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About toshtosh

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    Prius PHEV
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  1. Whilst you are undoubtedly correct the fundamental issue will still be getting the power into the battery - To get 80kWh (400 miles range) into a rep mobile (The equivalent of 24 hours on a domestic charger) will still take 24 hours and even the largest capacity domestic units would take overnight. Although even a 50% reduction in weight per kWh would still leave the battery weighing a couple of hundred kilos. As for the so called "fact" that most EV journeys are only a few miles, surely that is simply because potential BEV car owners are range terrified until there is a reliable public charging network. Our daily use pattern of the PHEV is 4 days commuting (all BEV) and then a touring weekend of between 200 and 500 miles (mixed EV and hybrid miles) Even with a 200 mile range I couldn't do a day trip to either of my in-laws in a BEV without recharging. Cheers Tony B
  2. With Jaguar's latest news it now seems inevitable that BEVs will be the winner of our medium term motoring options. There are many reports available online of the future public charging station requirements, but one I have just perused make the valid point that many potential owners of EVs are unable to charge because they live in properties with no access to a home charger - flats and terraced houses to name just 2. They will need a network of access points. At the weekend we were in Bridlington, which has the grand total of 2 * 7kW public charging points in a local car park. A quick search of ZapMap revealed that one of the points (which are free to use) regularly has the same BEV parked there and plugged in for many hours. The same report suggests that about 30000 high speed public charge points will be needed for BEV use by 2030, despite the increased range and increase in home usage. I wonder if now is the right time to invest in companies manufacturing the chargers? Cheers Tony B
  3. This idea of exchange batteries was considered several years ago (by Nissan I think). It is similar to the way warehouses have kept electric fork lift trucks operating around the clock for many years. The plan was you would drive into a bay with a pit. Your battery would be dropped on a carrier and moved to the charging warehouse and a fully charged battery lifted into place. The empty battery would then be recharged for another vehicle. I believe the costs and site logistics proved to be the reason it wasn't progressed, not least the electrical cabling capacity for charging many batteries at a time. In addition it would have needed a transfer station about every 10 miles or so (EV range was only 30 miles or so at that time). So now to cover the whole UK (including the remote areas) with an exchange station every 10 miles would need about 2000 stations of varying size. Also as more companies manufacture EVs with varying shaped and sized batteries the complications increase dramatically. Also this could only work with a leased battery system but would you swap your brand new EV battery for ones with unknown age and therefore capacity? Currently an EV battery with reasonable range e.g. Nissan Leaf weighs about 10Kg per kWh so a car with 200 miles range (40 kWh) has a battery that weighs between 250 and 500 Kg. So whilst exchange stations are being considered for EVs I suspect the capital required to establish a substantial network would be prohibitive. Cheers Tony B
  4. Whilst owning a couple of Toyota Hybrids I rarely had the feeling that some form of noise generator was needed, possibly due to their very low EV ranges. Now we have the PHV which is invariably in EV state at all low speeds, especially car parks and "estates", it seems an essential feature. I would however prefer a manually operated system or one that uses the forward radar when it detects a hazard at low speed. The thought of it operating every time I drive through the holiday park where we have a static caravan is worrying, even at low decibels. Cheers Tony B
  5. If you bought from a Toyota dealer I am amazed they aren't contacting you proactively - Ours has always rung us about 2 months before they think it is due to confirm a booking and courtesy car or collection and delivery. This is our third hybrid and all have received this service. I do not doubt a quick phone call to the service department will sort out your service requirements, and if your warranty is at risk they should fit it in as a priority. OOI we have also taken out the monthly service payment plan which also has a record of mileage and, when combined with the warranty, means we only have to worry about tyres, exhausts and brakes. It is managed by a third party company so when we sell the car any unused payments are refunded or transferred to the replacement - irrespective of make. Cheers Tony B
  6. Thanks to all on your replies on the B mode. Like many of the hybrid "tricks" it seems to be drive steadily in any mode and the computer will do the thinking. In the plug-in I am finding the same happens - just keep topping up from mains as and when and drive as steadily you can and the car seems to deliver great economy - 230 miles over 3 days at 193 mpg indicated - helped by a couple of free top-ups in York. One frustration I was having was being unable to use cruise control in B mode thinking it was regenerating a lot more battery charge. Cheers Tony B
  7. I stand corrected on kWh, but the point is still that high capacity chargers available for 400 mile range cars are few and far between. So far the majority are for specific brands only (Tesla) and even as the network increases their recharging cost is likely to be significant as the capital and running cost of the unit have to be recovered from maybe 10 customers per 5 hours (Unlike a petrol pump that can serve 10+ cars per hour). I have a plug in Prius PHV and most of the public chargers I have seen are 240v only - And yes I know that many deliver more than the PHV can take, but future 80kWh BEVs will take 2 to 4 hours to give even 100 mile using all these 240 volt chargers can deliver, so my point on time taken to recharge a 80kWh car at current charge points (including home chargers) remain valid. Just for the record I visited York last week and finding a usable charger was a joke - one had a 2 hour limit (or an £80 fine), one had a 90 minute limit (Waitrose), One was so tight that I couldn't get into the bay and then open my door, 2 were ICE'd and 2 were out of action. The rest had cars that were connected and no sign of the drivers. We only saw one charger that was anywhere near a rapid category, but that was able to take all sizes of connector so a slow charging BEV could use it for several hours - You got free parking whilst connected so tourists disappear for many hours. One had 2 parking bays but having negotiated a tight entrance I found there was actually only one connection point and I would have to wait for the other car owner to return........ Cheers Tony B
  8. Simple question - does the B mode help or hinder economy? Cheers Tony B
  9. Even though technology is moving quickly I still think public charging is the current issue preventing the future move to EVs. As EV range is extended to 400 or so it will become impossible to recharge a long journey on a domestic supply, given that domestic circuits have a low amp limit.Based on the Prius PHV about 5 miles per KwHr seems fair. So 400 miles would require 80KwHr. On a single phase 240 volt system rated at 13 amps that equates to about 24 hrs. Even at 30 amps you are looking at 10 hours. So although you may use an uprated home charger to pre-load your car before your holiday you would still need a high capacity public charger (150 amp plus) to keep going, and they are currently very rare and often expensive. Even at 150 amp it could take an hour or more to put in enough for a couple of hundred miles. So far most of the public chargers I have found have been 30 amp (7 Kw) maximum, therefore requiring several hours. You won't get many cars a day on that charge station. So what next for the EV world? OOI Hydrogen currently costs £12 per Kg and that covers about 55 miles per Kg (Hyundai Nexo data). Electricity for 55 miles costs about £2 (5 miles per unit at 18p). Over 10000 miles per annum Hydrogen costs £2400 and an EV costs about £360 - A hybrid at 80mpg would cost about £650. So Hydrogen fuel may have a future but not yet. (Only 10 refill points in UK). EVs are OK for those who can work around home charging once prices drop to a fair (affordable) price, and once public charging is mature then the long range will be viable. In the meantime Plug-in hybrids will be a great interim low carbon solution for those who have a daily routine of a few 10s of miles and, just like the latest Gen 4 Prius/Corolla, an excellent long distance choice. Cheers Tony B
  10. To be honest I drive at about the speed limit in most conditions. I will do a few more checks and post some correctly recorded data. Cheers Tony B
  11. I am convinced that plug-in hybrids are a viable option for the next few years, but subject to a major investment in public charging stations, electric only cars for the masses are Unicorns. My Prius plug-in on a mixture of home charging and occasional top-ups at public points is easily doing 1000 miles on a tankful of petrol, with the electricity costing about £15. Thankfully the required quantity of electricity to give me a full top-up is only 6Kwhr, which at its maximum rate takes about 2 hours. Anybody with a full EV with a 40kwHr battery (Nissan Leaf) on a 7KW public charger (the most readily available) will take about 6 hours to get a full charge, and be able to cover a further 150 miles or so. As pointed out earlier, home charging on the maximum rated home charger will take about 12-16 hours to charge a 40KwHr battery - and they cost many hundreds of pounds (even after the government subsidy). Finally it seems that the electricity needed is available. Malcolm McCulloch, head of Oxford University’s Energy and Power group, says that if car charging could be done intelligently, then only 20 additional megawatts of power would be needed- that’s the equivalent output a reasonably sized offshore wind farm. If not, then the capacity of the National Grid would need another 20 gigawatts, which is double the amount of energy currently generated by all the UK’s nuclear power stations. In short, with good strategy, it’s an issue of power, not energy. Cheers Tony B
  12. I also forgot to mention that the way of paying and activating varies, from mobile phone apps to contactless debit cards. Some companies offer a fixed monthly charge with unlimited use, some charge by the visit, some charge by connection time and some charge by the electric used. As an example, one local supermarket charges £5 a visit, but I only need 6 units of electricity for my PHV (90p). Another is free - as long as you have a mobile phone app to activate the station. Another (a famous Swedish furniture outlet) is simply plug in and go shopping. Cheers Tony B
  13. I appreciate that currently the majority of Prius drivers do not require an external charge, but it is only a matter of time before many convert to either plug-in hybrids or full EVs. Even standard self-charging hybrid drivers will soon find themselves being lured to EV driving as they become more practical. I have recently joined the plug-in (Prius PHV) club (after 2 hybrids) - and it is a revelation - electric cars are a delight to drive (quiet and smooth up to 84 mph) and at 15p per Kwh (household charge) cost about 3p per mile. The ICE (internal combustion engine) element of the PHV eliminates the range anxiety, but I find driving the PHV in EV mode is better than HV mode, although HVt is still good Although having only an 8.8 KwHr EV battery with 30 miles or so range the PHV easily does local work and shopping runs on EV and is recharged at home in about 3 hours on a standard domestic socket. However on longer runs it is nice to top up the electricity, especially as it can be free or low cost. Obviously if your car is all electric then it becomes essential to access charge points. OOI a full EV typically requires 25KwHr or more to give a range of 100 miles, which takes as long as 4 hours on the less powerful public connectors (and up to 12 hours on a standard 13 amp socket.) The PHV takes about 2 hours to refill from empty on a public charger. And this is where the limitation on the growth of EVs becomes apparent - public charge points. There is a multitude of providers, physical connectors, fees and charge rates. Many of the current points are poorly signed, often occupied by non-EV cars and frequently out of action. You also get EV users who simply connect and leave the vehicle for several hours, especially when linked to free parking - the connectors lock in place until released by owner. So in a town with only a couple of connectors your chance of finding one available is poor. So should the government step in and standardise EV charging or should it remain a commercially driven activity? Cheers Tony B
  14. After several long distance runs my results, although not controlled, suggest that the use of charge mode does give a minor saving over using the HV mode, but it is marginal. However you do get to run almost half those miles in EV, which is, in my opinion, much better than HV driving. In charge mode it uses about 3.5 litres (per 30 miles) to give 25 miles of EV. In HV mode a run of 110 miles would need about 8 litres of petrol. So on a run of 110 miles in HV charge mode you would run about 30 miles (3.5 litres) in charge mode then 25 miles or so in EV, repeated for the final 55 miles. So the potential saving by toggling HV charge mode and EV is about 1p per mile or £1 per 100 miles. OOI we did a 230 mile journey this weekend at over 199 mpg by using three public chargers to top up - all linked in to stops for shopping or refreshment. (Beverley - free, Driffield - free and Lidl in York - £1.20). Although not the fastest charge rate The PHV gives about 30 miles range after 2 hours. A couple of overnight charges on the domestic supply.
  15. IMHO you pays your money and makes your choice. Looking for a new hybrid (2010 Auris and 2015 Yaris), we seriously considered the 1.8 Corolla but we thought it very dull and boring, and the price of a Corolla Excel is almost same as the Prius, which is undoubtedly a much more individual car. The 2 litre seemed an unnecessary extra expense as it is more money and less economical, although there were some deals on the 2 litre a couple of months ago. We just happened to see a 12 month low mileage Prius plug-in Excel at our local Toyota dealer at a very good price and are delighted both with overall MPG (currently 135+ over 1500 miles of mixed motoring) and its driveability. We accept the reduced boot space and 4 seats of the PHV, but of course the basic Prius hybrid doesn't have that issue. I don't think Toyota would really consider it as jumping ship if the Corolla suits you rather than the Prius. Cheers Tony B