what are your thoughts on hybrid SUV?

tempnexus

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Seeing that Volvo might go mostly hybrid in 2020, 2021 I was wondering what are your thoughts on a hybrid engine for an SUV?!
 

thefrog1394

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All electric > Hybrid. Tesla Model X/Y will outsell the Volvo I'm sure. But for those unwilling or unable to make the jump to full electric, at least the Volvos will provide some fuel economy benefits.
 

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Being an electrical nerd like most of you guys, here is my 2 cents and advice. If you are going to keep it for no more than 4 years and then trade/dump it, then go ahead......learn about the integration of gas and electric. Go drive a Prius for a good "standard" hybrid experience. There will be some good entertainment value in a Hybrid while you challenge yourself to see just how high of mileage you can get. If you live in the mountains you will love the additional power from electricity that doesn't go down with altitude.

Bad side. Those batteries WILL have to be replaced at some point. Yes that's pricey but may be acceptable if you plan on keeping the car forever. However, company support will most likely die out within 4 to 6 years as those batteries die and owners elect to get something new vs replacing.

Tax advantages also apply however, you must properly run the numbers to prove it. All that said, all my Honda's that are over 200K, which is 3 out of 4 of them still run well and could go from New York to LA without difficulty or repair. Just like any car or truck, preventative measures have allowed me to get all my money and then some from my Honda's. However, after 25 years, one of my Accords is just about ready be shown the door. Haven't had to walk away yet, just alot of fiddling around with small stuff giving out.......after 25+ years.

Remember, Volvo has left the northern European island too. Most everything will be China sourced I am sure (and thus the move to Hybrid). If you get one, make sure you have reliable backup just in case quality control isn't.

My middle girl loves her Volvo SUV, despite having a few issues with it.

Bob
 

spongebobradarpants

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All electric > Hybrid. Tesla Model X/Y will outsell the Volvo I'm sure. But for those unwilling or unable to make the jump to full electric, at least the Volvos will provide some fuel economy benefits.
If nothing else, for their much, much better warranty.
 

STS-134

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Seeing that Volvo might go mostly hybrid in 2020, 2021 I was wondering what are your thoughts on a hybrid engine for an SUV?!

Is this a HEV or PHEV?
 

thefrog1394

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Being an electrical nerd like most of you guys, here is my 2 cents and advice. If you are going to keep it for no more than 4 years and then trade/dump it, then go ahead......learn about the integration of gas and electric. Go drive a Prius for a good "standard" hybrid experience. There will be some good entertainment value in a Hybrid while you challenge yourself to see just how high of mileage you can get. If you live in the mountains you will love the additional power from electricity that doesn't go down with altitude.

Bad side. Those batteries WILL have to be replaced at some point. Yes that's pricey but may be acceptable if you plan on keeping the car forever. However, company support will most likely die out within 4 to 6 years as those batteries die and owners elect to get something new vs replacing.

Tax advantages also apply however, you must properly run the numbers to prove it. All that said, all my Honda's that are over 200K, which is 3 out of 4 of them still run well and could go from New York to LA without difficulty or repair. Just like any car or truck, preventative measures have allowed me to get all my money and then some from my Honda's. However, after 25 years, one of my Accords is just about ready be shown the door. Haven't had to walk away yet, just alot of fiddling around with small stuff giving out.......after 25+ years.

Remember, Volvo has left the northern European island too. Most everything will be China sourced I am sure (and thus the move to Hybrid). If you get one, make sure you have reliable backup just in case quality control isn't.

My middle girl loves her Volvo SUV, despite having a few issues with it.

Bob

In my opinion, the reliability factor has a lot more to do with manufacturer than technology. Especially since hybrid drivetrains have been around for quite some time at this point. Toyota Prius have proven to be incredibly reliable, and will often get over 250k miles before running into battery issues. And even then, individual cells can be replaced very affordably when they fail ($50/cell).

I wouldn’t put my money on the Volvo being as reliable as a Prius. Modern Volvo’s are closer to German cars in terms of reliability and maintenance from my understanding. But I also wouldn’t expect them to be any less reliable than the complex turbocharged powertrains in their non-hybrid vehicles.
 

tempnexus

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STS-134

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Don't know for certain at the moment since I am just exploring

I can comment a little on this: first of all, I think if your car has an ICE, there is absolutely no reason to not at least have some sort of hybridized drivetrain. Idling wastes a hell of a lot of fuel. Some cars try to do away with this problem with a start/stop system, which introduces its own problems (voltage sags when the engine starts, etc). Also, operating an engine at very low power levels on a crappy spot on the brake specific fuel consumption map is also ridiculously inefficient, and all of these inefficiencies go away with a hybridized drivetrain.

HEV Advantages:
- Batteries are very small and, since their weight isn't a great concern, they are made of a chemistry that can tolerate lots of cycling
- The ICE is always warmed up whenever the vehicle is started, and can easily provide heat to the cabin, as well as kick in if maximum power is demanded

HEV Disadvantages:
- Doesn't qualify for HOV stickers in a lot of places
- Can't park in EV charging spaces
- Typically has a ~1km max EV range and only up to about 25 mph. Warming up the ICE for a 3 mile drive down the street is horribly inefficient; you burn all that gas to heat up the engine and cooling system only to shut it down again

PHEV Advantages:
- Qualifies for HOV stickers in a lot of places
- You can park in EV charging spaces which are often the closest to the office/mall/wherever you are going
- You can make short trips without wasting gas warming up the ICE; the batteries are big enough to go a reasonable distance in EV mode
- On very cold days, you can burn gas for heat instead of using inefficient electrical resistance heating.

PHEV Disadvantages:
- Most PHEVs require the engine in order to produce maximum power/acceleration. Since they try to be efficient by not warming up the ICE, if something happens that requires you to command maximum power, the cold ICE must suddenly kick on and generate maximum power. That can't be good for the engine.
- The batteries are big enough to go a reasonable distance in EV mode, but small enough that they get put through a lot of cycles. Since their weight is a concern, they are typically made of Li-ion, which degrades when put through a lot of cycles. Expect about 7-10 years of life before they have to be replaced.
- On very cold days, forget about trying pure EV mode. It's probably more efficient to just use the ICE for heat.
- Probably the most complicated type of car. Has to have an ICE, a battery, motors, and an onboard charger. Basically all of the components of an ICE car + all of the components of a pure EV, in one unit. Do not expect any breaks on maintenance (my PHEV requires oil changes every 5-7.5k miles due to high levels of fuel dilution, probably related to oil not getting up to operating temperature enough to burn off the blow-by. Note that this is 5-7.5k actual miles which is probably something like 2.5-3.75k ICE miles).

BEV Advantages:
- Low maintenance costs. Pretty much just tires and wiper blades.
- Longest EV range. You should easily be able to do a full day's driving on a single charge.
- Definitely qualifies for HOV stickers and other types of government incentives
- Most of them have very good 0-60 times
- Batteries don't go through very many cycles because they're large enough (with exception of some vehicles like the old Nissan Leafs). This means that they should probably last the life of the car.

BEV Disadvantages:
- On cold days, your range diminishes, and you're forced to use electrical resistance heating, which is horribly inefficient (except for a few models which have heat pumps, but even then, heat pumps are not efficient when it gets really cold)
- Charging times still suck compared to gas cars. Tesla's Model 3 would need to charge at around 3 megawatts in order to add miles as quickly as you can add miles to a gas car with a gas pump, but actual charge rates are still stuck in the 150 kW range, 20 times slower

Honestly I think the best fleet you can have would probably consist of one pure EV and either a PHEV or HEV.
 
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commonc3nts

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I have a ct200h and for me, the hybrid part does nothing. I get 35 mpg.
Now if I were stuck in stop and go traffic for an hour every day then it would bring it up to over 40 mpg.. But my commute is opposite normal morning traffic so I never do stop and go driving.

I would try to find someone else with that SUV and see what they think about the hybrid part. Find a sub on reddit or google for a forum for that car. Then do the math to see if it is worth it.
 

STS-134

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I have a ct200h and for me, the hybrid part does nothing. I get 35 mpg.
Now if I were stuck in stop and go traffic for an hour every day then it would bring it up to over 40 mpg.. But my commute is opposite normal morning traffic so I never do stop and go driving.

I find it excessively hard to believe that you have never waited at a traffic light, gone through a drive-thru, gone to a concert and gotten stuck in before or traffic after, etc, unless you live on Molokai or somewhere like that. It's true that hybrid technology doesn't help that much when cruising on the freeway, since the ICE is generally operating in its most efficient power band at those speeds, but it doesn't really hurt either. The only time Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) actually hurts is at very high speeds (above 80 mph), and that's a consequence of its design. It contains two motor-generators (MG1 and MG2) connected to the ICE via a planetary gearset. The problem is, the HSD does not have a transmission. Toyota calls the thing an "eCVT" but that's just marketing.


At very high speeds, the lack of a transmission means that the motors have to prevent the ICE from overrevving. The system does this by extracting power from MG2, and shunting it to MG1, which has to spin at close to 10,000 RPM. So it has a ton of gearbox power losses as a result of:
1) Power losses on the generation side (at MG2)
2) Sending large amounts of power through the internal wiring (resistive losses)
3) Power losses from running MG1 almost as fast as it can go
4) Power losses from the gears themselves meshing together


I don't think this is going to be an issue in Volvos because it seems like Volvo's design actually has a full mechanical transmission somewhere between the engine and the wheels. So they probably have better efficiency at speeds of 80+ mph, at the cost of increased complexity.
 

CobawLT2010

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The only problem I have with hybrids are battery replacement costs. I have this problem with full electric cars as well.

the processes to replace a battery is not well engineered. Once a manufacturer either makes this irrelevant (high mileage batteries) or implements a good system for replacement then I might think differently. Also capacity in all electric vehicles would have to be 2x the highest mileage EV you can get today for me to consider it (400-500 miles per charge).
 

STS-134

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The only problem I have with hybrids are battery replacement costs. I have this problem with full electric cars as well.

the processes to replace a battery is not well engineered. Once a manufacturer either makes this irrelevant (high mileage batteries) or implements a good system for replacement then I might think differently. Also capacity in all electric vehicles would have to be 2x the highest mileage EV you can get today for me to consider it (400-500 miles per charge).
Well the batteries in Teslas will go 300+ miles per charge, and Li-ion batteries are usually good for around 2000 cycles. Which puts you at 300 miles/cycle*2000 cycles = 600000 miles. Most likely, it's not going to be battery failure that kills the car. But even if the battery does fail, in a pure EV, can you really complain about it? You got many years of almost no maintenance, no oil changes, no new spark plugs, no air filter changes, etc.

Likewise, in a Hybrid Synergy Drive vehicle, the batteries will eventually fail, but there's no transmission, so you're not going to have transmission failure, since it's all just two motors, a planetary gearset, and a bunch of electronic controls. When a transmission goes out in a pure ICE car, it usually costs several grand to replace it anyway.
 
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CobawLT2010

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Well the batteries in Teslas will go 300+ miles per charge, and Li-ion batteries are usually good for around 2000 cycles. Which puts you at 300 miles/cycle*2000 cycles = 600000 miles. Most likely, it's not going to be battery failure that kills the car.

yeah but you forget about degradation... The capacity is going to start taking a turn for the worst toward the end of those 2000 cycles.

My normal commute I would have to charge every day.
 

STS-134

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yeah but you forget about degradation... The capacity is going to start taking a turn for the worst toward the end of those 2000 cycles.

My normal commute I would have to charge every day.

If you're going through one full cycle per day, you're doing it wrong. And you probably should get a car with a bigger battery. That kind of mileage is going to kill ANY car VERY quickly, no matter what drivetrain it has. But it really takes a LONG time for those batteries to degrade by 10%, and the new 2170 batteries probably even better than the 18650s shown in the chart below. There just aren't any data points this far out yet for the 2170s.

screen-shot-2018-04-14-at-2-54-02-pm.jpg
 

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For someone who has spent the better part of 8 months learning about all things lithium ion, I'd say neither. Couple of factors here.

1) What is the temperature at which the car is stored at? (interior temp I mean?). Is it sitting outside in the sun all day? Because keep in mind while a car is off, and not charging (for those vehicles who have battery pack cooling) the lithium ion battery sits at whatever temperature the car itself is at. So for those of you living in Texas with the car parked in the sun, good luck, so sad to your lithium ion batteries.

2) What is the range in which you are asking out of the battery pack? For pure electric cars, for those of you with a long commute, good luck to your battery pack. Lithium ion batteries behave in a very interesting manner. Those of you fully charging and discharging your battery will have a FRACTION of the battery lifespan than those who charge to 80% and discharge to, say 30%, and for those of you who having short commutes which result in a 80% SOC to, say, 50% SOC, your batteries will outlast you.

It is an exponential curve, actually. Those who charge to 80% and discharge to 30% will have double the cycles versus those that go to 100% and do a complete discharge. I can bring up the curve/info if necessary but all food for thought.

For me, the $ spent on battery technology today just leads to a replacement down the road, and they are incredibly expensive. So either you go fully electric (Tesla does this right) or you don't and stick with ICE for those of you who live in stupid hot climates!
 

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Being a hybrid owner, I absolutely love my 2019 Honda Insight. It can do both ends of the spectrum in complete comfort. So 0 to 60 in 7.8 seconds (mostly due to that electric thrust), and 110 cruising without ICE strain (handles like a dream at high speed...great 4W Disk Breaks too), and does all that at about 34 MPG (tested on a couple of long "wide open" trips). But that's my Honda, not a Volvo.

And if you want to have a little fun "hypermiling", I have gotten up to 80 MPG on city driving, 60+ MPG typical when on local highways, 55 MPG typical average without great effort, and less...like in the mid 40's when it's hot (running AC at 70) or real cold (running heat at 68 degrees). But that's this Honda Insight.

As for Volvo (or any other hybrid), YouTube has some great reviewers on all these "energy efficient vehicles" (Red Line Reviews is pretty good). Yes, some are just "hacks" on a half hour "test drive" spewing manufacturer "talking points" to make money on YT video views, but others do point out some real important differences. I would NEVER buy a Prius by what they have made up to date. Nor a Camery Hybrid! And most reviewers never really get good mileage testing done, usually because they don't do it with any good methodology. I did a lot of testing under controlled conditions, so my numbers are reproducible (posted on the 3G Insight Forum with pictures for proof). I have also been tracking every tank of gas, and calculating what the car actually gets, vrs what it "says it gets" on the Trip Computer. At this point, QUALITY OF GAS is one of the deciding factors. Yes, I've done the 10% ethanol versus non-ethanol test too. Better? Yes, but too expensive per mile. Like 7 cents per mile versus 4 of good quality 87 with ethanol. For what ever reason, MA gas goes the best distance with highest MPG. MA gas kicks butt! NY gas sucks! Velaro appears to be my best local choice here in NY for best MPG and CPM. YMMV (pun intended).

Phil

EDIT: Don't know why EVERYTHING at the end is underlined. I set underline for "controlled conditions" only. Oh well...
 
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STS-134

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For someone who has spent the better part of 8 months learning about all things lithium ion, I'd say neither. Couple of factors here.

1) What is the temperature at which the car is stored at? (interior temp I mean?). Is it sitting outside in the sun all day? Because keep in mind while a car is off, and not charging (for those vehicles who have battery pack cooling) the lithium ion battery sits at whatever temperature the car itself is at. So for those of you living in Texas with the car parked in the sun, good luck, so sad to your lithium ion batteries.
That's actually an advantage to BEVs. BEVs have the battery capacity to keep their own battery packs cool even when they're parked and NOT plugged into the mains. I believe Tesla lets you configure this but by default, they will use power from the battery to cool the pack unless the SoC drops down below something like 10-15%. Keep in mind that they're only cooling the battery pack, NOT the entire vehicle, which doesn't take too much energy to do. If you get into the car on a hot day, it's going to be toasty in the passenger compartment.

2) What is the range in which you are asking out of the battery pack? For pure electric cars, for those of you with a long commute, good luck to your battery pack. Lithium ion batteries behave in a very interesting manner. Those of you fully charging and discharging your battery will have a FRACTION of the battery lifespan than those who charge to 80% and discharge to, say 30%, and for those of you who having short commutes which result in a 80% SOC to, say, 50% SOC, your batteries will outlast you.

It is an exponential curve, actually. Those who charge to 80% and discharge to 30% will have double the cycles versus those that go to 100% and do a complete discharge. I can bring up the curve/info if necessary but all food for thought.
That's exactly why, if I get a Tesla, I'm not buying anything except the longest range model. That's something that a lot of people seem to not understand. It's not about how much range you "need" for your daily commute, it's about keeping the average DoD (depth of discharge) to a minimum, because the data I've seen shows that every time you cut DoD in half, you double the life of the battery. So only doing 50%-75% for example, quadruples the battery life compared to doing 0%-100%.
 

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That's actually an advantage to BEVs. BEVs have the battery capacity to keep their own battery packs cool even when they're parked and NOT plugged into the mains. I believe Tesla lets you configure this but by default, they will use power from the battery to cool the pack unless the SoC drops down below something like 10-15%. Keep in mind that they're only cooling the battery pack, NOT the entire vehicle, which doesn't take too much energy to do. If you get into the car on a hot day, it's going to be toasty in the passenger compartment.

Oh shit. Wow, I didn't know that. That's really really cool.
 

tempnexus

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For someone who has spent the better part of 8 months learning about all things lithium ion, I'd say neither. Couple of factors here.

1) What is the temperature at which the car is stored at? (interior temp I mean?). Is it sitting outside in the sun all day? Because keep in mind while a car is off, and not charging (for those vehicles who have battery pack cooling) the lithium ion battery sits at whatever temperature the car itself is at. So for those of you living in Texas with the car parked in the sun, good luck, so sad to your lithium ion batteries.

2) What is the range in which you are asking out of the battery pack? For pure electric cars, for those of you with a long commute, good luck to your battery pack. Lithium ion batteries behave in a very interesting manner. Those of you fully charging and discharging your battery will have a FRACTION of the battery lifespan than those who charge to 80% and discharge to, say 30%, and for those of you who having short commutes which result in a 80% SOC to, say, 50% SOC, your batteries will outlast you.

It is an exponential curve, actually. Those who charge to 80% and discharge to 30% will have double the cycles versus those that go to 100% and do a complete discharge. I can bring up the curve/info if necessary but all food for thought.

For me, the $ spent on battery technology today just leads to a replacement down the road, and they are incredibly expensive. So either you go fully electric (Tesla does this right) or you don't and stick with ICE for those of you who live in stupid hot climates!
Houston Texas park in garage at home but in open parking lot at work.

Don't want a pure electric hell no. I want a gasoline backup. Also the new Volvo's will go hybrid duals so I will probably choose those.

I
 

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Seeing that Volvo might go mostly hybrid in 2020, 2021 I was wondering what are your thoughts on a hybrid engine for an SUV?!
Hybrid engines in SUVs are cool if done right. For example Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid still has full mechanical AWD system which functions just like on regular Crosstrek. So you are not sacrificing offroad capability. Sadly Crosstrek has underpowered engine in all versions so if you like fast acceleration - this is not a good choice.
 

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