Hybrids - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-25-2013, 12:41 PM   #43
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The motor and generator in Toyota's system are not liquid-cooled, as far as I know, so there would be no cooler. They could be - high-performance electric cars routinely have liquid cooling systems.
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The Escape has extensive cooling system. Actually the batteries are heated in cold weather and cooled when they get hot.

The Escape has water cooling for the motor/generators on the CVT. A separate cooling system with its own radiator and electric water pump circulate coolant through the (gas and electric) motors and also the DC-DC converter. This converter provides 12 volt power to the system and replaces the alternator on a non-hybrid....

Thermal Management
Excellent info, Norm! I doubt Ford would resort to this level of cooling unless Toyota did as well - it seems reasonable to assume that all Synergy-style systems are similarly cooled; news to me, and appreciated. A quick web search for "Synergy cooling" found the coolant circulation pump available for Toyotas, confirming this. Two details which I find fascinating:
  • The battery cooling is by air, and not just by blowing fresh air: the battery actually gets air conditioning when required!
  • The motor/generator and electronics cooling system uses water-based coolant, but (unlike a common transmission cooler) does not share the engine's coolant: engine operating temperature must be too high for the electric bits.

So, Norm, you have provided the answer to your own question: yes, since the eCVT (as some like to call this electrically variable transmission system) needs a cooling system, it is possible to overheat it.


There are reports - just plausible rumours as far as I am concerned since I have no authoritative source - that Toyota Highlander Hybrids pushed too hard in low-traction conditions overheat the rear drive motors (the Highlander Hybrid's AWD system drives the rear wheels only by electric motors), resulting in a loss of rear drive. Other similar reports suggest that under sufficient sustained load the main transmission's motor/generators or electronics can get hot enough that the system protectively reduces power. As long as excessive heat is managed properly, and is not a limitation to desired operation, I am not concerned by this.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:30 PM   #44
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Brian,

Just trying to learn, looking for information where ever I can. Fortunately there are people with knowledge that are willing to share.
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:09 PM   #45
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Late to this discussion but... We have a 2006 Prius with 102,000 miles and ZERO repairs or warrantee work, just a couple of recalls and a new set of tires at 60k. Original brakes are still good.

The electrical cooling system cools the inverter that converts high voltage dc from the battery to variable frequency variable voltage 3 phase AC current to drive the electric motor.

Hybrids make sense because the car only needs a lot of power for the brief periods when it accelerates. The battery only holds a little bit of energy but its enough to give the small ICE a helping hand when speeding up. You get the feel of a larger engine but the efficiency of a smaller one.

I think most hybrids batteries are too small to cope with the added drag if the trailer. You would do better with a conventional drive system and have better performance towing. Of course when not towing you do get the mileage benefit from the hybrid.

I figured we have saved over $8000 in gas compared to driving something like a Civic or Corrola over to 100k miles.

Car and driver just had an article about why EPA ratings overstates real world mileage for hybrids. My car was rated at 50, we get 46 in the summer, 43 in the winter. It's possible to get 50 but irritating to the drivers behind me.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:06 PM   #46
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I work for a brand with many variant drive trains in the same car (Jetta)that can be directly compared. The Jetta goes from base 2.0 model, to 2.5L volume model, 2.0T performance model, diesel, and hybrid. With Toyota would it be fair to make similar comparisons between 4cyl, v6, hybrid in a Camery? Does Highlander still have 4cyl, v6 and hybrid options?

BTW - I read an economic review for cost of ownership and the base engine still came out cheapest. The time frame was 3 and 5 years, I think, and included standard items (fuel, service, insurance, etc.). I will link the article if I find it again. I goofed up - the article shows the hybrid about $500 cheaper over the TDI, and the comparable volume model a further $800 more expensive.

I think the point made for hybrids towing is lower running cost when not towing, and not necessarily during towing, right? And most hybrids' battery strategy is to recover energy when slowing down and allow the engine to stop when not needed (IE: idling at a red light), then use that energy to assist the vehicle in returning to cruising speed. The overall design allows for use of smaller engine for most operating ranges, while the electric motor aids acceleration for short periods of time.

Given this information I believe the short comings of towing with a hybrid could be overcome with a change in software strategy. A comparable example is taking the same displacement V8 from a muscle car and putting it in a medium duty truck. We had a 2.5ton dump truck with a 283 Chevy in it. Same basic engine lived in a Corvette at one time. By changing the valve sizes, cam profiles, carburetor jets and venturies, exhaust and intake manifolds you have a very different running engine. So if you were to program the hybrid to do a deeper discharge and reduce output off the motor, you could have a vehicle better suited to longer accelerations typical of towing a trailer.

I know that is grossly over simplified, but just trying to provide an example.

Jason

PS; Much out of the price range for practical minds but Touareg, Q5 and ML are all SUVs that have diesel and gas versions. The first two also have hybrid options. As such towing would be designed into the vehicle design.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:11 PM   #47
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Towing my Scamp with a hybrid getting 27 mpg at 55 mph sounds great.

We regularly get mid-twenties mileage, towing our Scamp with a non-hybrid Ford Escape. The purchase price difference is roughly the equivalent of getting the first 100,000 miles of fuel for free.
This doesn't include the anticipated savings in having a less complicated vehicle resulting in lower repair costs.
I don't know exactly what the results would be with something like a Chevy Suburban with a large trailer when comparing Hybrid vs Non-hybrid versions.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:59 PM   #48
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As a data point, we just got back from a 650mile round trip from OH to MI to OH. TV is a VW Golf TDI with minor mods. Towing a scamp 13 in the worst weather imaginable on the outbound leg, fuel economy was only 26MPG. On the return leg with a lesser headwind, fuel economy was 29.8MPG. With some minor tweaks to TV & trailer, an honest 30+MPG is within reach.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:16 AM   #49
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An interesting discussion in an area I know little about. I initially dismissed hybrids as an option for me when the Highlander hybrid came out with a one mpg increase for a lot more money (thousands). Floyds' argument of cost versus benefit. I am forever amazed that vehicles initially cost so little for what you get. The economy of scale and efficiency of construction plays a big part. Unfortunately with the filling of every void, ease of maintenance has to suffer.

Also, with the basic premise of recapturing the energy lost to heat in braking, it seems ironic that the components require cooling. Raz
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:39 PM   #50
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I wouldn't want to be on the road, in the middle of nowhere, with a broken-down Volkswagen. My experience with cars that start with the letter "V" is that they are maintenance nightmares, and that's living in a big city, where you have a thousand options when choosing a mechanic. Just my opinion.
That being said, I am hoping to purchase a Fiberglass trailer, to serve as my year-round home, by next summer. Still have no idea which manufacturer to go with- frankly, I am overwhelmed with my choices. But I will first purchase a tow vehicle and this thread is very important and interesting to me as I have wanted a hybrid since 2005 (when I bought my Ford Focus), and I still want a hybrid, but I have completely written it off as a tow vehicle based off of my brief research on their towing capability. Really hate to buy a non-hybrid and am trying to justify that I will drive less once I am camped for periods of 6 months at a time. But ideally, I want a hybrid towing a solar-powered FGRV. Is this possible? Your inquiry gives me hope! And I will continue to follow this thread! Good Luck!
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:58 PM   #51
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Suggest you figure out which trailer you need for full-time living, and then what is required to tow it. We've followed several threads by people trying to figure out how to make their tow vehicle do something it isn't capable of. And, it's never pretty.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:00 AM   #52
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Suggest you figure out which trailer you need for full-time living, and then what is required to tow it. We've followed several threads by people trying to figure out how to make their tow vehicle do something it isn't capable of. And, it's never pretty.
What he said.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:59 AM   #53
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We have a 2006 Prius, most reliable car I have ever had and still gets 47 mpg with 110,000 miles on the odometer. Not rated to tow though and it has no 'excess' power to pull anything anyway. We have towed a 2850# trailer with a V6 RAV4 which worked fine and just replaced that with a Jeep Grand Cherokee which will tow better and gets slightly better mileage (24 not towing).

If environmental responsibility is your primary goal, a hybrid that can tow (probably Toyota Highlander) would be your best bet or a diesel from VW. If saving money is your goal I can't imagine a hybrid would ever pay-off as ones that can tow are $40k plus new. A diesel Jetta or Passat would be a better compromise between mpg and msrp. Probably one of the best compromises between mpg, msrp and service availability is a Ford Escape with tow package, but quite a step down from a diesel VW.

As others have said you really ought to pick a trailer first. Especially if you plan to live in it full time.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:15 PM   #54
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I know that I will be purchasing a 16' scamp or casita. They vary slightly in weight but I would assume the greater weight when choosing my tow vehicle. So I know which trailer I want, just saying I will be buying the vehicle first- easier to do a trade-in on my car and begin making monthly payments to make a dent in that debt, and then purchase a trailer, which has to be paid for outright, and which I don't want sitting in a driveway without a destination. The destination will be decided by the job I hope to get- as a National Park Ranger (so glad that budget cuts have been made that will make this already highly-competitive job even more challenging to attain (sarcasm)). So... lots of determining factors... I will not buy a car with a capacity under 3500. And that should be safe for most of the fiberglass rv's around 16' or 17'- and won't leave me terrified considering that I will have to drive through mountain ranges (Rockies/Sierras). Wish it was all figured out already. I think I can get it all together in a year- and then I'm off!! Environmental responsibility and frugality are equally important, but I think safety trumps them both, as I am truly fearful of not having enough power to get me where I need to go, so as I said before, I will likely choose a vehicle with a 3500 tow capacity. Thanks for the comments. I can use all the help I can get.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:56 PM   #55
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So I know which trailer I want, just saying I will be buying the vehicle first...
That makes sense to me... and it's very different from buying the tug than making it work for a mismatched tug.

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I will not buy a car that can't tow less than 3500. And that should be safe for most of the fiberglass rv's around 16' or 17'
Yes, but keep in mine that some 17' designs are heavier than others: some Casita 17', newer Bigfoot 17' and 17.5', and probably all 17' Olivers are likely to be over this limit when loaded for travel.

This limit will also eliminate most hybrids, but at least a couple of hybrid SUVs qualify. The Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid more than doubles that (3,500 kg / 7,716 lb, like the other Touareg/Cayenne variants) if you have piles of extra money lying around.

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Environmental responsibility and frugality are equally important, but I think safety trumps them both, as I am truly fearful of not having enough power to get me where I need to go, so as I said before, I will likely choose a vehicle with a 3500 tow capacity.
Safe towing and power are essentially unrelated. I agree that adequate capacity is required, but you can be safe with very little power... and you can also get anywhere you want to go (perhaps more slowly than desired) with very little power. In practice, anything with a 3500 pound or higher rating will have enough power for safety, anyway.
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