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Is owning a hybrid a bad idea?

  • 28-01-2022 1:17pm
    Registered Users Posts: 28

    I had my eye on a Hyundai Kona Hybrid for a while and learnt that self charging hybrids are not ideal to own as it would eat up your fuel expenses than a standard car. I live in Naas and use my current car (a diesel car) to do shopping etc however I drive to Dublin at most 2/3 a week plus once a month to county Waterford. I also like to travel around the countryside.

    I cannot have a plug in charger as I live in an apartment block.

    Has anyone got any input on self charging hybrids?

    Mod Edit: Title changed to reflect it's just a hybrid

    Post edited by liamog on



  • Registered Users Posts: 665 ✭✭✭goldenmick

    For what it's worth, a good friend of mine has recently bought a hybrid and swears it's the best thing since sliced bread. I can see the advantages, and very little downside, if any.

    Here's an article that will tell you a whole lot more....

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,200 ✭✭✭crisco10

    To me self charging hybrid, is just a a slightly less thirsty ICE.

    Ultimately all the energy is still coming from the ICE, and the battery is just a method of harvesting energy that would go to waste elsewhere.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,733 ✭✭✭zg3409

    Look at cost of car with and without hybrid. It might save you 10% on fuel costs. It will save nothing on longer trips. The Kona has a tiny boot, and small back seats so check out that too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,342 ✭✭✭✭HeidiHeidi

    Last year I trialled a Toyota CHR for a few days, all in Dublin.

    Even in rush hour traffic, it was almost impossible to keep it in battery mode. You'd want to be driving at absolutely snails pace to keep the engine off for any decent proportion of time.

    Which to me says, you're paying a hefty premium for the hybrid bit, without actually using it much.

    I thought for me, a 90% city driver, it would be ideal (i make a long trip to N Donegal a few times a year, so wouldn't fancy a full electric car, even if I could charge it at home or in work, which I can't) - but I quickly went right off the idea after that test drive!

    Now, I'm no expert, maybe there's better out there - but I've given up on the idea for now.

    Given the huge push towards electric, i wonder what the plan is for the thousands of us who have no option for charging other than at public points (no thanks!).

    But that's slightly by the way.

    For a rural dweller/ driver, I can't see any benefit of a self charging hybrid at all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,269 ✭✭✭Miscreant

    I don't regret for a single minute having owned a "Self Charging" hybrid. I had one for 8 years before moving to a PHEV and it was one of the most reliable cars I ever had. Around town it was very economical and used the electric motor a decent portion of the time (although it was not the 50% of the time quoted by some car manufacturers). On any long journeys, I was getting up to 60mpg and the long time average (over the 8 years) was just under 58mpg. Newer models would most likely be more efficient than this over time.

    You will get a lot of conversation in this Forum on how BEV is superior to all other tech and HEV and PHEV are only there for compliance reasons but at the end of the day, HEVs are more readily available, cheaper to purchase (new or second hand) and all come without the need to wait for a charger or have to plan a journey to take into account a charge stop/broken charger situation. If you are living in an apartment block without access to charging facilities then I would not be recommending a BEV or PHEV to you in any case.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭NickNickleby

    Bought a Toyota Corolla Hybrid this week. Only done about 100kms so far, but I was amazed at how much EV mode it did. Even on the motorway. I found a light touch on the accelerator coaxed the car into EV mode, although I'm aware that the battery will require the engine to run to charge it. I'm going to guess 40% EV so far - motorway and suburban. Because its like driving a computer, there's probably a way to get the stats but I need to sit down for a while (the user manual is crap) and get used to all the functions.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,989 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    Theres no such thing as self charging. Hybrids need either petrol or a plug to "charge"

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,342 ✭✭✭✭HeidiHeidi

    We all know what the OP is referring to, though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,124 ✭✭✭10-10-20

    One of the key components of a self-charging hybrid is the ability of the vehicle's ICE engine to power off and be eliminated from the highly inefficient tasks of idling and initial acceleration from a stop. Start-Stop technology 15 years ago initiated part of this but was annoying to use as it was required to be trigger-happy to keep the wait time for the engine restart low, and the engine was often left running anyway as it needed to power the cooling/heating systems. Hence why hybrid has any size foot in the door.

    So in my opinion, self-charging hybrid should be a stop-gap for city vehicles and should not be considered for medium to long distance vehicles due to the added weight of the battery, electric motor and limited gains from the stored electrical power.

  • Moderators, Arts Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 10,677 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hellrazer

    I agree - Self charging is complete and utter BS and they should be called out on it under false advertising laws.

    The amount of customers I have that think self charging hybrids dont need fuel or to be plugged in is ridiculous. They think self charging means exactly that - self charging so no fuel needed.

    They need to be taught basic physics.

    Sorry for the rant but it does my head in describing a hybrid as self charging!!!

    The law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed - only converted from one form of energy to another. This means that a system always has the same amount of energy, unless it's added from the outside

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,269 ✭✭✭Miscreant

    The "Self Charging" moniker was perpetuated by Toyota in this market so they definitely bear some of the responsibility here. If someone thinks their HEV does not need to be filled up with Petrol/Diesel, then that is the fault of whomever sold them the car TBH.

    Most people are not interested in the nuances of electrified powertrains, they do not want to know the difference between a Parallel or Series hybrids, what a PHEV is in comparison to a BEV, the ins and outs of when the electric motor is active or where the electricity comes from. All most people want to know is; will it get them from A to B without stopping and what absolutely needs to be done to keep the car on the road.

    Anyway, lets not get hung up on the whole Self Charging thing. The OP is asking if owning a Hybrid is a bad idea and I believe for ease of use and less headaches, then YES, they are worth owning.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,853 ✭✭✭BENDYBINN

    But when the car is traveling down the highway and belts are spinning surely it costs nothing extra to charge the battery ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,269 ✭✭✭Miscreant

    It will put a little more load on the engine and this will increase fuel consumption as a result. HEVs generally use the energy recuperation model instead where energy is harvested during coasting/braking.

    A PHEV, however, will generally have a function to charge the traction battery while driving but again, this will have a fuel penalty.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,853 ✭✭✭BENDYBINN

    So to charge a battery from 0 to full ( say 30km range) how much do you think the fuel penalty would be?

  • Moderators, Arts Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 10,677 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hellrazer

    Anyway, lets not get hung up on the whole Self Charging thing. The OP is asking if owning a Hybrid is a bad idea and I believe for ease of use and less headaches, then YES, they are worth owning.

    I agree they are worth owning- As a matter of fact I own a Honda Insight which I wouldnt change for anything. Its never missed a beat and Ive gotten 70+ mpg out of if when Ive put my mind to it!!! (Driving like a tortoise on the motorways!!!)

  • Registered Users Posts: 965 ✭✭✭boetstark

    I'm sorry now, I don't mean to insult you but what you are saying is bull. I have owned 3 phev bmws, two 330e with usable eV battery 7kwh and one 530e same battery. The most pure electric driving range is 16 to 20 km.

    And a corrolla with a 1.3kwh battery is giving you over 40% of your driving in electric, including motorways. Unless you have only covered 15 or 20 km in car since you got it.

    Putting **** like that on a forum can mislead potential car buyers

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭NickNickleby

    I expect the rude comment above was directed at me. I'll leave my post in situ as anyone with basic reading comprehension can understand the obvious unwritten caveats that would apply.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,989 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, so yes it does cost extra to recharge the battery.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,853 ✭✭✭BENDYBINN

    Yes, but how much? Does anybody know?

    Surely there is data somewhere on this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,269 ✭✭✭Miscreant

    So the poster who claimed 40% admitted to only having driven their car 100kms. Clearly you did not read their post fully before launching into that tirade! It is up to everyone to READ what is written and make a decision for themselves surely.

    I found it quite possible to operate up to 90% of a JOURNEY on battery alone when I had a Toyota hybrid. I could get from Leopardstown to Mount Street in Dublin City centre using pulse and glide in heavy traffic and not have the petrol engine come on for the majority of that journey. The same with visiting my parents 5kms away, I could do a very large proportion of that on the electric motor. You are not taking into account that a small ~1KWh battery will recuperate energy very quickly to be used again. On the motorway, I have also seen electric only mode in a HEV but it only lasts mere seconds at those speeds.

    As for only getting 15 to 20kms from your PHEV BMWs, then that is a different story altogether. I am driving a PHEV at the moment and get 55kms from an 8.5KWh battery so YMMV albeit my car is not a BMW.

    To answer @BENDYBINN in relation to how long it would take to charge a battery to 30kms and what the fuel penalty would be... I do not have exact times or figures on it but I have heard it can be up to a 10% penalty if you are charging the battery using the ICE while driving. How long that takes depends on a lot of factors. My 8.5KWh battery can be charged from 15% to 100% on the Motorway between Dublin and Galway, which takes about 2 hours, that is just my experience.

    This forum is getting more and more intolerant as time goes on and people need to wind their necks back in, take a deep breath and chill. It is a discussion forum where people can come, ask for advice and give/receive opinions. Blasting someone is not helpful at all.

    I'm tapping out of replying to posts on here for a while now as the attitudes on Boards have definitely deteriorated in the last year or so.

    End rant.......

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,809 ✭✭✭Old diesel

    My Sister in law is getting 60 to 70 mpg from a CHR in rural driving.

    Don't worry about it being in or not in EV mode.

    Let the car do its thing.

    Big advantage of Toyota Hybrids for me though isn't so much the fuel or environmental benefits.

    Its the fact that Toyota Hybrids are excellent for reliability and related hassle free motoring.

  • Registered Users Posts: 965 ✭✭✭boetstark

    Ah please stop with the exaggeration, people believe this rubbish.

    Do you live on top of a mountain. You have a hybrid with an 8.5kw. 85% of that is usable. That's the industry standard across all lithium ion eV batteries. So you tell us you get 55 kms from 7.22 kwh.

    That's 7.6km per kwh. The absolute best in class new tesla 3 gives 6.4 km per kwh, and thats in perfect conditions.

    What car exactly do you have, because everybody else buying other cars must be idiots.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,124 ✭✭✭10-10-20

    (corrected mistake in the maths)

    That's easy to estimate.

    If 30km = 9kWh, then it's 9kWh generated at an ICE efficiency of between 40% to 60% (as a parasitic load), so that's between 22.5kWh and 15kWh of equivalent power.

    And 1l of petrol has approximately 9.7kWh of energy, so that means between 2.31l and 1.55l of petrol, or between €2.06 and €3.36 at the pump.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,123 ✭✭✭sh81722

    Toyota says their engine thermal efficiency is up to 50%. If we say the engine/generator combo is on average 40% efficient thermally. Petrol contains about 32 MJ of energy per liter. 6 kWh worth of energy is 21.6 MJ and so you need:

    6 kWh is equivalent of 21.6/32 = 0.675 liters of petrol and with efficiency of 0.4 you get 1.7 liters of fuel required to fully charge the battery. Adjust the numbers based on the battery capacity.

    (Edit: Should have reloaded the page before posting but 10-10-20 came to a somewhat similar result)

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,269 ✭✭✭Miscreant

    Right, I am breaking my tapping out just to reply to this and I am not getting into a further discussion here about it.

    YES, I can get up to 55kms out of my PHEV battery. In fact, at times I have beaten that and got 59kms so it all depends on how it is driven. I do not live at the top of a mountain. Just because you are unable to get more than 20kms from your vehicle does not mean that someone else driving your car could not get more. You are welcome to look back at my old posts to see what car I drive, if you are genuinely interested.

    As for my other claims on the HEV, these are true as I experienced them routinely and I will challenge you to prove otherwise. Unless you have a time machine and can sit in the car beside me during those journeys, then you have no idea what you are ranting about.

    I am not a person who is prone to hyperbole or exaggeration. In my car owning years, I have regularly been able to meet or exceed the official fuel economy figures on most of the cars I have purchased and it is all down to technique.

    You are free to to believe me or not. Either way, I couldn't care less. I will continue to enjoy my decent fuel economy and leave you to do whatever it is you do.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭mordeith

    Hi OP,

    I'm not getting into the detail of some of posts above but I got a Corolla hybrid last year. Replaced an ageing A4. I also have a BMW i3. The corolla is a great car. I have the Luna Sport spec so nice to have that. EV mode kicks in all over the place, even sometimes at 120kph (albeit for a brief period). Around town I can keep it on battery for a long time if I'm gentle on the accelerator. I don't regret buying it and average around 58mpg.

    The only slight annoyance is the engine is a bit whiney when you accelerate hard.

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 7,970 Mod ✭✭✭✭liamog

    @Bipo generally I would ignore whether a car is a hybrid or not when looking to purchase a car without a plug.

    In practice it will make no difference to you. If you are comparing two cars look at the fuel economy and pick the car that you would like to buy. Whether the car achieves the stated economy by having a more efficient engine or a hybrid drivetrain doesn't really make a difference to your daily use.

  • Registered Users Posts: 500 ✭✭✭PaulJoseph22

    I have got 45 Km from a BMW 330e in full electric mode and the battery was still not empty.

  • Registered Users Posts: 965 ✭✭✭boetstark

    What year bmw because from 2019 the battery increases to 12 kwh. I'm referring to pre 2019

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  • Registered Users Posts: 500 ✭✭✭PaulJoseph22

    @boetstark 2021