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Catlover

Sales of Plug-In Hybrids Drop

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Saw this press release recently on Start Rescue site

"Plug-in hybrid vehicle sales plummeted by a third in April, after the government reduced incentives. 

The fall was in contrast to all-electric or hybrid cars, which enjoyed a rise in sales of 12 per cent - to 10,254. But plug-in hybrids fell to 1,922 - a year-on-year drop of 34 per cent.

 Regular hybrids harness the vehicle's engine to recharge the Battery, while plug-in hybrids are charged at charge points or from mains supplies. They can run on electric-only power for short distances.

 The situation was rosier for electric-only cars, which saw sales increase from 929 to 1,517 - although these figures are extremely modest compared to overall car sales.

 Nationwide, car sales saw a year-on-year drop of four per cent, to 161,064. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), that's the poorest performance since 2012.

 The fall in sales of plug-in hybrids is widely seen as due to a cut in the incentive for electric or hybrid vehicle purchases - from £4,500 to £3,500. The government also changed the eligibility criteria, effectively excluding many plug-in hybrids.

 Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said the fall was “evidence of the consequences of prematurely removing upfront purchase incentives before the market is ready.”

 The government aims to end combustion-engine car sales by 2040, with some groups even calling for the phase-out to be brought forward. However, demand for electric and hybrid cars remains extremely modest given this ambitious target.

 Recent changes to the incentive program are viewed as unlikely to increase demand."

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Sad news in a way, but I guess it'll take its time to sort out - especially with the price-premiums (grant or no grant).

I find the plug-in the best of both worlds - gives me enough range on Battery to do most of my trips, whilst offering

a no-worry HV option that is surprisingly economic, certainly beating my previous Prius Gen2 & 3.

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Predictable.

The change in grants was posted as a topic last year. The only incentive available for plug in hybrids is up to £500 including VAT for installation of a home charging point.

Mitsubishi are trying to pressure government to replace the grant, undoubtedly due to the fall in sales of the Outlander PHEV, but cannot see this succeeding.

Details of the current scheme - https://www.gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants/what-youll-get

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So the government on one hand wants to eliminate diesel and petrol cars but then takes away the incentives to go electric, or hybrid, or plug-in hybrid. I know it was announced last year, but now seeing figures showing the negative effect on sales of something they should be promoting. Very short sighted.

Seems the only money the government wants to spend at the moment is to get a wonky deal with the EU, eager to part with the £39billion 

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The incentives for electric cars remain - albeit reduced. Then again one has to question whether vehicle manufacturers adopted high prices for electric cars to take advantage of the subsidy.

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Yes - I often wonder how much a Government subsidy adds to the price offered by any manufacturer!

Even with the subsidy in place there's a serious price differential in running cost reduction versus the upfront price, that isn't recouped very quickly.

 

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Yes, now they'll have to sell them at the real price 🤷‍♂️

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On 5/15/2019 at 12:35 PM, Catlover said:

 Regular hybrids harness the vehicle's engine to recharge the battery, while plug-in hybrids are charged at charge points or from mains supplies. They can run on electric-only power for short distances.

Have I got this fact correct?

A normal Hybrid like our Yaris Hybrid charges its Battery via the engine as well as regeneration down hills or braking.  Are you saying that a Plug-in Hybrid DOES NOT charge from the engine?  Are you saying that the Battery CAN ONLY be charged from regen and a charge-point but NOT the engine?

Mick.

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57 minutes ago, Mick F said:

Have I got this fact correct?

A normal Hybrid like our Yaris Hybrid charges its battery via the engine as well as regeneration down hills or braking.  Are you saying that a Plug-in Hybrid DOES NOT charge from the engine?  Are you saying that the battery CAN ONLY be charged from regen and a charge-point but NOT the engine?

Mick.

Hi Mick, I was'nt saying anything. Apart from the first line of my original post, it was a quote from an article I had read.

The point of the article was to highlight since the government reduced the incentives applicable to the purchase of electric only, hybrid and plug-in hybrid.

Reading the quote carefully, I can see why what is written has concerned you, on the other hand I can see why the reporter has expressed it the way he/she has.

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Hybrids are not worth buying. Yes years ago the government pushed us into diesels and I needed a 4 wheel drive so I bought a 2000 mile old diesel Rav 4. An equivalent hybrid was much, much dearer so yes they might do 70mpg or so but they so are overpriced to start with by about £8k and it will take anyone that does a short mileage ages to re-coup their 70 mpg as they paid far over the odds for the car in the first place and the resale on them is very poor, i.e. depreciation is large to start with, as well as the price to possibly have some ugly fancy wiring  put on the outside of their house/factory. As I see it the only advantage of a hybrid is less pollution but the amount of muck and HGV's and planes chuck out is infinitely more than one person in his/her hybrid. Everyone who owns a hybrid worries about the distance it will go, a local company to me bought a few hybrids, so the drivers jump in say in winter time, heater on, lights on, HRW on, wipers on etc, etc, they can't even manage 20 miles before going flat, they told me the worst financial mistake they ever made as they are always going out on breakdowns due to flat batteries and we all know to replacement of them is £ thousands. so manufactures put a small engine in them but the company I am talking about plug in models only, there is not enough infrastructure to support plug in only vehicles and take too long to charge, and the one's with a small engine are so overpriced and resale value is appalling. Who on the 2nd hand market will but say purchase a 7 year old Battery only model as they know they might have to change the expensive batteries for new ones. Some dealership I understand lease you the batteries so it's no different to continued finance on a car but you will never own it making the 70mpg expensive. Give it say 30 years we will all be in Hydrogen vehicles anyway. I did take out a Mitsubishi PHEV, very good build quality, better than a Toyota to be honest, but at £48K (Almost new), I considered it too expensive than my half priced Rav 4 that just works, very well I add. Mike.

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Thank you for your observations. Most of what you said was with reference to electric only vehicles. 

All you said I took into consideration but still decided to ditch my Qashqai and bought my first hybrid - a Auris hybrid. Loved it so much I now have a Prius (all Prius are hybrid or plug-in hybrid). The Battery now has a Toyota 15 year warranty so long as you have a Battery health check every year - free if you have the car Toyota serviced. Even if a cell went down, they are individual cells and can be replaced individually for not a lot of money. Prius has been on the uk market now for 20 years and not a lot go wrong with them, other then what all cars have to deal with ie tyres, suspension, brakes etc. The engineering of the hybrid system as bullet proof as can be. I just done 27.9 miles today in four separate journeys and clocked 81.1 mpg, done in a very comfy car that I think WILL not depreciate as much as you may think. 

And there is more to like a hybrid then just good mpg.

I pretty pleased on the switch and would not now like to go back. Hydrogen may rule the car sales in 30 years, but we living now, and I certainly wont see 30 years time or if I do I will not be capable of driving. So happy with what i got. 

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May I try to clarify a few things?

Hybrids (basic ones that can't plug it) don't have any worries about the HV (big, High Voltage traction) Battery going flat, it's just a store for spare energy to smooth out extra power requirement when the petrol engine on it's own isn't quite enough and to receive 'free' energy from slowing with the accelerator released or while braking.  The engines tend to be de-tuned for efficiency and low emissions, the power shortfall being made up by the electric motors helping.  A number of manufacturers have coined the term "Self Charging Hybrids" for these, presumably to distinguish them from Plug-in Hybrids and emphasise that not only do you not need to charge them from the main, you can't.

Plug-In Hybrids that started to appear around 2012 such as the Plug-in Prius and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV work just like ordinary Hybrids, and could be used without ever plugging in, but work best if plugged in whenever possible, and especially for people for whom most journeys will be within or almost within it electric only range.  They typically only have 20-30 mile range on Battery alone (the first Prius Plug-in was only 9-12 miles), but for some people (me included), they can work quite well, while still being able to tackle long journeys with no inconvenience or repeated charging.  Once the Battery's electric only range is used up the car then behaves like a normal petrol Hybrid, using a small part of the Battery reserved for basic Hybrid operation.  Plug-in Hybrids can often do 500-600 miles on a full petrol tank in addition to any electric only driving.

So far, the HV batteries of both types seem for be far more reliable and last way longer than anyone (except possibly Toyota engineers) expected in the early days.

When Hybrids first came out in the UK in late 1999, they cost £15,500 after a government incentive of £1,000.  I had a couple of these, the second of which I kept until it was 9 years old with 163,000 miles on the clock.  Even though I got only £500 when I sold it, I kept a record of all running costs and it was the cheapest car to own I've ever had, whether calculating by mile, month or year.  Part of this was because of reduced maintenance, only one brake disc/pad replacement in this time on two sets of spark plugs,and very little else.

My present Hybrid Prius, for example, can fill up with fuel for about £45 at today's unleaded prices, and then do about 600 miles.  The depreciation when I trade it next month for another Hybrid is pretty good for a 3 year old car with about 38,000 miles on the clock.  The brakes have about 20% wear, my last Prius had used about 25% at 4 years/60,000 when I traded it for this one.

Various governments (both parties in the UK, and many across Europe) gave incentives for diesels for some 20 years because under the right circumstances they produced less CO2 than petrol cars, and CO2 was the big news during most of that time.  Unfortunately they were vastly worse for other emissions (NOx especially) which had more immediate impact on health, and governments' own scientific advisers warming of this time bomb fell on deaf ears until too late.  Sadly, many people who did mostly short journeys bought diesels because of the Excise Duty advantages, but their type of use meant that many such users got worse mpg than a comparable petrol car, produced even more NOx gases and often had major repair bills because their EGR valves and Particulate Filters didn't get hot enough to clear the waste and clogged up, in extreme cases wrecking complete engines.  More recent diesel cars have much better harmful emission performance, but not until they warm up, so they still don't suit low mileage motorists, but can be very good for higher mileage use especially when towing substantial weights.

EVs (pure Electric Vehicles) on the other hand still get a subsidy, but smaller than before, and are still expensive even with it.  According the this article, the AA polled more than 19,000 motorists and "35% thought the premium commanded by electric vehicles (EVs) was too high".  I would have like to gone electric, but lack of a spare wheel is another issue for me.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/cars/news/third-of-drivers-wont-go-electric-until-prices-fall-study-shows/ar-AABkQQk?ocid=spartanntp

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My main reason for owning my first Prius was not the economy, I just love the looks, the technology of the drivetrain, reliability and the way it drives. I have never driven such a relaxing car as the Prius and I have had many so called premium brands in the past.

The economy is obviously a bonus, its as simple as that for me.

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Some more positives of the hybrid system as fitted in a Prius/Auris, don’t know about other manufacturers,,,,,, there is no starter motor, no alternator, and no clutch assembly. All of those parts cost a lot of money when they go wrong, and they do. During 20 year production for the uk, the Toyota hybrid drive train has proved rock solid. Many Prius still on the road after 200,000 miles and more, particularly in the USA where they rend to travel more then uk drivers. And of course the Prius is very popular with taxi drivers, because they are reliable and of course can be zero congestion charges. 

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Oohh I seem to of started of a conversation. First of all is a Prius 2wd or 4wd? Are any electric cars 4wd? Thank you.

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10 minutes ago, Mike169 said:

First of all is a Prius 2wd or 4wd? Are any electric cars 4wd? 

There are both 2wd & 4wd versions of Prius (but 4wd Prius not yet available in the UK).

You can buy a 4wd RAV4 Hybrid though in the UK - delivery might be a few months atm. 🙂

 

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23 minutes ago, Mike169 said:

Are any electric cars 4wd? Thank you.

Teslas can be

Some plugin Hybrids too, like Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.  I think some cars like one of the Peugeot models have a dual clutch diesel engine driving the front wheels and an electric motor on the rear axle giving a type of AWD.

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Hi Heidfirst. AKA Scott.

First of all thank you for you polite and informative reply and incidentally as a rule all of your posts are worth reading, some other posts I don't bother.

Where I live I need a 4WD so it's horses for courses so to speak.

Good luck to those of you who enjoy your Prius's or similar but of course it's what you need your car for, economy, performance, carrying capacity and so on.

If anyone is watching the pennies and want to drive as cheaply as possible I say good luck to you but at present I need the 4WD and the Rav 4 is a good car and serves me well, economy wise it does what it does and I am so impressed how powerful it is when req'd.  

I still feel electric cars are too overpriced and many miles are needed to justify their price to recoup the extra costs involved.

I feel the government should put at least a £10K incentive to buy an electric car and increase the infrastructure to support them.

I test drove a  Mitsubishi PHEV, nice car, well made, it was an ex demo model with 8000 miles on the clock, but at £48K I felt it was too dear and literally twice the price of my Rav 4.

If you know I would be interested to know why 4WD Prius's have not been available in the UK in the past, present and have to wait for the future, whenever that is?

All the best, Mike.

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Don't know but I would imagine production/demand/marketing. 4WD Prius became available in the Japanese market only in 2015. It became available in N. America in 2018.

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Radio 4 on Tuesday 14th May at 12:18pm ran a program called 'What's it like to buy and run an Electric Car'.

The program is available on the BBC site to listen to:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00050pv

 

Annotation 2019-05-18 085227.jpg

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6 hours ago, Mooly said:

Radio 4 on Tuesday 14th May at 12:18pm ran a program called 'What's it like to buy and run an Electric Car'.

The program is available on the BBC site to listen to:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00050pv

 

Annotation 2019-05-18 085227.jpg

Hi Mooly, very good radio programme and the last 5 minutes I found very interesting, well done for this post. Mike.

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On 5/16/2019 at 7:19 PM, Mike169 said:

As I see it the only advantage of a hybrid is less pollution but the amount of muck and HGV's and planes chuck out is infinitely more than one person in his/her hybrid.

Whilst I agree with some of your other assertions about the greater purchase cost of hybrids rarely being recouped, I feel you're being too dismissive with this statement.

Reducing localised pollution is a very worthy cause. It has a direct negative impact on peoples' health, particularly in terms of respiratory illnesses. Children growing up in areas with significant air pollution can have their educational development stunted by as much as the equivalent of a whole school year. Yes, that is a 'think of the children' argument, but it is one that deserves better than to be dismissed as something which private vehicle users can't affect just because there are HGVs still on the roads, especially as HGVs are rarely found driving around housing estates or idling outside schools. A plug-in hybrid can drive around such areas emitting nothing, not to mention making a lot less noise than a clattering diesel!

I can't yet afford an EV that has sufficient range to meet my needs. By choosing a plug-in hybrid as a stepping stone to EV ownership, I am able over the next few years to make a small contribution to the health and well-being of others in the immediate vicinity of my car. It may cost me more in depreciation, but that's a price I am more than willing to pay. 

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According to today's Autocar the reduction in sales isn't only due to the grant reduction. The introduction of the WLTP tests in September led to the withdrawal of most PHEV's due to them being non-compliant.

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