Had to hand my old corolla into a main dealer recently and was given a
courtesy car, a new automatic Yaris hybrid for the day.
The petrol gauge was just above empty, so since i had a little running
around to do that day; I collected my five litre petrol can to put in
When handing the car back i told them i had taken the can with me
because of where the petrol gauge was.
Three of them gave me very knowing smiles and said: "its electric sir
you only need petrol to charge the battery ".
When i asked how far this new Yaris would run if it had used all the
petrol, none of them knew.
Any idea anyone?
I'm not sure I understand the logic in Toyota's statement "Although our
full-Hybrids are designed to operate in electric-only modes, they have not
been designed to run without petrol. Doing so could cause severe damage to
the Hybrid system." Clearly the batteries and motor are powerful enough to
be the only form of propulsion (eg in towns where pollution is more of a
problem), so what's the big deal about running out of petrol It's only doing
the same as normal electric-only mode: running without the petrol engine.
Obviously you need to limit how far you drive like this before filling up,
to avoid flattening the battery, but I presume there is an estimated range
which takes account of current battery charge and current petrol level, and
adds the two together, making any adjustments as petrol is burned to top up
the battery, or as the battery is discharged in no-petrol zones.
I presume if you are calculating mpg figures you need to average over
several tank-fillings to take into account that the battery may be in a
different state of charge on each occasion that you fill the tank, and to
minimise the effect of any differences in charge on the mpg calculations.
My spreadsheet graphs the fill-to-fill MPG, the long term MPG (since
vehicle purchase) and the average of the last five fillings MPG.
Since one can only go a mile or so on the battery, I suspect the state
of charge at fill time has little effect on the figures.
"It is hard to imagine a more stupid decision or more dangerous way of
making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people
Is this for real?? Only a mile on battery?? WTF
Surely you want enough electric propulsion to get you to a filling
station of being green, through a town and out the other side.
I cant really see how there can be much saving in running costs
A bit of saving on regenerative braking and maybe a bit more smoothing
out engine demand I suppose.
Absolutely correct. I had assumed a greater proportion of electric power
capacity, the possibility of home charging and a "get you out of
trouble" petrol engine.
To be honest, never really looked at them before and now I have a vague
interest with the possible fossil fuel vehicle ban in the future.
Is there a name for the technology nearer to what I described? I just
don't feel I could ever be comfortable with purely battery power with
the risk of running flat on a journey, or touring holidays which we
What you're saying is a car where the main motive force is the
battery/motor with a small petrol engine to recharge efficiently as you
go along (range increaser). That doesn't seem to be the main focus of
manufacturers at the minute.
"What causes poverty?" Wrong question. Poverty is our primordial state. The
real question is, "What causes wealth?"
Yes that is about it Tim.
Maybe manufacturers will take more of an interest as the fossil fuel
only vehicle ban becomes more definite unless a battery swap or near
instant charge method can approach what we are used to at a filling station.
Eg 5 minute pause off the road extends range by 500 miles.
There's all these folk touting electric cars but without examining the
charging requirements. There was one such on Twitter I saw yesterday.
What was amusing was the response (which unfortunately I didn't keep)
of a sensible person. He was talking about next gen cars with 700 mile
range. Unfortunately that would take 3.5 days to charge up at home
using an ordinary 13A connection. Or faster at a station, but you'd be
plugging in a cable that had 1000V or more on it, or at a lower voltage
a cable which would have to pass 400A which you'd have trouble lifting.
I could pump 50 litres of diesel into my old C4 in about a couple of
minutes. The 50 litres is about 500KWh of energy. At 10 amps I'd need
50kV for an hour. Even at 100A I'd need 50kV for 6 minutes.
There's no magic here, what is being exposed is the reason why the
internal combustion engine for personal transport has been where it's
at for the last 100 years and electric power nowhere.
"If you're not able to ask questions and deal with the answers without feeling
that someone has called your intelligence or competence into question, don't
As an earlier poster commented: "we have not progressed an enormous
amount" - and the limitation is battery technology.
However the imperatives to minimise pollution and reduce reliance on
fossil fuels will give the incentive to alter the way we use cars.
... this indicates that a large proportion of journeys are very short -
to quote: "95 percent of them travelled less than 40 miles to work, with
the average commute distance being 13.6 miles". Earlier in the same
piece: "The average single-trip distance? Just 5.95 miles".
An all-electric car is ideally suited to such distances. Further,
charging can be either at home or the place of work. The non-continuous
nature of renewable sources such as solar, wind, and tide can be
accommodated because the car already contains the necessary storage battery.
What this doesn't address is congestion. Mass transit can help with
that but the long-term solution will be to remove the need for travel.
Longer journeys are more of a challenge. Trains are good for one person
travelling, and the the option would be to have an electric vehicle to
hire at the destination station. But the electricity for trains is more
likely to come from fossil sources. Here again the solution will be to
remove the need for travel. The concept of commuting long distances to
work is silly, anyway.
Irrespective of the battery technology you need to put in phenomenal amounts
of electrical energy, which means dangerously high charging voltages or
current that needs very thick cables - or a combination of the two. 500 kWhr
delivered in 5 mins is 6 MW - how the hell do we solve the problem of
delivering electrical energy at that rate
That's why you need either a swappable pre-charged battery or else an
on-board generator powered by an IC engine if you want to avoid the very
long charging times.
When electric cars can match my present car, which has a range of 700 miles
on 60 litres of diesel, and I can replenish that 700 miles range in a few
minutes, then pure-electric cars will be a viable alternative. Until then,
you have to make sacrifices:
- have two cars (petrol/diesel for long journeys, mainly avoiding congested
town/city centres, and electric for shorter journeys into town)
- use public transport for longer journeys and hire a car locally when you
go on holiday for touring (this is not feasible if you want to take bikes or
lots of luggage)
- charge the car overnight or while you're at work, and live with the fact
that you cannot travel more than 100 miles or so (on current technology)
before you need to repeat this palaver.
So you need a hybrid or else a car with a fuel cell - either way, to convert
very "compact" energy of something like petrol/diesel or compressed gas
(LPG, hydrogen) into motion (via electricity).
I hope the government has correctly predicted the rate at which technology
will progress in the next 20 years, or there is going to be a very
pissed-off population who have to accept a drastic reduction in standard of
living (live closer to work or at least to public transport, no long
holidays touring around).
The fundamental issue with fuel cell technology is that there isn't a
single dealer on the whole planet that can service the hydrogen fuel
system and the fuel cell.
Not only that but the RAC/AA/Greenflag can't do anything with them
either. Just put it on trailer and take it to the maker.
There will never be a lower cost non-franchise service option and the
only way of getting FCV will be on lease from the maker. That makes them
worthless on the 3rd hand market.
I'm not entirely convinced the problem of 'repairing' batteries in
either all electric or even hybrid cars is entirely fixed.
We are in the process of looking at a replacement car. We started
looking at the Tesla 4x4. Two things convinced us it was a non-starter
(no pun intended). One was the concern of getting stuck being unable to
recharge it. The other was the battery/batteries seem to be so 'buried'
in the vehicle that replacement / repair would seem to be either
extremely difficult to impossible. In other respects, the claimed
reliability seemed extremely impressive but, with a 'dead' battery, it
is just a pile of junk.
We are currently looking at a couple of hybrids- a Merc and the
Outlander. At the moment I'm in the early stages but the Outlander at
least has a long warranty on the batteries (8 years for 70%) plus you
have the petrol engine at worst. The Merc warranty is much less
'impressive', as is the performance- at least on paper.
We tend to keep our cars a long time, we buy one we like and 'get
comfortable with it'- our current 4x4 is 11 years old and, having been
'looked after' will last several more years I am sure if we want it to-
not least as he have several vehicles.
I work for what was a traditional oil company - but is now a provider of
'integrated energy solutions'... we have investments in hydrogen and
electric as well as fossil fuels.
The big, big challenge with electric cars is behavioural patterns.
Most people get range anxiety when they see the fuel light flashing -
the reality is that this is enough to take you 40-50 miles. With the
current state of play regarding home charging and battery capacity, a
Nissan Leaf or similar is at 50% charge with that kind of range showing.
In order to balance demand, we're expecting consumers to be happy to
jump in a car with only 40-50 miles range without worrying about it.
Most people are getting range anxiety at this point.
And that's not taking into account the fact that people like to know
they can make an 'emergency' long trip at short notice if they have to.
It only takes one incident of not having enough charge to get to visit a
relative on death's door or not being able to take a beloved pet to the
vet for people to get into a really negative place with regards to
vehicles that cannot be 'recharged' in a few minutes at the local
And where's the sense in carrying half a tonne of batteries just to
drive a few miles to work and back? Remember, that half tonne is there
all the time, doesn't matter if you have 200 miles or 2 miles range, you
still carry it.
Hydrogen seems sensible - you can make it on site (yes, you need a big
electric cable - but so does a forecourt of charging stations) - you can
fill a lightweight kevlar / carbon tank in minutes and get 500 miles of
driving with only water / steam as the tailpipe emmissions. The beauty
here is that you can produce a hydrogen and battery version of the same
car with minimal changes (swap batteries for a fuel cell and tank - the
propultion method is the same) - so you can serve 2 markets with the
same base vehicle.
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