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Lozzyf

Hybrid towing 1500cwt caravan?

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We towed with a Lexus 400h for several years. The caravan was either a Baily Senator Indiana or a Swift  Archway Twywell - both approx. 1500kg. The Lexus towed brillianty so I better explain why we only kept it for about two /three years. The reversing lights were hopeless and made it very difficult to  get in or out of  home and secondly the very small battery under the bonnet was  soon pulled down to about  11 volts if you left an door or the boot open so all the interior lights on! Consequently you could not start the vehicle as this same little battery fed all the relays to allow the large batteries under rear seat to come into play .They needed a fully charged battery to open them.Lexus had the car in several times but could find  no fault . I used to carry  a 12 volt jump-pack  so we would  always be able to  move!! I believe  that both of these design faults were put right on the  450h with a much larger battery and changes to the reverse lights.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, ianbrown said:

We towed with a Lexus 400h for several years. The caravan was either a Baily Senator Indiana or a Swift  Archway Twywell - both approx. 1500kg. The Lexus towed brillianty so I better explain why we only kept it for about two /three years. The reversing lights were hopeless and made it very difficult to  get in or out of  home and secondly the very small battery under the bonnet was  soon pulled down to about  11 volts if you left an door or the boot open so all the interior lights on! Consequently you could not start the vehicle as this same little battery fed all the relays to allow the large batteries under rear seat to come into play .They needed a fully charged battery to open them.Lexus had the car in several times but could find  no fault . I used to carry  a 12 volt jump-pack  so we would  always be able to  move!! I believe  that both of these design faults were put right on the  450h with a much larger battery and changes to the reverse lights.

 

 

 

I can't make the same comment about the reversing lights. For me, they were ample to light up the rear adequately on the rear view camera display, but I do agree about the inadequate size of the starter battery (which happened to be identical to the Nissan Micra - a much smaller car).

A negative comment about the RX400h that I would make, though, would be the very torque sensitive steering, especially when towing. When moving off briskly from traffic lights with the caravan on the back, one had to hold the steering wheel tight in order to stay in a straight line.

Otherwise it was a very nice car and I have no further reservations about it.

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On 10/01/2020 at 20:56, AJGalaxy2012 said:

The 20 miles commute per day would only apply to Plug In Electric Vehicles (PHEV), the none plug in ones are pretty much pointless and offer little / no advantage over a diesel. The so called 'self charging hybrids' are absolutely pointless, charging batteries from a petrol generator is a) expensive and b) inefficient.

I’m not sure that I agree that self charging hybrids are pointless. The Lexus I own uses a significant amount of regeneration to store energy in the battery. It has a powerful engine (3.5l petrol) which I have to admit I like - particularly on the long distance business journeys that I bought it for originally. It returns the same mpg as a car with an engine 1 litre smaller - like my previously owned 2.7l diesel.

And when I later bought a caravan I found it tows that too. Whats not to like?

So from my perspective I’ve found it of benefit; not pointless at all.

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13 minutes ago, Snellybob said:

I’m not sure that I agree that self charging hybrids are pointless. The Lexus I own uses a significant amount of regeneration to store energy in the battery. It has a powerful engine (3.5l petrol) which I have to admit I like - particularly on the long distance business journeys that I bought it for originally. It returns the same mpg as a car with an engine 1 litre smaller - like my previously owned 2.7l diesel.

And when I later bought a caravan I found it tows that too. Whats not to like?

So from my perspective I’ve found it of benefit; not pointless at all.

Non plug in hybrids gain during braking and moving off, the energy is stored when slowing and stopping and is used when accelerating etc, thats the only time the self charging hybrid is an advantage, at all other times it's a serious disadvantage - extra weight, the drag of the motors etc.

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10 minutes ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

Non plug in hybrids gain during braking and moving off

How do they gain during moving off?  I'm sure I have misunderstood what you mean?

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Just now, kelper said:

How do they gain during moving off?  I'm sure I have misunderstood what you mean?

By using the electrical energy stored during stopping, the electric motor helps the vehicle to move off, reducing the load on the engine and thereby reducing fuel consumption.

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A small internal combustion engine hybrid has better mpg than a non EV as the engine does not have to run at low loads.  This would apply for shorter journeys.  I don't understand why you think non-plug-in-hybrids are pointless.  The early Priuses were a great success.

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On 10/01/2020 at 20:56, AJGalaxy2012 said:

The 20 miles commute per day would only apply to Plug In Electric Vehicles (PHEV), the none plug in ones are pretty much pointless and offer little / no advantage over a diesel. The so called 'self charging hybrids' are absolutely pointless, charging batteries from a petrol generator is a) expensive and b) inefficient.

Far from pointless, IF a significant part of a typical journey is stop/start urban crawl which can be done on electric power only, with the battery being recharged during normal cruising, when the engine is at its most efficient. 

 

Edited by Stevan

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5 minutes ago, Stevan said:

Far from pointless, IF a significant part of a typical journey is stop/start urban crawl which can be done on electric power only, with the battery being recharged during normal cruising, when the engine is at its most efficient. 

 

And when the system needs a top-up, the engine will run at rated power, not part load.  This does not need to be during cruising.

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Yes but you still have to charge the battery-bit more efficient i grant you but for most people for most journeys simply adding a charging socket which since the engine charges the battery anyway shouldn't be the end of the world, means that you very rarely have to visit a petrol station and burn any fossil fuel. Just seems to me if a car maker goes to the effort of a battery power for say 30miles having it charge from a socket too as an option makes it so much more efficient. in the real world hybrid drivers are getting 60mpg -yes a bit more than a small diesel but if it were chargeable this would be hugely better if people bothered to charge up. 

 

Seems to me like having a charge point powered by a fossil fuelled generator-does exist and is a bit more efficient than a pure fossil fuel powered car but only a bit more efficient, not massively more.

 

Edited by Jezzerb

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PHEV's are not pointless with usage that suits them, my main use is for short journeys. For example the last week ,I have driven about 120 miles and charged overnight giving a fuel consumption figure (according to the guessometer) of 180mpg. The charging cost the equivelant of about one and a quarter gallons.

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2 hours ago, kelper said:

A small internal combustion engine hybrid has better mpg than a non EV as the engine does not have to run at low loads.  This would apply for shorter journeys.  I don't understand why you think non-plug-in-hybrids are pointless.  The early Priuses were a great success.

Look closely at the Prius in terms of its cost per mile and you will find its less efficient than a non hybrid similar car.

 

1 hour ago, Stevan said:

Far from pointless, IF a significant part of a typical journey is stop/start urban crawl which can be done on electric power only, with the battery being recharged during normal cruising, when the engine is at its most efficient. 

 

The gains are insignificant and cancelled out by the additional drag / weight.

1 hour ago, kelper said:

And when the system needs a top-up, the engine will run at rated power, not part load.  This does not need to be during cruising.

These Hybrids are not series hybrids AFAIK.

14 minutes ago, Artleknock said:

PHEV's are not pointless with usage that suits them, my main use is for short journeys. For example the last week ,I have driven about 120 miles and charged overnight giving a fuel consumption figure (according to the guessometer) of 180mpg. The charging cost the equivelant of about one and a quarter gallons.

I never said PHEV's were pointless, I said the so called self charging hybrids were pointless. I have a PHEV too, the mpg figures are completely meaningless while ever you're charging batteries. True consumption on our Outlander PHEV was 42 mpg on a 240 mile trip which was acceptable for a 2 litre petrol engine. The daily routine is a 3 mile journey each way to work and back plus some other odd trips around. Our fuel usage has gone from £40 per week to less than £30 per month.

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2 hours ago, Artleknock said:

PHEV's are not pointless with usage that suits them, my main use is for short journeys. For example the last week ,I have driven about 120 miles and charged overnight giving a fuel consumption figure (according to the guessometer) of 180mpg. The charging cost the equivelant of about one and a quarter gallons.

If I understand your note right, this gives a fuel + electricity cost to you equivalent to about 2 gallons or about 60 mpg. The aim of PHEVs though is not really to save on fuel costs but instead to use electricity in towns so the pollution is transferred to the power station and that required to make the batteries and electric motor, plus future disposal. If you save money then that is a benefit but has to be offset against the high cost of the vehicle compared to a diesel/petrol only car. Reminds me a bit of a work discussion with the Environment Agency (EA) when I worked in the chemical industry. We were burning a waste gas in a flare but to recover it required a few million pounds investment. This would have taken far more than the company usual payback time of about 2 years to gain any financial benefit so would not be approved. The EA said the fact it gave any pay back meant it should be approved in order to benefit the environment and then gave an improvement order so it had to be done.

Edited by Paul1957

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. . . . .  I’m none the wiser,anyone want to simplify all the above for me? 
 Preferably in words of one syllable . . . . . .

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Seems as if

- a plug in hybrid should be ok to tow a caravan but will depend on the particular car

- if doing short trips (possibly less than 20 miles) and the car is plugged in overnight it should run on electric most of the time and cost less than a petrol or diesel per mile, excluding the cost of the car

- if doing longer trips the car will run on petrol at a higher fuel use than say a diesel or possibly just a petrol due to the weight of the batteries. So it will cost more per mile.

- hybrids are expensive to buy compared to a diesel or petrol car. I had a quick look at Peugeot ones and it put on about £10000. If the car cost goes over £40k then whilst road tax is free, it triggers the £320 a year penalty tax (not sure of its name).

- electric car batteries are expensive so when they need replacing it can cost thousands.

 

Something I have noticed, new cars do not seem available with decent sized engines, most seem to be 1.2 petrol or 1.5 diesel. In the future anyone wanting a larger one might be limited to buying older cars.

 

Edited by Paul1957
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6 hours ago, Paul1957 said:

Something I have noticed, new cars do not seem available with decent sized engines, most seem to be 1.2 petrol or 1.5 diesel. In the future anyone wanting a larger one might be limited to buying older cars.

 

Outlander PHEV 2.4L 16-valve inline 4 cylinder.

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9 hours ago, Paul1957 said:

 The aim of PHEVs though is not really to save on fuel costs but instead to use electricity in towns so the pollution is transferred to the power station and that required to make the batteries and electric motor, plus future disposal.

 

Being a bit cynical I'd say the massive rise in PHEV's is due to legislation that mandates every manufacturer to achieve an average of 95g/km on the WLTP cycle. 

For the likes of JLR/BMW/Merc etc PHEV is currently the only way to achieve that until the market is ready for a full switch to BEV.

As the legislation is phased in over the next few years the cost for exceeding the limit increases and the offset for zero emmision vehicles decreases. 

I doubt we will have any straight internal combustion engines in passenger vehicles by the end of the decade and we have yet to see any real appetite for diesel PHEV.

Edited by logiclee

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17 minutes ago, logiclee said:

I doubt we will have any straight internal combustion engines in passenger vehicles by the end of the decade and we have yet to see any real appetite for diesel PHEV.

I have to say Im amazed in the lack of Diesel Hybrids. A diesel engine could be run under it's optimum conditions, plenty of heat fed into the DPF to minimise emissions, batteries charged it could then shutdown, all of the drive being accomplished by electric motors.

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39 minutes ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

I have to say Im amazed in the lack of Diesel Hybrids. A diesel engine could be run under it's optimum conditions, plenty of heat fed into the DPF to minimise emissions, batteries charged it could then shutdown, all of the drive being accomplished by electric motors.

 

You have hit the nail on the head.

 

There are two main issues with diesel PHEV's the major one is emission controls on a cold engine, DPF, SCR etc. If you have to start using electrical power to heat the ICE and emission systems then you wipe out some of the diesels efficiency advantage.

The second one is refinement, with the best petrol PHEV's it's very difficult to tell when the petrol engine cuts in to provide power.  A lot more difficult to achieve with a cold small capacity diesel.

 

Also there's the declining diesel market. Why would manufacturers invest in development of a technology that buyers are turning away from.

Edited by logiclee
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42 minutes ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

I have to say Im amazed in the lack of Diesel Hybrids. A diesel engine could be run under it's optimum conditions, plenty of heat fed into the DPF to minimise emissions, batteries charged it could then shutdown, all of the drive being accomplished by electric motors.

 

The reason why there are fewer diesel hybrids lies in the high investment costs associated with the development of exhaust emissions control of a diesel in conjunction with hybrid drive. It is much easier, and consequently less costly, with a petrol engine.

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16 minutes ago, logiclee said:

 

You have hit the nail on the head.

 

There are two main issues with diesel PHEV's the major one is emission controls on a cold engine, DPF, SCR etc. If you have to start using electrical power to heat the ICE and emission systems then you wipe out some of the diesels efficiency advantage.

The second one is refinement, with the best petrol PHEV's it's very difficult to tell when the petrol engine cuts in to provide power.  A lot more difficult to achieve with a cold small capacity diesel.

 

Also there's the declining diesel market. Why would manufacturers invest in development of a technology that buyers are turning away from.

The emissions aspect can be fairly quickly sorted, the diesel engine would start, be run at optimum RPM for all systems, turbo, dpf, catalytic converter etc. It would be run under maximum load avoiding lightly loaded diesel issues and would run long enough to fully charge the batteries again. The system could be made intelligent by use of GPS, if it knows where your destination is and if charging facilities are there it can make the optimum decisions.

 

It is very true the petrol hybrid is good at hiding when it's running etc, the Outlander PHEV that we have it's hard to tell when it's running.

 

The diesel market issue is only a relatively recent development, hybrids have been around for quite some time.

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1 minute ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

The emissions aspect can be fairly quickly sorted, the diesel engine would start, be run at optimum RPM for all systems, turbo, dpf, catalytic converter etc. It would be run under maximum load avoiding lightly loaded diesel issues and would run long enough to fully charge the batteries again. The system could be made intelligent by use of GPS, if it knows where your destination is and if charging facilities are there it can make the optimum decisions.

 

It is very true the petrol hybrid is good at hiding when it's running etc, the Outlander PHEV that we have it's hard to tell when it's running.

 

The diesel market issue is only a relatively recent development, hybrids have been around for quite some time.

 

True, but a diesel hybrid still requires specific exhaust emissions systems that cannot be transferred directly from an equivalent diesel, so manufacturers will only embark on such a project if the expected sales volumes are large enough to justify the development costs.

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8 minutes ago, kelper said:

Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Land Rover all make diesel hybrids.

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/202001075896473?advertising-location=at_cars

There are a few vehicles around that are really developed for tax efficiency rather than true hybrid mode. The AMG merc you link to has a whole 27bhp on electric and a very small battery not giving any significant EV range. It does apparently help quite well with turbo lag.

3 minutes ago, Lutz said:

 

True, but a diesel hybrid still requires specific exhaust emissions systems that cannot be transferred directly from an equivalent diesel, so manufacturers will only embark on such a project if the expected sales volumes are large enough to justify the development costs.

Why is that? I would have thought the ability to run at a high load for a reasonable length of time would have made that quite a simple installation.

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9 hours ago, Paul1957 said:

- electric car batteries are expensive so when they need replacing it can cost thousands.

 

 

IF they need replacing - Nissan have sold 35,000 Leaf EVs globally - they've replace just 3 batteries - all in the USA where temperatures are higher in the southern states (the Leaf battery cooling is inferior to other makes)

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