Author Topic: Hybrids and Electric Vehicles  (Read 3601 times)

Perspective

  • badfish
  • Jackass In Charge
  • Posts: 4635
  • Karma: +64/-22
    • http://jeff.bagu.org
Hybrids and Electric Vehicles
« on: April 04, 2022, 09:55:00 AM »
Seems like every manufacturer is now cranking out hybrid versions of vehicles and many are doing full EVs. What does everyone think of these?

I talked with a Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep mechanic about it, he basically said yeah it's cool to compete and everything, but their company doesn't know much about building electric vehicles and he's not an electrician. It made me think about the shift to Hybrids and EVs is really a fundamental shift in the industry away from automotive technology and into electric and computer engineering. There are many other companies that are probably better positioned to innovate in those areas. Tesla is really a tech company that makes a car, not an automotive company that makes a tech version of a car as the typical car company would be.

Will the old car companies be able to adapt? Will their EVs and Hybrids be any good, will they be reliable, etc...?

Perspective

  • badfish
  • Jackass In Charge
  • Posts: 4635
  • Karma: +64/-22
    • http://jeff.bagu.org
Re: Hybrids and Electric Vehicles
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2022, 10:04:28 AM »
To give my own experience, we bought a plug-in hybrid last year. It's a Chrysler Pacifica minivan. TBH, the thing is awesome. It has all the benefits of a minivan (it's huge, I can through both my kids bikes in the back without having to twist handle bars or remove tires, I can pack a week's worth of camping supplies + 4 people + a large dog + kayak + Paddle board etc..., not to mention the entertainment centre for the kids each with their own screen, power sliding doors with kids is amazing, etc...). The plug-in battery gives us about 60km of pure electric range, once that battery is dead it drives like a regular hybrid.

During the summer we pretty much only use the electric motors. 60km is more than enough for our daily routine of school drop off, work, kids activities. We really only use gas for road trips. Last year it averaged out to about 4.5L / 100km (~52 MPG). In the winter the engine comes on much more often just to heat up, we were around 8.5 L / 100 KM (~27 MPG) last winter. That's on par with our sedan, but with a 5,000 lb minivan. Overall pretty decent.

In terms of price, I don't think you end up ahead with a hybrid. The amount you save in gas over the lifetime of the car probably works out to be the same as the up front price difference at purchase. But it is a fun technology toy, and even accounting for the battery manufacturing and disposal process it's likely still better for the environment than a pure gas powered car.

Perspective

  • badfish
  • Jackass In Charge
  • Posts: 4635
  • Karma: +64/-22
    • http://jeff.bagu.org
Re: Hybrids and Electric Vehicles
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2022, 10:11:54 AM »
On the topic of reliability, we've had one issue. The electric system gave some kind of warning. The kind of thing that would make your check engine light come on in a regular car. But of course, a electrical issue could be dangerous if there's a real problem. So the car basically stopped working. I lost the ability to accelerate and had to pull over. When I stopped, the car shifted itself into park and refused to move. I had to have it towed. That's where I had the conversation with the mechanic that got me thinking more about an automotive companies abilities to really pull off a car like this.

In the end the mechanic took everything apart and said all was fine, there was one loose connection that may have caused the warning but he's not even sure. We've probably driven 10,000 km since then without a problem. But it is a pretty shitty experience to be stuck on the side of the road in a brand new vehicle.

Overall, even with that issue, I'd still buy a hybrid or EV again. I like the technology, I like having tech toys, I'm fine being a guinea pig in a new technology era. When we get around to upgrading our sedan I'll probably look for a fully electric, since we don't need range on our second car. I'd prefer a Tesla, not just because they're fancy and luxurious, but because I'd put more trust in a tech company to build a reliable electric car than a car company... is that crazy?

charlie

  • Jackass In Charge
  • Posts: 7906
  • Karma: +84/-53
Re: Hybrids and Electric Vehicles
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2022, 02:40:51 PM »
We've mostly decided that our next car will be an electric if we can help it. I'd prefer that over a hybrid but it probably depends on what is available and how much confidence we have in the quality of the options.

Short-term environmental advantages are likely mild but my thought is that long term, electric will be much better for humanity so a purchase now helps push in that direction. Obviously as a car there will be pros and cons but I haven't heard anything that makes me super nervous. Seems like it will just be a car but different. Our current cars are so far behind technologically that we're in for a big change when we do finally get a new one regardless of electric, hybrid or gas-powered.

Mike

  • Jackass In Charge
  • Posts: 11264
  • Karma: +168/-32
  • Ex Asshole - a better and more caring person.
Re: Hybrids and Electric Vehicles
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2022, 10:30:26 PM »
Yeah, when we go to replace the wife's car we'll most likely go electric.  There is still enough infrastructure issues that makes it hard for the vehicle we just bought.

> I'd prefer a Tesla, not just because they're fancy and luxurious, but because I'd put more trust in a tech company to build a reliable electric car than a car company... is that crazy?
At this point I just can't support Tesla as a company.  I think once the car companies really invest in it we'll seem some real quality come out across more price points.  I've seen more than enough software issues for Telsas that I don't trust them to be reliable.