Registered Member
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by toshtosh

  1. Almost 12 months in with our Prius PHV and still more than happy with it. Maybe a full EV in the future, but currently we are achieving an average of 110+ mpg with home charging (30+ miles on EV then hybrid at 75+ mpg) and grabbing top-ups as practical - mainly shopping centres with free charge points. No range issues and low running costs. (Plus an affordable vehicle when bought at 12 months/10000 miles old when compared to a new EV). Cheers
  2. We have had a few cars now with DAB radios and, other than a problem with a 2015 Toyota Yaris hybrid (relaced by dealer) get strong signals over most of the UK. Our new(ish) 2018 PHV has a very weak DAB performance outside of the main cities but our main dealer says it is fine when they test it (In Bradford). Has anybody else had problems with Toyota DAB reception? Cheers Tony B
  3. We have the HUD that shows speed limits from a camera watching for road signs. Most of the time it works but occasionally misses the change and then disagrees with the sat nav display. It is particularly useful for temporary changes. However I still don't know why it consistently tells me one stretch of the York to Hull road is 120mph. Cheers
  4. toshtosh

    Charging PHV

    Slightly off-topic. Playing about with the MFD displays I found the monthly summary pages and it was enlightening to see the history of the previous owner ( a senior manager at the main agents). He ran it for about 6 months at about 2k a month, during which time it typically averaged 75mpg. It was then not run for several months - I suspect to facilitate an average mileage claim, rather than an annualised 20k+. So clearly the first owner never used the plug-in system. Cheers
  5. We have both the Prius PHV and a Skoda Octavia with Adaptive Cruise Control. Both have proved to be reliable and a real boon to both cruising and in-traffic situations. The Toyota system is slightly better in that when a full stop happens it applies the brakes and resumes by simply pressing the accelerator. The Skoda comes to a full stop and then advises the driver to apply brakes, requiring operation of the resume switch. Both systems retain the last speed setting after being disengaged (usually by me braking into a bend) so resume quickly restores the set speed if safe by flicking the resume switch. In slow moving traffic they both maintain distance and slow to a full stop. I have not noticed a problem starting the ACC at any speed, but both have minimum cc speeds about 25mph. As mentioned earlier the Toyota has a tendency to disengage at slow speeds if the leading car turns off - disconcerting at times. I cannot see me choosing any future cars without ACC. (anymore than I would choose a car without air con/climate control or a Dab radio). Cheers Tony B
  6. Back to the original post about the price difference I am sure many of the original buyers are company car drivers only interested in the tax break. This is shown by the only 2 variants available, business edition and excel. Ours (a 12 month 10000 mile Excel) was clearly never charged by the company car driver. In addition many are leased so the purchasing power of the leasing company will be significant. Realistically a company driver, with all car expenses paid by the company, can save between £1000 and £2000 a year. The company offset costs in a tax efficient way and a car that does 80+ mpg will always be attractive. So look for 1 to 3 year medium mileage models appearing soon, with 3 years or so warranty left, for trade prices. Almost certainly second hand prices will be close to the standard hybrid. Cheers toshtosh
  7. toshtosh

    Charging PHV

    As the owner of a gen 4 PHV for about 5 months here is my two-pennorth. We always top up when possible, irrespective of remaining miles indicated and no issues observed. I believe the same 8.8 kWh HV battery is used for both EV and HV driving, controlled by the on-board computer. In EV mode there is about 7KwH available (from full) which gives a theoretical EV range of between 35 and 38 miles (Actual range depends on driving style, terrain and temperature). I usually achieve about 30-32 miles before the HV kicks in. I have now got into the habit on long journeys (about 90 miles) of manually choosing HV for steep hills and city driving - The former uses battery power at a frightening rate and hybrid mode is good in towns. I then use the stored battery power for steady speed and wherever possible use the adaptive cruise control - it seems to be more economical than me (and it is so easy on A roads) In EV mode the regenerative energy, from coasting and braking, is added back to the EV mileage. In HV mode the computer feeds electric support from the battery as available and recharges on the fly. Note it maintains the EV part of the battery if you change over manually to HV, but allocates all regenerative energy to HV driving. Finally the Charge Mode will keep the ICE running at all times and recharge the EV battery up to about 25 miles EV range. This tends to add 1 mile per 1 mile travelled in HV mode but drops fuel consumption to under 50mpg. I have trialled it and it I have concluded it is a cost neutral gimmick unless you are going into a low carbon zone. Since getting the car we have done about 6000 miles of mixed motoring and, by using EV wherever possible, are achieving an average of about 120 mpg. I hope this helps Tony B
  8. toshtosh

    My New PHV

    Welcome to the world of the PHV. We have had our red one for about 4 months now and really impressed with it, and love the colour. In mixed driving and judicious charging (take both your 13 amp and type 2 cable if you are travelling overnight or stopping for a couple of hours at your destination) we can easily achieve 130 +mpg. In York and East Yorkshire there are a growing number of charge points with free parking and free/low cost charging. Also Lidl and Aldi are putting charge points in at a pace. A shopping stop at Clifton Moor (York) has 6 free to use chargers and easily adds 20 to 30 miles in a normal Tesco shop. OOI I find swapping to HV for any significant bump in the road (southerners call them steep hills) save a huge amount of EV for the flat stretches for a small cost of petrol. Cheers Tony B
  9. We got our PHV from RRG in Bradford. A quick check on their used site shows they have at least 2 low mileage PHVs in their group, both red, but amazingly they do not advertise them as PHVs. I only identified them by the lights at the front. Prices seem good. Cheers Tony B
  10. Certainly underfloor wireless charging seems a viable way forward for those without access to plug-in options at home. Car parks could easily be modified, pads placed outside your house with restricted parking signage ( much as dedicated disabled bays) and power taken from nearby street furniture. No trailing cables to be stolen or fallen over, efficient rates of transfer and easy to make Smart. In addition just think how many bays supermarket and service stations could install. Cheers Tony B
  11. A quick check on wireless charging indicates that the car needs to be parked during charging and takes similar times to charge as wired connections. (Qualcomm Halo). It seems as if it will be a viable alternative to the current stand up poles in car parks and in home domestic chargers - Once car manufacturers add them into the original build. So under roads topping up your charge seems science fiction. Cheers Tony B
  12. I am the delighted owner of a Prius Gen 4 PHV, which was bought second hand a few months ago. We paid less for the 11000 mile Excel (with optional packs) than the cheapest standard Hybrid and with 4 year guarantee left on it. Reasons for choosing a hybrid were drive-ability of electric cars, economy, different stand-out styling, Excel extras and safety features - all without range fears. The Plug-in was a bonus. I agree that nobody would buy a new PHV without an amazing discount unless they were company car users or in the congestion zone in London, but at the price we paid it is proving a real saver on fuel costs. On a 100 mile run with a full charge up before setting off it averages about 140 mpg. We have yet to do less than 1000 miles on a tankful of petrol (about 7 galls is most needed). Weekday running of about 120 miles is simply electric costs at about 3p per mile. We plan to keep the car for several years, until BEVs or hydrogen cell cars come affordable. OOI another option if the sums work for you is to lease, especially for business users. p.s. I also drive a 1.0 litre Skoda Octavia that is averaging 50 mpg in mixed driving so standard hybrids are under threat. Cheers Tony B
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. Simple question - does the B mode help or hinder economy? Cheers Tony B
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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