this is beyond the rumor stage, Honda revealed this last year.

Honda Plug-in Hybrid Concept - Official Site

Two motors, plug in capability and a 10-15 mile electric only range. This will probably debut in the next generation Acura RL
 

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I'm thinking that it would make sense that the batteries are housed in the same 'case' unless their cooling needs are different. However, I'm sure that it's much more involved than just swapping out the pack because you'll need the engine control unit to 'know' what to do with the extra power capacity.
 

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Also, lithium bats have completely different charge/discharge characteristics, so I 2nd that.... Reprogrammed or new ECU will be needed, and possibly some other component or two. I don't know if that will all happen in time to be worth it, or if it could take 10 or more years.
I think progress has been relatively slow w/ batteries/hybrid systems. Is anything aftermarket even available for enhancing the prius electric drive system? That car's been around a long time, now.
 

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Even if a new ECU is needed as long as they do not do anything big to the main engine I could swap that. I am used to ECU changes and engine changes already. If all they do to the drive system is an updated ECU, Li-IO, and new electric motor but everything uses the same connections then it would be a fairly simple swap. Now if they go do things like DI, change connections/bolt patterns then it would have to be a hole engine swap but with enough determination anything is possible
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It would be a DIY job but i would assume that if the same bolt pattens and connectiosn are used why not? Just a thought if I find one from a junk yard maybe.
(Edit: I responded before looking at page two. Everyone is spot-on)

Much more to it than that. If we're talking about swapping the device from the HCH...

Li-Ion has completely different charging characteristics than NiMH. So you'll need a new regulator to manage the charging, and likely a different set of wiring harnesses.

Likely a different ECU to manage the power. The HCH ECU isn't going to work as you have a 16V engine. The CR-Z ECU isn't going to work as you've doubled the battery capacity and it now has different level of charge.

Assuming that the new IMA motor is a direct fit, replacing one is extremely dangerous. And not from electricity. The force of the magnets is such that if you slip up while removing it, it can easily chop your fingers off as it reattaches to the engine housing.

And of course the danger of electricity from the battery pack.

I'm not saying it can't be done. But there's a lot more to it than just the battery and IMA motor.
 

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I take this to mean we shouldn't expect new batteries, perhaps only a bigger base engine.
I take it to mean that there will be new batteries and possibly a larger/stronger IMA motor to go along with it. I'm going to assume that the reason the CR-Z didn't get the 2011 Civic's 20 hp/103 lb-ft torque motor from the start was the lack of a suitable battery pack (that would fit) to run it.
 

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Honda has already experimented a considerable time with the new batteries. It could be that they have anticipated some opportunities when they designed the CR-Z, so that you can just replace the batteries for more capacity and then only have to upload a new software.

But probably not.
 

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Honda has already experimented a considerable time with the new batteries. It could be that they have anticipated some opportunities when they designed the CR-Z, so that you can just replace the batteries for more capacity and then only have to upload a new software.

But probably not.
They finally released the 'white papers' on the new Civic. Found this on the Hybrid section. (IMO, not looking like new batteries are a "drop in" mod)

Civic Hybrid: IMA Electric Motor
Providing a supplemental power boost and giving the Civic Hybrid the capability to cruise on its electric motor alone in certain driving situations, the IMA's new, lighter and more powerful electric motor is designed to provide up to 23 additional horsepower (17 kW) to the Civic Hybrid's engine. Mounted between the engine and the CVT transmission, the IMA motor is an ultra-thin DC brushless design and provides a substantial amount of low-end torque to aid acceleration, while also assisting in steady-state cruising and hill climbing.

In addition to providing supplemental power, the IMA motor acts as a generator during deceleration and braking to recapture kinetic energy and recharge the IMA's battery pack during regenerative braking. For this fifth generation of IMA motor, an 8-pole design (instead of the previous 6-pole design) reduces heat. The new motor also operates in a lower voltage range (108-172V) compared to the previous motor (132-211V).

Civic Hybrid: IMA Intelligent Power Unit (IPU)
Power for the IMA system is controlled through the Civic Hybrid's Intelligent Power Unit. Located directly behind the rear seatback, the IPU consists of the Power Control Unit (PCU)— or the IMA's command center, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery module, and an integrated cooling unit.The Power Control Unit (PCU) electronically controls the flow of energy to and from the IMA's electric motor.

The battery pack stores electricity in a bank of lithium-ion cells. This bank of 40 individual 3.6-volt batteries stores up to 144 volts of electrical energy for the IMA motor. The new lithium-ion battery technology has approximately twice the energy density and about four times the output density of the previous nickel-metal-hydride batteries. Output is increased by 33 percent, volume is reduced by 36 percent, weight drops by 29 percent and the work capacity of the charging and discharging rates is approximately 3 times higher.
 

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Wow, the system on the CR-Z uses way more cells!

ntelligent Power Unit (IPU) with Nickel Metal Hydride Battery Pack

The Intelligent Power Unit (IPU) controls the power of the IMA system. The IPU contains the energy storage module (battery), Power Control Unit (PCU), motor Electric Control Unit (ECU), and a compact air-flow cooling system. The IPU is located beneath the rear cargo area for minimal impact on interior space. The nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery system consists of seven modules that send power to the electric motor as it assists the engine. It also stores the electricity when the motor generates electricity during regenerative braking. The seven-module battery system is comprised of 84 individual "D-sized" 1.2-volt cells for a total battery system output of 100.8 volts and a capacity of 5.75 ampere-hours.
 

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So a new Civic pack would be fine as a grid charge parallel/boost supply for the CRZ....
Sadly, with the state of the tech at the moment, there was always a big chance that we were going to get left behind as things move on.
 
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