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PHEV - engine lack of use..............


Lawnmowerman
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For those that forsee the majority of their day to day running as being purely electric - what does Toyota say about the engines lack of use?

Mechanical beasties don't enjoy long periods of inactivity.

 

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I think if you stick to the service schedule I do't foresee any particular issues. Modern design, engineering, materials and lubrication fluids make for very robust engines. In my own case I go for weeks purely on EV then go away and the engine runs for a couple of hundred miles, it fires without my knowledge without issues. By design the car will fire the ICE if the systems need the engine to turn over and will warn you to use the fuel in the tank if it's been left too long.

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Obviously there comes a point where the drivers journey profile indicates that a BEV is a far better prospect than having a PHEV and lugging around a redundant petrol engine and tank of fuel. But I imagine PHEV drivers take all that into account when making their choice ... 

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The Outlander PHEV I had actually used to track fuel usage and would force engine run periods to use up petrol deliberately to avoid it 'going off' over very long periods of just EV use. Apparently vital additives in the petrol can evaporate over time in the tank and render the fuel too poor.

I wonder if the RAV PHEV does this too.

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14 hours ago, Lawnmowerman said:

For those that forsee the majority of their day to day running as being purely electric - what does Toyota say about the engines lack of use?

Mechanical beasties don't enjoy long periods of inactivity.

 

I'm trying to put 600 miles onto the ICE before I can put my foot down and do too much harsh braking. That is proving harder than it sounds at the moment. So a mixed combination of driving but mostly hybrid mode at the moment. 

Once I've got the miles on the clock I'll mostly be in EV mode apart from the odd business trip once a month or so where the ICE is the best option. That will probably be a 400 mile round trip each time (and why I didn't go for a BEV... e.g. winter motorway range of the XC40 EV is about 170 miles or so miles so 2 off one hour stop offs and hope for the best recharges was out the window for me... no time, too much uncertainty).

A sensible plan might be to run in hybrid mode for a half hour every once in a while but am sure Toyota engineers will have thought of it all. Still, lots of talk on the US forums about gas going stale in the tank so it might be best to burn though it all every few months. As I discovered on the last PHEV I had,  these things are not really conducive to 100pc electric motoring. Stale fuel, engine lubrication etc.

 

Also wonder about hard acceleration from cold. So say it is minus 5 in winter, roads clear and gritted, and for whatever daft reason a driver puts the car in hybrid and sport and floors it. Cold engine block and hard acceleration. Thermal stress causes fatigue. Again I'm sure Toyota thought of that but even if they did I bet they only concerned themselves with such insults being infrequently applied and up to the end of warrantee period after which I should imagine they were a lot less bothered. Engineering reality.

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Similar running in process to my car as is the regular extended trip. On occasion I put the car into charge hold mode which fires the ICE but on winter trips I’d use Auto HEV mode so the car will decide dependent on my driving speed, conditions and the like. It’s been said a few times that Toyota have got the management of the cars EV/HEV systems pretty bang on and coupled with the warranty and regular servicing I really don’t see any issues to worry about. I hope not “famous last words”.

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21 minutes ago, ernieb said:

Similar running in process to my car as is the regular extended trip. On occasion I put the car into charge hold mode which fires the ICE but on winter trips I’d use Auto HEV mode so the car will decide dependent on my driving speed, conditions and the like. It’s been said a few times that Toyota have got the management of the cars EV/HEV systems pretty bang on and coupled with the warranty and regular servicing I really don’t see any issues to worry about. I hope not “famous last words”.

Hope so Ernie. The whole drive train seems like a masterpiece of industrial grade electro mechanical engineering. It's probably bullet proof whilst also being fixable under a bush in Namibia.

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4 hours ago, Rav Rob said:

The Outlander PHEV I had actually used to track fuel usage and would force engine run periods to use up petrol deliberately to avoid it 'going off' over very long periods of just EV use. Apparently vital additives in the petrol can evaporate over time in the tank and render the fuel too poor.

I wonder if the RAV PHEV does this too.

 

4 hours ago, ernieb said:

@Rav Rob, yes that’s exactly what it does, same protection systems.

That is the answer that I hoped to be the case - but didn't know hence the question.

Cheers 👍

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1 hour ago, Nick72 said:

Hope so Ernie. The whole drive train seems like a masterpiece of industrial grade electro mechanical engineering. It's probably bullet proof whilst also being fixable under a bush in Namibia.

When considering moving to the RAV4 I had concerns regarding the CVT - there are many types. I was relieved (and heartened) to see it used an epicyclic type CVT (the most robust type given the use of suitably robust materials - which it does). I had previously fallen foul of Nissan's weedy 'belt type' transmission but of course that wouldn't suit such a heavy vehicle as the RAV4.

I have had experience of Audi/VW group DSG transmissions - another kettle of fish. And whilst they were a pleasure in use they had significant reliability issues (and multiple types - dry clutch/wet clutch).

And the worst part of the Audi/VW set up being the Haldex rear drive. Numerous failures of rear drive traced to blocked filters and users only realising (too late) they have been driving around in 2wd mode for ages not knowing their rear drive failed! Not only is the filter not a serviced item with Audi/VW group - they even deny its existence!

🙂

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I had a wet clutch DSG in a couple of Yeti Skoda’s perfect, but leaking transverse boxes. Haldex worked well if you got a good one and there was not too much power being pushed through them. The Toyota CVT, like the one in the Subaru XV seem to be a long way from the funny drive belt originals.

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3 minutes ago, Yugguy1970 said:

What's charge hold mode?

Sorry, on the PHEV there is a button option to hold the charge open the traction Battery and use the ICE. So if you particularly wanted to use pure EV at a point in your trip this would do the job. It would also charge the traction Battery to around 80% but is a costly option.

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2 hours ago, ernieb said:

Yes, I remember the Toyota truck that Top Gear tried to destroy.

Terrorist vehicles of choice for a reason. Same as AK-47s. 

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26 minutes ago, ernieb said:

Sorry, on the PHEV there is a button option to hold the charge open the traction battery and use the ICE. So if you particularly wanted to use pure EV at a point in your trip this would do the job. It would also charge the traction battery to around 80% but is a costly option.

Interesting, the Outlander had a choice to either hold the Battery or charge it. I rarely used charge mode, but used hold mode all the time. PHEV's give increasingly poorer returns per kwh on the motorway obviously with wind resistance. So I saved the charge until slower or urban parts of the trip. It was important of course to make sure by the time you got home the Battery was as flat (as can be). 

Not using up cheaper electric miles and bringing them back home makes no sense.

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1 hour ago, Yugguy1970 said:

What's charge hold mode?

Our cars either "don't have it" or "use it all the time as needed, automatically" depending on your point of view ... 😉

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26 minutes ago, Rav Rob said:

Interesting, the Outlander had a choice to either hold the battery or charge it. I rarely used charge mode, but used hold mode all the time. PHEV's give increasingly poorer returns per kwh on the motorway obviously with wind resistance. So I saved the charge until slower or urban parts of the trip. It was important of course to make sure by the time you got home the battery was as flat (as can be). 

Not using up cheaper electric miles and bringing them back home makes no sense.

I could be wrong but on the RAV4 PHEV  you can run in EV mode or in Hybrid mode. I think if you run in hybrid mode it holds the traction battery charge and only uses a small reserved partition of it for hybrid operations (like a regular hybrid with a very small traction battery).

"Charge hold" is not charge hold in terms of the button on the PHEV. It is saying "hold" (the button) to Charge. In which case the ICE runs like a regular car and which drives the generator to start charging the traction Battery. Exceptionally inefficient and probably only useful for entering an emissions controlled zone somewhere in Europe if you had no traction Battery juice left. Can't think of any other reason why this would be used.

 

I think!

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1 minute ago, ernieb said:

The Auto HEV mode seems clever at sorting out the best use of EV vs ICE.

I tried that earlier Ernie after you mentioned it. Stop start and low speed was all in EV but above 30 or so it seemed to run the ICE although I can barely tell it is running unless accelerating. Will probably drop it into that mode once I got miles of the clock. 400 mile round trip coming up in 10 days.

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@Nick72, when I’m experimenting I set the Head Unit to display the power transfer map, (Menu, Info) as like you I find it difficult to accurately tell when the ICE has kicked in by the sound. It’s interesting to see when you’re in HEV or Hold mode and the ICE has kicked in it will show it being on, white rather than grey, and yet the car is running in EV no power draw from the ICE. I’ve assume that the system is running up the engine and getting it warm? 

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1 hour ago, Nick72 said:

I could be wrong but on the RAV4 PHEV  you can run in EV mode or in Hybrid mode. I think if you run in hybrid mode it holds the traction battery charge and only uses a small reserved partition of it for hybrid operations (like a regular hybrid with a very small traction battery).

"Charge hold" is not charge hold in terms of the button on the PHEV. It is saying "hold" (the button) to Charge. In which case the ICE runs like a regular car and which drives the generator to start charging the traction battery. Exceptionally inefficient and probably only useful for entering an emissions controlled zone somewhere in Europe if you had no traction battery juice left. Can't think of any other reason why this would be used.

 

I think!

OK, sounds similar in effect.

Also clever people on the Outlander forums did calculate fuel use in charge mode and actually it didn't work out costly surprisingly, PHEVs have engines tuned for efficiency over performance as they have the motors to help out with power, they make pretty good generators.

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8 hours ago, Nick72 said:

Hope so Ernie. The whole drive train seems like a masterpiece of industrial grade electro mechanical engineering. It's probably bullet proof whilst also being fixable under a bush in Namibia.

Hi both.......soon to acquire my 5th Rav the confidence in the Toyota Badge remains as strong as ever.

Any TV coverage in the middle east etc. always seem to feature mostlyToyota's.

Where off road capability is serious & reliability paramount they seem the popular choice.

No need for mega advertising when real life events are frequently on view globally.

I once queried this with a civil engineer who had spent his whole career in the middle east.

Based on value, reliability, & field maintenance he didn't hesitate to reply.

Over the years the company had tried several other marques, Landrover, Nissan, Ford etc.

Always returning to Toyota as the preferred vehicle on all counts.

Maybe no sign of the RAV in such hostile situations but plenty of Hiace & Landcruisers.

I've never questioned my initial choice some 15 years ago.....Barry Wright Lancashire.    

 

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