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Joined: Jan 16 2016
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I seem to be the only one on here with a hybrid by the sounds of it.
Just to clarify, hybrids are exempt from road tax if registered before March 2017, after that it is just the first year only as davew mentioned.
I particularly wanted a diesel hybrid for a variety of reasons but there aren't many that do them. Mercedes do one but it doesn't have a very good reputation if you read the forums, and also Volvo, which mine is. They only did them for a few years and decided that from a marketing point of view it wasn't a good idea. All their hybrids are now petrol. I think maybe Peugeot does a diesel hybrid as well but I wouldn't buy a Peugeot.
As regards pollution, diesels put out less CO2 per mile compared to the equivalent petrol engined car. Nitrous oxides are also taken care of now by the latest generation engines which inject urea solution (adblue). Mine isn't one of these unfortunately.
The biggest problem I see is particulates. The diesel particulate filter should work at low speeds around town but it then dumps the soot when you put your foot down.
Early days yet but I have done about 2,500 miles in my Volvo and I estimate about 1000 of that by battery. Mine is a phev. It plugs in to a 13 amp socket and the 11.4 KWh battery gives a theoretical range of 30 miles. Best I have had is 26 miles though.
With what I am paying for electricity, I am getting 4.2 charges for the equivalent price of a gallon of diesel, so you can look at it as 110 mpg.
I have applied for a smart meter so I can go on a night tariff so hoping to achieve 250 mpg equivalent.
Now I know a bit more about it, the charging points are a mess nationally with lots of different providers. I have found a few supermarkets and other places where it is free but most charge. Some as much as 30p/KWh which is as expensive as diesel or petrol. Having a pure EV car would be nightmare unless you could charge it at home and at work with a fast charger.

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Joined: Sep 02 2016
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Ah, I see LPGC; But don't hybrid drivers get Emissions Zone 'breaks' anyway ?...

Incidentally the Hybrid drivers i have spoken with have major issues with their expected overall MPGs too......
eg. "Might be OK for pottering about but not on the open roads"...

Maybe you should watch the fuller video and/or.read the EV1 book though, as it was clearly GM who did it.with 'encouragement' from the oil lobby !

Not sure the Betamax/VHS analogy works too well here (as both were developed in parallel) but perhaps a DVD/Cloud comparison works better (?) in which case EVs will be leased-only and/or shared ownership.... wait.... that was GM's EV1 model ! (But to be fair their batteries were pretty bad 20 years ago....)

Seriously though kids don't want DVD's anymore - thanks to Netflix/Broadband etc of course and (- wait for it -) their need for smaller Carbon Footprints !

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
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No time to watch videos, during a fag break I might push it to a brief look at Wikipedia ;-)

I believe hybrids get emission zone breaks, in fact didn't Gilbert mention something about this earlier in thread?

Thought in the early days of motoring EVs were being developed at same time as ice cars ?

My mate's mum and dad leased a Betamax, they were out at the pub every night and had an interesting collection of videos we'd sometimes watch while they were out lol.

Kids prefer Netflix/Youtube etc to DVDs but I doubt it's because of wanting a smaller carbon footprint... far more to do with convenience of having such a wide range of content instantly available and being able to use the same tech for comms with friends. If things/tech were different so smart phones were killing the planet but DVDs were environmentally friendly I expect they'd still not want to give up smart phones to use DVDs and landlines... i.e in that situation as far as kids were concerned I reckon convenience would count for more than carbon footprint. Would think a single DVD/Blueray disk has a lower carbon footprint than a smartphone, but wouldn't expect kids to see much cool about being limited to a range of content of 1 disk. Doesn't take a big stretch of imagination to see analogies on range/convenience between smartphones versus DVDs and ice cars versus EVs. And most kids who are nearly old enough to drive are far more likely to have an ice car as first car than an EV anyway, even if they are otherwise eco warriors.

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Joined: Jan 16 2017
Posts: 557

The data centres running those cloud services suck up an awful lot of electircity though, so the carbon footprint ends up
davew wrote:

Ah, I see LPGC; But don't hybrid drivers get Emissions Zone 'breaks' anyway ?...

Incidentally the Hybrid drivers i have spoken with have major issues with their expected overall MPGs too......
eg. "Might be OK for pottering about but not on the open roads"...

Maybe you should watch the fuller video and/or.read the EV1 book though, as it was clearly GM who did it.with 'encouragement' from the oil lobby !

Not sure the Betamax/VHS analogy works too well here (as both were developed in parallel) but perhaps a DVD/Cloud comparison works better (?) in which case EVs will be leased-only and/or shared ownership.... wait.... that was GM's EV1 model ! (But to be fair their batteries were pretty bad 20 years ago....)

Seriously though kids don't want DVD's anymore - thanks to Netflix/Broadband etc of course and (- wait for it -) their need for smaller Carbon Footprints !

The thing with that is those services rely on huge datacentres, that guzzle electricity 24/7, so unless its coming from renewable sources, it would probabbly work out to giving a bigger carbon footprint than the traditional DVD type distribution.

I've seen a handful of Toyota Priuses (or however you describe more than one) filling with LPG at various times when I've been filling up - and every one of them has been a taxi. From speaking to the drivers, they say they will run around for about 6p/mile in fuel once converted. I can see hybrids having their place (makes more sense when your crawling through traffic on a longer journey to not be running the engine if you didn't need to, without having the problems of range/charging times/availability of charging points to consider).

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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If you see a Prius in London, it IS a minicab. Nobody else will spend the extra in buying them just to drive around in probably one of the ugliest cars ever designed. However, even that has backfired a little as the Prius is a self charge hybrid so incapable of the 20 miles at zero emissions required for Congestion Charge exemption. It used to be exempt but not any more. To put it into perspective, a PHEV will do anywhere between 25 and 40 miles on battery power alone while a self charge will be pushed to manage much over a mile. OK if you are sitting in a traffic queue just creeping forward every couple of minutes but not really any other time. The only reason a Prius owning mincab driver will convert to LPG is purely financial, the lower he can get his running costs, the higher his profit, it has naff all to do with emissions.

For dave3d, the other 'mild-hybrids' as they call the diesel/electric combinations, are the Kia Sportage and the Honda CR-V. Other than that they all seem to use a petrol engine as the ICE whether PHEV or self charge.

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Joined: Sep 02 2016
Posts: 428

" The thing with that is those services rely on huge datacentres, that guzzle electricity 24/7, so unless its coming from renewable sources, it would probabbly work out to giving a bigger carbon footprint than the traditional DVD type distribution. "

What ? That's not what Microdsoft are saying Brian ! https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=56950

You will be telling us that the Internet harms our health next !!

Thank goodness all their servers are wind-powered: https://www.goclimateneutral.org/blog/the-carbon-footprint-of-servers/

Like many I have no idea what the (perceived/presumed) advantage of a non-plug-in hybrid is/was either...

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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The internet certainly harms health with the amount of time spent slumped in front of a screen!
I still do it :P

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Microsloth can say what they like but I've been in a datacentre and seen the size of both the refrigeration plant needed to keep it cool and the pair of huge diesel generators using engines originally intended to power a cargo ship needed to power it if the mains fails.. As for the second report, I've never seen a 'report' containing so many ifs and buts, although I am pleased to see that they regard nuclear power as green.....

The advantage of a self charge hybrid is a way of reducing CO2 emissions. Under the current and real world emissions tests, part of it is urban emissions (the bit that VW et al fiddled with their cheat software). So it simulates driving in a city in stop start traffic. During this phase of the test the car runs solely on electric power so zero emissions, then when traffic speeds up, the ICE kicks in. But that has the effect of reducing the overall emissions over that phase of the test. This allows a manufacturer to quote lower CO2 emissions, better fuel consumption figures and gives the owner a nice warm feeling inside. But it's no different to a plug in once the batteries have gone flat. Before the Government did away with the grant scheme, one company leased a fleet of Mitsubishi PHEVs only to find that their running costs went through the roof. When the vehicles came back at the end of their lease they found that the charging cables had never been taken out of their plastic bags so the drivers had been running around in relatively heavy vehicles powered by a 2.4 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine all the time.

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
Posts: 890

Bri did say 'unless the electric for servers comes from renewable sources'. Could also look at this in another way - even stuff that runs on renewable sources of electricity is using renewable electricity that could be used elsewhere instead of elsewhere running off none renewable electricity.

Anything wind powered isn't wind powered when the wind isn't blowing, any battery used to store excess power from wind blowing has to be built (not going to be a green process) and the battery is probably going to be built from rare earth elements, extraction of which isn't going to be a green process. Could be even more extreme - it would be far greener to live in a cave and not have any kids than to build wind turbines or have any sort of tech, nobody wants that... it's all about balancing green with lifestyle then? People will see the balance differently, some would have everyone revert to stoneage tech, most would set a different balance, kids have always been more idealistic than adults but they become adults.

The rare earth elements that go into smartphones end up being blended and going into landfill (according to a program on TV the other night), hardly very green. Kids could consider that as a result of their owning a smartphone rare earth elements (that they might need in future) are ending up in landfill. Which kid isn't going to want a smartphone because of this?

Advantage of self charging hybrids is as Gilbert said.. for slow moving stop/start traffic.

An implication of my main point in last post is kids would still be likely to want smartphones even if there was more of a fuss about them damaging the environment (like there is about cars damaging the environment). Easy to moan about something if they're not allowed to have that something yet like if they're not old enough yet. But when old enough they're gonna want the same thing they've been moaning about themselves.. like a car that doesn't need charging every 50 miles or cost too much money. If legal age to own a smartphone was higher we might hear of kids moaning about how un-green smartphones are... until they were old enough to own one. Same with cars but I don't think I've met a kid who said they wouldn't own a car unless it was a pure EV, I don't meet many of this supposed majority of kids who are up in arms about environmental issues, I just see the minority of most idealistic ones in the media, the majority of which I expect will be driving (probably ice) cars soon.

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Joined: Sep 02 2016
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It is quite hard to write a response whilst I am also peddling hard (and charging my PC with a bike dynamo) so bear with me.....
(and YES, that is also a 'joke'...)

but I am quite disturbed now to be informed that some of the stuff on the 'Net is just lies though ! Presumably this is a subset of the statement that "Bad News Travels Fast But Fake News Travels Fastest" !?

So, and very briefly..... For the record I detest Microsloth and have also lost count of the number of CC kids I have spoken with about iPhones from China and also the whole "financial backstories" on Lithium and Cobalt .... but I reapeat kids do think differently that we did as kids (Surprise Surprise) Just why that is is a Long Story of course...
perhaps 1,.21 or 31 years

And I meant any 'advantages' for hybrids not actually having plug-in facilities at all...

Damn... a puncture.... lights dimming.... should have bought a plug-in bike, obviously !

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Joined: Jan 16 2017
Posts: 557

davew wrote:

It is quite hard to write a response whilst I am also peddling hard (and charging my PC with a bike dynamo) so bear with me.....
(and YES, that is also a 'joke'...)

but I am quite disturbed now to be informed that some of the stuff on the 'Net is just lies though ! Presumably this is a subset of the statement that "Bad News Travels Fast But Fake News Travels Fastest" !?

So, and very briefly..... For the record I detest Microsloth and have also lost count of the number of CC kids I have spoken with about iPhones from China and also the whole "financial backstories" on Lithium and Cobalt .... but I reapeat kids do think differently that we did as kids (Surprise Surprise) Just why that is is a Long Story of course...
perhaps 1,.21 or 31 years

And I meant any 'advantages' for hybrids not actually having plug-in facilities at all...

Damn... a puncture.... lights dimming.... should have bought a plug-in bike, obviously !

Pedal harder!

The only advantage i can see with a hybrid with no plug in facility is that if you are crawling though very slow traffic, you'd do a fair amount of it without burning fuel. Not all of the distance by any means, as the batteries are too limited, but you'd typically find somewhere like the approach to the Dartford tunnels for instance you'd cut a chunk off the overall emissions in theory. In practice, it probably balances out to make very little difference overall, as the extra weight of the batteries you have to drag around is always there (and bear in mind that lots of manufacturers have got rid of things like the spare wheel to reduce weight and in doing so increase economy). But if it took you 10 minutes of moving very slowly though a queue it might improve the air a bit around it. Though again you could offset that against the startup emissions of a now cold catalyst that won't be effective until its back up to temperature again.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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Weight isn't so much of a concern on a self charge hybrid. Taking the Kia Niro as an example, the only vehicle currently available in full electric, plug-in and self charge hybrid versions. The full electric has a 64 kWh battery but weighs 2.23 tonnes, almost the same as a P38! The plug in has a 1.6 litre petrol engine and an electric motor powered from a 8.9kWh battery, while the self charge has the same 1.6 litre petrol engine and the electric motor is powered from a puny little 1.5 kWh battery and only weighs 1.93 tonnes. No version comes with a spare wheel as standard either

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Joined: Sep 02 2016
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Hmmm... Ok then I have now decided to get an EV but along with a folding bike/dynamo - in case I am 'running out of juice' and I can't find a Charging Station....

In fact I noted some compact Portable Generators for sale in Lidl for £300 (and that may be cheaper than the bike...). Wonder what would happen in Central London if they caught me charging my EV like that ?....

Seriously when I am asked about EVs I tend to tell folks about the need to carry these hefty batteries around with you ALL the time, kind of like having to carry a full tank of (ICE) fuel everywhere (and also a car full of people for that matter) and it seems to focus their minds...

Just had a look at that Niro spec. Not bad.... (some say with a 239-mile range, some say 282-miles... a bit too specific for my liking - again - but they should really quote 'typicals' not 'best' scenarios of course - as range is the primary concern for EVs. It probably needs more independent test results to 'convince and reassure' us all too...

As for the change in Regulations so cars don't need spare wheels any more it is clearly barmy (and is putting a strain on the AA etc too..)
the "A bucket of goop and a pump" kit just does not do it for me... One of the reasons for this seems to be the 'Start/Stop technology'..
whereby the (much) bigger battery takes up all that space in the boot instead. That's 'progress' for you though..

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Not aware of any regulation that says a car doesn't need a spare wheel. With fleet vehicles companies will often not allow an employee to change a wheel for H&S reasons (driver gets hit while changing a wheel at the side of a motorway, company is liable under H&S legislation as they have not fully exercised their duty of care for the employee). Despite me being employed as a fairly highly paid engineer, I have not had training as a vehicle technician and am not allowed to carry out any work on the works vehicle other than routine daily checks to confirm it is roadworthy (eg. count the wheels, check the dash display to show it has oil in it, etc). Although it has a spare wheel, a jack and a wheelbrace, if I get a flat tyre, I call the lease company breakdown hotline which routes me straight through to the AA. On every occasion I have had a flat (3 or 4 times now), by the time I've felt it the tyre sidewalls are buggered so it needs a new tyre. If I didn't have a spare (or that was flat too), then I would be recovered by the AA to the nearest Kwik Fit for a new tyre. It may be the same with a personal lease too as it isn't the drivers car.

That's how it works with company or leased vehicles, you aren't expected or allowed to do anything yourself. With privately owned vehicles, most drivers under the age of 40 wouldn't know how to change a wheel anyway......

Although as standard the Niro doesn't come with a spare, one can be ordered as an option. The space for it is under the boot floor filled with lumps of sound deadening if you don't have it.

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Joined: Sep 02 2016
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Well I must have made it up then Richard !

" Road Hero is a space saver wheel kit, designed to eliminate the danger of being stranded and to get you home safely !
Vehicles manufactured after 2012 are no longer required to provide a spare wheel, due to regulation changes. "

(EDIT: Just e-mailed them to seek clarification)

It also seems barmy (and unsafe) if you have a flat to stay on the side of the road and call the AA instead (particularly on Motorways)....

One of my cars has the "spacesaver" option whereby it is attached under the car: Not had the problem (yet) but presumably with a flat on the back would have to lift it up with the jack and then get halfway underneath to retrieve it ? Hmmmm.... Give me a "wheelwell" in the boot (with a wheel in it) any time... These wheels are just painted steel (cheap) and over a few years start to resemble the Titanic too !

As many 'spacesavers' are about half the width of the originals I really would not want to drive in the rain with one on the front either.

If they are not installing spares as standard on EVs due to "weight saving" that's somewhat misleading too.....

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Those space savers are intended purely to get you home (they have a very soft compound rubber and only have 3mm of tread when new) and must also have bright yellow stickers on them with the warning not to exceed 50mph. That's one thing that is checked on the IVA test, if it has a spare it must be legal, if it has a space saver it must be clearly marked with Max 50mph/80kph (in English) but if you don't have one there is nothing to check. I've taken cars built for the Russian market for IVA test and they have the yellow label and speed marking in English, French, German and Russian on them. However, the tester said that if they didn't meet the marking requirements, all I needed to do would be take it out so there isn't one. The Road Hero you linked to would fail the IVA test (so would also fail EU Certificate of Conformity) as the sticker isn't bright yellow and it is too small.

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You have to be 'amused' by 'regulations' where if the spare/spacesaver you have isn't legal then you just take it out to pass the test though !

The Road Hero I have is actually bright orange (and so it would be obvious to anyone in authority.... ) Quite pricey though... too pricey to fit under the floor where the cheap/nasty/rusty so I keep it in the boot instead..... Technically I thus have two spacesavers both possibly non-IVA as the label fell off the rusty original one ! I'll also ask RH about their sticker size if/when they reply about the regs. change....

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Joined: Jan 16 2017
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With the ones suspended underneath, the retaining mechanism can be a major problem as well once corrosion sets into it. As far as the spare is concerned and its presence for a test, if it was required to have it for the car to be roadworthy, you'd technically have a car that wasn't roadworthy after changing it on the side of the road once it had gone flat. Might sound daft, but sometimes things have to be made completely clear to avoid anyone (Plod mainly) misinterpreting them.

I'd agree with the comment on the flat on the side of the road, I've had to change a tyre twice on the side of the motorway (once on the m1, once on the m25) due to sudden failure. In both cases a tube of gloop wouldn't have worked, as one of them had a hole in it large enough to put 2 fingers into, and the other was a failed valve stem. But a preferable option to waiting for someone to turn up to assist at any rate.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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I don't understand why the regs were changed in 2012. Surely every car should have a spare? My preference would be for full sized too - so there's a nice location for an LPG tank :)

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I'm not sure they were changed or if that is around the time that manufacturers decided to stop supplying them to save weight/cost. I've just checked the IVA test manual which originally came out in 2007, when the IVA replaced the SVA, and it has a list of amendments. The only amendment in the tyres section is minor rewording to account for the fact that VR and ZR rated tyres do not need to have a load rating and that space saver tyres must have the yellow speed warning labels on them. No mention that a spare is mandatory with an amendment in 2012 to say that they no longer are. I suspect it is just bullshit on the part of the company flogging space saver spares. As for not having one for the IVA test, it's like a lot of things on the IVA and MoT, if it's fitted it should work and meet the regs but if it isn't then it isn't included in the test.

I had to change the offside rear on my P38 on the A1(M) up near Leeds. Fortunately, there was a very wide hard shoulder so with the nearside wheels on the grass I was well away from the traffic. As I always carry a trolley jack it took less than 10 minutes to change the wheel. But, I got a flat on the works van, also offside rear, on the M11 on a stretch with only two lanes and a very narrow hard shoulder. Getting my big motorway spec hi vis coat out the back, putting that on, sitting on the grass wondering if the AA would get there before someone drove into it was a much nicer way of spending the time.