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Fuel tank capacity vs. amount needed to fill the tank


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Does anyone have an issue whereby, despite the brochure stating the fuel tank capacity is 43 litres, I can still only get about 35 litres in the tank when the "distance to empty" is very low (I've got it down to zero once with a bit of a nervous final drive - and managed to still only put 37 litres in even then).  I haven't got the nerve to try running 50+ miles beyond zero to test it, but I do wonder why it is so inaccurate and wondered if others had the same situation?

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Toyota tend to be conservative re fuel reserves - presumably better to have a good reserve than actually running out of fuel??

Your tank is 43 litres. Look in your owners manual for 'warning lights, low fuel light' and that will show the approximate reserve when the low fuel light illuminates.

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A few years ago one of my fellow work colleagues ran his company Auris Hybrid out of fuel then continued driving on Battery power in an attempt to reach a filling station.

It ended up with a recovery wagon to a Toyota main dealer & a repair bill which the fleet department where not best pleased with due to it being completely avoidable.

My C-HR the low fuel warning light comes on when there is still around 8 litres left in the tank - light comes on so I then fill it up, I won't drive for long / far with the light on.

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Maybe I'm odd, but I tend to fill up when the fuel gauge shows between 1/4 and 1/2 a tank is left.

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We usually fill when the gauge is around 1/2 full/empty. 

The one and only time we let the tank get really low, was on our way to Skye. A crash which closed the A82, meant we had an 80 mile detour from Tyndrum over to Oban, to re-join the A82 just before Fort William. No filling stations on the detour.

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Low fuel warning means about 7-8 liters still in the tank for my non hybrid. Tank is 50l and I have never managed to get more then 43l in. Manual says 7,5l when low fuel warning shows.

the distance to empty is a bit confusing since it try's to guess on your actual consumption. But the low fuel warning is pretty precise. No matter what is the distance to empty saying it always shows up when there is 7-8l remaining.

I think it's safe to say you will make another 100km on reserve.

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I try to go lower as the lower you run it the better the tank average mpg (A cheaty way to improve mpg is to half-fill the tank!), but when I get to 100 miles approx range left (Ignoring reserve) I psychologically have to fill up.

This is partly why I just can't do current EV's - Their average range is barely more than my mental reserve range!

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4 hours ago, Big_D said:

Maybe I'm odd, but I tend to fill up when the fuel gauge shows between 1/4 and 1/2 a tank is left.

Me too. Once it drops below .5 (as it has just done) I start planning to fill up. Curiously one of my previous cars - a Honda Jazz - had a horizontal fuel gauge and I was happy to let that drop until the warning light came on.

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16 hours ago, Cyker said:

This is partly why I just can't do current EV's - Their average range is barely more than my mental reserve range!

You shouldn't 'fill' EVs the way we do petrol/diesel vehicles. That's the wrong mentality. You should put an EV on charge at every opportunity. For most EVs this will mean their charge rarely drops further than 80% and they will only take an hour to charge even off a domestic supply.

Of course that does require access to a charging point where you park but there are incentives for employers to install them and anyone with a drive can have one installed.

Even if the best you can get is a parking space outside your house that is 'nearly always available' you can charge your car with an extension lead. In that scenario you can't install the extension lead permanently (that's illegal) but there's nothing stopping you running an extension lead out to your car for an hour or so.

To me this is one of the big advantages of EV since I have a garage. No more having to find time to go to the petrol station. No more having to sit in a queue while someone dithers around trying to remember how to operate a fuel pump. No more waiting around while someone bimbles off to the kiosk to pay instead of paying at the pump.

EV range is only a problem for long journeys but most of us don't make long journeys very often. And personally I'd just plan in an extra stop to charge overnight. If you can safely drive 200 miles then that's ample to justify taking an overnight break letting your car and yourself recharge.

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Andrue, as Shell gives me a point of I spend more than £10 I pop in and grab 6 litres or less.  Psychologically it is quicker as is takes only a short time to refuel, I take your point about Doris chatting with the cashier who is obviously starved of conversation 😁

In practice, topping up with a tenners worth I am carrying less weight with just half a tank plus 6 ltr than brimming each time. 

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You guys are right about top ups but have you thought about how much of a burden is to try to plug in your car every time possible and top it up only? 
I am telling you it is a huge thing to take care about. Once the excitement period is over and you start to think and look for chargers everywhere you go, you will quickly get fed up. Doing so actually stopping you do other things you had to do. Going to the sea side instead of enjoying the sun and beach you have to think about charging to get back home later. Arriving at place of work far away and have not enough to get back home or to the next place of work, again looking for charging options instead of doing what you have to do, it is a huge deal. With petrol cars it’s easier, fill up in minutes and a full tank can serve you at least two days or one full without worrying refilling again. My gf charge her car twice a week to full 100% . Absolutely no problems with the Battery. This is a myth that you gonna have issues with your Battery health  if you fully charge always. It is not good to fully charge your Battery and leave it without use for a long period of time, or leave your battery discharged for a long period of time and perhaps fast changing at maximum speeds every time. Only these 3 factors can eventually decrease life and battery health along with overheating or physical damage, last two can lead to a fire too. 
One more thing about bev’s and frequent long journeys, battery life in a long run. Many company or lease car drivers doesn’t care because they will replace their cars after the first 3 years but then the next owner will likely meet a high costs of battery replacement 

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1 hour ago, Roy124 said:

In practice, topping up with a tenners worth I am carrying less weight with just half a tank plus 6 ltr than brimming each time. 

I've always been sceptical about the idea of extra weight being a major factor in fuel consumption. The car weighs around 1.5 tonnes on its own. 20 litres of petrol weighs 14.7kg. Even a full tank of fuel is only increasing the vehicle weight by 2%.

And weight is mostly only a factor while accelerating or climbing hills. There will be a slight increase in tyre rolling resistance but surely not much.

14kg is the weight of a small child. Whatever effect it might have on fuel consumption is surely negligible 🙂

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30 minutes ago, TonyHSD said:

You guys are right about top ups but have you thought about how much of a burden is to try to plug in your car every time possible and top it up only?

While out and about yes. Although all the major Tescos around here have charging points. Several of the car parks in Banbury are having them installed. Two local golf courses have them.

But if you have a charging point at home it doesn't matter. A 30 mile round trip to my nearest large town will take about 15% of the Battery charge. An internet search suggests ~two hours to recharge from that. For those having to charge via an extension cable trailed across the pavement that's not ideal. But for anyone with a drive, designated parking area or a garage it's unimportant.

 

I think the biggest issue is if you're away from home. There you are reliant on unknown availability. Most EVs have a charging point locator which is good but compatibility is still poor across manufacturers.

Hotels/motels should be getting points installed. Holiday lets (my preference) usually have dedicated parking so with the owner's permission I can charge off the mains.

So charging is still a bit of a concern but we have several members at my club who have EVS (two have MGs, three have Teslas) and they say they're doing fine. They do have to plan for long journeys and trips away from home but they don't consider it a problem.

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As for Battery health - that's a solved problem. Toyota's HSD proves that. As with our vehicles a 'full charge' for an EV is not an actual full charge or is the Battery actually empty when the car refuses to operate any longer. Yes there will be a decrease in Battery performance over time but it will be no worse than that we face. Better since EVs are presumably using more advanced battery technology than most HSD vehicles made to date.

Remind me again - how long does the battery in a Toyota hybrid last ?

😉

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If all goes as planned I will find out in the future how long Toyota hybrid batteries lasts. Hopefully 300k miles, if more even better, if less, well it’s  still good at 215k currently. 👌

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Sadly they are not comparable - hybrids are *far* gentler on their batteries than EVs are; A hybrid never puts a high load on the Battery, as under any high torque situation the ICE is used, but EVs pulling their 4 second 0-60 times put *all* the load on the Battery, and as we know one of the best ways to shorten the life of a Battery is to pulling (or pushing) very high current from/to it.

Also, EVs will use a lot more of the battery than a hybrid will - Admittedly I only really have my Mk4 as a reference, but it rarely goes above 6 bars of charge and never goes below 3 - Again, much gentler on the battery.

I expect a hybrid battery will be useful for far far longer than an EV battery will - Given that a significant percentage of Teslas have had their batteries replaced under warranty already seems to support this.

Also, hybrids need far less battery capacity to still achieve high efficiency so even if they start to loose capacity it doesn't matter anywhere near as much - My Mk4 has a 0.7kW battery! 0.7kWh! That wouldn't even run a kettle for an hour! Yet it's still capable of 70+mpg easily. A 0.7kWh battery in an EV would be totally useless.

 

I totally agree about charging at home - The perfect usecase for an EV is if you can charge at home (Or even work!) and the range is within your usecase; This means you don't have to waste time charging or visiting a petrol station like you would do with any other car.

My issue is I'm not one of the lucky people who would be able to do this, and what I was saying is that even with a full charge the car would still not be far off my mental cutoff for 'refuelling'. It isn't so bad if you can charge at home as you'd have 300+ miles available every morning (Once they make a car suitable for me that can also do that at least... :laugh: ), but when you can't it's even more hassle than refuelling an ICE car which I already resent doing.

 

As for the half-fuelling thing, you are right the weight isn't that significant in the grand scheme of things, but the fact is it does improve mpg by doing so (At least so I've found when doing it!).

We had wondered about this in the past, and the only thing we can think of as to why it has a more noticeable effect than, say just having a person in the car, is that it's a liquid and is moving around; The theory is that much like when I had PunctureSafe in the tyres, the movement of the liquid acts like a mass damper and saps acceleration more than if it was not moving around in the tank. Sounds plausible at least!

 

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https://insideevs.com/reviews/573397/tesla-model-3-100k-battery-degradation-range-test/

and

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a35203450/tesla-model-3-battery-capacity-loss-warranty/

https://interestingengineering.com/tesla-drivers-collect-data-to-show-battery-degradation-at-less-than-10-after-250000-km

So aside from journalists 'abusing' their batteries there doesn't appear to be a problem. It would seem that normal drivers are unlikely to see more than a 10% drop before they sell the vehicle and possibly even less than that.

https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/electric-cars/charging/how-long-do-electric-car-batteries-last/

"Battery degradation won’t hugely affect the EV’s performance in terms of acceleration, refinement or cruising ability. It will lessen the range, but even an eight-year-old Nissan Leaf may only see losses of around 20% versus new, according to independent tests"

All cars deteriorate with age and at least where Battery degradation is concerned it's easily (if not cheaply) fixed. Most likely the replacement batteries will have greater capacity and life-span than the original ones.

"Most new electric car batteries enjoy warranties of around eight years and 100,000 miles. This usually far exceeds the cover offered on other components of the car, which gives you an idea of the battery’s reliability."

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The profile that Tony mentions I our main objection to EV.  It is not so much the seaside case but when visiting relatives. Our purpose is to visit them and not spend 20 minutes or more in a supermarket car park even just half a mile away. 

My MiL is a 150 mile round trip.  She is old and lonely and wants us in her house. A daughter lives in Netherlands, charging on the ferry or tunnel would be a potential, if offered.  The other lives 150 miles away and motorway driving would both eat up the charge but offer recharging but charging before yje the M25 would seem sensible, but practicable? 

EVs are here and they are fine, especially for second car owners and town dwellers. For rural dwellers things are more problematical. 

 

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10-20% is quite a big loss IMHO - Over 10 years fair enough, but 3 years,?? That would not inspire me with confidence...

It makes me consider upping my criteria from 300 to 350-400 miles range so that I still get my minimum 300 if the Battery is going to degrade that quickly!

The Model 3 is not a great example anyway as Tesla have been shown to be altering the software parameters as the pack ages so that it doesn't appear to have degraded as much as it really has, so they can  keep it outside the warranty degradation limit until the warranty expires.

The problem is a normal person would never know about this stuff because it's all hidden; This is all stuff found by unauthorized garages who are trying to repair the cars independently of Tesla and is why they are trying to stop the right to repair movement.

Tesla really is the Apple of the car world...

 

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I filled up this afternoon. Put in 25.88 litres, which gave me a true mpg of 62.89. Dash reading showed 61.4 mpg. I'm quite impressed really.

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Tesla really is the Apple of the car world...”

Indeed 👍, best tech and best Evs no doubt about it. The best also comes at a price, and some of its price is exactly that., right to repair or the way of repair and maintenance. 

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