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What's the point of EV Mode in a HEV?


philip42h
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I have an HEV and drive in Normal mode 99% of the time. The system works flawlessly and I'm very happy with it - the ICE runs and provides power, generates electricity or simply switches off exactly as it should (as far as I can tell).

On a recent trip to France I suddenly thought the EV Mode would be ideal for parking the car within Le Shuttle, and I've got EV Mode so why not use it? There's no sense in adding more exhaust fumes to the compartment. Both on the way out, and on the way back, the system said "no chance, you don't have enough charge in the traction battery". And on both occasions I'd arrived at the terminal after driving for well over an hour, but, admittedly, there had be a certain amount of low speed shuttling through passport control etc.. So, after 18 months or so, I have still not found a situation in which EV Mode would be useful and available.

What is the experience of other HEV owners?

(PHEVies need not apply, 'cos EV Mode obviously works well in a PHEV! 😉 )

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  • philip42h changed the title to What's the point of EV Mode in a HEV?

I tend to use ev mode when the car is cold and I need to shuffle around and I won’t be using the car any more that day. It saves the engine from starting and then not getting warmed up, it doesn’t give you very long in ev though.

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1 hour ago, philip42h said:

I have an HEV and drive in Normal mode 99% of the time. The system works flawlessly and I'm very happy with it - the ICE runs and provides power, generates electricity or simply switches off exactly as it should (as far as I can tell).

On a recent trip to France I suddenly thought the EV Mode would be ideal for parking the car within Le Shuttle, and I've got EV Mode so why not use it? There's no sense in adding more exhaust fumes to the compartment. Both on the way out, and on the way back, the system said "no chance, you don't have enough charge in the traction battery". And on both occasions I'd arrived at the terminal after driving for well over an hour, but, admittedly, there had be a certain amount of low speed shuttling through passport control etc.. So, after 18 months or so, I have still not found a situation in which EV Mode would be useful and available.

What is the experience of other HEV owners?

(PHEVies need not apply, 'cos EV Mode obviously works well in a PHEV! 😉 )

When you say using EV mode do you refer to pushing the switch on console or have it set to EV mode in the MID?

Mine is set to use EV mode in the MID and will use it when ever it can (as far as the car is concerned), mine will start in EV mode from cold as long as the external temp is above around 15C, it will use it most time when I start off as long as I don't push to hard on the accelerator and can run at between 50 and 60 MPH if the conditions are right.

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I've done 1200 miles with mine and I just don't see the point, it does about 300 Metres and ICE cuts in and also cuts in above 20mph. I expected it to do a couple of miles according to the publicity material. I really could not justify the extra cost of a PHEV but I think I'll swap in 3 years. I do like the sport mode though, goes like a rocket.

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2 minutes ago, Roger_N said:

When you say using EV mode do you refer to pushing the switch on console or have it set to EV mode in the MID?

I mean pushing the large button labelled "EV Mode" adjacent to the drive selector and just below the Eco / Normal / Sport knob:

image.thumb.png.8ad825129e55a326bbdea6453845c78f.png

Labelled G above.

I'm not aware that there is any setting that I can apply via the MID to switch the car into EV mode - it would be rather redundant given the large button described above.

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I use it quite often.  If I'm just moving the car a bit on the drive, or sitting in it to set the NAV.  The car will override it if it needs to to charge the HEV Battery.  EV does last a long time if you're not actually moving.

But yes, because the car usually holds the Battery at 50%, adding and taking alternately, you sometimes don't have much EV.

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3 minutes ago, philip42h said:

I mean pushing the large button labelled "EV Mode" adjacent to the drive selector and just below the Eco / Normal / Sport knob:

image.thumb.png.8ad825129e55a326bbdea6453845c78f.png

Labelled G above.

I'm not aware that there is any setting that I can apply via the MID to switch the car into EV mode - it would be rather redundant given the large button described above.

Mine is set in the MID and just changes to EV mode when the conditions are right, the EV light comes on in the MID when it's on.

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It's essentially there for sneaking the car off the end of the drive or out of an underground car park. Useful for sticking the radio on when you're waiting in the car and don't want it to start up yet.

But, the car makes all sorts of choices about when you can use it. Battery level, Battery temperature, engine load, engine temperature all factor into the 'yes you can' decision.

People sometimes try and use it to better their fuel economy, but, the car has to replace all the energy you use in forced-EV mode anyway, so it can be counter-intuitive.

The thing to remember with the hybrids is, it doesn't need to be in EV (forced or normal) for the benefits of the hybrid system. The car is constantly siphoning power into and out of the Battery to help the petrol engine run more efficiently.

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8 minutes ago, preperationlaunch said:

People sometimes try and use it to better their fuel economy, but, the car has to replace all the energy you use in forced-EV mode anyway, so it can be counter-intuitive.

If I select EV mode via the switch when it's not on I usually (possibly always) get a message saying it's not available.

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18 minutes ago, Roger_N said:

Mine is set in the MID and just changes to EV mode when the conditions are right, the EV light comes on in the MID when it's on.

I might be wrong, I have a PHEV but have a similar setting in the MID. I think this just toggles whether the EV indicator is displayed when only using Battery power and doesn't actually affect how the car behaves.

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I realise this may not be applicable for HEV, due to nominal 30% Battery reserve in phev for hev mode being likely a larger capacity than that of the hev, but having just done a long trip myself, I have spent a long time observing how phev behaves in hev mode once Battery "depleted". 

 

I 99% drive in eco mode, and the determinant factor seems to be overwhelmingly if I keep throttle/power needle below the halfway tick mark of the "eco" range of that dial, it will usually stay in ev mode without having to press any buttons on centre console. Drawback is obviously that can only accelerate relatively slowly (real world example = perfectly fine for navigating a roundabout, but needs ICE to pull away once onto exit), but can creep along for quite a long way. 

 

I suspect many other factors but I would think full HEV Ravs behave same re throttle input, eg more so than an arbitrary speed?

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38 minutes ago, Roger_N said:

When you say using EV mode do you refer to pushing the switch on console or have it set to EV mode in the MID?

Mine is set to use EV mode in the MID and will use it when ever it can (as far as the car is concerned), mine will start in EV mode from cold as long as the external temp is above around 15C, it will use it most time when I start off as long as I don't push to hard on the accelerator and can run at between 50 and 60 MPH if the conditions are right.

Hi......can someone explain what MID is ?

Barry Wright 

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7 minutes ago, Broadway One said:

Hi......can someone explain what MID is ?

Barry Wright 

The half screen in the centre dial that contains the speedo, in between the power meter and the fuel gauges 

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11 minutes ago, Broadway One said:

Hi......can someone explain what MID is ?

Barry Wright 

It's the Multi-Information Display ... 🙂

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18 minutes ago, nlee said:

I might be wrong, I have a PHEV but have a similar setting in the MID. I think this just toggles whether the EV indicator is displayed when only using battery power and doesn't actually affect how the car behaves.

Exactly so ... the MID contains an indicator (rather than setting) that shows "EV" in a 'green car' when the car is in Ready mode and the ICE is 'off'.

Below that is an indicator that shows "EV MODE" in green when EV Mode has been selected by pressing the EV Mode button! 😉

(That is for the digital speedometer display 'cos that's what I use. The same indicators and info are display in analogue mode - just is slightly different positions.)

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1 hour ago, ROCKETRON said:

I tend to use ev mode when the car is cold and I need to shuffle around and I won’t be using the car any more that day. 

47 minutes ago, Yugguy1970 said:

I use it quite often.  If I'm just moving the car a bit on the drive, or sitting in it to set the NAV. 

45 minutes ago, preperationlaunch said:

It's essentially there for sneaking the car off the end of the drive or out of an underground car park.

Yes, that works - after reading these posts I used it this morning for a little "shuffle" ... 😁

and then switched it of again to go where needed to go!

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7 minutes ago, philip42h said:

Exactly so ... the MID contains an indicator (rather than setting) that shows "EV" in a 'green car' when the car is in Ready mode and the ICE is 'off'.

Below that is an indicator that shows "EV MODE" in green when EV Mode has been selected by pressing the EV Mode button! 😉

(That is for the digital speedometer display 'cos that's what I use. The same indicators and info are display in analogue mode - just is slightly different positions.)

That's right, but I think the setting within the MID settings menu being referred to, just stops the green car symbol from coming on.

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11 minutes ago, nlee said:

That's right, but I think the setting within the MID settings menu being referred to, just stops the green car symbol from coming on.

Have looked through the manual you are right it is just to turn the indicator on or off, it seems a bit pointless have a system that works automatically, and then having a switch to turn it on, only to find it will not turn on because the conditions are not right.

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6 minutes ago, Roger_N said:

Have looked through the manual you are right it is just to turn the indicator on or off, it seems a bit pointless have a system that works automatically, and then having a switch to turn it on, only to find it will not turn on because the conditions are not right.

Hence my original question ... 🙂

But, as others have pointed out, it does work, and change system behaviour, if you just want to shuffle the car around a bit and don't want the car to decide to start the ICE just to warm it up a bit.

I'm happy now. The big EV Mode button isn't entirely pointless. And I'll just go back to leaving the in Normal 99% of the time and letting it do what it thinks best ... 😉

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20 minutes ago, philip42h said:

Hence my original question ... 🙂

But, as others have pointed out, it does work, and change system behaviour, if you just want to shuffle the car around a bit and don't want the car to decide to start the ICE just to warm it up a bit.

I'm happy now. The big EV Mode button isn't entirely pointless. And I'll just go back to leaving the in Normal 99% of the time and letting it do what it thinks best ... 😉

Philip

From what I've found in the limited time I have owned the Rav4 if it can start in EV mode it will regardless of pushing the button or not, so that is the point I'm making when I say it's pointless, unlike the PHEV were you have a choice. The outside temperature seems to be the main condition to allow EV mode for me.

Having said all this I am very pleased with the MPG I'm getting (even if I do just use the indicated display for this) my Mazda CX-5 2.0L auto had a rolling indicated mpg of 35 in winter to 38 in summer current the rolling figure for the Rav is 56 and that's doing a lot of short journey's which are typically 2 to 5 miles.

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Hi, 

It has been explained well already 👍 for the ev mode via ev mode button. It is useful indeed when you are moving the car in parking spot, on your driveway without needing to start the engine. However the car to accept ev mode command and remain in this mode you have to turn off your hvac fan and of course to have 50+% soc hybrid Battery. There are also some other times when ev mode may become unavailable, for example after a long downhill and you have hybrid Battery fully charged, press ev mode button and you will hear a sound warning and message on dashboard “hybrid mode not available currently “ without other explanation. When Battery is low the car will tell you that the battery is low and ev mode is not available or when you exceed the maximum speed that the car can not enter ev mode pressing this button. 
On different Toyota hybrid I use ev mode for my last half mile home but in some cases the car doesn’t let me because my hv battery is almost always full when arriving at home because I live at bottom of long hill. Other time when I use ev mode is in the morning when checking and topping up tyre pressure, I takes me usually 10 min for all 4 corners. Start the car, press ev mode button and immediately press fan off button, the car remains silent and battery looses very little charge. 

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I thought the Battery on a Rav4 HEV was around 1.6kwh and the motor was rated at 40kw (this could be different in 2wd v AWD, I'm.not sure). If it were a simple case of a full Battery and using the full power of the motor until the Battery was empty you would still only get a max of 2 and a half minutes from it, assuming these figures are correct.

In reality we know from other topics it's not simple at all. I presume the motor always needs electrical power for the eCVT to work and manage "gear ratios", so it never allows it to go totally empty. Really the battery is a storage buffer so it is supposed to operate in a band somewhere around the middle for optimal use. Self-charging hybrids aren't really designed to be over-ridden for sole EV use and I don't think many other than Toyota even have an EV mode. It may be true that they say you can do up to X miles in EV but it's possibly not the best marketing.

That being said, it's wonderful how they work and the efficiency gained in normal use.

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6 hours ago, Roger_N said:

Philip

From what I've found in the limited time I have owned the Rav4 if it can start in EV mode it will regardless of pushing the button or not, so that is the point I'm making when I say it's pointless, unlike the PHEV were you have a choice. The outside temperature seems to be the main condition to allow EV mode for me.

Having said all this I am very pleased with the MPG I'm getting (even if I do just use the indicated display for this) my Mazda CX-5 2.0L auto had a rolling indicated mpg of 35 in winter to 38 in summer current the rolling figure for the Rav is 56 and that's doing a lot of short journey's which are typically 2 to 5 miles.

I'm not impressed with 41 mpg for my first 1200 miles. No better than my old Merc 220D. 

 

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8 hours ago, ZZYGY said:

I do like the sport mode though, goes like a rocket.

11 minutes ago, ZZYGY said:

I'm not impressed with 41 mpg for my first 1200 miles. 

Does one post, perhaps, explain the other? 😉

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8 hours ago, ZZYGY said:

I expected it to do a couple of miles according to the publicity material.

When you look in the MyT app at the maps of your journeys, are you not seeing the electric cut in and out repeatedly (ie blue interspersed with majority grey line)? Over a journey this should add up to a good few miles, even for a pure HEV car, no?

 

I must admit I did not specifically dig too deeply into the HEV promotional material, as I was always thinking PHEV/full EV, but I recall seeing the "few miles" type of references, but I never though this meant the start of every journey until depleted, as this would have implied the hev is just a small phev...

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