Author Topic: What are the benefits and downside of hybrids  (Read 492 times)

ColinS

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What are the benefits and downside of hybrids
« on: September 09, 2019, 02:52:22 PM »
With Honda having released its new CR-V hybrid and with the new Jazz hybridís April arrival, followed by a new HR-V.

I wondered what the benefits were in going down the hybrid route rather than the full EV route?

Things that come to mind are range and battery life with associated replacement costs.

Jocko

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Re: What are the benefits and downside of hybrids
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2019, 03:40:21 PM »
Personally, I think "self charging hybrids" as they now call them, offer little to the owner or the planet. They offer little in fuel savings, are, if anything, more maintenance intensive, and are only marginally more eco friendly to run. They do cost less in tax.
Plug In Hybrids (PHEV) offer much greater savings, provided the owner makes use of the charging option and doesn't just buy one for the tax incentives. For many motorists a PHEV can be run as a full EV for much of their driving, but gives the range of a normal car when required.

Believe it or not, but as a teenager I designed a car that used an electric motor, powered by a battery, charged by a generator driven by a constant speed petrol engine. And that was almost 60 years ago!

John Ratsey

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Re: What are the benefits and downside of hybrids
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2019, 07:14:42 PM »
My thoughts: Among the advantages of a hybrid system are (i) enabling the engine to run with optimum efficiency (usually in Atkinson cycle); (ii) recovery of energy when braking; (iii) power boost when accelerating; less lugging around the dead weight of a big battery. And, compared with an EV solution, there's no range anxiety or time spent looking for a charger.

However, hybrid systems add complexity although Honda's i-MMD system has dispensed with a conventional gearbox. If you haven't already seen it, play the animated graphic near the bottom of the page at https://www.honda.co.uk/cars/new/coming-soon/hybrid.html. The official mpg of Honda's hybrid CR-Vs isn't very good but, unusually, the mpg reported by users, is better than the official numbers https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/realmpg/honda/cr-v-2018.

I said in the EV thread a few weeks ago that I expected my next purchase to be an EV. Then, last week, I read that the typical cost of charing using a public charger is 30p/kWh. With EVs typically doing 4 miles / kWh that's 7.5p/mile so not much saving compared to putting petrol into a fuel tank. If you can charge the vehicle at home then you can pay as low as 5p/kWh (eg the Octopus Go tariff but it's for only 4 hours 00:30-04:30 which might limit the amount of charge per night) and some people might get cheap or free charging at work. I conclude that the biggest market for EVs in the near future is the commuters where cheap running costs can be set against the higher purchase price. For the rest of us EVs will have to wait until the price comes down further.

I reckon that half my annual mileage is on longer trips where I would need to use the public chargers (and plan the trips around them) so my thinking is now swing back to a hybrid. Preferably a plug-in hybrid good for around 30 miles so that short trips from home could be done on battery using cheap electricity. I reckon this would need around 50kg of battery which could fit under the boot floor.

Ozzie

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Re: What are the benefits and downside of hybrids
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2019, 07:27:10 PM »
I do 250-300 miles a day, over a 13 hour day, so an EV won't last that long, and a mid-day charge will make my long day even longer.

The Jazz Hybrid saves me around 10 mpg per gallon which helps a lot when I am doing 60,000 miles a year, also the hybrid is considerably quicker 0-40 than the non-hybrid version (in my test-drive experience), so I saw it as a justified extra £1500 cost.

sparky Paul

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Re: What are the benefits and downside of hybrids
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2019, 09:30:31 PM »
The official mpg of Honda's hybrid CR-Vs isn't very good but, unusually, the mpg reported by users, is better than the official numbers https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/realmpg/honda/cr-v-2018.

I might be able to help out with some real life mpg numbers from the CR-V soon.

The mother in law has bought one to learn to drive in (don't ask), but as she is now temporarily incapacitated by a hip replacement, my other half is over there driving it about.

Things that come to mind are range and battery life with associated replacement costs.

Hybrid batteries are expensive to replace, but anecdotal evidence seems to be emerging that the batteries are lasting longer than anticipated, and within the realms of a modern car's expected life.

Jocko

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Re: What are the benefits and downside of hybrids
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2019, 09:43:20 PM »
Preferably a plug-in hybrid good for around 30 miles so that short trips from home could be done on battery using cheap electricity
The 2019 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, available in the US and Canada, does 47 miles in EV mode, so Honda can do that if they want.
I think a PHEV makes a lot of sense.

sparky Paul

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Re: What are the benefits and downside of hybrids
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2019, 10:58:42 AM »
Been chatting to other half about the CR-V.

She says it's currently showing 51.4 mpg average on the dash, a mixture of short local journeys and some medium a-road stuff. No motorway. She says the lowest it has been is 50.1 mpg, It's not gone below that.

If anyone wants to know anything specific, so long as it's not too technical, ask away.

Jocko

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Re: What are the benefits and downside of hybrids
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2019, 11:14:55 AM »
Getting the benefit out of a Hybrid depends on how you drive it. If you are the type who drives up behind a car then brakes, or drives up to a red light and brakes you will get very little in the way of regeneration. And without regeneration the benefits of a hybrid are lost. To benefit from a hybrid you have to drive for economy, and if you do that with any car you reap the benefits.

sparky Paul

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Re: What are the benefits and downside of hybrids
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2019, 11:40:30 AM »
Getting the benefit out of a Hybrid depends on how you drive it.

She's a steady driver, but doesn't dawdle, and presumably drives it the same as she would her own Jazz. She has probably driven over 90% of the miles that's on the clock of the CR-V, and so far I would say she's getting similar mpg to her own Jazz, which doesn't seem too bad.

I would think that with some subtle modifications to driving style, you could get those figures up.

Jocko

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Re: What are the benefits and downside of hybrids
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2019, 03:56:03 PM »
I would think that with some subtle modifications to driving style, you could get those figures up.
As they do with any car.

sparky Paul

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Re: What are the benefits and downside of hybrids
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2019, 04:00:41 PM »
To be fair though, they're not bad figures from a 2 litre petrol car that weighs 1.7 tonne.

123Drive!

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Re: What are the benefits and downside of hybrids
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2019, 07:19:29 AM »
Interesting debate. On the marketing side, if Honda made this current generation available in Hybrid, they would have taken lots of sales from Toyota and who knows... Swindon need not to be closed. I look at the current Honda range in the UK and I can't say I can buy any cars in their range as none meets my current requirements.

richardfrost

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Re: What are the benefits and downside of hybrids
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2019, 09:24:59 AM »
Answering the original question on the benefits of hybrids, I would say right now they are marginal, based on my experience with a Toyota Rav4 2016 model year.

I chose this vehicle as I needed something larger than the Jazz and the HRV I had at the time. I also benefit from 4WD, heated seats and a raised driving position, due to where I live and the back problems I suffer with. The RAV4 Hybrid was an expensive option and I managed to save many thousands by choosing a used model from Toyota's own head office fleet.

This RAV4 (there is a newer model out now with a much improved hybrid system) is a petrol electric hybrid system based on the original Prius and Lexus hybrid design. It has three motors, a 2.5 litre Atkinson Cycle petrol engine driving the front wheels, and two electric motors, one for each axle. The rear motor only kicks in when needed and it is how Toyota describe this as an All Wheel Drive car. There are three driving modes, Economy, Normal and Sport. Sport kicks in full electric power on (I think) both motors and the petrol engine too and allows you to surprise other motorists from time to time. The key difference with Economy mode is the reluctance to use the petrol engine unless you put your foot down and lower air conditioning power.

In practice this is a very easy car to drive and it returns very good economy for a vehicle of it's size and weight given a) my driving style, b) the very hilly place I live and c) the nature of a lot of my journeys. I am getting (according to the dash) around 40mpg as an average on my many short and hilly journeys around my area. On a longer run across Yorkshire I can easily approach 50mpg without using any of Jockos techniques. If I try really hard it is possible to get more than that.

The main role of the electric system is to eke the most out of the petrol engine, assisting it when it would be inefficient, replacing it in stop start traffic, boosting it on the hills and totally replacing it on the downhills whilst recharging. 'Engine braking' is available by dropping out of D and selecting a low 'gear'.

There is an EV mode but in practice, the range is under 2 miles and  your speed cannot exceed something like 20mph. It is pointless selecting it as the car will choose it automatically anyway.

So the advantages for me are:
a) reduced tax and fuel consumption, having moved back to a larger car
b) a slightly increased sense of superiority and feeling that you are doing something for the planet (but not really), especially since my home town is an Air Quality Improvement Zone
c) (over a plug in hybrid or pure electric) no need for charging technology and no range anxiety
d) poor man's four wheel drive
e) it's quick in Sport mode!
f) automatic gearbox (my first)

Disadvantages:
a) batteries eat a lot of boot space and make for an inconvenient bump in the boot floor
b) not quite sure how the high voltage electrics will cope in flood water
c) more expensive to buy
d) people can't hear you in car parks and constantly stand in your way

In summary, a good idea but an intermediate technology for cars on the way to something better. I must admit, the Honda technology in the CRV and the newer Toyota technology, look like a big improvement over what is in my particular car. When I next change vehicles in a year or two it is highly likely I will have fewer dogs and can downsize again.

madasafish

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Re: What are the benefits and downside of hybrids
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2019, 04:04:34 PM »
The great - and major  - advabtage of driving a hybrid or electri vehicle is you can feel content and smug in the your actions to save the planet and one upman/woman ship on your neighbours,friends and relatives...

culzean

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Re: What are the benefits and downside of hybrids
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2019, 05:04:02 PM »
The great - and major  - advantage of driving a hybrid or electric vehicle is you can feel content and smug in the your actions to save the planet and one upman/woman ship on your neighbours, friends and relatives...

Pretty soon there will be a vehicle that can be powered solely by its owners smugness and no other fuel required....
Some people will only consider you an expert if they agree with your point of view or advice,  when you give them advice they don't like they consider you an idiot

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