PHEV fuel economy - MINI Cooper Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2019, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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PHEV fuel economy

Yesterday I made a 160 km (100 mile) round trip, starting fully charged.

As the first long-ish trip I have made on my own, it was an opportunity to try different techniques to try to find the best way to squeeze maximum economy out of the car.

Previously, I have tried to maximise electric driving, by forcing petrol use on flat cruising and downhill sections and keeping back/refilling the battery for uphill sections, town and acceleration.

After yesterday, I'm pretty sure that this was a mistake. The reason being that both "Save" and "Sport" modes effectively double petrol consumption, easily offsetting any savings from running on battery for some stretches. The engine even consumes petrol on steep, downhill stretches in either of those modes, which came as a complete surprise, while cruising at 80km/h (50mph) on the flat can be done for about 5l/100km without charge but closer to 9 while charging.

Unfortunately, I have yet to find a way of preserving battery charge without actively charging it. Running in the standard "eDrive" simply empties the battery then switches to petrol power, irrespective of whether a satnav destination has been set. Eboost is then unavailable with insufficient battery power, leaving the car sluggish for overtaking.

I'd be really keen to hear if anyone has found a technique for saving battery for when it's needed, without wrecking the petrol economy of the car.

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2019, 03:11 PM
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Yeah I want to find a good way to track that, as currently if I hit an A road, I typically push the gear lever left and use that Sports mode to conserve battery power for pulling away or stretches with lots of traffic lights. However, without repeating the test again and again on my own, its hard to gauge the effectiveness either way.

Its a shame that the app or even the car itself is absolutely garbage for doing that. Which is a shame, I saw a screenshot of a friend who picked up the Volvo XC60 PHEV, and it is fully capable of recording how much petrol was used and how much electric was used...

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2019, 08:31 PM
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I frequently do a 150 mile round trip from home into central Edinburgh and back. I leave home in electric mode and once I get to the end if the lane up to my house and join the main road I switch to save mode and let the engine warm up over 5-6 miles then I switch back to electric mode until I reach the motorway junction where I join the M9, then I switch back to Save and run in petrol mode until I get to the A8/ Edinburgh turn off when I switch back to Green mode. Despite a couple of long gradual inclines I can arrive at the Edinburgh turn off with a full charge that will see me into the city centre and back out to the motorway on the way home. I have never bothered trying to find a public charger in downtown Edinburgh top;up into. Yes petrol mode is not particularly economical even using the cruise control and sticking rigidly to the speed limit (which is hard in the Mini because it is so much fun to drive it fast........). I reckon in petrol mode on that trip I am not even getting 30mpg which is disappointing but then I look on the Countryman PHEV as more of a city car rather than a long distance cruiser. For sure my 3.0ltr V6 turbo diesel Range Rover Sport would wipe the floor fuel consumption wise in competition to the Countryman - on the same journey in the Sport I could easily get 45mpg at 70 and accelerating away to pass other cars didn’t even need a gear change with 700Nm of torque available from 1800rpm. I have to say though that I’m impressed with the Countryman on motorway runs, it is quiet and lively if not particularly economical on fuel.

Driving along in my automobile
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2019, 08:47 PM
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Iíve now 8k on the clock and I think I improved my driving techniques.

This is my experience and I understand it may be different in other conditions.

At first I donít understand why some users think sport mode is better to preserve battery. That mode is designed for the car to be... sportier! So, from some journeys in the same travel and only in sport mode I only saw huge petrol consumption and battery draining. It uses lower gears, a lot of eboost, so you have a quick response, but a large bill!

Nowadays I use sport only when I want some fun I donít care for consumption.

Green mode takes care of the climate control, whose responsible for fast battery draining! Other than that, and if I remember to set vent to low speed and not extreme cool/heat, I see no point on that in electric mode. Itís better to use the pedal to control coasting, so that battery can recharge a bit in a hill or a full stop.

Other important point is... speed. After 80km/h, it is better to run on petrol. Youíll do 2l/100km and maintain the battery almost intact for that period.

With an electric vehicle driving behavior is critical. If you drive gently and accelerate calmly, anticipating stops... that is when you really win the catalog numbers.

And remember to climatize when plugged in... saves a lot!

I now use mid mode + electric as standard and I just use the gear lever to turn petrol on and then select the best gear, if I know my trip will be longer than the normal battery range. Iím now doing 2.5l/100km and 30km in electric mode. A full tank is doing around 1300km. I charge it every night and sometimes in the middle of the day.

Of course you have to analyze your daily routine and know well if a hybrid and what hybrid will fit your needs. As I drive around 60km a day and I can charge it at work most of the days, I knew this one would fit me. But I did take one for a week to make sure. And Iím now going to gas station around once a month and Iím spending 50Ä a month. I also have a kWh counter and I spend around 15Ä charging how every night.
In this routine with my diesel I was going every week with a tank that had the double volume. I was spending more than 200Ä/month. So, I have a brand new car that ďcosts almost nothing to payĒ!

Of course when I do long journeys, I tried to take another car, or just ignore the board computer 9l/100km of premium petrol!!! Lol

Really really happy with this purchase!
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 2019, 11:43 AM
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PHEV fuel economy

The app is in Portuguese, but you can understand the values...

40km estimated electric range (it goes up as you get longer ranges).


2.0L fuel consumption in a trip where 28km were done in full electric mode. It was a long trip as you can see from the 2kwh electric consumption (usually in EV only it will be something between 14 to 22 kWh).



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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 2019, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim in Scotland View Post
....). I reckon in petrol mode on that trip I am not even getting 30mpg which is disappointing but then I look on the Countryman PHEV as more of a city car rather than a long distance cruiser.

Thatís weird, The worst I got was 7L/100, around 40mpg, and that was when my charger broke and I was running on petrol only for more than a month, without concerning about economic drive...
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 3rd, 2019, 04:06 PM
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hahaha I based my purchase on YouTube reviews and the fact that I had basically excluded every other car in its class. It was either this car or the Mercedes B-Class, diesel only. My wife likes the idea of hybrid/electric trains, so we ended up with the Countryman (Shortlist was made in February 2018). So even if this ended up bad, we only had to put up with it for 3 years as a company car and choose a new one. Our previous car was a Lexus CT200h, but that didn't give us the boot spare we needed with a growing toddler.

Our last tank of petrol was good for 800 miles, which is impressive. Hadn't visited a petrol station in 2 months! With all that said though, wife still suffers severely from range anxiety, which is one of the main reasons for a PHEV. You'd have to be extremely unlucky and badly planned to end up with a Countryman that you could not drive due to lack of either electricity or petrol...
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 3rd, 2019, 06:06 PM
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That mileage is very similar to mine. Very good when compared to a similar money amount of diesel.

That point of never get out of energy is also true.
Itís usual to drain the battery, but I also drained the petrol tank twice on half a year because I was on a hurry for days and I knew I had my battery full...
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2019, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the discussion and answers to my question.

Looking through the thread, the most relevant advice was from Ampma, who wrote:


"I now use mid mode + electric as standard and I just use the gear lever to turn petrol on and then select the best gear, if I know my trip will be longer than the normal battery range."

I haven't compared this method to the other ways of forcing petrol mode, but if it does that without using the engine as a generator, then that is clearly the way to go. Looks like it's time to get used to using the car as a semi-automatic on longer runs then.

Cheers!
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2019, 02:53 PM
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A comment from the USA: I previously had an Plug-in Prius. When I purchased it the relationship between electric prices and gasoline prices were such that running on electric was more economical. The price of gasoline went down and electricity up and economically electric made no sense. In the UK, is electric energy less expensive than using petrol? I would think so. Whether there is a net benefit environmental depends on what the utilities are using for fuel.

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2019, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Learnincurve2 View Post
Thanks for the discussion and answers to my question.

Looking through the thread, the most relevant advice was from Ampma, who wrote:


"I now use mid mode + electric as standard and I just use the gear lever to turn petrol on and then select the best gear, if I know my trip will be longer than the normal battery range."

I haven't compared this method to the other ways of forcing petrol mode, but if it does that without using the engine as a generator, then that is clearly the way to go. Looks like it's time to get used to using the car as a semi-automatic on longer runs then.

Cheers!


Yes, semi auto if you pull the gear lever.
It will only drain battery if you push it till eboost turns on. But, even than, youíll find yourself doing a lot of miles and dropping the battery just 5% or less. If your journey is long and you are on a free traffic area and running over 80kph, thatís the moment to use gasoline.


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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2019, 11:01 PM
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A comment from the USA: I previously had an Plug-in Prius. When I purchased it the relationship between electric prices and gasoline prices were such that running on electric was more economical. The price of gasoline went down and electricity up and economically electric made no sense. In the UK, is electric energy less expensive than using petrol? I would think so. Whether there is a net benefit environmental depends on what the utilities are using for fuel.


You have to do your math. But I honestly cannot imagine where In the world electricity would be more expensive than gas.

In my case, In Portugal, I pay 0,09Ä/kW during the night and 0,15Ä/kw in my company during the day.
50km from my daily routine, 25km to to each side, we can assume 10kW a day at 0,12Ä/kw. So I pay 2,4Ä/100km with electric power.
Letís assume, in a nice scenario, the car gets to 6.5l/100km if only relying on petrol. As a liter of petrol costs 1.65Ä, so, the same 100km would cost more than 10Ä!
Itís more than 4 times more expensive than electricity in my case.


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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 2019, 06:16 AM Thread Starter
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You have to do your math. But I honestly cannot imagine where In the world electricity would be more expensive than gas.

In my case, In Portugal, I pay 0,09Ä/kW during the night and 0,15Ä/kw in my company during the day.
50km from my daily routine, 25km to to each side, we can assume 10kW a day at 0,12Ä/kw. So I pay 2,4Ä/100km with electric power.
Letís assume, in a nice scenario, the car gets to 6.5l/100km if only relying on petrol. As a liter of petrol costs 1.65Ä, so, the same 100km would cost more than 10Ä!
Itís more than 4 times more expensive than electricity in my case.


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Let's remember that we're looking at this from a European perspective, where our governments are at least paying some lip-service to environmental issues. Most of the cost of petrol here is taxes. The policy is designed to encourage the consumers to buy more economical cars, with a knock-on effect to the car industry.

My limited knowledge of the States tells me that "gas prices" there are a holy cow that no administration dares touch.

I'm sure Tgmocatku will correct me if I'm wrong.

In Norway, even now, when Electricity prices are at a record high and petrol is relatively low, running on electricity gives me about the same saving as ampma.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 2019, 03:31 PM
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*facepalm*, I was always confused at the references to 'mid'. Until today, when I bothered to flick the Sports/Green toggle and noticed that it had references to a Mid mode. Still find it easier and safer to micromanage via the gear lever...

Experiences do seem to vary quite wildly, peaking on another forum, saw another person who always runs it in Green mode and uses Save/Sports sparingly. Just a shame there isn't proper documentation and direction on exactly what each mode does and how the car will perform. Wish someone could do a proper informative YouTube video on it...
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 2019, 06:06 AM Thread Starter
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*facepalm*, I was always confused at the references to 'mid'. Until today, when I bothered to flick the Sports/Green toggle and noticed that it had references to a Mid mode. Still find it easier and safer to micromanage via the gear lever...

Experiences do seem to vary quite wildly, peaking on another forum, saw another person who always runs it in Green mode and uses Save/Sports sparingly. Just a shame there isn't proper documentation and direction on exactly what each mode does and how the car will perform. Wish someone could do a proper informative YouTube video on it...
+1 on poor documentation
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