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PeteB last won the day on September 18 2021

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  1. It was the third party refuelling stations they use that were manufacturing on site. One article I read some time ago suggested some people might in the future be able to create their own hydrogen supply at home using electricity from solar or wind plus water. While it would only make small quantities, it could be producing the fuel all there time there was sufficient wind and/or solar power available, maybe enough to partly fuel one car. As an aside, my old firm had a 2007 Prius converted to plug-in by the UK arm of a small US company. It's LiON battery could provide EV for about 40 miles at up to 60 mph. I used it for a while for my 40 mile each way commute, and plugged in overnight at at the office. Sometimes I got 1500 miles between petrol fill-ups. They chap they eventually sold it to had his own wind turbine and ran it almost exclusively from that until he in turn sold it on.
  2. I find the handle to pull the door closed is slightly further forward than I'd like, and because of the angle of it I'm often catching the mirror control when I shut the door, setting it to the folded position.
  3. Apart from weight, presumably the size and shape of whatever is towed will be a factor too. For example, it seems there are some caravans that can fold (for want of a better word) so when being towed they are about half the height of a regular caravan. Also, some 'vans have a more aerodynamically shaped front which will help create a bit less drag.
  4. I does amuse me the number of times I read comments about Hybrids not having any benefits when cruising at motorway speeds. I've just not found that to be true. OK, maybe if you're constantly thrashing the car, but I've found the smooth, quiet drive makes me a more chilled driver. When I had a Gen 1 Prius for some time I commuted 40 miles each way across country with low traffic and calculated tank averages stayed at about 55 mpg. Later I charged jobs and went a similar distance but much of it on the M1. MPG stayed the same. I think because the system is optimised to share the propulsion from the engine and motor, and the engine is set up on the basis it gets help when needed and doesn't have to have as much power and a comparable car with only the petrol engine it still has its advantages. Add to that the battery/motor helping some of the time and recouping energy every time you lift off the throttle.
  5. It's certainly more challenging in places like the Norfolk coast, where I live. Back in 2012 I bought a Gen 3 Prius, my 6th Prius, and I thought this would be my last petrol-consuming car (and possibly my last car depending on how long my health holds up sufficiently to retain my driving licence). I had previously hoped to buy a Plug-in Prius when it was launched in 2012, despite it's low EV range, but the lack of a spare wheel and little space for one scuppered that. I test drove a BMW i3 with range extender in 2014, but the spare wheel thing did it again, plus having got used to a Head Up Display in the Prius it was something I never wanted to be without again. When the Gen 4 Prius was announced, the raft of safety features and general improvements made it very appealing, but I still hoped to go EV. I priced up a Tesla Model S, and after a government grant of £5k it still came to nearly £80k including a £4k battery upgrade, all wheel drive and one or two other extras. It had a claimed potential range of just over 300 miles, well ample for my use for all but about 20 days a year. But it was those 20 days that made it a non starter, at least living where I do. Also, I eventually ruled it out because of a few missing features I regard as must-haves. At that time there wasn't a single Tesla Supercharger station this side of the A1 (only one last time I looked), and one of my periodic trips to Hull was over 350 miles return plus some local driving (easily done on one tank in the Prius). The Tesla web site was quite helpful; you could select IIRC the spec of car, air temperature, climate control temperature, cruising speed etc. and it would calculate the estimated range given those conditions. The 300+ range quickly dived towards 200. It would also estimate charge times given the spec of the car and the changing station used. Since using all available site like ZapMap and various hotel searches came up with precisely zero suitable options, my enthusiasm for an EV started to seriously wane! In the worst case, if I could only find a hotel that would somehow allow me to plug into a standard wall socket, worst case was a recharge time of nearly 30 hours! Occasionally, I did the whole trip in a day - that would be really challenging! For a while, on each of the long trips I did I tried to simulate an EV journey and look for charging opportunities on the route. A regular 250-300 mile round trip to Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire (always in a day) for a while only had quite modest charging speeds at a couple of Little Chefs, which have now disappeared along with their charging points. By the time I stopped looking it was still challenging to find a route with reliable access to sufficient charging facilities. The final issue is that the various legs of the Bedfordshire journeys add up to some 6-7 hours of driving in a very long day, so a couple of extra 20-40 minute charge stops would be rather unwelcome. The London based Private Hire firm I worked for from their inception in 2006 until I retired now has over 50 Mirai Hydrogen cars and access to a number of fuelling sites that manufacture Hydrogen on-site using electrolysis. Now, I'm not prepared to predict whether Hydrogen will gain favour, but simply observe that when the Prius (and Honda Insight) Hybrids were launched in 1997 the majority of the motoring world poured scorn on the idea and many major manufacturers hinted they would never follow suit. Wind forward 24 years, and...
  6. Maybe he's seen one of the many YouTube videos about the RAV4 in other countries. In the USA and Canada, for example, you can still buy a petrol (gas) only version, and that only comes with an eight-speed auto box.
  7. Me too. Not just Vauxhall either; IIRC it affected lots of VWs and Volvos, but also a few other makes. I've not (knowingly) bought a drop of Shell petrol since either, not so much because they made a mistake, but because I remember the press attention in the UK that Shell UK refused to compensate affected drivers even though they had wads of receipts showing they'd almost exclusively used the stuff. I also recall a Watchdog programme where they challenged someone from Shell UK about this and asked why Shell in other countries did reimburse motorist while Shell UK did not.
  8. Sorry, finger trouble. I meant boot light - yes, just leave it on and it comes on whenever the boot is open.
  9. Recent articles were saying new rules will make it obligatory to incorporate vehicle charging facilities in all new build homes. I wonder how that will work with a tenth floor flat?
  10. PeteB

    Sat Nav System

    Yes, loved that - especially "you have reached your destination but I'm not going to carry your bags!"
  11. There are two Tesco petrol stations that are convenient for me and apart from their prices one of the things I like (more so in these Covid times) is their pay at pump facility. It works well and I use my Clubcard at the pump too (contactless - I just press my wallet against the screen and it pick up the card). I'm only aware of two other local-ish places that do pay at pump (both Asda) but they are further away and less convenient.
  12. If you leave the bo0ok light switch on all the time, it only comes on when the boot is open. For some reason Toyota think you might want to stop that from happening. If you're worried it might stay on and flatten the battery, just try it with the load cover open and check it goes out when the boot is shut.
  13. In fact, I went and checked and on mine they do also come on when I approach the car with a key in my pocket, I'd just forgotten that.
  14. PeteB


    I've had three close calls when my lights have come on and been misunderstood. There are two local locations where the lights can come on and off several times even in bright daylight, so I'm on my guard and do sometimes switch on the side lights (and try to remember to turn them off again after!). It's also annoying to sit in the car in READY Mode when parked and be forced to have the lights on, often without me being aware unless I check the indicator on the dash (or it's really dark!). They will even come on in "Ignition" Mode (after Accessory, where all the warning lights come on but the car isn't 'READY'), so it's a big hit on the 12V battery - another reason for only using READY Mode when stationary! At the very least, they could have made it so that auto headlights don't come on until the first time the parking brake is released, as is the case for DRLs. I'm pleased that, at least, I can (and do!) elect not to activate the Auto Main Beam feature.
  15. I'm not sure; the Prius Excel I had last also had the warning, but it wasn't listed in the specs at all when I bought the car so I don't know if other models got it. Quite a few cars I've owned had a translucent tank where you could see the level, but in all the Toyotas I've owned the tank's been hidden. The Gen 1 & 2 Prius both had a dip stick for the washer tank! (possibly the Gen 3 did too, but I can't recall now).
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