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(Some Plug-in Guy)   Plug-in hybrids found to be better for the environment. Unless it's too hot. Or too cold. Or you use climate control. Or you accelerate too fast   (transportenvironment.org) divider line
    More: Obvious, Plug-in hybrid, Electric vehicle, Sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles, Hybrid vehicle, T&E, Julia Poliscanova, Hybrid electric vehicle, electric mode  
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583 clicks; posted to STEM » on 26 Nov 2020 at 6:29 PM (7 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-11-26 6:44:07 PM  
They are better for the environment.  And probably better for you wallet.  But not quite as good as the manufacturer claimed them to be.

In the US, the only thing you are allowed to claim are the official EPA numbers for mileage.  Anything else is prohibited federally.  Might have changed recently after Hyndai was sued for inflated EPA mileage (I *think* you can lowball EPA numbers, not sure).
 
2020-11-26 7:24:37 PM  
More pollution than advertised. Still less than almost every other form of transportation.
 
2020-11-26 8:00:33 PM  

snowjack: More pollution than advertised. Still less than almost every other form of transportation.


I think the issue at hand is that the EU has a carbon reduction schedule and these vehicles are an attempt by car manufacturers to game that system, by putting out stats that characterize PHEVs as a very-low-carbon class of vehicle when in actual use they're only marginally lower in carbon emissions than non-plugin hybrids.

I have a somewhat older plug-in Prius, and from a quick scan of the article, it seems the plug-in hybrids discussed there are similar to mine - they just can't go any appreciable distance in full-electric mode and tend to kick on the gasoline engine even before that's fully drained. It's nice to get at least some carbon out of the system, but it's kind of "Diet Coke instead of regular Coke with your Big Mac" level of improvement.
 
2020-11-26 8:33:03 PM  

Mithiwithi: snowjack: More pollution than advertised. Still less than almost every other form of transportation.

I think the issue at hand is that the EU has a carbon reduction schedule and these vehicles are an attempt by car manufacturers to game that system, by putting out stats that characterize PHEVs as a very-low-carbon class of vehicle when in actual use they're only marginally lower in carbon emissions than non-plugin hybrids.

I have a somewhat older plug-in Prius, and from a quick scan of the article, it seems the plug-in hybrids discussed there are similar to mine - they just can't go any appreciable distance in full-electric mode and tend to kick on the gasoline engine even before that's fully drained. It's nice to get at least some carbon out of the system, but it's kind of "Diet Coke instead of regular Coke with your Big Mac" level of improvement.


Agreed, but it depends on the distance driven.
 
2020-11-26 8:52:18 PM  
Gotta be honest. I have no idea how plug in hybrid "EPA" mileage numbers are calculated. I guess there is some baseline or algorithm and everyone competes, so the number means something. I don't know. Don't really care. Mixing the battery efficiency and the miles per gallon has got to be sketchy at best.  I have a Mitsubishi Outlander and the numbers I pay attention to are more or less how far I am getting on battery only. That distance has dropped over the years. I expected that. And then I pay attention to what my mileage is like AFTER the battery has .... pooped out.

Has somebody claimed more than they deliver? Of course they have. Probably Mitsubishi has too. Can it be a scandal if nobody is surprised? I think I got good value, and those concocted numbers were never important to me.

I encourage everyone to think of EVs, PHEVs, and HVs on a continuum, more or less, according to the battery size, and maybe range, with the "gas mileage" and "battery efficiency?" affecting those. If you think of the problem that way, you can probably get the notion after a while that there is a battery size that is just right for you. And it ain't 100 kWh. If you are driving cross country once a month, you probably want a Prius. A bigger battery is just that much more dead weight. If you drive 200 km pretty regularly, but less most of the time, then maybe a Bolt, or a Plug in Prius? If you drive around the city about 100 km per day, stop and go traffic, you want a LEAF, about 35 kWh, full electric. Anything more is a waste. When it comes right down to it, using batteries for high speed and long range is dumb. Just, why? Using ICE for short range and low speeds is dumb. Just, why?

A plug in hybrid is a special beast because you can choose your battery size to suit your driving, and not worry too much about it after that.

I forgot to charge up off peak last night, but I have to go out today on a 30 mile trip. This is actually my true situation today. I don't care. I will do it on gasoline rather than charge up using on-peak electricity. But usually I will make the trip on a full charge with no problem and use no gas at all. My laughably small, little 10 kWh battery is enough to handle all of my daily driving. It charges quickly and easily. And if I need to keep going, I get 56 mpg after the battery poops out. And it has 4 wheel drive. I can fit my stuff into it. So. OK.

Is it better than a hybrid? Yep. I charge two or three times a week. I fill my gas tank about three times a year. I use it as a putt putt EV. But I can take a long trip or take it skiing or to the beach too.

You see? All this EV stuff is not ideology for me. Am I a traitor for using gasoline? No. I drive on a battery 90% of the time, which is better than 97% of drivers on some "green" scale. Do I like hybrids? Of course. Love em. Hassle free driving. People who "can't be bothered" to save the planet will drive them too. If we just get rid of this idea that "one size fits all" or this idea that EVs are so great on so many dimensions that they will replace hybrids, then threads would be a lot more reasonable.

I think there is an EV or a hybrid out there for everyone. Everyone. People should pay more attention to what is going to be convenient and right for them. I don't conform to cars. Cars conform to me.
 
2020-11-26 9:03:59 PM  

yet_another_wumpus: They are better for the environment.  And probably better for you wallet.  But not quite as good as the manufacturer claimed them to be.

In the US, the only thing you are allowed to claim are the official EPA numbers for mileage.  Anything else is prohibited federally.  Might have changed recently after Hyndai was sued for inflated EPA mileage (I *think* you can lowball EPA numbers, not sure).


I seem to recall that there was a lot of controversy about plug in numbers. GM and its Volt probably set some kind of weird standard, and, as with any benchmark, someone came along and gamed it. And we were off to the races.

Plug ins are great for the environment. I think a lot of people drive them as EVs. Zero emissions. Like WOW! Isn't that the holy grail? And then after the EV function becomes impossible, they turn into a hybrid, which is still getting great mileage.
 
2020-11-26 9:08:10 PM  
I looked at a PHEV recently.

Had a local dealer in VA get allocated a Honda Clarity plug-in.  These aren't normally available outside CA so I took a look.  It as actually pretty decent.  I think the sticker was around 37k before the dealer's stupid markups (Nitrogen, pinstripes, etc.) and is eligible for the full $7500 tax credit.  The thing drove pretty well and I understood that unless you really throttled it, the 180 or so HP of the traction motor was sufficient to keep the engine from kicking in.

Couldn't get the wife to go along with it.  Kinda disappointed to be honest, though the used prices for these suggest brutal depreciation.
 
2020-11-26 9:18:55 PM  

snowjack: More pollution than advertised. Still less than almost every other form of transportation.


Well. More pollution according to some assumptions. Or some algorithm. As I have said in response to other comments, if people are driving a plug in as an EV, then they have no emissions at all.

And one is left to wonder. Who would buy a plug in and then never charge it? Or constantly exceed the battery range? Do people do that? Plug ins are not for brain dead people.

I have so much functionality. I can push a button to force full battery or full ICE, or both. 4WD or not. Gear up or down and go battery on or off for mountain driving. Paddles for multiple levels of regenerative braking. I can recharge my battery from ICE while driving. Not cheap, but doable. This was all standard many years ago.

I don't know. Someone has an algorithm and a benchmark that supposedly represents how an average user drives, or whatever. I am skeptical that it can reflect all of the modes people are likely to use. And I expect that people who bought plug ins are optimizers, not satisficers.
 
2020-11-26 9:36:47 PM  

FaygoMaster: I looked at a PHEV recently.

Had a local dealer in VA get allocated a Honda Clarity plug-in.  These aren't normally available outside CA so I took a look.  It as actually pretty decent.  I think the sticker was around 37k before the dealer's stupid markups (Nitrogen, pinstripes, etc.) and is eligible for the full $7500 tax credit.  The thing drove pretty well and I understood that unless you really throttled it, the 180 or so HP of the traction motor was sufficient to keep the engine from kicking in.

Couldn't get the wife to go along with it.  Kinda disappointed to be honest, though the used prices for these suggest brutal depreciation.


Too bad. 37k new is good? With 7.5k hacked off of that, it sounds good, frankly.

The deal with acceleration is that if you are in EV and stomp on the accelerator, you will get a lot of speed very quickly from the battery. (That is the Tesla ooh and ahh acceleration.) The ICE also kicks in on mine to give power from both the ICE and the battery. So it is basically an EV. When I was driving yesterday, I had a fast lane change dodge and weave maneuver where the ICE kicked in. That was pretty well it for a whole day of driving. I used the heater for a bit, so I turned on the ICE. It heats and charges the battery at the same time. I was doing some hills then too, so it was all good.

No comment on the USED prices. People are talking on this site about cheap used LEAFs and hybrids and now plug in hybrids. Sounds like there are a lot of bargains in the US. Or maybe people have been beating the hell out of them. Who knows? I guess one might find that "the larger the battery, the more drastically the price falls" for many vehicles. It represents an unknown for a lot of people.

I will probably wind up getting a used plug in one of these days.
 
2020-11-26 9:39:53 PM  

FaygoMaster: I looked at a PHEV recently.

Had a local dealer in VA get allocated a Honda Clarity plug-in.  These aren't normally available outside CA so I took a look.  It as actually pretty decent.  I think the sticker was around 37k before the dealer's stupid markups (Nitrogen, pinstripes, etc.) and is eligible for the full $7500 tax credit.  The thing drove pretty well and I understood that unless you really throttled it, the 180 or so HP of the traction motor was sufficient to keep the engine from kicking in.

Couldn't get the wife to go along with it.  Kinda disappointed to be honest, though the used prices for these suggest brutal depreciation.


We've owned a Clarity for a little over two years now (wife's car). I think I put gas in it every four months. The thing is a space shuttle. You can be engaged or nonchalant about regen, drive usage, and efficiency as you want. On pure gas, it still gets 40 mpg.
 
2020-11-26 9:53:22 PM  
FFS just put a wind turbine on top, charge the battery as you go.
Duh.
 
2020-11-26 10:13:53 PM  

2fardownthread: I get 56 mpg after the battery poops out


I call shenanigans on that number.

I know you hate BEVs, but are you at all interested now that the Japanese government is getting serious about them? A new ¥800,000 direct deposit subsidy for BEV buyers on green tariffs was announced the other day.
 
2020-11-26 11:31:51 PM  

Likwit: 2fardownthread: I get 56 mpg after the battery poops out

I call shenanigans on that number.

I know you hate BEVs, but are you at all interested now that the Japanese government is getting serious about them? A new ¥800,000 direct deposit subsidy for BEV buyers on green tariffs was announced the other day.


Just call me a liar and get it over with, Mr. Disingenuous.

24 km/l. That is about the default for what I get. I get 22 to about 25. The readout seems to gravitate to 24 ish is my recollection. Why would I lie? To score points with big oil? To sell cars? What possible motive would I have to lie here, anonymously? Really? What is really going to cook your noodle is my old Toyota, pre-hybrid, but with weight reduction and wind resistance technologies. It gets 40 mpg highway. Somehow, nobody believes that.

But how do I get 56 mpg? Well, that is what I get after my battery goes to zero. It then starts automatically recording my gas mileage data. My car functions as a hybrid, so  I still have regenerative braking, some downhill charging, but mostly level driving, and to be perfectly honest, Japanese speeds. The speed limit on most city roads is 60 km/h, and residential streets are 30 to 40 km/h. I think there is your problem. I do not exceed speed limits, so I can do 56 mpg with a ski rack. The US has much higher speeds. I KNOW my mileage would be worse in the US. So what should I say? "It is what it is."

As far as hating BEVs,  as I explained above, I have no reason to hate EVs. I drive an EV most of the time. If there is a subsidy of 7500 bucks or so in Japan, well. I guess that is nice. Usually the way it works is that some of that gets captured by the retailer, and of course it is only new vehicles. Then there is the restriction that you have to pay it back if you sell the vehicle within 6 years. I guess a NEW LEAF... would be in the low to mid 20k region? That seems pretty sweet.

That rebate for NEW BEVs might depress prices for used vehicles.  The most exciting thing I have heard recently is the apparent low prices for second hand BEVs. As you know, I have all the infrastructure for a BEV, and I am willing to accept some risk to get one because I can charge it "for free".

You know. I really DO see EVs, PHEVs, and HVs on a spectrum like that. Most of my driving is EV type driving, but I can only have one car (theoretically) so I want to have it be hybrid too so I can ski and travel every once in a while. I suppose my life could be organized differently to have one full EV and a hybrid. I don't think it would be a big improvement.
 
2020-11-26 11:50:47 PM  

Fourstring: FaygoMaster: I looked at a PHEV recently.

Had a local dealer in VA get allocated a Honda Clarity plug-in.  These aren't normally available outside CA so I took a look.  It as actually pretty decent.  I think the sticker was around 37k before the dealer's stupid markups (Nitrogen, pinstripes, etc.) and is eligible for the full $7500 tax credit.  The thing drove pretty well and I understood that unless you really throttled it, the 180 or so HP of the traction motor was sufficient to keep the engine from kicking in.

Couldn't get the wife to go along with it.  Kinda disappointed to be honest, though the used prices for these suggest brutal depreciation.

We've owned a Clarity for a little over two years now (wife's car). I think I put gas in it every four months. The thing is a space shuttle. You can be engaged or nonchalant about regen, drive usage, and efficiency as you want. On pure gas, it still gets 40 mpg.


Just. Yes. This. It is a very giving and forgiving technology.

It can be as much of a hypermiler rabbit hole as you want, or you can just drive it as.... a car. My Outlander has these modes by which you adjust for eco or normal driving. I just stay in eco, which does switching to and from the ICE differently, or something. You can save battery power by avoiding battery use, OR you can recharge it instead of using power to the wheels. Of course you can use momentum down hills to regenerative brake, or you can just use the kinetic and build up speed. You can check your data and your ratios. You can make your driving experience into one big dynamic optimization problem...

Or you can just let your kid drive it.
 
2020-11-26 11:53:47 PM  

snowjack: More pollution than advertised. Still less than almost every other form of transportation.


You know what would save an awful lot of energy? If we just didn't move so many things around, so far.
I don't think another product is going to fix that. Ever.
 
2020-11-26 11:56:06 PM  

2fardownthread: Likwit: 2fardownthread: I get 56 mpg after the battery poops out

I call shenanigans on that number.

I know you hate BEVs, but are you at all interested now that the Japanese government is getting serious about them? A new ¥800,000 direct deposit subsidy for BEV buyers on green tariffs was announced the other day.

Just call me a liar and get it over with, Mr. Disingenuous.

24 km/l. That is about the default for what I get. I get 22 to about 25. The readout seems to gravitate to 24 ish is my recollection. Why would I lie? To score points with big oil? To sell cars? What possible motive would I have to lie here, anonymously? Really? What is really going to cook your noodle is my old Toyota, pre-hybrid, but with weight reduction and wind resistance technologies. It gets 40 mpg highway. Somehow, nobody believes that.

But how do I get 56 mpg? Well, that is what I get after my battery goes to zero. It then starts automatically recording my gas mileage data. My car functions as a hybrid, so  I still have regenerative braking, some downhill charging, but mostly level driving, and to be perfectly honest, Japanese speeds. The speed limit on most city roads is 60 km/h, and residential streets are 30 to 40 km/h. I think there is your problem. I do not exceed speed limits, so I can do 56 mpg with a ski rack. The US has much higher speeds. I KNOW my mileage would be worse in the US. So what should I say? "It is what it is."

As far as hating BEVs,  as I explained above, I have no reason to hate EVs. I drive an EV most of the time. If there is a subsidy of 7500 bucks or so in Japan, well. I guess that is nice. Usually the way it works is that some of that gets captured by the retailer, and of course it is only new vehicles. Then there is the restriction that you have to pay it back if you sell the vehicle within 6 years. I guess a NEW LEAF... would be in the low to mid 20k region? That seems pretty sweet.

That rebate for NEW BEVs might depress prices for used vehicles.  The most exciting thing I have heard recently is the apparent low prices for second hand BEVs. As you know, I have all the infrastructure for a BEV, and I am willing to accept some risk to get one because I can charge it "for free".

You know. I really DO see EVs, PHEVs, and HVs on a spectrum like that. Most of my driving is EV type driving, but I can only have one car (theoretically) so I want to have it be hybrid too so I can ski and travel every once in a while. I suppose my life could be organized differently to have one full EV and a hybrid. I don't think it would be a big improvement.


I'm not trying to call you a liar. I just can't imagine an Outlander has a real-world range that's essentially the same as the advertised mileage figures for much smaller hybrids like the Aqua, FIT, or Note e-Power. I figured you were just quoting the brochure.

The subsidy can't be captured by the dealership if you buy a Tesla 😉 Also, the reason that secondhand BEV prices are so low in Japan is because the vast majority of them are Nissans and Mitsubishis. Small batteries with no temperature management means the degradation is out of control. Buying a used Japanese BEV is a crapshoot at best and burning money at worst.
 
2020-11-27 12:28:08 AM  

2fardownthread: Gotta be honest. I have no idea how plug in hybrid "EPA" mileage numbers are calculated. I guess there is some baseline or algorithm and everyone competes, so the number means something. I don't know. Don't really care. Mixing the battery efficiency and the miles per gallon has got to be sketchy at best.  I have a Mitsubishi Outlander and the numbers I pay attention to are more or less how far I am getting on battery only. That distance has dropped over the years. I expected that. And then I pay attention to what my mileage is like AFTER the battery has .... pooped out.

Has somebody claimed more than they deliver? Of course they have. Probably Mitsubishi has too. Can it be a scandal if nobody is surprised? I think I got good value, and those concocted numbers were never important to me.

I encourage everyone to think of EVs, PHEVs, and HVs on a continuum, more or less, according to the battery size, and maybe range, with the "gas mileage" and "battery efficiency?" affecting those. If you think of the problem that way, you can probably get the notion after a while that there is a battery size that is just right for you. And it ain't 100 kWh. If you are driving cross country once a month, you probably want a Prius. A bigger battery is just that much more dead weight. If you drive 200 km pretty regularly, but less most of the time, then maybe a Bolt, or a Plug in Prius? If you drive around the city about 100 km per day, stop and go traffic, you want a LEAF, about 35 kWh, full electric. Anything more is a waste. When it comes right down to it, using batteries for high speed and long range is dumb. Just, why? Using ICE for short range and low speeds is dumb. Just, why?

A plug in hybrid is a special beast because you can choose your battery size to suit your driving, and not worry too much about it after that.

I forgot to charge up off peak last night, but I have to go out today on a 30 mile trip. This is actually my true situation today. I don't care. I will do it on gasoline rather than charge up using on-peak electricity. But usually I will make the trip on a full charge with no problem and use no gas at all. My laughably small, little 10 kWh battery is enough to handle all of my daily driving. It charges quickly and easily. And if I need to keep going, I get 56 mpg after the battery poops out. And it has 4 wheel drive. I can fit my stuff into it. So. OK.

Is it better than a hybrid? Yep. I charge two or three times a week. I fill my gas tank about three times a year. I use it as a putt putt EV. But I can take a long trip or take it skiing or to the beach too.

You see? All this EV stuff is not ideology for me. Am I a traitor for using gasoline? No. I drive on a battery 90% of the time, which is better than 97% of drivers on some "green" scale. Do I like hybrids? Of course. Love em. Hassle free driving. People who "can't be bothered" to save the planet will drive them too. If we just get rid of this idea that "one size fits all" or this idea that EVs are so great on so many dimensions that they will replace hybrids, then threads would be a lot more reasonable.

I think there is an EV or a hybrid out there for everyone. Everyone. People should pay more attention to what is going to be convenient and right for them. I don't conform to cars. Cars conform to me.


What I hate about ICEs is the waste. The maintenance. All the mechanical stuff they nickel and dime you on. Sure you can't get away from it altogether, you'll always need tires and brake work, but let me tell you what, after driving trucks for the better part of a decade I never ever want to sit in a repair shop again once I'm off the road. The fewer fluids and belts and fuel injectors and seals and hoses and stuff like that, the better. Every component of every car represents a HUGE amount of work that you don't see. Exhaust systems... my god I have driven exhaust components so many miles. Pick up one thing in Huntsville, take it to Nebraska, load from there going to Louisville, from there to Kansas City...  Dunno where they end up, maybe the Claycomo Ford plant. Huge plants, incredible logistics systems and especially with catalytic converters, only a few pallets on a single truck because insurance will only cover $5 million and gold, platinum and palladium impregnated stuff reaches that real quick.

People need to see what goes into building a ICE drive train, how many acres of industrial plants are involved for engine, transmission and exhaust systems, and how many parts go bouncing around North America, and how much energy it all takes both in fuel and grid.

Granted, I haven't seen any places that make the electric counterparts. But one conclusion might be that the supply chains are far smaller for them. Certainly you don't have Tenneco expediting exhaust systems all over for EVs.
 
2020-11-27 2:08:04 AM  
I haven't been in a Prius in years, but when I was, it was in Phoenix in July. The AC could not keep up with the heat. I'm not buying anything that can't can't cool down when you're driving it. I wonder how a Tesla would do.
 
2020-11-27 2:22:32 AM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: I haven't been in a Prius in years, but when I was, it was in Phoenix in July. The AC could not keep up with the heat. I'm not buying anything that can't can't cool down when you're driving it. I wonder how a Tesla would do.


I don't know how current Teslas are, but the early Model S had a hard time cooling the back of the cabin. Now that they're being outfitted with heat pumps it should be fine. The AC system in my LEAF is life-alteringly good. And the fact that you can turn it on remotely is just... amazing. Going back to a warm car with seat heaters and a warm steering wheel turns you into a giant wuss in the winter.
 
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