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Hybrids–The Real Running Cost

July 15, 2018

By Paul Homewood

 

There has been some debate about fuel efficiency in hybrids, so I am reposting this road test in the Express last year about the new Volvo XC60 Hybrid

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It contained the usual glowing comments that most expensive cars get, but it did contain this criticism:

 

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Given that the hybrid cost about £9000 more than its diesel equivalent, which has a spec of 49.6 mpg, it hardly offers value for money. I guess that the sort of people who would be prepared to fork out £56000 for one might not regard that as a problem though.

More to the point though, the government is banking on hybrids to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. If this Volvo is typical of the breed, hybrids may not make as much difference as our glorious leaders hope!

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57 Comments
  1. Adrian permalink
    July 15, 2018 6:02 pm

    Yeeeeee, I was right.

    Usually am!

  2. July 15, 2018 6:02 pm

    It is the same old problem which the green blob refuses to acknowledge. – Thermodynamic Law prevails whatever tricks are used to ignore it.

    Mind you I like the concept of hybrid as it should enable use of electric power in dense traffic and urban conditions. to reduce pollution. However it does mean you have to lug all that extra gear around on the open road while having to recharge.

    Incidentally my 1987 250D Mercedes gets a better mpg than this Volvo, whatever Big Brother tells us. A modern diesel knocks the sox of this; but suffers from rapid electronic obsolescence which is very CO2 creative.

    Does anyone know what the carbon footprint will be due to the scrapping of our current ICE fleet of vehicles.? My mind boggles at the thought; but do not worry as I am a fan of CO2.

    Meanwhile I will stick with my old Merc. expect will go belly up before she does and watch all those modern cars being scrapped on the altar of CO2 virtue.

    • richard verney permalink
      July 16, 2018 8:57 am

      I have an old BMW 330 d M Sport cabriolet. I reset the computer when I bought the car, and it shows that the consumption over 5 years is 39.8 mpg.

      The car has predominately been used in what I would call light urban use, ie., about 95% of usage in and around a small town, with only rare use in rush hour traffic, and about 5% long distance dual carriage way use.

      If the government wanted to reduce CO2, it would encourage owners to use old cars, and not to scrap cars until they are about 25 years old. If there are to be incentives they would be better directed at keeping old cars on the road since a lot of CO2 is used in the manufacturing of cars, and this more than offsets the savings by slightly more efficient engine technology/hybrid technology of a new car.

      • July 16, 2018 12:04 pm

        Well said richard. My first Merc. did 856,000 miles at about 40 mpg. Died due to corrosion. My current (1987) one has a mere 166,000 on the clock and being auto only gets about 37 mpg. I expect to go belly up before this one does.
        Both will have removed the need to produce probably two or three cars with the associated carbon footprint involved.
        You have a very valid point.

  3. Stonyground permalink
    July 15, 2018 6:53 pm

    My old Saab 9-3 estate did around 45 – 50 mpg and had a range of 600 miles. It had done 140,000 miles when the gearbox died.

    My current car is a Ssang Yong Korando. Two litre intercooled turbo diesel. Massive load carrying capacity, massive torque and amazing performance, mpg in the low forties.

    The gulf between the claimed mpg and reality in the Volvo road test is highly risible.

    • dave permalink
      July 15, 2018 7:57 pm

      “…from £56,850…”

      Why would any rational person at present pay more than £1,000, when that is all you need for a “good, safe, economical runner”?

      • richard verney permalink
        July 16, 2018 9:02 am

        I think that your £1,000 is a little low, but around £5,000 to £7,000 would buy you a good runner.

        Think of the depreciation on a new car. A very good 2nd hand car can be bought for the equivalent of the 1st year depreciation on a new car!

        From the economic aspect, one would have to be crazy to buy a new car.

  4. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 15, 2018 7:46 pm

    The BMW i8 is similar. It qualified for all sorts of government subsidies/discounts etc. Claimed super-car performance and 134.5mpg, long term road-test reality – 39mpg, many owners report considerably less.

  5. Charles Wardrop permalink
    July 15, 2018 8:43 pm

    Governmental policy ignorance and stupidity, to realms of insanity.
    Are they not able to employ knowledge with wisdom?
    Gullible fools, overpaid and fit only for hewing wood and drawing water, which would be useful more by far than their activities now.

  6. Dave Ward permalink
    July 15, 2018 8:46 pm

    Given that this sort of car is popular with the caravan and horse box towing fraternity, I shudder to think what the fuel consumption will be once that short term electric “boost” has been used up! Imagine dragging a ton or two (plus the weight of all that clever electrickery) up a long hill in the North of the UK…

  7. July 15, 2018 9:44 pm

    I am a self-confessed petrol-head. I was reading an excellent article in one of my classic car magazines about cars built in 1895. There were three types of engine available then; steam (using fuel of coal or wood), internal combustion (using petrol) and electric (using rechargeable lead/sulphuric acid batteries). Steam power never made it through to the 20th century, because the fire to boil the water to produce the steam had to be lit an hour before the car could be used. The internal combustion engine then as now, did not have this drawback, but it was never popular with women because at the time the electric starter motor had not been invented. A starting handle had to be inserted into the crankshaft and turned fast enough to bring the engine to life. This process required strength and quick reflexes to prevent wrist and arm fractures, because the starting handle had to be removed the instant the engine was running.This is the sole reason the electric car was popular with women. Once electric starter motors were invented and incorporated in cars, the electric car fell out of favour too. In 1903 an electric starter motor was patented, in 1912 Cadillac built the first petrol driven, electrically cranked car. Women no longer bought electric cars because petrol was getting cheaper, petrol stations were getting more numerous and and refuelling could be achieved in minutes, as opposed to hours for electric vehicles. The range of these 1895 electric cars was about 100 miles BUT, that depends on whether the driver preferred range or comfort; if you want to sit in a cold car with the windscreen and windows misting up fine, open the windows and increase the drag coefficient of your car and shiver, if you don’t want that; use the limited battery power to heat the inside of the car and reduce the range. Cold slows down most chemical reactions including those that provide battery power, this needs to be factored in too. If driving in hot conditions that means the battery is more efficient but air/con,if used, will drain the battery very quickly, likewise opening windows to cool the interior will increase the drag coefficient substantially.The batteries degrade with time and needed replacing as do the electric motors. The constituent parts of batteries are poisonous, lead and sulphuric acid in the old ones, constituents that if will lead to death, if there is the smallest of skin contact with the new ones.

    Over a century later battery technology is not significantly better than it was in 1895, neither is the range or recharging times of electric cars.Not a single one of these problems has been solved with current technology. The hybrid vehicle has tried to address this, but in my view, with little success. In 1895,19th century solutions were used to solve 19th century problems, logical! In the 21st century we are finding a political non-problem and attempting to solve it with medieval technology, illogical! If the Sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow from the right direction and at the right speed we are stuffed. Tidal power,in our computer dependent society? You really could weep for those who suggested it! Firstly it has never worked, secondly it is very, very expensive, thirdly do we want a power supply that depends on the phase of the Moon and consequently its alignment with the Sun?
    We would need to have horoscopes to determine when we could use our internet banking!
    Mystic Meg, please come back, all is forgiven!

    We are dealing with people whose perception of the real world is distorted to say the least!

    Cretinous is probably more appropriate!

  8. mikewaite permalink
    July 15, 2018 9:59 pm

    When I was working and journeying regularly from Manchester to London I had a Toyota Carina E (petrol, 1.6L) with a power/ weight ratio of 66kW/metric tonne and easily coped with the 200miles .
    A similar size Prius plug in has a power/weight ratio of 65kW/metric tonne , but only 20 miles or so of the journey is by electric power the rest, 180 miles, by conventional fuel.
    The higher fuel economy of the plug in is only valid surely for journeys where 20 miles is a significant fraction .
    And the Toyota cost me £6000 for a 30000 mile used car and lasted 250000 miles .
    A new plug in is about £30000.
    Am I being too simple minded in my comparisons?

  9. dearieme permalink
    July 15, 2018 10:26 pm

    A hybrid would give us an electric car for pootling about locally and an internal combustion car for longer journeys. A diesel would be no good: the local short trips would cause conniptions from the DPF. Would we better to go all electric while SOB is subsidising it? Or all petrol?

  10. July 15, 2018 10:36 pm

    hello the anti-green fanatics corner! How are you all doing today? Nice stewing in that good, old feeling of moral superiority and contempt for the blob?

    Do the math: to bring the entire world to the EU average oil use, world oil production would have to double on a sustainable basis, and indefinitely so. The North American level of consumption is twice as high, so you are talking quadrupling.

    Got it? or the math is way too hard?

    • Curious George permalink
      July 15, 2018 11:49 pm

      Data, please.

    • Chilli permalink
      July 16, 2018 12:45 am

      Average mpg of UK cars has doubled since 2000 so I don’t see a problem with a further doubling car use. UK fuel consumption is dropping despite a rapidly increasing population. So to present a further doubling of demand as some kind of insurmountable problem betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of supply, demand, free markets and human ingenuity.

    • Hivemind permalink
      July 16, 2018 1:52 am

      How do you plan to charge all your morally superior electric cars when the wind isn’t blowing?

    • dodgy geezer permalink
      July 16, 2018 4:24 am

      ..Do the math: to bring the entire world to the EU average oil use, world oil production would have to double on a sustainable basis, and indefinitely so….

      Can’t see a problem.

      I assume that you are using the usual Green Malthusian trick of stating that our current raw material position is X and will not change, while our predicted usage goes up geometrically? Trouble is, that’s been comprehensively disproven by Julian Simon, and history.

      Want to know where we’ll get hydrocarbon fuel from in 100 years? Titan has oceans of the stuff….

    • paul weldon permalink
      July 16, 2018 7:42 am

      mf, If you take the trouble to read what people are commenting, you will note that the main contentions with hybrids are cost and suitability. Most Europeans are unlikely to be able to afford such a luxury as a hybrid, especially when it is often unsuited to their needs. So why extend oil consumption to cover the whole World when a substantial amount of the population is unable to afford any transport, let alone one that is so expensive. The same argument applies for those wishing to extend the access to electricity to those without, when it is unlikely that most of those unfortunates would be able to afford the cost of use. Now do your own maths again – how do you expect the poor to pay for something that the greens appear to be making even more expensive?
      I have always been an environmentalist, but what the so-called greens are spouting is doing far more harm to the environment than good. If you bother to speak to others outside of your ‘’group think’’ you may begin to realise what harm you are doing to the name of environmentalism.

    • Nigel Sherratt permalink
      July 16, 2018 8:30 am

      8:30 GMT, Grid Watch, wind 1.2%, solar 7.4%, another beautiful day thank God. Wind hasn’t been over 5GW since the solstice. Do some maths on that.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      July 16, 2018 10:03 am

      mf, it’s hard to know where to start with such a list of blatantly wrong/dishonest assertions and assumptions. Your failure to anticipate inevitably better fuel efficiency and improved extraction and a natural progression to alternative fuels means everything you said is irrelevant ‘maths’.

      Incidentally, as per most ‘skeptics’, I love the natural world and the environment and take real measures to impact it as little as possible, cycling as much as possible, never flying, regularly walking 20 miles with a litter picker and bag along the beach and countryside.

      So far, just about every action imposed by the ‘green blob’ to reduce CO2 and pollution has had negative, sometimes near disastrous, environmental and sustainability effects – as well as massive financial costs. But then you are probably in denial about windmills and solar panels as well as pointless wasteful hybrid cars.

  11. July 16, 2018 6:19 am

    My 190hp twin turbo 2 ton Nissan NP300 pickup truck has averaged 36mpg over 8K miles so far. It also averaged 50mpg on a single 400 mile motorway journey. Those are actual figures worked out on fuel used over distance travelled.

    Note: The on board computer shows figures 10-15% higher but that is true of virtually all modern cars. I have asked motoring journalists whether they use the OBC mpg figures or if they calculate them from actual fuel used. In most cases they use the OBC which could mean that Volvo got worse economy than even the 36 claimed in the article.

    However in my experience I have always managed to match or better the government official figures, especially the extra urban figure so I have no doubt that driven carefully and properly the Volvo would achieve alot higher than 36mpg!! That poor figure will be down to poor driving.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      July 16, 2018 6:50 am

      mud4fun:

      The advantage of an electric vehicle is that it does away with the heavy motor, gearbox, perhaps the differential and drive shaft, but in its place comes a very heavy battery.
      A hybrid is a standard car with a heavy battery. Inevitably it must be heavier than the I.C. equivalent, so the range on either battery or fuel suffers.

      • July 16, 2018 7:13 am

        Hi Graeme, I appreciate that, however I would still take mpg figures quoted by motoring journalists with a pinch of salt. They are often inept drivers and do not need to treat the vehicle with care as it is not theirs. I often carry upto 600Kg of cargo in my pickup truck and the mpg is not affected by much if at all. It depends on the type of driving but certainly on extra urban driving I will get virtually identical economy whether carrying cargo or running unladen.

        However this may be because pickup trucks often have larger capacity very torquey engines. In my experience larger engines are often more economical in real world driving than smaller and are less affected by varying payloads.

        When I test drove a Vauxhall Corsa I achieved better mpg in the 1.4 turbo petrol than in the 1.0 when carrying my family. I bought the 1.4 petrol. I then averaged 56mpg over 45K miles and achieved highs of 75mpg, actually higher than official 66mpg. In comparison people who bought the 1.0 struggled to achieve decent mpg.

      • Bitter@twisted permalink
        July 16, 2018 7:28 am

        Our 2.0 TDi Touran is averaging 58mpg. This includes a lot of urban driving and longish drive every couple of weeks. Out of town we have seen over 70mpg.
        This is based on the trip computer, but I’ll do a brim to brim to check.
        By way of comparison, my 1963 3.4L Jaguar Mark2, which weighs much the same, averages about 22mpg.
        Such is progress.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        July 16, 2018 2:54 pm

        The electric motors are going to weigh a bit too.

  12. Bitter@twisted permalink
    July 16, 2018 7:21 am

    My virtue-signaling neighbor bought a plug-in hybrid. Spent most of the day charging.
    Now they have had a rapid charger installed. With a Government grant, of course and now can charge in 2-3 hours.
    They are unbearably smug.
    I’m just waiting for the whole boondoggle to catch fire.
    However what looks like a reel for a fire hose, attached to the front of their house isn’t.

    • Athelstan permalink
      July 16, 2018 8:31 am

      “They are unbearably smug.”

      green dipshits usually are, buy a large green virtue signaller on wheels – whatever, thus, conscience salved and not a moments real thinking involved, is so easy peasy, taxpayer slammed – double whammy!

    • July 16, 2018 9:16 am

      Does your neighbour actually own the car or is it a company car. Or maybe its on tick (PCP or HP); in which case he doesnt own it!. Did he personally pay for the fast charger I wonder?

      • Bitter@twisted permalink
        July 16, 2018 11:08 am

        No they bought it to “help the planet”.
        The fast charge charger was brought using Government subsidy.
        We are all paying for this middle class virtue signaller’s fantasies.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 16, 2018 2:57 pm

      Be fun when we start to have rolling blackouts. Make sure you don’t give them a lift anywhere – or better, charge them to recoup your tax money they have received.

  13. Nigel Sherratt permalink
    July 16, 2018 8:19 am

    This Volvo has evolved into a 600hp beast for sale to rich Chinese. No wonder their CO2 consumption is world-beating. I admit to being a tiny bit jealous.

    http://autoweek.com/article/green-cars/polestar-unveils-its-first-car-polestar-1

  14. Dave Ward permalink
    July 16, 2018 8:44 am

    A hybrid is a compromise, and will always be so. You can put fairly large batteries in to give it a decent engine-off range, but it will then be heavier when the batteries are depleted. Or you can go the “Mild” hybrid route, with a small battery pack which acts as a regenerative braking facility, and accept that it only helps in frequent stop-start driving. But at the end of the day, you are still hauling around extra kit, which will at some stage be redundant during longer journeys.

    • Sean Corker permalink
      July 16, 2018 10:08 pm

      Not true. Electric power feeds into the drivetrain to support the ICE even during motorway driving. It’s not a case of one or the other.

      • Dave Ward permalink
        July 17, 2018 9:45 am

        “It’s not a case of one or the other”

        It is when one of them is a limited resource. Electric power can only help out if there is sufficient stored in the battery. Once this has been depleted you are stuck with just the IC engine, and the extra weight of the battery and motor.

  15. July 16, 2018 8:55 am

    “the government is banking on hybrids to reduce fuel consumption and emissions”

    My neighbour has one, is it saving the planet? Hardly, because mostly it just sits there doing nothing. The emissions generated to produce this monstrosity (about the size of a small tank) must have been enormous.

    Even if 50% of cars “on the road” become hybrids the fuel consumption will not drop by anything like 50%, because of a strong weighting of “on the road” to “on the driveway, next to the real car”.

    • Sean Corker permalink
      July 18, 2018 6:22 am

      Dave Ward – again not true. The battery is constantly topped up when driving. In normal driving conditions my battery rarely drops below 2/3rds full. The only occasion I manage to drain the battery fully is in continuous stop start traffic where i’m using only electric power. Despite not being a plug in and “having to lug a battery pack around”, I still get over 60mpg even on the motorway.

  16. Anders Valland permalink
    July 16, 2018 9:01 am

    I actually do own a hybrid, the Volkswagen Passat GTE stationwagon. Being Norwegian it comes of as relatively cheap in our market due to the very reduced taxes on this car (to be reversed from September though…).

    But, I can report on its performance as I use both for my local commute to work and for longer drives (250-500 km, or 155-310 miles for you lot). In my commute the mpg is infinite, as I drive all-electric for that. The claimed 50 km/31 mile battery range, which isn’t, is enough for me even on cold winter days (-20°C or below) even without re-charge. If I get to use the charging points at work I’m good for any normal use of the car on weekdays beyond the commute.

    I have seen the number 50 on the battery range indicator twice, when it was new last year and the night minimum temperature did not drop below 20°C. Normally it indicates 45-47 km even on the warmest days. In winter it indicates 25-27 km. The indications are pretty good, unless you are going mostly uphill. Those uphill kilometers sure are short with batteries…The range should have been better, but batteries are coming up to the top of the development S-curve these days and not much happening on new tech – so maybe a future hybrid will have 70-90 km, but that would be max.

    However, I wonder about those ‘reported’ figures for hybrids. I routinely get around 110 mpg (2.5 l/100 km) (yes, I did the stoneage conversion just for you) when going on the long trips. I have a friend who did a test drive with a GTE and came away dissapointed, he had something like 20-25 mpg on it. It turned out he was driving it in battery charge mode which is of course an efficiency disaster, even if he did not account for the energy still available in the charged battery.

    I have even managed to drive 65 km/40 miles pure electric in one go. Coming down from the mountains, but not driving with extra care to conserve energy. I bet I can do better than 75 km if need be.

    But I digress. The GTE, when run in its true hybrid mode, makes use of regeneration when braking and it turns off the petrol engine when rolling flat and down hill. That’s how you achieve good mpg on it. The German engineers made the car go default without regen for reasons unfathomable. So you have to actively set it to that mode. The rest happens automatically. However, if you are prone to pushing buttons and think you are always more clever than the car there are many ways to mess it up. And I guess that is what happens with those ‘reported figures’. The energy management as set-up from the factory is very clever, apart from the need to manually start the regen.

    I love the GTE. I frustrate the hell out of Teslas with the max acceleration performance which is less but still very good if managed properly. And I can accelerate every time I like on long hauls, while they can’t. If I want max mileage I can do that, if I need fast transport over distance I can do that. And I can haul a trailer, comfortably, within the same limits that an ordinary IC car can (mpg is of course going south then). Show me the EV that matches this. 400 Nm does the trick.

    BTW, my reason for going hybrid is that it obviously is a good thing to run electric in the city. Out in the countryside, the petrol engine is all fine. I would have loved a diesel hybrid with more range on the battery, that is the perfect hybrid setup.

  17. July 16, 2018 9:03 am

    How do the residual values of these cars compare to a similarly priced “normal” car?
    I would expect them to be lower due to the higher costs of repair & lack of trained repair staff. The big one will likely be the expected life of the battery

    • A C Osborn permalink
      July 16, 2018 11:01 am

      In the UK all EV have the worst residual value of all time, I am not sure about hybrids though.

    • Sean Corker permalink
      July 16, 2018 10:05 pm

      The residuals are good – certainly for the Toyota/Lexus range. As for battery life; I had a chat with a couple of taxi drivers before I bought my Lexus and they knew of Prius with over 400k miles with no issues.

  18. Red permalink
    July 16, 2018 9:21 am

    I drive a PHEV, it’s fantastic (for me) as my usage pattern of roughly 25 miles per day @ roughly 3p per electric mile means I go to the petrol station 5 ~6 times a year (invariably on long distance journeys to visit family). I get a genuine 38 miles all electric range. No matter how fast I go, I stay on electric until the battery is depleted. My car has 150Bhp, and whilst it’s no sports car can easily keep up with 2.0 turbo diesels and 2.0 NA petrols (especially when I’m in sport mode) and yet over the last 30,000 miles I have averaged over 140 Mpg. The benefits are great too, no road tax , no congestion charge, and I get free parking in my whole area.

    As a city dweller I couldn’t ask for more.

    I’m case anyone was wondering I drive a Vauxhall Ampera

    • A C Osborn permalink
      July 16, 2018 11:03 am

      Thank you for that, it makes me feel much better knowing that you are doing so well off of the Taxes that I and all the other Electricity & FF users have to pay.

      • Red permalink
        July 16, 2018 4:08 pm

        Simple fix, I believe the phrase is “if you can’t beat em, join em”

      • A C Osborn permalink
        July 16, 2018 4:36 pm

        That is a “Moral Judgement” and I have made mine as you have made yours.

      • Red permalink
        July 18, 2018 7:16 pm

        To be honest I was feeling a little judged for having others pay my tax for me.

        If your happy with your decision then don’t complain about it.

        Simples

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      July 16, 2018 11:31 am

      Red, strange how Whatcar only managed 46.3mpg over 15,280 miles in their Ampera. And other people report worse. If your experience is the truth, then it just goes to prove, it’s a ridiculously bad engineering solution, when the proportion of people that can actually use it effectively, is so low.

      • Red permalink
        July 16, 2018 4:32 pm

        I disagree.

        I have included a photo of one of my trip computers, basically I reset it when I picked up my car (second hand) 4 years ago.

        As stated, it works for me. I live in London, I can drive from Twickenham where I live (West London) to Stratford (East London) and back home on a single charge. In my daily life I almost never have a need to exceed 38 miles in a day.

        I once read somewhere that 80% of people are like me, and also do not travel more than 38 miles on most of their days.

        I reckon my car would work for most people.

        [IMG]http://i63.tinypic.com/34y8tfs.jpg[/IMG]

        http://tinypic.com/r/34y8tfs/9

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 16, 2018 2:45 pm

      No road tax…..yet.
      No congestion charge…..yet.
      No parking charges…..yet.

      • Red permalink
        July 16, 2018 4:35 pm

        Government had said I will be tax exempt for life, but you’re right about the other 2, that’s at the discretion of the local authorities that govern them. I’m 4 years in though so I’m already happy.

  19. July 16, 2018 9:59 am

    Is there going to be much of a market for ageing electric/hybrid cars with tired batteries that cost a fortune to replace?

    • Sean Corker permalink
      July 16, 2018 10:22 pm

      Yes. Please note the number of taxi guys using Prius’s. I talked to a couple of cabbies before I bought a hybrid as I had similar concerns. Firstly the Prius (including battery) will do 400k+ miles quite happily, secondly, there is apparently a growing industry for replacing failed cells in hybrid batteries at a very reasonable prices.

      In short, I bought a Lexus CT used for a comparable price that I would have paid for a similar spec diesel. I get a consistent 65mpg which is far better then any diesel i’ve Owned. It’s also a joy to drive, relaxed, smooth and comfortable.

  20. Aaaaa permalink
    July 16, 2018 10:52 am

    I have a BMW 330e. It too has 21 miles of electric range. I have done 16k miles since I got it in October 2016, 11k of those have been all electric. So it can work if your journeys fit

  21. mikewaite permalink
    July 16, 2018 1:01 pm

    A very informative post. It has actually changed my mind about hybrids , especially the info on the Ampera . I would like one , but cannot afford over £30000 for a new model but I notice there are Ist generation used versions available for £9-10000.
    But they are all, it seems automatics – is this general for hybrids ?
    Would a, say, 4 year old hybrid have hidden future maintenance problems ?
    I notice that the Ampera is considered an electric car with petrol assist , whereas my assumption has been that the likes of say the Prius are petrol powered , with electronic assist.
    Thank you all for an instructive session, even though I doubt that my dreams will be realised .

    • Red permalink
      July 16, 2018 4:55 pm

      All EV’s and a lot of plug-in hybrids don’t actually have a gearbox. The manufacturers fake an automatic gear stick so people know how to drive the vehicles. My car is included in this fakery. If I need to go faster the electric motor just spins faster.
      Most of these type vehicle’s come with an 8 year 100,000 mile warranty for the battery and motor (Tesla’s are unlimited mileage).

      Regarding the Prius, that’s a hybrid where my vehicle is classed as a range extender (like the BMW i3/i8)

      My car is actually a rebadged Chevrolet volt first generation.

      You can’t buy my car new anymore as it’s discontinued, but the new Hyundai ioniq PHEV is the closest to mine spec wise and gets £4500 back from the government when purchased new.

      • mikewaite permalink
        July 16, 2018 9:19 pm

        Thank you Red, you have whetted my interest even more.

    • Anders Valland permalink
      July 17, 2018 8:01 am

      In addition to Red’s very informative reply, most modern cars with automatic gearshift uses the double clutch system which is basically a traditional manual shift automated. It does have an increased complexity in the two clutches, and I know that VW have had their share of problems with the electro-hydraulic control unit. But the mechanical parts of it are the trusted, proven technology that any manual stick shift car uses. And it is phenomenally better than manual. I started using it 10 years ago and have never looked back.

      When, as you find in more and more hybrids, it is couped with ACC it makes driving much more relaxing, safer and enjoyable.

      That said, you’ll never satisfy those with the urge to stir a stick. But most manufacturers are now changing to automatics and we’ll see a shift toward an auto market as in the US where getting a manual costs more.

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