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Hybrids are for urban, not rural, driving?

  • 04-11-2020 12:40pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 228 ✭✭ Bricriu


    My understanding of hybrids is that the electric-engine is employed until the car speed reaches around 30 km per hour. Any speed above that, and the petrol-engine kicks-in automatically.
    In rural areas, once a driver is off his local boreen, normal speed would be well above 30 km per hour.
    In urban driving, going from one set of traffic-lights to the next, the speed would be maximum 30 km per hour; that would also be the legal speed in many urban areas.
    Going by the above, hybrids are suitable for urban-driving only, and are a waste of money and energy on rural roads.
    Am I right in this?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,204 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    Bricriu wrote: »
    Am I right in this?

    Not really.

    Hybrids are entirely powered by the petrol engine.

    The hybrid element of it comes into play when you brake and the energy of stopping the car is sent back into the small battery that the hybrid has. When you then take off again the energy captured can be used to move the car.

    Once that battery goes low the engine has to kick in even in an urban environment.

    Ultimately all the energy came from the petrol engine to begin with.


    The exception to this are plugin hybrids which work the same way as traditional hybrids but they also have the ability to be plugged in, which means you have a much larger amount of EV only range and can typically do 30-60km's without ever starting the engine.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,283 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Bricriu wrote: »
    My understanding of hybrids is that the electric-engine is employed until the car speed reaches around 30 km per hour. Any speed above that, and the petrol-engine kicks-in automatically.
    In rural areas, once a driver is off his local boreen, normal speed would be well above 30 km per hour.
    In urban driving, going from one set of traffic-lights to the next, the speed would be maximum 30 km per hour; that would also be the legal speed in many urban areas.
    Going by the above, hybrids are suitable for urban-driving only, and are a waste of money and energy on rural roads.
    Am I right in this?

    No I think your understanding of hybrids is incorrect.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,095 ✭✭✭ corks finest


    Bricriu wrote: »
    My understanding of hybrids is that the electric-engine is employed until the car speed reaches around 30 km per hour. Any speed above that, and the petrol-engine kicks-in automatically.
    In rural areas, once a driver is off his local boreen, normal speed would be well above 30 km per hour.
    In urban driving, going from one set of traffic-lights to the next, the speed would be maximum 30 km per hour; that would also be the legal speed in many urban areas.
    Going by the above, hybrids are suitable for urban-driving only, and are a waste of money and energy on rural roads.
    Am I right in this?
    I’m a hybrid driver years, and find my hybrid great economically, drive mostly rural to and from school 11 miles away, I drive easy and as it’s automatic it’s comfortable


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,829 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    It depends, is the simplest answer

    There are several different types of hybrid, some of which may be better suited for rural driving

    I think the one you're referring to is the comically named 'self-charging' hybrid, like a Prius. The way they work is by combining the power of the electric and petrol motor.

    A petrol motor has a narrow range of speed and torque where it is most efficient. Typically road conditions and human error mean the engine doesn't spend much time at peak efficiency. This is why for example you've seen automatic gearboxes become more popular recently, they're trying to let the car decide when to be efficient, not the driver

    An electric motor on the other hand gives high torque at a wide range of speeds and remains very efficient at any speed.

    So a hybrid like a Prius basically sets the petrol engine at it's most efficient rpm based on the speed of the car and uses the electric motor to supply any extra torque needed to accelerate the car. It combines the output of both engines through a CVT gearbox.

    Incidentally, the revving engine noise you hear from a hybrid is generally fake, it's to give the illusion of acceleration. The engine rpm remains more or less constant. A portion of the petrol engine's power is always used to recharge the battery for the electric motor. It can also recover energy via regenerative braking. This is the supposedly 'self charging' part

    So the general idea is that the electric motor supplements the petrol one to maximise efficiency. At higher speeds the petrol motor tends to do more of the work. At low speeds, the electric motor is powerful enough to more the car by itself, hence why you don't hear the petrol engine then. This leads to the idea that hybrids are only good for urban driving, but the electric motor is doing work when the petrol engine is running

    Now if you were to ask the more general question of 'are hybrids any good?' the answer that I'll give you is "only plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) are worth the effort"

    A PHEV has a bigger battery and much more powerful electric motor that can drive the car for a reasonably range (typically around 30-50km) without needing the petrol motor. It can also be recharged same as a BEV.

    The theory is that most people's daily driving is actually pretty short (80% of drivers commute less than 20km each day) so you can do it using pure electric power and then use the petrol engine for travelling longer distances when needed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 580 ✭✭✭ kaahooters


    Incidentally, the revving engine noise you hear from a hybrid is generally fake,


    nissans epower works like this, it still revs, but all other hybrids are a regular ice engines that do rev.

    it's to give the illusion of acceleration. The engine rpm remains more or less constant.

    the cvt noise will do this, not the engine


    A portion of the petrol engine's power is always used to recharge the battery for the electric motor. It can also recover energy via regenerative braking. This is the supposedly 'self charging' part

    to OPS question, hybrids are fine, there a car like any other, just automatic pertol cars with a big battery, itll work fine anywhere and be as efficent or more then diesel and more reliable.

    https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/08/are-hybrid-cars-reliable/.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,377 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    Bricriu wrote: »
    My understanding of hybrids is that the electric-engine is employed until the car speed reaches around 30 km per hour. Any speed above that, and the petrol-engine kicks-in automatically.
    In rural areas, once a driver is off his local boreen, normal speed would be well above 30 km per hour.
    In urban driving, going from one set of traffic-lights to the next, the speed would be maximum 30 km per hour; that would also be the legal speed in many urban areas.
    Going by the above, hybrids are suitable for urban-driving only, and are a waste of money and energy on rural roads.
    Am I right in this?

    I was able to average 4.6 L/100 km in a MK II Prius Winter and 4.2 Summer calculated by filling to the brim.

    Mostly Motorway driving, what you loose on the Motorway you gain back in town and city driving and on slower roads off the motorway.

    What's worse for economy believe it or not is crawling speeds in congested traffic as the battery runs down and due to the start stop the battery has less chance to recharge.

    I'd be surprised today if someone couldn't get 3.5 L/100 Km out of a current model prius because believe it or not the greatest improvement to come from the prius is via the engine.

    There is a bit of a learning curve and what's called Pulse and glide which involves using the battery only at certain times and coasting, or coasting and using battery to push you further without the engine and it doesn't need to be done at crawling speeds, it worked at up to 71 Km/hr in the MK II Prius of I remember correctly. Using careful pushes of the throttle you can use battery and coasting for quite some time without using any Petrol.

    Unless cost and recharge times are an issue fully electric with today's battery sizes are the way to go.

    The best plug in available is the BMW i3 Rex, it's got the most EV only range of any plug in on battery only and the engine only acts as a generator and there is no mechanical connection to the wheels and you have control as to when it comes on below 75% charge, ideally you use it on the motorway and then battery on slower roads and in town, the 94 Ah also has 50 Kw DC charging and 11 KW AC if you got a 3 phase AC cable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,177 ✭✭✭ Kramer


    kaahooters wrote: »
    hybrids are fine, there a car like any other, just automatic pertol cars with a big battery, itll work fine anywhere and be as efficent or more then diesel and more reliable.

    They won't be as efficient as a diesel on long motorway runs.

    Reliability, again, not guaranteed for high mileage users using the motorway network, very frequently.

    But for probably 90%+ of Irish drivers, hybrids/PHEVs & BEVs are ideal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 580 ✭✭✭ kaahooters


    They won't be as efficient as a diesel on long motorway runs.

    new models are, like for like driving, no hypermiling and driving at the
    same speed. people equate the slightly higher petrol price in ireland as being less efficent.

    Reliability, again, not guaranteed for high mileage users using the motorway network, very frequently.

    yes it is, theres a reason all taxis are going prius.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,095 ✭✭✭ corks finest


    Kramer wrote: »
    They won't be as efficient as a diesel on long motorway runs.

    Reliability, again, not guaranteed for high mileage users using the motorway network, very frequently.

    But for probably 90%+ of Irish drivers, hybrids/PHEVs & BEVs are ideal.

    There’s several Honda Insight hybrids with 300000 plus miles on the clock and still Uber reliable


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,177 ✭✭✭ Kramer


    kaahooters wrote: »
    They won't be as efficient as a diesel on long motorway runs.

    new models are, like for like driving, no hypermiling and driving at the
    same speed. people equate the slightly higher petrol price in ireland as being less efficent.

    I didn't mention hypermiling, I said on long, frequent motorway runs.

    There is no comparable petrol hybrid that can match the efficiency of a half decent diesel at sustained motorway speed 120km/h.

    That's not the need of 90%+ of Irish drivers though, so as I said, BEVs, PHEVs & hybrids are most suitable for most people.

    I've nothing against hybrids, they have their place, but there's no need either to overegg the pudding :).

    Anyone doing 1000s of motorway kilometers per month won't do well in a hybrid.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,377 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    I've said this many, many times, what the hybrid may loose on the Motorway it gains at slower speeds and in town driving where the Diesel looses any gains it has over the Hybrid.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,028 ✭✭✭ Lantus


    Hybrids often cost more. The real savings are in capital car cost. Not fuel savings. A good diesel still performs as good and often better as a soft hybrid in all scenarios.

    Hybrids exist because its a very easy way for manufacturers to achieve reg compliance and fleece consumers through a feel good factor. There is a huge amount of conflating mild hybrid and full ev to try to get consumer they are buying into the ev dream.

    They are not bad cars but eyes open for anyone who believes they need one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,377 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    Prius starts at 36K

    Corolla 26K

    Yaris 23K


    All Hybrids all Petrol automatic

    Indeed you can buy cheaper manual cars if manual cars and diesel are your thing, same can be said for EV VS ICE.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,829 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    The thing that bugs me about hybrids is that you're paying EV prices and getting all the problems of a ICE car for free.

    It's still gonna need it's oil changes and whatnot, same as any other petrol engine

    Only reason I could see buying one is because there isn't an EV available that meets your needs (and lets not claim lack of range because 90% of daily driving could be done by a Nissan Leaf with charge to spare)

    As regards diesel vs petrol, a lot of the technologies that made diesel more efficient have been replicated in petrol engines, so they've almost closed the gap

    Diesels still have a slight efficiency bonus, but from what I can tell this is because car manufacturers are optimising them for long distance whereas they're targeting petrol engines for urban driving

    I suspect with Nox charges and higher carbon taxes that this will change rapidly as diesels become unaffordable


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,103 ✭✭✭ kanuseeme


    Most people are well aware of the so called problems of an ICE car, they are however not used to anything to do with an EV, simple questions like range and charging will give answers that some people will find a problem and that's without going into problems of ice'd chargers or broken.

    Its also a common belief that batteries need changing every 8 years, that goes for any type of car, a guy I work with asked me how long do hybrid batteries last only 2 days ago. Experience has shown them phones/power tools and laptop batteries do not last, as for the 8 year limit, I imagine its to do with warranties they have heard of. If you see the older Nissan leaf's for sale now, you see 100 km range etc, they would not know anything about battery chemistry and assume all electric cars are like that after so many years.

    Another point is lack of choice, its either a young expensive American brand with know issues or some small and mostly overpriced car.

    I think if you expect some one to spend 40 K on a car, they will go for the devil they know rather than the devil they don't.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,028 ✭✭✭ Lantus


    The difference between 45 and 55mpg is about 250eu a year in fuel. based on 20k a year. Even over 10 years its a paltry 2500.

    Never spend money to save money with a car.
    Manufacturers are just so cute at convincing people about the fuel savings if they just buy a 30k car at interest. Stop. Buy a 15k car if your interested in saving money. If you have 30k you dont need to save money!!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,095 ✭✭✭ corks finest


    kanuseeme wrote: »
    Most people are well aware of the so called problems of an ICE car, they are however not used to anything to do with an EV, simple questions like range and charging will give answers that some people will find a problem and that's without going into problems of ice'd chargers or broken.

    Its also a common belief that batteries need changing every 8 years, that goes for any type of car, a guy I work with asked me how long do hybrid batteries last only 2 days ago. Experience has shown them phones/power tools and laptop batteries do not last, as for the 8 year limit, I imagine its to do with warranties they have heard of. If you see the older Nissan leaf's for sale now, you see 100 km range etc, they would not know anything about battery chemistry and assume all electric cars are like that after so many years.

    Another point is lack of choice, its either a young expensive American brand with know issues or some small and mostly overpriced car.

    I think if you expect some one to spend 40 K on a car, they will go for the devil they know rather than the devil they don't.

    Ref hybrid batteries I’ve only heard of one Honda Insight needing changed , 2009 model,I’m on the insight central forum years and afaik only came across one person who had to change hybrid batteries


  • Registered Users Posts: 580 ✭✭✭ kaahooters


    Lantus wrote: »
    The difference between 45 and 55mpg is about 250eu a year in fuel. based on 20k a year. Even over 10 years its a paltry 2500.

    Never spend money to save money with a car.
    Manufacturers are just so cute at convincing people about the fuel savings if they just buy a 30k car at interest. Stop. Buy a 15k car if your interested in saving money. If you have 30k you dont need to save money!!!

    Fuel saving isn't about you saving money, it's about reducing emissions.
    Make the best of it where you can.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,623 ✭✭✭ GarIT


    kaahooters wrote: »
    Fuel saving isn't about you saving money, it's about reducing emissions.
    Make the best of it where you can.

    It is for me. Absolutely no interest in emissions just want the lowest cost.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,377 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    GarIT wrote: »
    It is for me. Absolutely no interest in emissions just want the lowest cost.

    Buy a MK I Yaris, will go forever. ;)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,623 ✭✭✭ GarIT


    Mad_Lad wrote: »
    Buy a MK I Yaris, will go forever. ;)

    Does it have Android Auto? :P


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,377 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    GarIT wrote: »
    Does it have Android Auto? :P

    I'm sure you can change the stereo. ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,490 ✭✭✭ almostover


    Lantus wrote: »
    Hybrids often cost more. The real savings are in capital car cost. Not fuel savings. A good diesel still performs as good and often better as a soft hybrid in all scenarios.

    Hybrids exist because its a very easy way for manufacturers to achieve reg compliance and fleece consumers through a feel good factor. There is a huge amount of conflating mild hybrid and full ev to try to get consumer they are buying into the ev dream.

    They are not bad cars but eyes open for anyone who believes they need one.

    Think you may be being a little disingenuous there. I bought a hybrid car, my 1st, 2.5 years ago. Went to the UK and bought a 5 year old lexus IS300h with FSH and 45k miles. It's been a far better car than the diesel VW passat that it replaced. The passat was 110bhp, a blue motion model. 5 speed manual with crazy long gear ratios. Got 55mpg on mixed driving. Very economical but I had a number of reliability issues, all stemming from the emissions control systems. It sounded like a tractor too and the idle was always rough, something I was told is a characteristic of early 2.0tdi CR engines. DMF was gone rough too by the time I parted with it. The hybrid lexus does 47mpg on the same driving. It has twice the brake horsepower and is far nicer to drive once you get used to the CVT gearbox. I do approx 20k miles per year. Yes the hybrid costs more in fuel per year but I've had zero repair costs since purchasing. A simple naturally aspirated petrol engine with a chain driven camshaft. By all accounts the hybrid transmissions are uber reliable if maintained correctly.

    I'll never buy another diesel car. Diesel is likely to go back to the way it once was....a niche option for those doing galactic mileage, for commercial work vehicles, haulage and tractors.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,490 ✭✭✭ almostover


    kanuseeme wrote: »
    Most people are well aware of the so called problems of an ICE car, they are however not used to anything to do with an EV, simple questions like range and charging will give answers that some people will find a problem and that's without going into problems of ice'd chargers or broken.

    Its also a common belief that batteries need changing every 8 years, that goes for any type of car, a guy I work with asked me how long do hybrid batteries last only 2 days ago. Experience has shown them phones/power tools and laptop batteries do not last, as for the 8 year limit, I imagine its to do with warranties they have heard of. If you see the older Nissan leaf's for sale now, you see 100 km range etc, they would not know anything about battery chemistry and assume all electric cars are like that after so many years.

    Another point is lack of choice, its either a young expensive American brand with know issues or some small and mostly overpriced car.

    I think if you expect some one to spend 40 K on a car, they will go for the devil they know rather than the devil they don't.

    Toyota offer a 15 year hybrid component warranty. The devil you know is dirty diesel engines having EGR, DPF and DMF issues costing mega bucks. Diesel engines are great, the systems bolted to them to reduce emissions are not.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,028 ✭✭✭ Lantus


    almostover wrote: »
    Think you may be being a little disingenuous there. I bought a hybrid car, my 1st, 2.5 years ago. Went to the UK and bought a 5 year old lexus IS300h with FSH and 45k miles. It's been a far better car than the diesel VW passat that it replaced. The passat was 110bhp, a blue motion model. 5 speed manual with crazy long gear ratios. Got 55mpg on mixed driving. Very economical but I had a number of reliability issues, all stemming from the emissions control systems. It sounded like a tractor too and the idle was always rough, something I was told is a characteristic of early 2.0tdi CR engines. DMF was gone rough too by the time I parted with it. The hybrid lexus does 47mpg on the same driving. It has twice the brake horsepower and is far nicer to drive once you get used to the CVT gearbox. I do approx 20k miles per year. Yes the hybrid costs more in fuel per year but I've had zero repair costs since purchasing. A simple naturally aspirated petrol engine with a chain driven camshaft. By all accounts the hybrid transmissions are uber reliable if maintained correctly.

    I'll never buy another diesel car. Diesel is likely to go back to the way it once was....a niche option for those doing galactic mileage, for commercial work vehicles, haulage and tractors.

    I would whole heartedly agree that a petrol car is a nicer drive than diesel.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,721 ✭✭✭ stimpson


    Having driven petrol, diesel, Toyota hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid over the past 10 years, here’s my take.

    The only large repair bill I’ve had was replacing valves on the diesel at 45,000 miles. Luckily Toyota picked up the bill on that. While talking to the service manager he told me he was driving a 10 year old Prius and commuting daily from Tipperary. Said he had 250K miles on it and it only got servicing by the book and tyres.

    After hearing that I traded in for a Prius hybrid. It did the same consumption on the motorway as the diesel but far better in town. Was also a far nicer drive. It also kept more value after 3 years.

    As for reliability, the hybrid has no belts - everything that would normally be belt driven is done with an electric motor. It has no DPF, no dual mass flywheel, no gearbox, no high pressure common rail system, so no worry about injectors.

    Batteries (especially nimh as used on the Toyotas) are not a concern. Generally if they go wrong then it’s a single cell in the pack that can be replaced and the pack rebalanced. There are companies that specialise in this type of work.

    If I needed the range then I’d buy hybrid over diesel all day long, unless I was doing huge mileage.


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