Integrated Motor Assist

Integrated Motor Assist

Integrated Motor Assist

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Integrated Motor Assist (commonly abbreviated as IMA) is Honda's hybrid car technology, introduced in 1999 on the Insight.

It is a specific implementation of a parallel hybrid. It uses an electric motor mounted between the internal combustion engine and transmission to act as a starter motor, engine balancer, and assist traction motor. In its first generation, IMA could not power the car on electricity alone, and could only use the motor to assist or start the engine. The 2006 Civic Hybrid, however, can activate the electric motor while the vehicle is coasting without turning the internal combustion engine on, though in contrast to Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) or General Motors and DaimlerChrysler's Global Hybrid Cooperation, the IMA has a less powerful motor/generator which allows the car to slow or stop its rate of deceleration to a lesser extent; it cannot operate without turning over the engine which is directly coupled to its electric motor.

The theory behind IMA is to use regenerative braking to recapture some of the energy lost through deceleration, and reuse that energy later on to help accelerate the vehicle. This has two effects: it increases the rate of acceleration, and it reduces the work required of the petrol engine. The acceleration boost is important as it allows the engine to be scaled down to a smaller but more fuel-efficient variant without rendering the vehicle overly slow or weak. This smaller engine is the primary reason cars equipped with...
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