Ten Ninety

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Ten Ninety last won the day on May 30

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About Ten Ninety

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    Business In Front Party Out Back

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    Prius PHV, Lexus GS300h
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  1. Up to a point, that is sound advice but where's the fun in that? Surely half the enjoyment of driving a Prius is endlessly obsessing over the information screens and trying to find new techniques to maximise miles per gallon? 😄 My commute would be boring as hell if I wasn't trying to work out some daft new scheme to maximise economy, like trying to decide whether switching to EV mode to go up hills is more economical than using the ICE, or determining precisely how cold I'm prepared to let my feet get before switching on the heater, or whether it's more economical to overtake the tractor in electric-only EV City rather than letting the ICE take some of the strain in standard EV mode... Sometimes those daft ideas actually work, too. The car is very clever at managing itself to maximise efficiency, but it can still be beaten. For example, if I switch to HV mode on the way to work after 20 miles, saving what's left in EV for the journey home, that gets me consistently better average mileage than when I leave the car to itself and it exhausts the EV range on the first leg. Would it be even better if I switched after 15 miles, and saved even more for the return? Maybe. That might just be next week's challenge... Come on. Don't deny me the thrill of discovery by suggesting I'd be better off just letting the car do its thing. It's the only thrill I get these days!
  2. It's not just regen in HV mode. As Aaron said above, the car will divert any 'spare' ICE energy into the battery whenever it works out that it's not needed to drive the wheels. It's not unusual to see the EV range creep up when accelerating gently in HV. Of course, you'll never 'fill up' in HV mode but I've seen it pick up a couple of miles of EV range over 30 miles of driving. I've experimented with Charge mode and found it had a negative impact on economy, although I wasn't on a motorway to be fair. I'll keep using HV mode myself, but I'll be interested to hear how you get on with it. Please let us know! Averaging 100mpg across 10k miles shouldn't be a problem in that scenario, although how far you can go above that will depend on weather throughout the year as that has a dramatic impact on EV range. On a warm, dry day I'll get 32-36 actual miles on EV. On a cold, wet day that will drop all the way down to 16-20 miles. On a journey of 80 miles, that will have an enormous impact on mpg - expect less than 100mpg in the winter months, balanced by considerably more in the summer.
  3. I would be disinclined to trust your YouTube sources, on the basis that if they're driving at 82mph and trying to be economical (either financially or in terms of fuel), then they're doing it wrong! There's a lot of inefficiency in Charge mode - you're using an inefficient source (the ICE) to put power into the battery with associated transfer losses, then you're getting that power back out of the battery with further associated losses. Whilst not all the power harvesting will be inefficient (the hybrid system is fiendishly clever in siphoning off power that isn't 'needed') the car is set up to do that all the time anyway even when not in Charge mode. In the circumstances you describe, I would suggest that it would be more efficient to charge the car at home and just switch to HV mode during the journey once the EV range drops to approximately the amount of 'town driving' you're going to do at the end of your journey. That will keep enough in the battery to use EV mode in town, without wasting fuel in Charge mode. This is basically what Geoff is describing above, using HV as the default. That only makes sense on long journeys though - don't switch to HV mode and then find you get back home to your charger with EV range to spare! The only time I could see Charge mode having any real value is if you can't charge the car from a socket before setting off. It could then be used on a long run to build up charge for EV driving later on. Even then, the transfer losses mean that I'm not convinced it would work out more to be more efficient overall, but it would give the advantage of reducing local noise and pollution in the built-up area. Personally I'd just stick with HV mode which gives pretty phenomenal returns even on an empty battery. It is at least as good as the Gen4 ordinaire despite the extra weight being lugged around, possibly because it can store more regen charge in the larger battery. Set the cruise to 65mph on the motorway, leave the outside lane to the German dieselburgers, relax and enjoy an easy 70+mpg. Away from the motorway, I'v found mid-90s mpg to be achievable on a warm day when starting with zero EV range, although perhaps not in Yorkshire as you have proper hills up there!
  4. 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.
  5. Something similar used to happen with my Gen3 and Auris HSD. Both would occasionally fire up the engine for no apparent reason on the same stretch of road. It wasn't every journey by a long way, but it happened enough times for me to notice how weird it was that both cars did it at pretty much exactly the same point on the road. I decided it was probably something to do with the battery conditioning that takes place periodically, as it had no apparent relationship to heater settings or temperature. My PHEV hasn't done it yet, but I'm sure it will decide to surprise me at some point. HSD moves in mysterious ways!
  6. Completed. As an aside, it would be nice to see some recognition in these kinds of surveys that 'the environment' isn't just about CO2 emissions. For some of us, local pollution is an equally important concern.
  7. Geoff, the indicated charge capacity is highly variable. Worst I've seen is an indicated 27 miles and it seems to vary around 27-29 in winter (heating ON) or 33-34 (heating OFF). Back in September it had crept up to showing 40+ (heating OFF). That doesn't tell the whole story, though. Actual range is affected by the cold and the use of the heater much more than the fantasy indicator, which remains hopelessly optimistic for me at all times. On my best day with nice warm temps AM and PM, I eked out 36 miles on EV (32 on the way in, 4 on the way back). That was on an indicated range of around 41, I think, with the heating off all the time. The worst I've seen in the cold is a paltry 17 miles, from an indicated range of 27 with heating on all the time. The additional time then spent in HV mode is what's murdering my overall MPG. All comparisons are using the same journey and same driving style. The only major differences are the weather and use of heating.
  8. The PHV magnifies the winter/summer difference in miles-per-gallon to a mind-boggling degree on my commute. I do around 64 miles in total. Because of the massive impact cold weather has on EV range, the difference between my 'winter worst' and 'summer best' commutes currently sits at around 80mpg!
  9. My PHV is more prone to misting than any other car I've owned, even with A/C on. I don't actually believe the A/C is dehumidifying most of the time - it certainly isn't when it's pre-heating. This may be because I'm always in Eco mode, which does limit the A/C operation. Have you tried running in Normal mode? I've never bothered to test this myself - I pushed the button once when I first got the car just to see the pretty dash colours, then left it in Eco ever since. It may be worth trying if the misting is bothering you. I should also say that I run with recirc on all the time (other than when the damn thing switches itself to outside air) which isn't conducive to demisting. However, whilst I would reasonably expect the rear windows to mist up on recirc, I find the PHV cannot even keep the windscreen clear if the temperature dips below freezing unless I switch to breathing filthy outside air. Every other Toyota/Lexus I've owned has managed this, so I presume the A/C is tuned to be more aggressively 'eco' in the PHV.
  10. I only use a 3-pin charger so I don't know about lights on the Chargemaster unit. On my car, when the plug is inserted, the green light on the car port always flashes when charging is scheduled for later on. It has never failed to charge on the schedule, apart from when I forget to physically plug it in! The blue lights are just the state of charge indicators - I think they'll come on when you approach the car with the key even if it's not plugged in.
  11. My PHV rattles and buzzes now. It didn't when I got it in September. It's not quite as bad as my Gen3 (which rattled just as much when it was on 15s as it did when it was on 17s) and it doesn't really bother me. It may even be something that I've put in one of the storage boxes - I'm just too lazy to empty everything to find out. I also suspect that I am at least partially responsible as I regularly play bass-heavy tracks at excessive volume on the JBL stereo. If the bass is rattling my fillings, it's probably rattling the dash fixings loose as well!
  12. Good. I'd give mine 10/10 and 100% for reliability too. It is impossible to overstate the feelgood factor of driving a truly reliable vehicle. Sadly, this never seems to feature in magazine reviews, where the glitz and glamour of a damped cupholder or a fake stitched-leather dash top are considered more relevant to judging a car's 'build quality' than whether it will actually run for a year without anything breaking.
  13. Thanks for posting. Those images confirm that the facelift is a step backward in design. However, given the apparent popularity of the horrifically bland (and terrible) Hyundai Ioniq, Toyota probably think they'll sell a few more by getting rid of all the interesting angles. I hope this strategy fails, so the Gen5 can go back to looking properly challenging again! As an aside, that article seems to be another illustration of the vast chasm between the motoring press - and its chronic obsession with driving rapidly for 'fun' - and what buyers are really interested in. Who in the world, outside a tiny group of journos with nothing better to do, actually cares whether you can entertain yourself by drifting a Prius on snow?
  14. The disadvantage is purely aesthetic. The Gen3 in particular takes on a bit of a shopping trolley look with tiddly little wheels. However, the Gen4 seems to wear them rather better and the very latest (2018 on) 15" wheel covers with the extended black strakes do a very good job of disguising their tiny size, as do the two-tone wheels on the PHV. For some reason, this country has an obsession with cars that look 'sporty' and people are prepared to put up with all the disadvantages of large wheels just to make their car look 'better'. An annoying side effect of pandering to this market is the difficulty of buying a luxury or top-spec car that doesn't have stupid big wheels on it. My Lexus GS would be considerably better to drive on 16" wheels as opposed to the compulsory 18s fitted. Credit to Toyota for offering the 15" option on the Excel version of the Gen4.
  15. Toyota's electronics manage the battery charging to maximise life. When we see it as 'full' it really isn't. Similarly, it is never allowed to get near being properly 'empty' even when the battery graphic says it is. There is therefore no need to do any battery 'management' yourself, nor any need to worry about charging it fully and driving til it is empty. I'm surprised to hear Tesla doesn't have a similar system in place. That said, even with automatic management, the PHV battery will degrade slowly over time. I think there's something in the manual which suggests this is likely to manifest as reduced range, but not reduced performance. However, at what point any such range reduction will become noticeable above the daily impact on range of temperature and road conditions, is uncertain. The cars are all too new to have any meaningful data on this.