Considering a plug in hybrid

thedoswells

Well-known Member
Hi
never had one before, and I know very little about cars.
i don’t mind paying a premium for the car, and I’m more interested in the environmental aspects, rather than saving money.
but are they very expensive to maintain etc?
anything else I should be aware of?
many thanks for any advice...
 

un1eash

Distinguished Member
Don't see the point in plug in hybrids unless it's to save company car tax. Most only do 20-30 miles on battery so if you do alot of miles a normal petrol will be better when factoring in total cost and if you don't do alot of miles might as well go full electric.
 

thedoswells

Well-known Member
Don't see the point in plug in hybrids unless it's to save company car tax. Most only do 20-30 miles on battery so if you do alot of miles a normal petrol will be better when factoring in total cost and if you don't do alot of miles might as well go full electric.
thanks for the reply .
since we tend to mostly do journeys that are less than 20 miles I thought it would be a good idea, since then if we do the odd long journey to visit family or go on holiday, we could just rely on being able to fuel up. I’m not really clued up on how good and easy the full electric versions are.
we are only looking at getting a car about the size of a golf...
cheers
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
I have been a fully electric user for well over two years. I just replaced mine. It's the first time, ever (in 30+ years) I have replaced like for like (updated model).

We do mostly shortish trips (like you and many others, I suspect) with the occasional longer trip. Most frequently about monthly (pandemics aside) we go ~85 miles each way to visit a relative. And much less frequently, about 145 miles to visit another. And the odd random trip like home (near Sheffield) to Morecambe and then over the pennines via Skipton and York to Bridlington and on to Pickering before returning home - spread over three days.

This last trip was in the earlier car which had a real-world range of about 130 miles. Recharging was not a problem; it was a consideration, but that is all. By which I mean, the trip was planned to allow for it.

I wouldn't (by choice) go back to driving anything other than full electric.
 

thedoswells

Well-known Member
I have been a fully electric user for well over two years. I just replaced mine. It's the first time, ever (in 30+ years) I have replaced like for like (updated model).

We do mostly shortish trips (like you and many others, I suspect) with the occasional longer trip. Most frequently about monthly (pandemics aside) we go ~85 miles each way to visit a relative. And much less frequently, about 145 miles to visit another. And the odd random trip like home (near Sheffield) to Morecambe and then over the pennines via Skipton and York to Bridlington and on to Pickering before returning home - spread over three days.

This last trip was in the earlier car which had a real-world range of about 130 miles. Recharging was not a problem; it was a consideration, but that is all. By which I mean, the trip was planned to allow for it.

I wouldn't (by choice) go back to driving anything other than full electric.
thanks very much.
i guess I need to have a look to see if there are reliable sites to read reviews and see if there are good models at the size/price I am looking for.
much appreciated.
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
If you really want to be green.

Keep the car you've got until it's not economical to repair it anymore.

Manufacturing a new car for you to purchase will cause more damage to the environment than you'll save by driving a green car.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Similar to the above, we thought about changing down to a single car and looked at a plug in hybrid that Mrs IG could commute to work in on electric, and then do longer journeys by petrol, but the maths didn't work. It was at least £10K more than an electric only (with a range of 170 miles) so it made much more sense to keep my old diesel until they tax it off the road and stick with an EV for her. .
 

1jim

Well-known Member
I have a hyundai ioniq phev- great for the daily commute to/from work and no worries on a long trip (holidays/weekends away and the like as acts as normal hybrid).
I know a lot of pure ev folk (and die hard petrol heads) see it as something to be avoided but it works for us, both powertrain wise and financially.
our other care is a 24kwh leaf which is great for wifes commute to work- and whilst I know many folk do go on long trips in these, there is no way I would want to stop every hour to charge up when trying to go on holiday
 

thedoswells

Well-known Member
I have a hyundai ioniq phev- great for the daily commute to/from work and no worries on a long trip (holidays/weekends away and the like as acts as normal hybrid).
I know a lot of pure ev folk (and die hard petrol heads) see it as something to be avoided but it works for us, both powertrain wise and financially.
our other care is a 24kwh leaf which is great for wifes commute to work- and whilst I know many folk do go on long trips in these, there is no way I would want to stop every hour to charge up when trying to go on holiday
thanks very much.
im really struggling to understanding the uk charging infrastructure, apart from having a home charger, so that is a big factor in any decision...
cheers
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
im really struggling to understanding the uk charging infrastructure, apart from having a home charger, so that is a big factor in any decision...
cheers
As a full EV user (with no other car) for over two years, I'll offer two things:
1: I sympathise; before I took the plunge, I felt exactly the same.
2: BUT, having now been using our infrastructure since Nov 2017, I'd say it's one of those things that becomes clear fairly quickly with use.

As simply as possible:
For non-domestic charging, and for the moment excluding Tesla cars, there are basically three types of charger.
1: DC rapid. These are outlets that will deliver 50kW or more. They will fully charge a full EV in 30-60 minutes or so, depending on the vehicle, its state of charge and so on. They are provided by several networks (more on these below). Most will accept payment using a contactless bank card and all new installations are required to have this option. Legacy machines are supposed to be retrofitted but that is still ongoing. Costs vary from free up to 69p/unit (which is way, way too much). ~35p is more common and many are less. All have captive cables and most have all three main types, but each unit will typically only charge one car from one of those cables at a time. If you are planning a long trip, it may be helpful to keep to sites that have several units to reduce risk of either already occupiped, or out of service; or to plan a charge stop with contingency (another location, still within range, if your first choice isn't available).
2: AC "fast". These outlets deliver ~7kW in most cases; some are three-phase which give 22kW to a suitably equipped vehicle. Many cars do not have 3-phase onboard equipment so are limited to 7kW. These are more likely to be found at malls and supermarkets and many are presently free to use (paid for by the location; they may require you to be a "customer"). Many (all?) Tesla "destination chargers" have at least one outlet that will provide an AC "fast" charge to any vehicle with the right socket (Mennekes). A 7kW charger takes up to 4-6 hours to charge a full EV, again depending on its state of charge and capacity and so on. This is the same as a dedicated domestic charger. Chargers may have a captive cable (so will only work with a car with the right socket; varies by vehicle; Mennekes is the most common); some have a socket; you need your own cable.
3: AC rapid. This is 3-phase 43kW and only few cars are equipped to make full use. Others may only draw 7kW from such a unit. Many DC rapid units (see above) have an AC rapid outlet on their third cable.

Note that PHEVs typically do NOT ever charge at rapid speeds. Rapids are of benefit for full EV users only.

Networks (Suppliers)
There are several and each has its own method of working.
The first, easiest, type is simply Pay As You Go. Examples include InstaVolt. Use a contactless bank card; simple.
Next - optional membership. You join the scheme, obtain a smartcard or use a phone app to initiate a charge session. Typically you get reduced prices if you use your "account". Or pay with a bank card as above. Examples include Polar/ChargeMaster, where you can either join free (PAYG) or pay a monthly membership for even lower per-unit prices.
And - required membership. You can only use their equipment IF you have an "account".

Special Case: Tesla owners have access to a dedicated network of Tesla charge points. Their machines (certain "destination chargers" aside) will only handshake with a Tesla vehicle and are useless to anyone else.

"Accounts"
Two ways of working. Examples: Polar/ChargeMaster invoice you monthly for your usage and collect dues by Direct Debit in arrears (including membership if applicable). PodPoint require you to keep a small "fund" in your account which is used to pay for your session. You can either top-up manually or have it set to auto-top-up when depleted.

There are variations. One supplier (GeniePoint/Engie) do not normally provide their own smartcards, but you can "register" anyone else's smartcard with them and use that instead.

Online tools such as Zap-Map and PlugShare will tell you what chargers there are which supplier/scheme they belong to, costs and often availability. Use these tools to plan any longer trips around charging stops. If you sign up, you can provide your car type and results are filtered to those that work with your specific car. Public chargers are often found, not at remote filling stations (though these do exist) but at retail and/or leisure locations; hotels; shopping, coffee shops and so on, so there is very likely an opportunity for you to refuel yourself as you car charges.

It all sounds complex - and perhaps it is, unnecessarily so. But such is the way of an open free market economy. It is fair to say that since I started paying attention in 2017, the number of charging stations has grown hugely; it's far easier to get along with an EV now than it was when I started (and during my time, it was never that hard). And that legislation requiring contactless bank cards at all outlets will progressively make it easier - more like buying fossil fuel - unless you want to make use of membership discounts.
 

thedoswells

Well-known Member
As a full EV user (with no other car) for over two years, I'll offer two things:
1: I sympathise; before I took the plunge, I felt exactly the same.
2: BUT, having now been using our infrastructure since Nov 2017, I'd say it's one of those things that becomes clear fairly quickly with use.

As simply as possible:
For non-domestic charging, and for the moment excluding Tesla cars, there are basically three types of charger.
1: DC rapid. These are outlets that will deliver 50kW or more. They will fully charge a full EV in 30-60 minutes or so, depending on the vehicle, its state of charge and so on. They are provided by several networks (more on these below). Most will accept payment using a contactless bank card and all new installations are required to have this option. Legacy machines are supposed to be retrofitted but that is still ongoing. Costs vary from free up to 69p/unit (which is way, way too much). ~35p is more common and many are less. All have captive cables and most have all three main types, but each unit will typically only charge one car from one of those cables at a time. If you are planning a long trip, it may be helpful to keep to sites that have several units to reduce risk of either already occupiped, or out of service; or to plan a charge stop with contingency (another location, still within range, if your first choice isn't available).
2: AC "fast". These outlets deliver ~7kW in most cases; some are three-phase which give 22kW to a suitably equipped vehicle. Many cars do not have 3-phase onboard equipment so are limited to 7kW. These are more likely to be found at malls and supermarkets and many are presently free to use (paid for by the location; they may require you to be a "customer"). Many (all?) Tesla "destination chargers" have at least one outlet that will provide an AC "fast" charge to any vehicle with the right socket (Mennekes). A 7kW charger takes up to 4-6 hours to charge a full EV, again depending on its state of charge and capacity and so on. This is the same as a dedicated domestic charger. Chargers may have a captive cable (so will only work with a car with the right socket; varies by vehicle; Mennekes is the most common); some have a socket; you need your own cable.
3: AC rapid. This is 3-phase 43kW and only few cars are equipped to make full use. Others may only draw 7kW from such a unit. Many DC rapid units (see above) have an AC rapid outlet on their third cable.

Note that PHEVs typically do NOT ever charge at rapid speeds. Rapids are of benefit for full EV users only.

Networks (Suppliers)
There are several and each has its own method of working.
The first, easiest, type is simply Pay As You Go. Examples include InstaVolt. Use a contactless bank card; simple.
Next - optional membership. You join the scheme, obtain a smartcard or use a phone app to initiate a charge session. Typically you get reduced prices if you use your "account". Or pay with a bank card as above. Examples include Polar/ChargeMaster, where you can either join free (PAYG) or pay a monthly membership for even lower per-unit prices.
And - required membership. You can only use their equipment IF you have an "account".

Special Case: Tesla owners have access to a dedicated network of Tesla charge points. Their machines (certain "destination chargers" aside) will only handshake with a Tesla vehicle and are useless to anyone else.

"Accounts"
Two ways of working. Examples: Polar/ChargeMaster invoice you monthly for your usage and collect dues by Direct Debit in arrears (including membership if applicable). PodPoint require you to keep a small "fund" in your account which is used to pay for your session. You can either top-up manually or have it set to auto-top-up when depleted.

There are variations. One supplier (GeniePoint/Engie) do not normally provide their own smartcards, but you can "register" anyone else's smartcard with them and use that instead.

Online tools such as Zap-Map and PlugShare will tell you what chargers there are which supplier/scheme they belong to, costs and often availability. Use these tools to plan any longer trips around charging stops. If you sign up, you can provide your car type and results are filtered to those that work with your specific car. Public chargers are often found, not at remote filling stations (though these do exist) but at retail and/or leisure locations; hotels; shopping, coffee shops and so on, so there is very likely an opportunity for you to refuel yourself as you car charges.

It all sounds complex - and perhaps it is, unnecessarily so. But such is the way of an open free market economy. It is fair to say that since I started paying attention in 2017, the number of charging stations has grown hugely; it's far easier to get along with an EV now than it was when I started (and during my time, it was never that hard). And that legislation requiring contactless bank cards at all outlets will progressively make it easier - more like buying fossil fuel - unless you want to make use of membership discounts.
Wow. That's such an amazing reply, thanks so much.
I can see why I've been rather confused so far. It is a pity that things aren't more standardised but I guess things are moving in the right direction.
It's ironic that for the first time in my life I can afford to buy an EV but a combination of the above confusion, corona, and impossible waiting lists seem to make it very difficult.
The cars I like the look of seem pretty much impossible to actually buy!
Thanks again for the detailed response...
 

1jim

Well-known Member
I would say that you need to consider a couple of things- if you want to go PHEV- dont worry about charging when out and about-- you will charge at home and only occasionally if charging is free at your destination (meadowhall shopping centre/lidl etc)

if you are thinking EV- look at real world range in winter and think about worse case scenario. How often do you do longer distances- do you always go to same place, Then its a case of how much do you want to spend on a car- this will dictate what you can afford in EV world, then its a case of can you manage on the range it can do and would you be ok charging enroute or would it be a pain....the answers to that are quite individual- only you will know what type of person you are.... worth noting that not all new evs will work out cheaper than phev/petrol versions over a 3-4 year period depending on your usage so worth thinking about how long you will keep the car (in reality, not what people say you should do), this may mean thinking about why you want to move, finances v green.
 

thedoswells

Well-known Member
I would say that you need to consider a couple of things- if you want to go PHEV- dont worry about charging when out and about-- you will charge at home and only occasionally if charging is free at your destination (meadowhall shopping centre/lidl etc)

if you are thinking EV- look at real world range in winter and think about worse case scenario. How often do you do longer distances- do you always go to same place, Then its a case of how much do you want to spend on a car- this will dictate what you can afford in EV world, then its a case of can you manage on the range it can do and would you be ok charging enroute or would it be a pain....the answers to that are quite individual- only you will know what type of person you are.... worth noting that not all new evs will work out cheaper than phev/petrol versions over a 3-4 year period depending on your usage so worth thinking about how long you will keep the car (in reality, not what people say you should do), this may mean thinking about why you want to move, finances v green.
many thanks.
im really now thinking about a full ev.
nearly all our driving is local and fairly short.
i estimate about 6 journeys a year which would probably exceed the range of the car. I’d be happy to find somewhere to charge, and most journeys would be the same, e.g. to see family members...
im not really looking to save money, more just feel its the right thing. Not sure though. I really need to replace my existing car.
Much appreciated...
 

1jim

Well-known Member
weve made our 24kwh leaf work for my wifes commute - I wouldnt want to take it long distances but to be honest its cheap to run :)

the ioniq phev (1 year old) costs the same as our previous niro hybrid, I would have liked the full ev niro but they a) were not available unless you were happy to join a years waiting list and B) you needed to be not that bothered about monthly finances (from memory- the niro hybrid was £250 a month on pcp with £2k down, the ev was more than £500 a month and from memory closer to £6k down-- too rich for my blood. I did look at the MG ev but was missing some basics (like middle head restraint) that made me wonder about what else was missing.... I still hope to go full ev in time but will need to be able to do decent range- but I wont pay much more to get there- so the PHEV works for me as 99% of journeys are on electric but I didnt have the additional cost outlay to get the ev
 

thedoswells

Well-known Member
weve made our 24kwh leaf work for my wifes commute - I wouldnt want to take it long distances but to be honest its cheap to run :)

the ioniq phev (1 year old) costs the same as our previous niro hybrid, I would have liked the full ev niro but they a) were not available unless you were happy to join a years waiting list and B) you needed to be not that bothered about monthly finances (from memory- the niro hybrid was £250 a month on pcp with £2k down, the ev was more than £500 a month and from memory closer to £6k down-- too rich for my blood. I did look at the MG ev but was missing some basics (like middle head restraint) that made me wonder about what else was missing.... I still hope to go full ev in time but will need to be able to do decent range- but I wont pay much more to get there- so the PHEV works for me as 99% of journeys are on electric but I didnt have the additional cost outlay to get the ev
that’s the key question really. 95% or more very short journeys and then a rare very long one. It’s a tough decision...
thanks again
 

IronGiant

Moderator
I did look at the MG ev but was missing some basics (like middle head restraint) that made me wonder about what else was missing....
We've got one and I hadn't even noticed :facepalm::D.
 

1jim

Well-known Member
We've got one and I hadn't even noticed :facepalm::D.
now you wont be able to unsee it.... I so wanted to like it, for the sake of a couple of quid in slightly better kit I would have probably bought one- we have kids in the back so as odd as it sounds it was a deal breaker for me
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Doesn't sound odd at all, if we still had all 3 children living at home it would have been for us too. If we'd noticed :D.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Hard to tell as we picked it up the day before lockdown so we've only driven about 10 miles in it :(
 

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