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Old Jan 27, 2013, 08:06 AM
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Big Foot 48's Avatar
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Hybrid Car Question

I have been thinking recently about buying my first hybrid car, a Ford C-Max. I've been reading all the reviews about it, and learning how hybrid cars work, and a question occurred to me.

Why aren't there AC charging sockets on all these cars? Why should running the gasoline engine, enriching people who want us dead (just threw that in for laughs), be the only way to re-charge the battery? Why shouldn't I be able to run it on batteries down to a low charge, leave it there and switch to gasoline, and then when home plug it in and use nuclear electricity to recharge it?

There is a Ford Energi C-Max model that contains a battery that is five-times bigger than the normal hybrid battery, and it has the charging socket. The only difference in the two models is the size of the battery and the missing socket on the normal hybrid.

Why aren't people modding these things to add home charging to them? Or are they.

Here's one recent article on this car" http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...hybrid-672098/

BTW, it appears in California, home of all things green, that one can buy the more expensive Energi model for about the same net price as the Hybrid after all the massive Federal and State tax credits. Woohoo free money!
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 08:10 AM
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My Prius doesn't have enough battery capacity to make it worth it. Probably the same is true for most of them.

I want the opposite. What I wish they had is a 110 socket so I can use it as a backup generator when the power goes out.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 08:46 AM
56S
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so the idea is to use regenerative braking to charge a battery to assist in acceleration?
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 08:53 AM
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United States, AR, McDougal
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Why not just use low RPM ICE to turn a generator to keep the Batteries charged and go 500 miles on three gallons of fuel ?
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:04 AM
56S
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Why not just use low RPM ICE to turn a generator to keep the Batteries charged and go 500 miles on three gallons of fuel ?
Huh. Railroad been doing most of the above for 50 plus years.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:10 AM
Alarm Bells Continuing!
Big Foot 48's Avatar
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Originally Posted by 56S View Post
so the idea is to use regenerative braking to charge a battery to assist in acceleration?
Yes, and that's how the hybrids get the high MPG. In fact, hypermiling techniques like switching to N and coasting apparently don't benefit hybrid mileage as it negates the benefit of regeneration.

Without regeneration a hybrid would just be a generator running an electric motor and I doubt there would be any free lunch resulting.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 10:05 AM
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so the idea is to use regenerative braking to charge a battery to assist in acceleration?
Perfect vehicle for the post office or the person that delivers newspapers.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Big Foot 48 View Post
I have been thinking recently about buying my first hybrid car, a Ford C-Max. I've been reading all the reviews about it, and learning how hybrid cars work, and a question occurred to me.

Why aren't there AC charging sockets on all these cars? Why should running the gasoline engine, enriching people who want us dead (just threw that in for laughs), be the only way to re-charge the battery? Why shouldn't I be able to run it on batteries down to a low charge, leave it there and switch to gasoline, and then when home plug it in and use nuclear electricity to recharge it?

There is a Ford Energi C-Max model that contains a battery that is five-times bigger than the normal hybrid battery, and it has the charging socket. The only difference in the two models is the size of the battery and the missing socket on the normal hybrid.

Why aren't people modding these things to add home charging to them? Or are they.

Here's one recent article on this car" http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...hybrid-672098/

BTW, it appears in California, home of all things green, that one can buy the more expensive Energi model for about the same net price as the Hybrid after all the massive Federal and State tax credits. Woohoo free money!

Most hybrids are set up to get better city mileage through stop-and-go driving, not constant driving with the battery pack. The battery packs are generally too small to use them as the main propulsion means.

The average commute to work is 16 miles....so 16x2=32, plus a reserve thrown in for errands. Most regular hybrids can't go that far on batteries alone, so no need for a charging jack.

The Ford regular hybrids are advertised as getting 47mpg, but nobody in the real world is seeing figures that high. They just opitmized everything to get the highest score for the EPA test, real world mileage doesn't match what's on the sticker. Other companies are having the same issues with real world mileage not matching EPA mileage.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 10:28 AM
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Looks like most c-max owners are seeing 38-42. At 38 it would still be double my Ody in-town mileage. It might save me $400-$500 a year in gasoline at current prices - breakeven on the extra cost of a hybrid is many, many years, but in this case a gas-only c-max is not available in the US.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 12:37 PM
D W
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so the idea is to use regenerative braking to charge a battery to assist in acceleration?
Exactly the idea of KERS (Kinetic energy recovery system) being used in Formula One.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 12:40 PM
D W
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Originally Posted by Usta Bee View Post
Most hybrids are set up to get better city mileage through stop-and-go driving, not constant driving with the battery pack. The battery packs are generally too small to use them as the main propulsion means.

The average commute to work is 16 miles....so 16x2=32, plus a reserve thrown in for errands. Most regular hybrids can't go that far on batteries alone, so no need for a charging jack.

The Ford regular hybrids are advertised as getting 47mpg, but nobody in the real world is seeing figures that high. They just opitmized everything to get the highest score for the EPA test, real world mileage doesn't match what's on the sticker. Other companies are having the same issues with real world mileage not matching EPA mileage.
First time I saw the MPG numbers on a hybrid I figured they mixed them up. The city mileage is so much greater than the highway mileage. Never saw that before and took a beat go figure it out...
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 12:59 PM
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For the price that doesn't look bad.

Personally, If I had a choice to buy any ford Hybrid I'd go with the escape. Its such a nice vehicle. but its cost a bit more than their sub compacts.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 01:04 PM
56S
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Exactly the idea of KERS (Kinetic energy recovery system) being used in Formula One.
Thanks for the info. Stupid me thought F1 had enough power already. Make me think of how some of the old WWII fighters were started.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 01:23 PM
D W
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Thanks for the info. Stupid me thought F1 had enough power already. Make me think of how some of the old WWII fighters were started.
I think it's a testbed/developmnt type thing. Trickle down to the market eventually.
Interesting that the devices can be electrical, as above, or mechanical. The mechanical would involve a flywheel spinning at 80,000RPM(!) and be more efficient because there's no change of state. Only electrical systems have been used so far.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 01:43 PM
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I believe you are confusing the plug-in hybrid with the gas/electric hybrid. We have the latter, in a Toyota Camry Hybrid. It has a NiMH pack which is designed only to provide light propulsion under 40MPH, when idling and coasting. It runs on the gas engine (Internal Combustion Engine or ICE), the electric motor alone (EV mode) or a combination of both. The battery gets recharged ONLY through regenerative braking or from the ICE.

Plug-in hybrids use external AC to charge their typically larger batteries and are designed to run on EV for longer periods before the ICE kicks in. Toyota has many Prius gas/electric hybrids and now offers a plug-in hybrid. The Chevy Volt is essentially a plug-in hybrid but it's small ICE only powers the EV system which still provides the propulsion.

I'm leaning (again) to the all-electric vehicle such as the Nissan Leaf. I can only drive that 80-100 miles on a charge before topping up again. My driving habits suit a pure EV quite well.

I'm impressed with the quiet and smoothness of our Camry Hybrid. You can barely tell when the ICE shuts off or kicks in. We average 38mpg in all-around driving and about 34mph in freeway use. City-only driving we can get 42mpg out of it.
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