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Thread: Hybrid vs petrol - surprising outcome

  1. #1
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    Hybrid vs petrol - surprising outcome

    Both of our teenage boys are now driving and we needed to put them in a decent vehicle. Because they are unlikely to stay in the area for long after high school, we wanted something that we could hand over to mum when they are gone. As is the norm with us we expect to keep this vehicle at least 10 years. Our current Toyotaís are 10 and 14 years old.


    We decided we would make the boys contribute to the purchase of the vehicle and itís running costs as an important lesson in growing up. When they leave, the remaining family drivers will jointly purchase their share, less depreciation of course. Mum & dad own 50%, the boys 25% each.


    If one of them does stay - for example they get a job at Waihi Gold - he will have the choice of a family financed purchase plan to buy the vehicle outright, or he can sell his share and buy his own vehicle. Both boys indicated the latter option would be most likely.


    So this initiated a study of whatís what in the vehicle market. I set a budget of $20-25k with two non-negotiables - the vehicle had to have a 5-star safety rating and quality for reasonable insurance for learners. The fuel consumption I assumed would be low, as I assumed a hybrid. I used a fleet management spreadsheet I got from mate to analyse a bunch of different options.


    We initially thought we would be buying a Toyota Certified imported Aqua. With the kind of mileage the car would do (70% open road, 30% town), 15,000km p.a., I discovered the little Aqua petrol ICE would be running most of the time and the projected fuel savings from using the battery a lot in town just donít materialise. I did two quite long test drives in a 40,000km 2019. I got 3.9 L/100km (15km town and 5km open road), then 4.9 L/100km (25km open road and 5km town). I hated the Japanese gobbledygook on the digital displays. I then discovered that the Aqua Hybrid costs three times as much to insure as the Corolla equivalent, plus it comes with an additional $1200 excess! This is because it is one of the most stolen vehicles in New Zealand apparently. $4500 p.a. for the familyÖ fuck that.


    I turned my attention to the 2018- on E210 Corolla Hybrid. It was immediately apparent that for any given year or mileage I would be paying a premium of ~25% for the privilege of having batteries and a less powerful petrol engine than the petrol ICE equivalent. But the insurance was sensible - $1500 p.a. (Remember that two of the drivers are 16 and 18.)


    I drove both the hybrid and the petrol only versions and was surprised that on the exact same test drives the petrol only version was incredibly frugal - 5.8 L/100km vs the hybridís 5.2 L/100km. The open road 100km/h driving really hits the fuel consumption of these hybrids hard. Plus the hybrid is pretty gutless, whereas the 2.0L petrol is quite nippy with plenty of safe overtaking power.


    I spoke with the service manager, he showed me the two customer loan cars theyíve been running since new, both 2.0L petrols. The long-term fuel consumption figures for these since new are 5.8 and 6.0 L/100km. He then ran through with me the realities of hybrid battery replacements, what to expect and when. Thereís no getting around the fact that if you are buying a secondhand hybrid - even one with a generous 5-year battery warranty - at some point you are going to be coughing up for either new cells or a complete new battery. A new battery is around $4500-5000 dollars from Toyota (good warranty) or $3500 aftermarket (crap warranty). Youíre looking at battery replacement sometime around 10 years old, plus or minus a couple of years depending on how the vehicle has been driven. The independent research backs this up.


    Another point of reference is my motherís car. She has the E210 Hybrid (3 years old) and has achieved 5.4 L/100km over 24,000 miles, about 60% open road, 40% town.


    So back to the spreadsheet with a bunch of real-world data. The insurance cost kills the viability of the Aqua, stone dead. Assuming the same rate of depreciation over 10 years, it is significantly cheaper to purchase and run the 2.0L petrol Corolla vs the Hybrid equivalent. Any hybrid fuel savings are destroyed by the purchase price premium and battery replacement assumption. I did not expect this outcome, I had just assumed we would be buying a hybrid. I did not realise just how frugal the 2.0L M20a-FKS engine is. Needless to say it is considerably more enjoyable to drive than the gutless hybrid.


    There is one other critical assumption that my wife and I have made. Once the boys are gone it is likely we will head off on another adventure somewhere and our vehicles will go into storage again. Weíve done this twice before. Weíve had some excellent advice regarding what storing these hybrid vehicles means in terms of battery degradation. If you park it up for 6-12 months without driving it, look out. Itís counter intuitive but the hybrids that are essential to avoid are the really low mileage ones - if itís only driven a few Ď000km p.a., walk away! Itís just not getting the battery conditioning required on a very regular basis to keep the State of Health high enough. Once they start to decline itís a slippery slope. That was the final nail in the coffin for the hybrid.


    Big ups to my local dealer for allowing me decent test drives and for being frankly honest about what they are seeing with hybrid maintenance long-term. The conclusion that a petrol only vehicle is the more economical and practical purchase for long-term ownership was a surprise - it might not suit everyone and if your mileage is principally urban or suburban then the fuel savings from the hybrid might mean the economics work in your favour. But thereís a big premium to pay and the battery replacement risk will not go away.


    We bought a 2022 Corolla 2.0P with 20,000km and 3 yr warranty with a decent discount, the effort paid off. Surprised but happy with the outcome, learnt a bit along the way.
    Just...say...the...word

  2. #2
    Member Rich007's Avatar
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    This is fantastic - we are about to go through the same process, although with a higher proportion of rural driving.
    imaca likes this.
    If my work annoys me, I cull them

  3. #3
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    Yep wife had a brand new hyundai hybrid for work. It used the same amout of gas as our petrol only corrola, when telling people about it they just wouldnt have it. Its a hybrid so it has to be better on gas. Glad someone else has found the same thing....
    timattalon likes this.

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    not quite an applicable test was one done on top gear some years back. A larger engined BMW versus one of the later model hybrid of the day. Over 10 years ago now.
    Once you got up to open road speeds and as long as you didn't flog it, the beener was the same if not slightly better than the electric. The big engine was unly using a small amount of its horsepower to keep it at speed where as the smaller electric was working harder. Obviously start using the jandal on the BMW and all bets are off.

  5. #5
    Member Pengy's Avatar
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    Are hybrids subject to road user charges as well, or is the full EV s?
    Forgotmaboltagain+1

  6. #6
    MSL
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    Only plug in hybrids and full evís


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  7. #7
    Member Pengy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSL View Post
    Only plug in hybrids and full ev’s


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    Stupid question, but how can they distinguish between kms traveled using petrol and those using electricity, in the case of plug in hybrid.
    Am I not understanding how these cars work?
    Forgotmaboltagain+1

  8. #8
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    Agree completely - your findings entirely reflect what I found when I went through this same exercise in 2021 when my wife took out the dual mass flywheel in her little Hyundai Tucson CRDi (2008 version). That was a really good reliable nice to travel in car, but the book value of a 2008 version at 230,000km's was circa $5000 - the cost of doing the work to it to drop the subframe, get the engine out to have enough room to separate the engine flywheel combo to get to the clutch and flywheel - parts at the cheapest I could find were over $3K so it fast became a nup, nup option. Similar to insuring the Aqua...

    So we went looking for a replacement and she wanted a bigger car with a boot as she really found the compact SUV format too small with two rugrats in tow everywhere. This fast morphed into "7 seat would be nice as well" meaning it basically went to a SUV style vehicle as anything taller wouldn't fit the basement. Most full size SUV's didn't either... Hmmm.

    Found the Mitsi Outlander with the rear row of mini person seats that fold up - perfect. They do a hybrid - perfect. The neighbours just brought the PHEV version, brand new - hmm lets be nosy! Real world driving figures off their one - pretty much the exact same driving conditions in honesty was 5.9-6.8L/100Km consumption - this is due to living semi rural and the ICE part running at anything over about 70Km/H speed which is straight outta the driveway. Hmmm again not what I expected!

    Talked to the service people - the PHEV weighs in at almost 480Kg more than the equivalent ICE-only version - that's a lot. Tyre wear, suspension, bushes, springs and joints all take a considerably higher amount of wear over the lighter ICE version and you don't save much in servicing costs plus pick up the cost of the battery servicing at the intervals needed. Mitsi batteries aren't as available as Toyota as well.

    The biggest nail in the coffin of the hybrid, was a circa $20,000 sticker tax in 2021 new vehicle pricing - this is because not many low mileage second hand about and at 3 years old and 100,000km the asking price at that point was still $28,000 and brand new on runout the same spec was $31,999 - PHEV $51,999. We ended up buying the runout less $2500 trade for the Hyundai - $20,000 buys a lot of fuel (effectively free fuel for the 10 years we expect to have it over buying the PHEV version). As @Flyblown found - I did not expect to find what I did about the economy, maintenance and purchase of the hybrids.

    Different if you live in the city and run short commutes to be truthful, but small town or rural use at anything over 50% open road driving percentages, forget em.

    Good write up though, thanks!
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  9. #9
    MSL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pengy View Post
    Stupid question, but how can they distinguish between kms traveled using petrol and those using electricity, in the case of plug in hybrid.
    Am I not understanding how these cars work?
    The road user charges for a plug in hybrid are less than for a full EV.


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  10. #10
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    My neigbors had a new rav hybrid for 4yrs.At the start the ks range was about 850ks,after 4yrs down to 600ks.Warranty on battery ran out.Sold it a brought a straight petrol.Cost too much to replace hybrid battery.Just as cheap to run a petrol.
    Micky Duck likes this.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pengy View Post
    Stupid question, but how can they distinguish between kms traveled using petrol and those using electricity, in the case of plug in hybrid.
    Am I not understanding how these cars work?
    They basically took a guess, and then someone second guessed them so they backed down and lowered the ratios. If you're city based and only run on the battery you're winning, if your battery is fucked and do open road driving so use mostly petrol you're fucked. They've had years to see these problems but are only just starting to look at using RUCs for all vehicles and "doing away with the fuel tax" YEAH RIGHT, They'll just tax both ways.
    Pengy likes this.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for yr report Fb,my daughter drives a vw 1.4 litr turbo petrol,6 speed manual box.Drives 450ks a week to and from work.So cheap to run,average just under 5 litres/100k.Hope yr boys look after the car.
    Micky Duck likes this.

  13. #13
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    The death of petrol is a long time off.

  14. #14
    Member Tommy's Avatar
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    The hybrid versions are frigging heavy too, with less storage space then the plain ICE car. I was looking at a 2020s hybrid for the missus to lug child+crap around in, and the thing weighed more than 1.8 tons empty, with SFA more room in it than the hatchback it was replacing.

    I factored the battery replacement cost (which I can do myself) plus devaluation, and went for a 10 year older Wish instead, for $15k cheaper, which is basically free if it lasts 18 months (it's a 1ZZ-FE with 58,000km on the clock, it most certainly will last that long).
    Identify your target beyond all doubt

  15. #15
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    That's a pretty empirical test. Well done.

    Battery technology is just not there yet. Several iterations away from being factually useful/useable and non/less toxic and value for money with no plummeting devaluation.

    ICE tech has had over one hundred years to develop and refine. Its pretty damn good right now, as evidenced by your data.

    Those PHEV battery weights are shocking. That's equivalent to carting around 5 of your fat mates all day, every day, in the back of your car, all for little return.

    Geoff buys cars on YT did a test, using a 10 year old ICE diesel beemer and a new flash Brit Marque of a EV (volvo/Jag, something like that). Went from one end of the UK to the other. Cause the EV used fast chargers everywhere (to try and arrive at roughly the same time as the diesel), the actual costs for electricty were higher than the costs of diesel
    Trout and Woody like this.

 

 

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