Plug in hybrids

Mark Irwin

RMS Regular
Location
Dungannon
Drives
Mk1 Golf GTI
I know this can be a bit controversial but as mine always uses electric to drive the wheels thought I would sneak it in here.

Been driving a Vauxhall Ampera plug in hybrid for the last 2 years now and have to say it is one of the most amazing vehicles I have ever owned. After being a petrol head all my life (and still have my mk1 & mk2 golfs) what this car can actually do in the real world is phenomenal - over the last 35000 miles it has averaged 335 mpg as most of it has been on electric and only about 4k or so on petrol generating the electrons. I reckon it is saving me 2.5 - 3 k per year on fuel and tax costs in addition to having the performance of an old 205 GTI. Add this to being able to heat or cool the car remotely via the key fob means that you never have to get into an icy car on a frosty morning or a roasting car during the summer. It also looks pretty cool, has a 30 gb hard drive, reversing camera, Bose sound system, sat nav, heated seats, cruise and lots of other cool stuff. Understand that it will not appeal to everyone but it is genuinely enjoyable to drive with 273 lbs of torque from zero revs so getting away from the lights is a breeze.
 

stevieturbo

RMS Regular
Location
Antrim
Drives
Old Ford
But in order to achieve economy....you need to always do short journeys, so you can plug it in at each end ?

If you were to drive to say Dublin and back for a day trip....you arent going to see anywhere near that claimed mpg ?
 

Apis

RMS Regular
Location
NW
Drives
various
The EV snobs hate us, but the thought of a hybrid intrigued me, especially plug ins. The "self-charging" ones like the Toyotas didn't have the same appeal.

I'd thought about the Ampera but I went for the Outlander PHEV instead because I preferred the higher loading boot, SUV, 4x4, etc.
It's performance and handling is dull but it's great for what I do; 12 miles each way commute, the odd practical job over rough roads, roof rack, 4x4, dog in the back, and an occasional longer trip. The wifi phone app/heater timer is nice and I love the 360deg cameras for parking or hooking up the trailer. It tows very well and torque from standstill is brilliant, but the official limit is only 1500kg.
I'm typically doing between 70-150mpg. If I do a long run/motorway where it uses the engine more, it drops to around 38-50mpg.

In Japan they already have car to house reverse chargers, so the PHEV can be used as a power source in times of natural disasters.
Here's an interesting article..

Mitsubishi Gears Up To Provide PHEVs When Disasters Occur In Japan
 

svensktoppen

RMS Regular
Drives
S3, Elise
The Outlander is a great real world car, you'll enjoy it for what you need šŸ‘Œ

Had a Forester rental this summer and it was brilliant, a real positive surprise. Not a PHEV, just the petrol. Exactly as you describe above, lol - not the most dynamic of cars, cough, but superbly comfortable and practical. Fully loaded even in rental spec. Did everything asked of it. Did nearly 4000 miles in two weeks and it was great.
 
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leek9

RMS Regular
Location
Gortin
have been keeping an eye on GTE Golf prices but i car share so only drive to work once a week usually (23miles)

The car should be able to do it on electric power alone in ideal conditions and hyper-miling but not sure i would see the benefit

currently getting low 60's to the gallon in a VW diesel.
 

Boydie

RMS Regular
Location
Co.Antrim
Drives
Audi S3 8V Revo
If travelling to Dublin and back to Belfast, would it be beneficial?
Would you need to look at the likes of Tesla for that larger mile capacity?
 

svensktoppen

RMS Regular
Drives
S3, Elise
If travelling to Dublin and back to Belfast, would it be beneficial?
Would you need to look at the likes of Tesla for that larger mile capacity?
A plugin hybrid would be all but pointless on a long commute like that. You'd be running the petrol engine most of the way. Their main attraction is short journeys, avoiding inner city congestion charges, etc.

For pure EV, realistically expect to get 2/3 of the "official" miles for any car.

The numbers are more realistic than before but still optimistic. You will use the heater in winter and air-con in summer, you will use lights and radio and all the rest of it. You're not going to run it from 100% to zero between every charge. And the range will reduce gradually over time as the batteries deteriorate (though not the cliff-edge you get with phone batteries).

The bulk of a Belfast-Dublin commute would be almost all at motorway speeds which probably reduces the range a little as well, although it's constant speed which is good.

An official 200 mile range should do Dublin no bother if you are sure to be able to recharge at either end. Plenty of options coming up with that range.

Going there and back would probably be borderline even with a 300 mile range. Fewer options at 300 miles, and they're not the cheap ones.

Do the maths with the higher ownership costs (monthly payments, etc.) v. lower running costs (fuel/electricity, etc.). Just depends as usual.
 

Apis

RMS Regular
Location
NW
Drives
various
If travelling to Dublin and back to Belfast, would it be beneficial?
Would you need to look at the likes of Tesla for that larger mile capacity?
Better with a diesel. A PHEV would be a disadvantage. I suppose a Tesla would be good for this and I see there are some Tesla chargers at the service station north of Dublin if you were running short.
 
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