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Default Mini review: Aldi battery mower

Aldi Ferrox battery mower, around 130 quid with battery/charger i'm told.

40cm cut, seems sufficiently powerful, I can't see it struggling unless
your lawn is neglected.

It's surprisingly sturdy, feels a fair bit more substantial than the
prior plug in mowers i've owned.

Easily adjustable cut height.

I'd highly recommend.
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Default Mini review: Aldi battery mower

On Thu, 3 Jun 2021 16:55:57 +0100, R D S wrote:

Aldi Ferrox battery mower, around 130 quid with battery/charger i'm told.

40cm cut, seems sufficiently powerful, I can't see it struggling unless
your lawn is neglected.

It's surprisingly sturdy, feels a fair bit more substantial than the
prior plug in mowers i've owned.

Easily adjustable cut height.

I'd highly recommend.


Did you get the charger / battery thing sorted or was that an 'extra'?

Would you say it's any easier to manhandle than a corded mower with a
similar capacity?

I ask because Mum (92) was considering such a thing a while back (we
looked at them in Homebase) and likes to be self sufficient and if it
was fairly light / manoeuvrable and didn't have a cord to trip over
(more than cut though) it might be a solution for her?

Cheers, T i m
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On 03/06/2021 19:09, T i m wrote:
On Thu, 3 Jun 2021 16:55:57 +0100, R D S wrote:

Aldi Ferrox battery mower, around 130 quid with battery/charger i'm told.

40cm cut, seems sufficiently powerful, I can't see it struggling unless
your lawn is neglected.

It's surprisingly sturdy, feels a fair bit more substantial than the
prior plug in mowers i've owned.

Easily adjustable cut height.

I'd highly recommend.


Did you get the charger / battery thing sorted or was that an 'extra'?


We got it sorted, it's approx 85 quid without battery, 130 with, we
bought it with and battery/charger turned up today.

Would you say it's any easier to manhandle than a corded mower with a
similar capacity?


It's easier for *me* than ****ing about with an extension but TBH it
feels a fair bit heavier than our prior pair of Bosch Rotaks.
It's OK when it's on the ground but it is a bit of a lump to carry.


I ask because Mum (92) was considering such a thing a while back (we
looked at them in Homebase) and likes to be self sufficient and if it
was fairly light / manoeuvrable and didn't have a cord to trip over
(more than cut though) it might be a solution for her?


I suspect she may struggle. Documentation suggests it's 16.5kg.
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Default Mini review: Aldi battery mower

On Thu, 3 Jun 2021 21:09:46 +0100, R D S wrote:

snip

Did you get the charger / battery thing sorted or was that an 'extra'?


We got it sorted,


Good.

it's approx 85 quid without battery, 130 with, we
bought it with and battery/charger turned up today.


I suppose you might want to buy it without if you already have a
matching battery system.

Would you say it's any easier to manhandle than a corded mower with a
similar capacity?


It's easier for *me* than ****ing about with an extension but TBH it
feels a fair bit heavier than our prior pair of Bosch Rotaks.


Ah.

It's OK when it's on the ground but it is a bit of a lump to carry.


And I'm guessing the battery wouldn't add sufficient weight to make it
easier to move after detaching it first (like they do with some
take-down mobility scooters)?


I ask because Mum (92) was considering such a thing a while back (we
looked at them in Homebase) and likes to be self sufficient and if it
was fairly light / manoeuvrable and didn't have a cord to trip over
(more than cut though) it might be a solution for her?


I suspect she may struggle. Documentation suggests it's 16.5kg.


Assuming she can keep it on it's back then front wheels when getting
it in over the step up to the garage (as you would a pram / baby buggy
going up a kerb) then she would only be levering the weight up with
the handle, rather than dead-lifting the whole thing (with the front
half being easier as she would be pressing down and with a better
lever). Whilst she's still strong she's not always that steady on her
pins but I was thinking that the handle (like a walking frame) and
even weight might help her?

Do you lift the battery out to charge it and if so is that reasonably
light / easy would you say?

Did you run the battery flat and if so what sort of run time did it
give?

Cheers, T i m

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"T i m" wrote in message
...
On Thu, 3 Jun 2021 16:55:57 +0100, R D S wrote:

Aldi Ferrox battery mower, around 130 quid with battery/charger i'm told.

40cm cut, seems sufficiently powerful, I can't see it struggling unless
your lawn is neglected.

It's surprisingly sturdy, feels a fair bit more substantial than the
prior plug in mowers i've owned.

Easily adjustable cut height.

I'd highly recommend.


Did you get the charger / battery thing sorted or was that an 'extra'?

Would you say it's any easier to manhandle than a corded mower with a
similar capacity?

I ask because Mum (92) was considering such a thing a while back (we
looked at them in Homebase) and likes to be self sufficient and if it
was fairly light / manoeuvrable and didn't have a cord to trip over
(more than cut though) it might be a solution for her?


I wouldn't go with an aldi in that situation, the availability of
spares would be worse than with a better brand like Makita etc.



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Default Mini review: Aldi battery mower

T i m wrote:
On Thu, 3 Jun 2021 21:09:46 +0100, R D S wrote:

snip

Did you get the charger / battery thing sorted or was that an 'extra'?

We got it sorted,


Good.

it's approx 85 quid without battery, 130 with, we
bought it with and battery/charger turned up today.


I suppose you might want to buy it without if you already have a
matching battery system.
Would you say it's any easier to manhandle than a corded mower with a
similar capacity?

It's easier for *me* than ****ing about with an extension but TBH it
feels a fair bit heavier than our prior pair of Bosch Rotaks.


Ah.

It's OK when it's on the ground but it is a bit of a lump to carry.


And I'm guessing the battery wouldn't add sufficient weight to make it
easier to move after detaching it first (like they do with some
take-down mobility scooters)?

I ask because Mum (92) was considering such a thing a while back (we
looked at them in Homebase) and likes to be self sufficient and if it
was fairly light / manoeuvrable and didn't have a cord to trip over
(more than cut though) it might be a solution for her?

I suspect she may struggle. Documentation suggests it's 16.5kg.


Assuming she can keep it on it's back then front wheels when getting
it in over the step up to the garage (as you would a pram / baby buggy
going up a kerb) then she would only be levering the weight up with
the handle, rather than dead-lifting the whole thing (with the front
half being easier as she would be pressing down and with a better
lever). Whilst she's still strong she's not always that steady on her
pins but I was thinking that the handle (like a walking frame) and
even weight might help her?

Do you lift the battery out to charge it and if so is that reasonably
light / easy would you say?

Did you run the battery flat and if so what sort of run time did it
give?

Cheers, T i m


A self-propelled battery mower, might provide some
mechanical advantage when pacing the yard. It is not
likely to help when putting the mower away though
(width of mower versus width of doorway? mess?).

Paul

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Default Mini review: Aldi battery mower

I wonder how long the battery lasts for, ie does the time it runs get lower
with increasing age, and when its ready for a new battery will they still be
around to buy?
Brian

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"R D S" wrote in message
...
Aldi Ferrox battery mower, around 130 quid with battery/charger i'm told.

40cm cut, seems sufficiently powerful, I can't see it struggling unless
your lawn is neglected.

It's surprisingly sturdy, feels a fair bit more substantial than the prior
plug in mowers i've owned.

Easily adjustable cut height.

I'd highly recommend.



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On 04/06/2021 03:02, Paul wrote:
T i m wrote:
On Thu, 3 Jun 2021 21:09:46 +0100, R D S wrote:

snip

Did you get the charger / battery thing sorted or was that an 'extra'?
We got it sorted,


Good.

it's approx 85 quid without battery, 130 with, we
bought it with and battery/charger turned up today.


I suppose you might want to buy it without if you already have a
matching battery system.
Would you say it's any easier to manhandle than a corded mower with a
similar capacity?
It's easier for *me* than ****ing about with an extension but TBH it
feels a fair bit heavier than our prior pair of Bosch Rotaks.


Ah.

It's OK when it's on the ground but it is a bit of a lump to carry.


And I'm guessing the battery wouldn't add sufficient weight to make it
easier to move after detaching it first (like they do with some
take-down mobility scooters)?

I ask because Mum (92) was considering such a thing a while back (we
looked at them in Homebase) and likes to be self sufficient and if it
was fairly light / manoeuvrable and didn't have a cord to trip over
(more than cut though) it might be a solution for her?

I suspect she may struggle. Documentation suggests it's 16.5kg.


Assuming she can keep it on it's back then front wheels when getting
it in over the step up to the garage (as you would a pram / baby buggy
going up a kerb) then she would only be levering the weight up with
the handle, rather than dead-lifting the whole thing (with the front
half being easier as she would be pressing down and with a better
lever). Whilst she's still strong she's not always that steady on her
pins but I was thinking that the handle (like a walking frame) and
even weight might help her?

Do you lift the battery out to charge it and if so is that reasonably
light / easy would you say?

Did you run the battery flat and if so what sort of run time did it
give?

Cheers, T i m


A self-propelled battery mower, might provide some
mechanical advantage when pacing the yard. It is not
likely to help when putting the mower away though
(width of mower versus width of doorway? mess?).


I have a self-propelled Mountfield (60V 4A battery). It is very good,
and cuts well. The self-propelled speed can be adjusted to suit the
user. I also found out by chance that the self-propelled motion works
whether the blades are rotating or not - in other words, it can be used
to just move the mower around on the flat, or up and down slopes, etc.

However, it is at least as heavy as the corded mower it replaced (25Kg),
and the battery is not only heavy, but the contacts in both the mower
and charger hold it very firmly indeed. I doubt that anyone with a hand
or wrist weakness would be able to pull it free.

--

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On Thu, 03 Jun 2021 22:02:14 -0400, Paul
wrote:

snip

Assuming she can keep it on it's back then front wheels when getting
it in over the step up to the garage (as you would a pram / baby buggy
going up a kerb) then she would only be levering the weight up with
the handle, rather than dead-lifting the whole thing (with the front
half being easier as she would be pressing down and with a better
lever). Whilst she's still strong she's not always that steady on her
pins but I was thinking that the handle (like a walking frame) and
even weight might help her?

Do you lift the battery out to charge it and if so is that reasonably
light / easy would you say?

Did you run the battery flat and if so what sort of run time did it
give?


A self-propelled battery mower, might provide some
mechanical advantage when pacing the yard.


Agreed, just not sure they are available at that price break and how
much heavier it might make it?

It is not
likely to help when putting the mower away though
(width of mower versus width of doorway? mess?).


It's not that difficult (and something she had done regularly for the
50 years she has lived there with a whole range of mowers).

She seemed to take to her G-Tech battery cleaners and so it was losing
the cord that was the draw on them (less likely to be a trip hazard)
and so the same thought with a battery mower.

Her main mobility issues are the *distance* she can walk *comfortably*
(bunions) and sometimes, balance (typically after standing up or
turning round quickly etc).

That's why we tell her off when we go round there and catch her
standing on a chair and cleaning the windows! ;-(

Cheers, T i m


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On Fri, 4 Jun 2021 08:12:17 +0100, Jeff Layman
wrote:

snip

I have a self-propelled Mountfield (60V 4A battery). It is very good,
and cuts well. The self-propelled speed can be adjusted to suit the
user.


Hmm, it was the 'self propelled' bit that got her into trouble on a
mobility scooter recently but the mower should be ok as long as it's
not a 'ride on'. ;-)

I also found out by chance that the self-propelled motion works
whether the blades are rotating or not - in other words, it can be used
to just move the mower around on the flat, or up and down slopes, etc.


Assuming a push mower is reasonably free rolling her back lawn is
literally right outside the garage door (where a mower would be
stored) but the front lawn is accessed down the side of the
(semi-detached) house and so it could be handy for that. It's all very
much on the flat.

However, it is at least as heavy as the corded mower it replaced (25Kg),
and the battery is not only heavy, but the contacts in both the mower
and charger hold it very firmly indeed. I doubt that anyone with a hand
or wrist weakness would be able to pull it free.


And does it *need* to be removed for charging?

The dust collection container on her hand held G-Tech cleaner is a
struggle for me to get off (without risking throwing it across the
room when it does) and she can actually get that off!

We bought her a convertible shopping trolley, two wheels when taking
it there empty and then 4 wheels when it's loaded and it seems to have
the capacity of a wheely bin. She often pulls that back into the house
(up two steps) on her own with little issue so it's not a strength /
grip issue.

Daughter is due to re-lay the rear lawn after the rescue lurcher Mum
was looking after ripped it up like a racetrack so we have some time
to check stuff out.

Cheers, T i m
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On Fri, 4 Jun 2021 08:37:08 +1000, "Rod Speed"
wrote:

snip

I ask because Mum (92) was considering such a thing a while back (we
looked at them in Homebase) and likes to be self sufficient and if it
was fairly light / manoeuvrable and didn't have a cord to trip over
(more than cut though) it might be a solution for her?


I wouldn't go with an aldi in that situation, the availability of
spares would be worse than with a better brand like Makita etc.


You are probably right as I've generally been able to get parts for
'big brand' stuff but have never tried (needed?) for anything from
Lidl / Aldi?

If it comes with a 3 year warranty (at that price) it might not be an
issue?

Cheers, T i m
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"T i m" wrote in message
news
On Fri, 4 Jun 2021 08:37:08 +1000, "Rod Speed"
wrote:

snip

I ask because Mum (92) was considering such a thing a while back (we
looked at them in Homebase) and likes to be self sufficient and if it
was fairly light / manoeuvrable and didn't have a cord to trip over
(more than cut though) it might be a solution for her?


I wouldn't go with an aldi in that situation, the availability of
spares would be worse than with a better brand like Makita etc.


You are probably right as I've generally been able to get parts for
'big brand' stuff but have never tried (needed?) for anything from
Lidl / Aldi?

If it comes with a 3 year warranty (at that price) it might not be an
issue?


I keep my lawnmowers for much longer than that and you
may well find that a replacement battery is a problem outside
warranty and with the blades too unless they are generic.

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On 04/06/2021 11:36, T i m wrote:
On Fri, 4 Jun 2021 08:12:17 +0100, Jeff Layman
wrote:

snip

I have a self-propelled Mountfield (60V 4A battery). It is very good,
and cuts well. The self-propelled speed can be adjusted to suit the
user.


Hmm, it was the 'self propelled' bit that got her into trouble on a
mobility scooter recently but the mower should be ok as long as it's
not a 'ride on'. ;-)


No, it's "walk-behind".

I also found out by chance that the self-propelled motion works
whether the blades are rotating or not - in other words, it can be used
to just move the mower around on the flat, or up and down slopes, etc.


Assuming a push mower is reasonably free rolling her back lawn is
literally right outside the garage door (where a mower would be
stored) but the front lawn is accessed down the side of the
(semi-detached) house and so it could be handy for that. It's all very
much on the flat.


In which case it should work very well for that purpose. If access to
the garage for storage is either on the level or over a small step it
should be relatively easy.

However, it is at least as heavy as the corded mower it replaced (25Kg),
and the battery is not only heavy, but the contacts in both the mower
and charger hold it very firmly indeed. I doubt that anyone with a hand
or wrist weakness would be able to pull it free.


And does it *need* to be removed for charging?


Yes, though depending on how much lawn has to be mown, it may be able to
do several cuts before needing to be recharged.

The dust collection container on her hand held G-Tech cleaner is a
struggle for me to get off (without risking throwing it across the
room when it does) and she can actually get that off!

We bought her a convertible shopping trolley, two wheels when taking
it there empty and then 4 wheels when it's loaded and it seems to have
the capacity of a wheely bin. She often pulls that back into the house
(up two steps) on her own with little issue so it's not a strength /
grip issue.

Daughter is due to re-lay the rear lawn after the rescue lurcher Mum
was looking after ripped it up like a racetrack so we have some time
to check stuff out.


It isn't cheap...

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Default Mini review: Aldi battery mower

Brian Gaff (Sofa) wrote:
I wonder how long the battery lasts for, ie does the time it runs get lower
with increasing age, and when its ready for a new battery will they still be
around to buy?
Brian


The neighbours previous battery mower, lasted four years, before
I saw it appear out on garbage day. The battery on that wasn't
modular, so did not lend itself to easy replacement.

One weakness of lithium, is if you let it run down,
below the "low" fill line, the charger will refuse to
charge it. For safety reasons (plated out lithium).
I expect the reason the mower was unusable after
four years, is improper maintenance over the
winter interval.

Paul
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T i m wrote:

We bought her a convertible shopping trolley, two wheels when taking
it there empty and then 4 wheels when it's loaded and it seems to have
the capacity of a wheely bin. She often pulls that back into the house
(up two steps) on her own with little issue so it's not a strength /
grip issue.


Absolutely no help, but thought you might like Granny Turismo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1NXtX2l_6Y

Chris
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On 2021-06-04, Paul wrote:
One weakness of lithium, is if you let it run down,
below the "low" fill line, the charger will refuse to
charge it. For safety reasons (plated out lithium).
I expect the reason the mower was unusable after
four years, is improper maintenance over the
winter interval.


I've had a battery mower - this is it's fifth season. Removable batteries.

Curious what you consider "improper maintenance" - not recharging
batteries? I always keep mine charged. But what else is to do over
winter on an electric mower? I always clean mine out every other cut.
I suppose re-sharpen the blade.

Jim
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On Sat, 05 Jun 2021 09:09:28 +0100, Chris J Dixon
wrote:

T i m wrote:

We bought her a convertible shopping trolley, two wheels when taking
it there empty and then 4 wheels when it's loaded and it seems to have
the capacity of a wheely bin. She often pulls that back into the house
(up two steps) on her own with little issue so it's not a strength /
grip issue.


Absolutely no help, but thought you might like Granny Turismo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1NXtX2l_6Y

That's very clever / funny and can even picture my Mum as part of it
(and would be up for it and wouldn't need the fake legs). ;-)

Since Dad died she is generally up for anything, as long as it means
spending time with her friends or family. So if we were thinking of
her and offered to take her to a garden centre or us and a trip to
Santa Pod, she would probably say 'yes please' to both (and could just
turn her hearing aids off at The Pod). ;-)

Cheers, T i m
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Jim Jackson wrote:
On 2021-06-04, Paul wrote:
One weakness of lithium, is if you let it run down,
below the "low" fill line, the charger will refuse to
charge it. For safety reasons (plated out lithium).
I expect the reason the mower was unusable after
four years, is improper maintenance over the
winter interval.


I've had a battery mower - this is it's fifth season. Removable batteries.

Curious what you consider "improper maintenance" - not recharging
batteries? I always keep mine charged. But what else is to do over
winter on an electric mower? I always clean mine out every other cut.
I suppose re-sharpen the blade.

Jim


"Sloppy", would be running it down to zero, pushing it
into the garage, shutting the door, coming along next
spring and noticing "gee, the charger refuses to charge it.
Broken charger ???".

That sort of thing.

The average consumer isn't a rocket scientist.

To give an example of science, a twit down the
street left their Prius in the drive for six months,
no apparent "engine turnover and charge" or anything else.
Is the battery pack in a Prius, impervious to such
treatment ? Is it lithium ? Or NiMH ? It just seemed
strange that they left the Prius sitting there, and
drove some other gas guzzler instead. Why would you own
a Prius, if you didn't plan to take it out every couple
days and allow it to maintain itself ?

You would think they would rotate their two vehicles
and keep them all happy.

Paul


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On Fri, 4 Jun 2021 21:09:16 +0100, Jeff Layman
wrote:

On 04/06/2021 11:36, T i m wrote:
On Fri, 4 Jun 2021 08:12:17 +0100, Jeff Layman
wrote:

snip

I have a self-propelled Mountfield (60V 4A battery). It is very good,
and cuts well. The self-propelled speed can be adjusted to suit the
user.


Hmm, it was the 'self propelled' bit that got her into trouble on a
mobility scooter recently but the mower should be ok as long as it's
not a 'ride on'. ;-)


No, it's "walk-behind".


I thought it was (she got thrown out of her mobility scooter recently,
hence the lighthearted reference). ;-(

I also found out by chance that the self-propelled motion works
whether the blades are rotating or not - in other words, it can be used
to just move the mower around on the flat, or up and down slopes, etc.


Assuming a push mower is reasonably free rolling her back lawn is
literally right outside the garage door (where a mower would be
stored) but the front lawn is accessed down the side of the
(semi-detached) house and so it could be handy for that. It's all very
much on the flat.


In which case it should work very well for that purpose.


I was thinking she could be more stable behind it than walking
unaided, if it's heavy enough.

If access to
the garage for storage is either on the level or over a small step it
should be relatively easy.


It's actually it's just 'up a step' (on the way in) as the garage is
probably 6" higher than the concrete outside it.

However, it is at least as heavy as the corded mower it replaced (25Kg),
and the battery is not only heavy, but the contacts in both the mower
and charger hold it very firmly indeed. I doubt that anyone with a hand
or wrist weakness would be able to pull it free.


And does it *need* to be removed for charging?


Yes, though depending on how much lawn has to be mown, it may be able to
do several cuts before needing to be recharged.


Ok, thanks.

snip

It isn't cheap...


No, I'm familiar with Mountfield mowers (we had a petrol rotary /
driven one). ;-)

Cheers, T i m
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"Paul" wrote in message
...
Jim Jackson wrote:
On 2021-06-04, Paul wrote:
One weakness of lithium, is if you let it run down,
below the "low" fill line, the charger will refuse to
charge it. For safety reasons (plated out lithium).
I expect the reason the mower was unusable after
four years, is improper maintenance over the
winter interval.


I've had a battery mower - this is it's fifth season. Removable
batteries.

Curious what you consider "improper maintenance" - not recharging
batteries? I always keep mine charged. But what else is to do over winter
on an electric mower? I always clean mine out every other cut.
I suppose re-sharpen the blade. Jim


"Sloppy", would be running it down to zero, pushing it
into the garage, shutting the door, coming along next
spring and noticing "gee, the charger refuses to charge it.
Broken charger ???".

That sort of thing.

The average consumer isn't a rocket scientist.

To give an example of science, a twit down the
street left their Prius in the drive for six months,
no apparent "engine turnover and charge" or anything else.
Is the battery pack in a Prius, impervious to such
treatment ? Is it lithium ? Or NiMH ? It just seemed
strange that they left the Prius sitting there, and
drove some other gas guzzler instead.


Why would you own a Prius, if you didn't plan to take it out every couple
days and allow it to maintain itself ?


When you don't understand the problem.

You would think they would rotate their two vehicles and keep them all
happy.


Or they don't like driving the Prius for some reason.

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Paul wrote:
"Sloppy", would be running it down to zero, pushing it
into the garage, shutting the door, coming along next
spring and noticing "gee, the charger refuses to charge it.
Broken charger ???".


It probably shuts down at some low but not zero point. So it's likely OK to
do that if you don't leave it for years such that it self-discharges into
the danger zone (Li-ion self discharge is small but non zero). Similarly
it's OK to store fully charged, but a bit more stressful on the battery.
Better would be to fully charge it and then run for a few minutes to make it
a bit more relaxed, best would be to store at 40% SoC which is the best spot
for a storage charge.

To give an example of science, a twit down the
street left their Prius in the drive for six months,
no apparent "engine turnover and charge" or anything else.
Is the battery pack in a Prius, impervious to such
treatment ? Is it lithium ? Or NiMH ? It just seemed
strange that they left the Prius sitting there, and
drove some other gas guzzler instead. Why would you own
a Prius, if you didn't plan to take it out every couple
days and allow it to maintain itself ?


Depends on the Prius - the Plug In ones are lithium, the others are NiMH.
But they all have a 12V lead acid which is used to start the car and run
accessories, the alarm etc. 'Starting' means opening the contactors to
connect the HV NiMH battery to the inverter, and running the brake servo,
which takes a gulp of current (~20A for a few seconds).

If your 12V battery is flat because the alarm ran it down it won't 'start'
but the NiMH battery is sitting there disconnected perfectly fine. The 12V
is just a regular lead acid car battery (although AGM).

With a flat 12V battery I can 'start' my Prius with a tiny 12V lithium
jumpstart pack which is enough to get the contactors open and the HV system
up and running. If the HV battery is a bit low it'll fire the engine to
recharge it. I don't know what happens if the HV is so flat it can't fire
the engine, but it doesn't seem to suffer much from self-discharge. It's
possible there's a bypass route to run the inverter directly off the 12V but
I doubt it.

When I was looking at them to buy, often dealer cars would have a flat 12V
battery - but happily jumpstarted.

You would think they would rotate their two vehicles
and keep them all happy.


It's what I've done, but driving a few miles every couple of weeks hasn't
been enough. I've had to externally charge the 12V on a few occasions (or
jumpstart and leave the car powered up where it charges the 12V from the HV
battery - it will run the engine periodically when the HV gets low).

Theo
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On 05 Jun 2021 23:27:11 +0100 (BST), Theo
wrote:

snip

With a flat 12V battery I can 'start' my Prius ...


snip

As an aside and knowing you like yer stats n stuff g, do you have
the real world mpg figures for *your* Prius perchance?

I get how by combining an IC engine running at optimal levels with an
electric motor / battery and being able to recoup energy whilst
braking sounds like a good idea but how does all that relate to mpg
ITRW?

Cheers, T i m


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T i m wrote:
On 05 Jun 2021 23:27:11 +0100 (BST), Theo
wrote:

snip

With a flat 12V battery I can 'start' my Prius ...


snip

As an aside and knowing you like yer stats n stuff g, do you have
the real world mpg figures for *your* Prius perchance?


https://www.fuelly.com/car/toyota/prius
don't forget to switch to 'UK' units on the left side.

When I was doing ~6-10 miles each way daily commuting, with the occasional
100+ mile journey I was getting about 60mpg. Now I'm driving 3 miles each
way once a week or less, with no long journeys it's more like 50mpg. Lose
maybe 5mpg in the winter.

The main thing here is cold engine starts - on a 3 mile journey the engine
has barely got up to temperature before you shut it down again, which hurts
the MPG. It also needs to recharge my regularly-low 12V battery which is a
small additional load.

On mine it always starts the engine for a few minutes to begin with (to warm
up the cat for emissions purposes) and it can only run on pure electric up
to 42mph at which point the engine kicks in. On the 2003-9 model there's
only a 1.2kWh battery and a 20hp electric motor so, while it can do pure
electric with the engine off if you're gentle with it below that speed, most
of the time the engine is ticking along with the motor helping out when
needed. The newer models are more powerful on the electric side than mine
(the early ones were very conservatively designed).

I get how by combining an IC engine running at optimal levels with an
electric motor / battery and being able to recoup energy whilst
braking sounds like a good idea but how does all that relate to mpg
ITRW?


The usage pattern is very different from say a diesel - hybrid is best in
slow or stop/start traffic, say up to 40mph. Diesel is better at motorway
but poor for town driving. Most of my driving is 60mph+ so isn't ideal for
the hybrid, but I think the cold starts might lean a bit in favour of it.
And of course every journey starts and stops at 0mph so there's always a bit
of lower speed driving which compensates for lower efficiency blasting it
down the motorway. I would guess motorway efficiency is roughly 50mpg
unless you're behind a lorry when it can be more like 80mpg.

Horses for courses...

Theo
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On 06/06/2021 10:50, Theo wrote:
T i m wrote:
On 05 Jun 2021 23:27:11 +0100 (BST), Theo
wrote:

snip

With a flat 12V battery I can 'start' my Prius ...


snip

As an aside and knowing you like yer stats n stuff g, do you have
the real world mpg figures for *your* Prius perchance?


https://www.fuelly.com/car/toyota/prius
don't forget to switch to 'UK' units on the left side.

When I was doing ~6-10 miles each way daily commuting, with the occasional
100+ mile journey I was getting about 60mpg. Now I'm driving 3 miles each
way once a week or less, with no long journeys it's more like 50mpg. Lose
maybe 5mpg in the winter.

The main thing here is cold engine starts - on a 3 mile journey the engine
has barely got up to temperature before you shut it down again, which hurts
the MPG. It also needs to recharge my regularly-low 12V battery which is a
small additional load.

On mine it always starts the engine for a few minutes to begin with (to warm
up the cat for emissions purposes) and it can only run on pure electric up
to 42mph at which point the engine kicks in. On the 2003-9 model there's
only a 1.2kWh battery and a 20hp electric motor so, while it can do pure
electric with the engine off if you're gentle with it below that speed, most
of the time the engine is ticking along with the motor helping out when
needed. The newer models are more powerful on the electric side than mine
(the early ones were very conservatively designed).

I get how by combining an IC engine running at optimal levels with an
electric motor / battery and being able to recoup energy whilst
braking sounds like a good idea but how does all that relate to mpg
ITRW?


The usage pattern is very different from say a diesel - hybrid is best in
slow or stop/start traffic, say up to 40mph. Diesel is better at motorway
but poor for town driving. Most of my driving is 60mph+ so isn't ideal for
the hybrid, but I think the cold starts might lean a bit in favour of it.
And of course every journey starts and stops at 0mph so there's always a bit
of lower speed driving which compensates for lower efficiency blasting it
down the motorway. I would guess motorway efficiency is roughly 50mpg
unless you're behind a lorry when it can be more like 80mpg.


Is there any facility to charge the battery from an external source? I'm
assuming this is not a 'plug-in' hybrid?

The Prius is quite a large car, the thing that concerns me is a 15 year
old diesel Mondeo can typically get 55mpg overall, without the
complexity of a hybrid.
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Fredxx wrote:
Is there any facility to charge the battery from an external source? I'm
assuming this is not a 'plug-in' hybrid?


Not the HV battery. It's 200V DC, and charging it would only allow a couple
of miles on electric alone. It's not designed to be an EV, it's an energy
buffer. The 12V battery is a regular car battery that can be charged on any
charger.

The Prius is quite a large car, the thing that concerns me is a 15 year
old diesel Mondeo can typically get 55mpg overall, without the
complexity of a hybrid.


People quoting mpg numbers typically quote them 'on a run', when
conventional diesels/petrols are most efficient at motorway speeds. They
are less clear what they get running around town.

https://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/mondeo
suggests 15 year old diesel Mondeos ('L4 diesel' being the most populous
category, not sure what 'L4' means) get 35-40 UKmpg overall.

If all you're doing is motorway driving, buy a diesel.
The hybrid makes sense when you do more driving at lower speeds.
It's the reason hybrids are so popular as taxis.

Complexity is not really an issue apart from upfront cost - I was looking
for a scrap part recently and the scrap Priuses were all 200-300K miles. I
presume they just ran until the owners just had enough and they were
worth more parted out.

Theo
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On 06/06/2021 15:03, Theo wrote:
Fredxx wrote:
Is there any facility to charge the battery from an external source? I'm
assuming this is not a 'plug-in' hybrid?


Not the HV battery. It's 200V DC, and charging it would only allow a couple
of miles on electric alone. It's not designed to be an EV, it's an energy
buffer. The 12V battery is a regular car battery that can be charged on any
charger.


Shame it's just 2 miles. The average journey is/was 7.

The Prius is quite a large car, the thing that concerns me is a 15 year
old diesel Mondeo can typically get 55mpg overall, without the
complexity of a hybrid.


People quoting mpg numbers typically quote them 'on a run', when
conventional diesels/petrols are most efficient at motorway speeds. They
are less clear what they get running around town.

https://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/mondeo
suggests 15 year old diesel Mondeos ('L4 diesel' being the most populous
category, not sure what 'L4' means) get 35-40 UKmpg overall.


I saw those numbers and some other Mondeo diesels in that site give
better numbers. They do seem low to me. Obviously UK mpg is higher than
US mpg.

I was going from experience, and mainly rural miles rather than urban,
so you certainly have a point. One tank when I was taking it easy I got
65mpg.

If all you're doing is motorway driving, buy a diesel.
The hybrid makes sense when you do more driving at lower speeds.
It's the reason hybrids are so popular as taxis.

Complexity is not really an issue apart from upfront cost - I was looking
for a scrap part recently and the scrap Priuses were all 200-300K miles. I
presume they just ran until the owners just had enough and they were
worth more parted out.


I was aware they are popular as taxis, historically well be before the
Prius. I recall the Toyota Corolla being a popular taxi.
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Fredxx wrote:
On 06/06/2021 15:03, Theo wrote:
Fredxx wrote:
Is there any facility to charge the battery from an external source? I'm
assuming this is not a 'plug-in' hybrid?


Not the HV battery. It's 200V DC, and charging it would only allow a couple
of miles on electric alone. It's not designed to be an EV, it's an energy
buffer. The 12V battery is a regular car battery that can be charged on any
charger.


Shame it's just 2 miles. The average journey is/was 7.

The Prius is quite a large car, the thing that concerns me is a 15 year
old diesel Mondeo can typically get 55mpg overall, without the
complexity of a hybrid.


People quoting mpg numbers typically quote them 'on a run', when
conventional diesels/petrols are most efficient at motorway speeds. They
are less clear what they get running around town.

https://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/mondeo
suggests 15 year old diesel Mondeos ('L4 diesel' being the most populous
category, not sure what 'L4' means) get 35-40 UKmpg overall.


I saw those numbers and some other Mondeo diesels in that site give
better numbers. They do seem low to me. Obviously UK mpg is higher than
US mpg.

I was going from experience, and mainly rural miles rather than urban,
so you certainly have a point. One tank when I was taking it easy I got
65mpg.

If all you're doing is motorway driving, buy a diesel.
The hybrid makes sense when you do more driving at lower speeds.
It's the reason hybrids are so popular as taxis.

Complexity is not really an issue apart from upfront cost - I was looking
for a scrap part recently and the scrap Priuses were all 200-300K miles. I
presume they just ran until the owners just had enough and they were
worth more parted out.


I was aware they are popular as taxis, historically well be before the
Prius. I recall the Toyota Corolla being a popular taxi.


One of the big advantages for taxi use is regenerative braking. Brake
components on EVs and hybrids generally last much longer than €śnormal€ť
cars.

Tim

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On 6 Jun 2021 18:01:13 GMT, Tim+ wrote:

snip

One of the big advantages for taxi use is regenerative braking.


And all the exceptions re congestion charging. ;-)

Brake
components on EVs and hybrids generally last much longer than “normal”
cars.


I would be interested to hear from Theo below what speed the breaking
is still mostly mechanical (re urban / motorway driving).

Cheers, T i m
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T i m wrote:
On 6 Jun 2021 18:01:13 GMT, Tim+ wrote:

snip

One of the big advantages for taxi use is regenerative braking.


And all the exceptions re congestion charging. ;-)

Brake
components on EVs and hybrids generally last much longer than “normal”
cars.


I would be interested to hear from Theo below what speed the breaking
is still mostly mechanical (re urban / motorway driving).


I think you mean €śbraking€ť. I cant speak for hybrids but on EVs there is
no €śspeed limit€ť for regenerative braking. The limits are the rate of
deceleration that the motor can produce and the battery capacity. A fully
charged EV wont do regenerative braking as theres simply nowhere to put
the energy.

Tim

Cheers, T i m




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Tim+ wrote:
T i m wrote:
I would be interested to hear from Theo below what speed the breaking
is still mostly mechanical (re urban / motorway driving).


I think you mean €śbraking€ť. I cant speak for hybrids but on EVs there is
no €śspeed limit€ť for regenerative braking. The limits are the rate of
deceleration that the motor can produce and the battery capacity. A fully
charged EV wont do regenerative braking as theres simply nowhere to put
the energy.


I think gen2 Prius regen goes down to about 7-8mph. At that point the
amount of braking you can get from the motor alone is limited, and you want
it to stop accurately (going 1 metre extra across a pedestrian crossing
would not be great). You can feel it's a bit notchy slightly above that
speed - as if you can feel the poles of the motor as it rotates - which
is a bit disconcerting until you get used to it. Your instinctive reaction
is to push the brakes harder which will bring in friction braking anyway.

Unless you're descending hills, on the flat it will keep some headroom in
the battery such that there's enough space to capture energy in regen.
It'll then use that energy next time you accelerate, so it tries to always
have scope to regen. Although the motor isn't large, so if you're less than
gentle on the brakes it'll bring in the friction system.

Theo
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On 6 Jun 2021 19:24:08 GMT, Tim+ wrote:

T i m wrote:
On 6 Jun 2021 18:01:13 GMT, Tim+ wrote:

snip

One of the big advantages for taxi use is regenerative braking.


And all the exceptions re congestion charging. ;-)

Brake
components on EVs and hybrids generally last much longer than ?normal?
cars.


I would be interested to hear from Theo below what speed the breaking
is still mostly mechanical (re urban / motorway driving).


I think you mean “braking”.


Yup, I thought it looked wrong. ;-)

I can’t speak for hybrids but on EVs there is
no “speed limit” for regenerative braking.


Ok.

The limits are the rate of
deceleration that the motor can produce


Well that was the bit I was interested in. If there was a speed below
which electric braking wasn't sufficiently effective (above a walking
speed I mean).

A fully
charged EV won’t do regenerative braking as there’s simply nowhere to put
the energy.


Understood, although I'm guessing it doesn't take many miles to create
some space on a dedicated EV. ;-)

Cheers, T i m
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On 06 Jun 2021 21:16:30 +0100 (BST), Theo
wrote:

Tim+ wrote:
T i m wrote:
I would be interested to hear from Theo below what speed the breaking
is still mostly mechanical (re urban / motorway driving).


I think you mean “braking”. I can’t speak for hybrids but on EVs there is
no “speed limit” for regenerative braking. The limits are the rate of
deceleration that the motor can produce and the battery capacity. A fully
charged EV won’t do regenerative braking as there’s simply nowhere to put
the energy.


I think gen2 Prius regen goes down to about 7-8mph.


That's lower than I thought but that said, I know all too well how
'heavy' a shorted electric motor can become when trying to push a
mobility scooter. ;-)

At that point the
amount of braking you can get from the motor alone is limited, and you want
it to stop accurately (going 1 metre extra across a pedestrian crossing
would not be great).


So it *will* actually bring you to a halt with motor braking alone,
noticeable above rolling resistance etc?

You can feel it's a bit notchy slightly above that
speed - as if you can feel the poles of the motor as it rotates - which
is a bit disconcerting until you get used to it. Your instinctive reaction
is to push the brakes harder which will bring in friction braking anyway.


Makes sense.

Unless you're descending hills, on the flat it will keep some headroom in
the battery such that there's enough space to capture energy in regen.


So what does it do when descending hills, assuming you approach the
top of one with a fully charged battery? Two questions really:

Does it 'coast' if you don't touch the brake like a car in neutral or
'hang' on the motor / transmission like one in gear but with you foot
off the throttle?

What if you apply some (electric) brake that would maintain the same
speed but then make the battery fully charged (either really or
technically), does it then apply the mechanical brakes on it's own
(like an ABS) 'instead' or start coasting faster till you use
mechanical brakes?

It'll then use that energy next time you accelerate, so it tries to always
have scope to regen. Although the motor isn't large, so if you're less than
gentle on the brakes it'll bring in the friction system.


The motors on the mobility scooters we have seem quite large (by
comparison then) and the big one will bring it and me to a halt from
full speed (8mph) down a fairly steep slope in a bit over a second.
;-)

Cheers, T i m


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T i m wrote:
On 06 Jun 2021 21:16:30 +0100 (BST), Theo
wrote:
I think gen2 Prius regen goes down to about 7-8mph.


That's lower than I thought but that said, I know all too well how
'heavy' a shorted electric motor can become when trying to push a
mobility scooter. ;-)


OTOH 1+ tonne of car has a lot of KE, even at low speeds. A 20hp motor
isn't a lot in comparison.

At that point the
amount of braking you can get from the motor alone is limited, and you want
it to stop accurately (going 1 metre extra across a pedestrian crossing
would not be great).


So it *will* actually bring you to a halt with motor braking alone,
noticeable above rolling resistance etc?


It won't let you find that out, it brings in the friction below 7mph.

So what does it do when descending hills, assuming you approach the
top of one with a fully charged battery? Two questions really:

Does it 'coast' if you don't touch the brake like a car in neutral or
'hang' on the motor / transmission like one in gear but with you foot
off the throttle?


I think it's like a regular auto - it won't brake unless you press the brake
pedal. It's not one-pedal driving like some EVs. It's not 'coasting' in
the sense of running away due to having the clutch disengaged (the
transmission is always engaged - I suppose you could try forcing it into
neutral but it would complain mightily). If you take your foot off the
accelerator then it's a fight between friction, gravity and momentum as in
any other car.

What if you apply some (electric) brake that would maintain the same
speed but then make the battery fully charged (either really or
technically), does it then apply the mechanical brakes on it's own
(like an ABS) 'instead' or start coasting faster till you use
mechanical brakes?


When the battery is full it'll use friction brakes. You can't select what
kind of braking it uses, you can only tell by paying close attention to the
sounds and the feel. You just use 'the brakes' and it decides how to
achieve it.

There is also 'B' mode which provides classical engine braking, in case
you're doing a heavy descent and are worried about your friction brakes
overheating. I've used it about twice, in neither case did I need it.

The motors on the mobility scooters we have seem quite large (by
comparison then) and the big one will bring it and me to a halt from
full speed (8mph) down a fairly steep slope in a bit over a second.
;-)


I imagine you don't weigh a tonne? :-)

Theo
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On 06 Jun 2021 22:17:40 +0100 (BST), Theo
wrote:

T i m wrote:
On 06 Jun 2021 21:16:30 +0100 (BST), Theo
wrote:
I think gen2 Prius regen goes down to about 7-8mph.


That's lower than I thought but that said, I know all too well how
'heavy' a shorted electric motor can become when trying to push a
mobility scooter. ;-)


OTOH 1+ tonne of car has a lot of KE, even at low speeds. A 20hp motor
isn't a lot in comparison.


Understood.

At that point the
amount of braking you can get from the motor alone is limited, and you want
it to stop accurately (going 1 metre extra across a pedestrian crossing
would not be great).


So it *will* actually bring you to a halt with motor braking alone,
noticeable above rolling resistance etc?


It won't let you find that out, it brings in the friction below 7mph.


Ah.

So what does it do when descending hills, assuming you approach the
top of one with a fully charged battery? Two questions really:

Does it 'coast' if you don't touch the brake like a car in neutral or
'hang' on the motor / transmission like one in gear but with you foot
off the throttle?


I think it's like a regular auto - it won't brake unless you press the brake
pedal.


Ok.

It's not one-pedal driving like some EVs.


No, I didn't think the Prius was like that for some reason (I'd
consider them more 'traditional' that way).

It's not 'coasting' in
the sense of running away due to having the clutch disengaged (the
transmission is always engaged


That was my question. I guessed the transmission would always be
engaged and I believe it 'blends' a mix of inputs and outputs (but not
disconnects). It was in the overrun situation but with no need for
regen charge I was wondering about.

- I suppose you could try forcing it into
neutral but it would complain mightily).


That wasn't my suggestion. ;-)

If you take your foot off the
accelerator then it's a fight between friction, gravity and momentum as in
any other car.


Quite, where none the 'friction' is introduced, it's whatever present.

What if you apply some (electric) brake that would maintain the same
speed but then make the battery fully charged (either really or
technically), does it then apply the mechanical brakes on it's own
(like an ABS) 'instead' or start coasting faster till you use
mechanical brakes?


When the battery is full it'll use friction brakes.


So with that, does the pedal have physical travel ranges where it
would first only be electrical and then mechanical after that or is
the actual braking used linear from the outset (decided by it as you
next mention)?

You can't select what
kind of braking it uses, you can only tell by paying close attention to the
sounds and the feel. You just use 'the brakes' and it decides how to
achieve it.


Ok.

There is also 'B' mode which provides classical engine braking, in case
you're doing a heavy descent and are worried about your friction brakes
overheating. I've used it about twice, in neither case did I need it.


The only time I seen that was on a Daf 'Daffodil' and it was like a
choke knob that affected the CVT. ;-)

The motors on the mobility scooters we have seem quite large (by
comparison then) and the big one will bring it and me to a halt from
full speed (8mph) down a fairly steep slope in a bit over a second.
;-)


I imagine you don't weigh a tonne? :-)


No, but my point was more how effective even a small motor can be as a
brake, dependant maybe on the gearing between wheels and motor.

eg, If you do the same thing on a loose surface it will lock one of
the (tranaxle / diff) wheels up.

Or when racing slot cars or the 12th scale RC 4WD comp cars where you
could also lock the wheels up (well, ABS stylee) under heavy
(electrical) braking.

Cheers, T i m
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Default Mini review: Aldi battery mower

In article ,
Theo wrote:
When I was doing ~6-10 miles each way daily commuting, with the
occasional 100+ mile journey I was getting about 60mpg. Now I'm driving
3 miles each way once a week or less, with no long journeys it's more
like 50mpg. Lose maybe 5mpg in the winter.


I remember doing a long journey in an early Prius. Due to being rather
underpowered, it had to be driven near flat out on the motorway. And used
more fuel than my Rover V-8. ;-) But it gave very good MPG in town - I
suppose that's why they're so popular as mini-cabs.

--
*Reality? Is that where the pizza delivery guy comes from?

Dave Plowman London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.
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[snip]

So what does it do when descending hills, assuming you approach the
top of one with a fully charged battery? Two questions really:

Does it 'coast' if you don't touch the brake like a car in neutral or
'hang' on the motor / transmission like one in gear but with you foot
off the throttle?


[snip]

The high voltage battery can never be fully charged under normal driving.
It is only charged to 80% capacity and allowed to discharge to 40%, this
preserves the cells.
The energy monitor inside the car normally has one bar left.

So when descending a hill with a fully charged i.e. 80% battery, the
regenerative braking charges the battery to 100% filling the remaining bar
on the energy monitor regardless of the gearbox normal or the additional
braking mode.

It takes quite a bit to fill this one bar and I have only seen it happen
once in the two years I have driven my Prius generation 3.

The transmission never coasts it is always engaged going down a hill is
like a manual car with your foot off the throttle.
I hope this answers your questions.
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On Mon, 07 Jun 2021 15:12:11 +0100, John Bryan
wrote:


[snip]

So what does it do when descending hills, assuming you approach the
top of one with a fully charged battery? Two questions really:

Does it 'coast' if you don't touch the brake like a car in neutral or
'hang' on the motor / transmission like one in gear but with you foot
off the throttle?


[snip]

The high voltage battery can never be fully charged under normal driving.


Understood.

It is only charged to 80% capacity and allowed to discharge to 40%, this
preserves the cells.


Understood.

The energy monitor inside the car normally has one bar left.


So it knows there is 40% left but inhibits you using it any further?

So when descending a hill with a fully charged i.e. 80% battery, the
regenerative braking charges the battery to 100% filling the remaining bar
on the energy monitor regardless of the gearbox normal or the additional
braking mode.


Ah, 'additional', so am I right in thinking it would typically include
electrical / regenerative braking *and then* mechanical braking under
all circumstances? I believe Theo suggested that the mechanical
braking can come in quickly if you aren't gentle on the brake but I
wasn't sure if it *always* applied both or if there were instances
where you just had mechanical only (other than when it was 100%
charged etc)?

It takes quite a bit to fill this one bar and I have only seen it happen
once in the two years I have driven my Prius generation 3.


Nice long down hills where you had to apply some level of braking the
whole time?

The transmission never coasts it is always engaged going down a hill is
like a manual car with your foot off the throttle.


Understood.

I hope this answers your questions.


I'm getting a better feel for it all (thanks).

Actually, whilst watching (typically) taxi drivers dropping people off
when out walking the dog when it's quiet at night and being fascinated
by the 'silence' as these (typically Prius's) waft about, I have
suggested to the Mrs we see how much it would cost to hire one for a
day, when we have somewhere 'urban' to go?

I am familiar with pure EV's as I have had one for over 30 years, but
it's very basic (std mechanical brakes and no regen), not a hybrid and
it's those that interest me from these technical / usage POV.

Cheers, T i m
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