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HectorG last won the day on April 29

HectorG had the most liked content!

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About HectorG

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    Prius Plug-in Excel
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  1. HectorG

    Plug in hybrid?

    Consumer magazines like What Car never mention the fundamental problems with other types of gearbox such as the DSG type particularly favoured by VW. Apart from their dreadful reliability record, they tend to have an inbuilt lag - maybe not as extreme as a Saab 900 turbo I had in the ‘90’s, but still extremely irritating. I seem to remember that the PHV’s transmission is actually what they call E-CVT, adapted from the standard Prius for use in the hydrogen powered Mirai and the plug-in Prius. It is far from being what most people regard as a conventional CVT, as in Subarus, Nissans or even Toyota’s own Corolla, in that the car can run on the electric motors only, unlike most other hybrids which can’t . Essentially, a computer directs the power flow from the different engine/motor sources and this power split achieves the benefits of a CVT except the torque/speed conversion uses an electric motor rather than a direct mechanical gear train connection. This system, which is essentially a refinement of the original HSD, has been in production and continually improved and developed by Toyota for nearly 25 years and is considered to be a generation ahead of its rivals in terms of engineering. But of course the 20-somethings who write for these comics are not interested in engineering, reliability and longevity - they are obsessed with brand image and performance.
  2. HectorG

    Plug in hybrid?

    Although I generally have no time for What Car - possibly the worst car magazine on the market - I get emails from them which I must have inadvertently signed up for and have not bothered to unsubscribe from. Having little to fill my time during the lockdown, I had a browse through a recent email which had a link to a video (I think it was produced at the end of March, so quite recent): “2020 best plug-in hybrids (and the ones to avoid)”. Needless to say, I knew from the outset that the Prius plug-in would be one to avoid! The top 10 best plug-ins were of course, with the exception of 2 Volvos and a Hyundai, all German. The list included at number 9 a Mercedes priced at £97,570 😂. What planet do these teenage scribblers live on? They rather like the Audi Q5 and managed to achieve 18 miles in EV mode - great! They were also impressed with the VW Passat which achieved 65mpg overall and a whopping 40mpg on hybrid only. Their biggest criticism of plug-ins is that when the battery goes flat on plug-ins the mpg falls off a cliff - wrong, I regularly get in excess of 80mpg when the battery is ‘flat’. When it comes to the Prius, they find it “not particularly inspiring” and take the p*ss out of the optional solar panel. They consider them expensive (not when you buy a demo as I did for no more than a standard Prius; and certainly less than £97,570!) and don’t like the noisy engine - wrong again; it’s whisper quiet and could only be considered noisy if it’s driven totally inappropriately in Power mode by some 20-something with their right foot nailed to the floor). They fail to take into account Toyotas huge advantage in having mastered the technology of hybrids over a long period, unlike e.g Mercedes who have only come to the party because they need to “greenwash” their marketing to survive and whose implementation of of hybrid drive is inept. I have a friend who for some strange reason beyond my comprehension will only buy Mercedes. He was keen to buy a C Class hybrid which start at about £45,000. Even the magazines warn that you’ll struggle to get 40 mpg overall. My friend borrowed one for a test and got nowhere near 40. On a short dog walking journey he would sometimes struggle to get 10mpg in EV mode! The deal breaker for him was the dreadful jerky transition from EV to ICE. Mercedes simply have not got the expertise or experience to implement the technology. Anyway, the qualities of the Prius PHV will just have to remain a well kept secret.
  3. A few years ago a reversing sensor failed on a VW California I had at the time. The dealer asked if I used a pressure washer when cleaning it and, when I confirmed that I did, they conveniently blamed that for the sensor failure.
  4. You may be right. I live in a village serviced by a narrow country lane which is very muddy at the moment. However, in the time I’ve lived here I’ve owned 2 Subaru Foresters (2nd gen & 4th gen), a Freelander, a RAV4 (previous gen) and this has never occurred before. But it may be occurring now because the Prius is so much lower. It’s very irritating even so.
  5. Once or twice a week at the moment I get a message on the info display on my PHV that the parking sensors aren’t working. This is solved by a quick wizz around with a cloth to clean them. I appreciate that the weather in the UK is dreadful at the moment, but I have never had this problem with my previous cars. I have to admit that all but one of my previous cars with parking sensors have been 4x4 types and therefore higher off the ground. However, I find it difficult to believe the sensors should be so susceptible to dirt (my sensors have been far from covered in mud when I get the warning message) and I wonder if I have a problem with one or more of them being damaged by eg,water ingress, or they’re a bit over sensitive. It’s very irritating and the other day I forgot they were not working and drove into a parking barrier in a car park! Fortunately at very low speed and no damage done. Anyone else had similar issues on the current model PHV?
  6. I think 20 miles is way too pessimistic. As I said in my post, 30 miles seems to be a realistic figure you can achieve as an average through the year - with a sensible driving style of course.
  7. BTW, for my use, which is largely round trips of 20 miles or less - I have a camper van for longer holiday trips - I make very large savings. I last filled up with petrol 8 weeks ago when I had to drive some way to Bristol airport and back a week later. I still have half a tank of fuel left and the car has been operating on 90% EV in the 3 months I’ve had it.
  8. In Summer I get mid 30’s on a good day. At the moment it can drop to 26-28 miles with ac, wipers, lights etc on. Most of the charge point apps like Zap-Map suggest a real world figure of 30 miles. The current Toyota brochure for the “new” PHV gives a range of 34, whereas the previous brochure indicated a more optimistic range of 39 miles. I think the new lower range is a consequence of the new stricter testing regime cars now have to go through. Of course much will depend on your driving style. I am a bit of a hypermiler having previously driven a hybrid and developed an obsession (at times quite irrational) With getting maximum mpg. You can always drive around in Power Mode with your right foot to the floor, but that would miss the whole point of driving a Prius. I watched a YouTube video a while ago where the tester drove a PHV for two weeks (from memory) in Power Mode and was very impressed with the car. But gas prices in the USA are low enough to make this viable, whether or not it’s sensible is another question.
  9. I’ve just changed electricity suppliers to Igloo Energy as I now have a PHV. I was with SSE and with Igloo the charge for each kWh has reduced by 28.5%. It costs me a shade under £1 for a full charge on a 3-pin plug.
  10. HectorG

    Phone mount

    Now tested over several miles on poor country lanes. Absolutely solid with no sign of the mount falling off. My only criticism is that with the full 5” extension my phone wobbles a bit, but this is a minor issue. I think, although the mount is a bit more expensive than the usual offerings, it is a good design, well made and good value for money.
  11. HectorG

    Phone mount

    I finally bought the iOttie Easy One Touch 4 (see Hugh’s post) for dash fitting and wired from rear socket (see Jay’s post). Perfect solution as it’s in easy reach and doesn’t obscure any windows or instruments. I didn’t fix the permanent mount to the dash as the sticky suction cup seems to work well, but I’ve yet to test it over a longer stretch of poor road surface. Thanks everyone for suggestions and advice.
  12. HectorG

    Phone mount

    I’ve just looked at the ProClip USA site, noted the part numbers of the suction cup mounts and entered them in the dsldevelopments search bar and nothing comes up. Clearly the UK importer doesn’t keep them. I think it’ll be a case of buying an alternative on Amazon.
  13. HectorG

    Phone mount

    ProClip USA mounts are in fact manufactured by the Swedish company Brodit. I’ve used these on my last two camper vans - they are excellent, if a bit expensive. Brodit products are mainly available from the importer in York and generally seem to be tailored to specific vehicles and are often very ingenious. In the case of the Prius, I think Brodit have struggled to come up with a solution other than a vent mount which I don’t want because it will obscure the upper display and possibly part of the media screen. I’ll have a look at their website (DSL Developments) to see if they do universal mounts. From memory, they offer literally hundreds of options and are very well made.
  14. HectorG

    Phone mount

    Thanks Jay and Hugh - really useful and food for thought. I’ll let you know how I get on.