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Old 10-15-2017, 08:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cool Plug-In EV or Hybrid?

Been having much discussion with folks, well at least the ones who know the difference between the three. Oh and then there's the three types of hybrids, series, parallel and mild. Whew! lots to learn and many YouTube vids later, it all boggles my mind somewhat still.

But basically, it all comes down to the discussion that most buyers may not think about: which is right for me and my lifestyle. I met a man who recently bought a used Ford Focus EV (79+ mile range) and is upset that it is useless as he drives over 100 miles a day and doesn't have time to charge it. duh.

Seems alot more to consider when buying a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or EV, when you consider what it takes to keep it going. For me, the Honda IMA system makes the most sense, especially the "Integrated" part. Seems like Honda gets it right in the K.I.S.S. department.
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Old 10-15-2017, 09:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Plug-In EV or Hybrid?

Kinda-sorta, but not really.
Most knowledgeable folks agree that Honda didn't get the battery management parameters right. But first and foremost, every ounce of energy comes from fossil fuel. The best way ahead is to use plug in EV or Plug-In hybrids in COMBINATION with solar generated (roof panels on garage, house, awning etc) electricity.
The Gen 1 Insight's edge is the OVERALL design: mindfulness of weight savings, super efficient IC engine, and aerodynamics. The hybrid feature is useful to make the car feel like a 4 cylinder vs. a 3 cylinder. (Now, with MIMA, people can manipulate the stored energy to maximize (Er., minimize) their energy usage on a known route to their advantage.)
But, otherwise No "Free lunch" when it comes to energy. The goal, rather, is optimum efficiency.
One could probably squeeze out 100 from a Focus EV using hypermiling techniques...but only on warm days. I lived with a smart ED for a few years. Loved it. It was also rated for 68 mile range, but I could go much farther on a full charge, driving slow...except in the winter, and cold weather when the battery warming alone saps lots of juice from the batteries. My commute was 82 miles a day, which was no problem in the summer, but with wipers, and headlights on along with battery warming in the winter month of Maryland, I had to plug it in at work for a few hours so that I can make it home in the evenings. I never got stranded on the road. The closest we came was after an Insight meet when I had it charging on the slow setting, and it wasn't charged sufficiently at the end of the day (my fault). Mudder is still scarred by this event's harrowing range anxiety.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would say for drivers like me that the most efficient non plug in hybrid makes the most sense. I frequently drive over 200 miles in a day so something like a Volt that has to be plugged in doesn't make sense because it only gets 40 when it is drained, so it ends up using more gas for the day. A Tesla also doesn't work because I like to venture off the beaten path and there are limited places to charge it. I can't even drive one through the UP into Michigan without stopping for the night to charge it because the Supercharger network isn't built out there yet. They are currently looking at sometime in 2018 to allow people to get to Michigan from Wisconsin through the north. The expense is also a major thing, the cheapest one I ever saw was $35k, which you can't save enough fuel to ever pencil that one out.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My sister has a Volt and I think it's the most underrated car sold today. Unless you really drive long distances on a daily basis, most of your miles will be all electric. And when the battery does run down, you've got a 45 mpg hybrid. What's not to like? As one Volt owner said, "Gas becomes like other fluid levels. Something you check every once in while." GM is not advertising this car, probably because they're making so much money off the suckers who buy $70,000 pickups.
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Old 10-16-2017, 04:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowCarbon View Post
My sister has a Volt and I think it's the most underrated car sold today. Unless you really drive long distances on a daily basis, most of your miles will be all electric. And when the battery does run down, you've got a 45 mpg hybrid. What's not to like? As one Volt owner said, "Gas becomes like other fluid levels. Something you check every once in while." GM is not advertising this car, probably because they're making so much money off the suckers who buy $70,000 pickups.
The gas engine in the Volt is basically a generator to add charge to the batteries, it does not power the wheels. Great mileage, yes, need to have the home installed power charger for reasonable charging times.
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Old 10-16-2017, 04:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by freezin4 View Post
Most knowledgeable folks agree that Honda didn't get the battery management parameters right.
I would like to join the ranks of the knowledgeable, where can I read more about this? Thanks!.
Thanks!
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The gas engine in the Volt is basically a generator to add charge to the batteries, it does not power the wheels. Great mileage, yes, need to have the home installed power charger for reasonable charging times.
That's not exactly true. The 2nd gen Volt has 1 motor, 1 motor/generator and a gas engine. It has 5 different combinations of what gets used and how. In "hybrid mode" the engine does drive the wheels directly, at least at some speeds. This video explains how it works.


In EV mode, which for most people, that is most of the time, this car is fast and smooth. When the battery runs down, it's a nice hybrid.

As for charging times, if it's really empty, it might take 12 hours or so for a full charge with the included 120v charger. With a 240v charger, about 4-5 hours.
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marx404 View Post
I would like to join the ranks of the knowledgeable, where can I read more about this? Thanks!.

Thanks!

Hi Marx,
Lots of good reading right here on IC!
Some of the really knowledgeable folks are: retepsnikrep, Mike Dabrowski, Mudder, iamian, eq1, JimE, skeith, Eli (of Bumblebee batteries), Matt (of HybridRevolt), Jeff (of Hybrid Automotive - maker of Prolong chargers), Jim Hansen, and I'm probably forgetting a few others.... in the six years of production, Honda had several versions of the BCM and MCM.
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You are correct LowCarbon and it is quite confusing as to how the Volt's wheels are powered. GM does claim that the gas motor is indirectly connected to the wheels and therefore cannot power the wheels without the electric motor alone. But then again, seems that it does.

https://goo.gl/1oKHN
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The Volt's transmission is very similar to that of a Prius - it's a planetary gearset. The ICE can run at a fixed RPM/load with varying road speed and total system output, but that's also true of a Prius, and ultimately GM was lying through their teeth with that claim.

Which is not to say I wouldn't love to own a Volt.
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