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Hybrid, EV, or PHEV for a ski car?

marzNC

Angel Diva
Since the topic of EV, PHEV, or hybrid has come up recently, thought it was time for a thread about the alternatives to ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles, in particular for ski trips. Compared to even 2-3 years ago, there are a lot more options in the AWD SUV category.

Do you have a hybrid? Or are you thinking about a new vehicle that has some sort of battery capacity?

Here's my short comment from the other thread:

I love my RAV4 Prime PHEV. Got it in Nov 2020 (long story). Going to drive it to Colorado in Dec. First AWD SUV after two minivans the last 15 years. It has a range of 40 miles EV. I'm getting about 40 MPG when on long trips and I'm only driving it as a hybrid. I don't even bother to bring the charging cord when I leave home.

I'm not quite ready for EV yet, but the Rivian R1S sounds very interesting. Bigger than I need at this point though since it has a third row and can seat 7. EV range is supposed to be just over 300 miles for highway use.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
@Christy : I only ended up with a RAV4 Prime because my husband is very stubborn when chasing down what he considered a good deal. He worked with Costco Auto to find a dealer who could promise one before the end of 2020. For us, the $7500 tax credit is useful. We ended up working with Fox Toyota in Auburn, NY (near Syracuse). I think NY and CA were the only states that got any RAV4 Primes in 2020.

My ski buddy's non-skiing wife decided she wanted a RAV4 Prime. They have bought more than one Prius Hybrids in the last decade. They came for a visit to NC during the summer to do an extended "test drive" of mine. Picked up theirs in October 2021. It's a shorter drive from Ohio to Auburn so was pretty straightforward for them.

I knew I wanted an AWD SUV, and much preferred a hybrid. My husband and I did test drives of the RAV4 and a few other SUVs that come as hybrids. He liked the quality of the Toyota RAV4 over the others.

EV was out of the question. I don't want to have to carefully plan a route to make sure a car can stay charged up on a day I plan to driver over 500 miles. In cold weather, an EV has significantly less range.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
That $7500 tax credit is useful to many of us! I'm still surly at the idea of paying more than 50K for a car, but the tax credit helps. IIRC the RAV4 Prime may the only PHEV that gets the full tax credit, since most other PHEVs aren't really that efficient. There are some that only get like 10 miles of electric range.

Our next "everything" (skiing, hiking, around the city) car will be an EV. It needs AWD and decent ground clearance (the USFS road to trailheads around here can be very rough). We've narrowed it down to the Volvo XC40 Recharge or the Audi Q4 etron. We're just waiting for those Audis to get out of Belgium and make their way to the US...The Volvo has better clearance (8.2") which is quite nice, but it gets less range (223) and costs $6K more than the Audi (238 range, 7.1" clearance, good enough for ski parking lots and most USFS roads). And the Volvo doesn't tell you the number of miles you have left! It just gives the percentage of battery left! So it's like just using the old gas gauge of yore.

One of the ways I decided to go EV was to really think about the places we regularly drive and calculate the miles needed. When I was younger I took a lot of long road trips but I never do anymore. Probably the longest drives I do is when I fly somewhere on vacation then drive (around the midwest to visit in laws, or in Europe, etc). Until I'm retired, which is not in the near future, I don't really have the time to drive to my vacation. But at least here on the West Coast it doesn't seem onerous to find charging if I need it on the road (I've looked at the apps). Especially if it is a camping trip, which is the kind of thing we'd do--we can make it a point to use a campsite with an RV plug in. Given that I will be saving time by not going to gas stations when in town, not getting oil changes or other basic maintenance like that, I think it will all be a wash on the rare occasion when I do need to charge on the road.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
I hadn’t looked before, but the Hyundai Tuscon goes 32 miles full electric and the Santa Fe goes 30. That’s certainly reasonable for trips around town.

For me the issue is ski driving.. I go almost 8 hours roundtrip every weekend to ski (170 miles each way, lots of back roads), I don’t think it’s practical to go full EV right now. With all of that driving Friday night and Sunday afternoon, the last thing I want to deal with is charging stations as well. Though there are multiple charging points around town in ME.

I have a coworker who lives in MA and skis at Sugarloaf with a Tesla. So it is doable, I just don’t see it being for me currently.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
I was wrong, there are multiple PHEVs that get the full tax credit. Now I remember--I used this as a bit of a cheat sheet when shopping for them last year. The credit is based on efficiency. So, if you see a vehicle that doesn't get the full $7500, it's a fair bet it gets bad gas mileage after the electric miles run out. I suppose "bad" is relative; I've been driving a Prius since 2010 so the idea of getting less than 40 at a bare minimum was a non-starter.


The Dept of Energy has a cool calculating tool where you can compare different cars and see what costs, emissions, etc will be.

 

Kimmyt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
We have a Tesla and a regular car (subaru). Currently we plan to use the Subaru for our ski trips, although mostly that was because we didn't have snow tires for the tesla due to supply chain issues. My husband did just locate a set of snow tires and we will get them mounted, but I still don't see us using it for a long ski trip mostly because we don't have a ski box on the top of it so transporting skis and kids and luggage would be tight. My husband will probably use it for day trips to the mountains to ski once we get the tires mounted.

We have driven the Tesla to the mountains several times and its range is large enough that we can get to and from most day trip mountains without a charge, but in a pinch there are a few supercharging stations on the way back that we could stop at to use. We've even taken it on a bigger roadtrip without issues. Tesla's supercharger infrastructure is pretty good and its really easy to find a charging station on your route. Getting a charge can take 10-30 minutes depending on how low your battery is, so we just timed charging stops with food stops or bathroom breaks, and it wasnt so bad.
 

elemmac

Angel Diva
What’s it cost to charge it up if you’re on the road?
WSJ just published an article comparing charging to gasoline. It’s behind a paywall, so I don’t have access to the full article, but I received a summary from the NEMA email newsletters I am signed up for (yes, I’m a nerd…haha).

Summary: Data show it is—if you charge at home—to the tune of a dollar or two each day, or a few nice coffees each week. But on road trips, the situation reverses if you stop for a fast charge. Gasoline usually wins out.

Maybe someone with WSJ access can summarize in more detail: https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/ho...-up-compared-with-buying-gasoline-11636626601
 

Kimmyt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
What’s it cost to charge it up if you’re on the road?
When we bought it we got a large amount of miles free of charge as a perk of buying. We also installed a 240v outlet in our garage so that we can charge it (and we have 30 solar panels on our house so we get a lot of electric from them). Since we have used up our free charging miles, they lasted us like six months maybe, it takes less than twenty bucks to fully charge the car and the full range is something like 280 miles. And that 20 is for empty to full, which we are rarely at. Usually we'll just put enough charge in to get us home. The screen interface actually tells you how much charge you will have left at your destination, so its quite easy to determine if you will have to charge or not.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
A local friend has had a Tesla for a few years. Took him two years to convince his wife it was worth the cost. He loves it.

His daughter is at North Country School in Lake Placid. She's in her second year. There was a bit of a learning curve for him taking the Tesla on a long drive between Chapel Hill and Lake Placid . . . in the middle of winter for her winter break. His range is about 300 miles in good temps. Drops almost to 200 miles when it's cold, meaning under 35.

When he uses the Tesla GPS, it figures out where to stop for a drive that's over 500 miles. But taking an alternate route that has fewer Tesla Fastcharger stations requires some planning.
 

Soujan

Angel Diva
I'm driving a 2011 Subaru Outback right now. I'm hoping to get a Toyota 4Runner in the next 2-3 years and I'm hoping by then that there will be a hybrid or Prime version. I would love to go off road but I don't want to have to worry about gas if we're in the middle of nowhere. The 4Runner will only get about 14 mpg off road. 600 mile range for the RAV4 Prime seems really awesome.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
600 mile range for the RAV4 Prime seems really awesome.
The greatest range I have had with my RAV4 Prime SE is just under 500 miles. That's on major highways in optimum weather conditions, not too hot and not too cold. The fan for the A/C and heat runs off the traction battery even when in Hybrid mode.

It's taken a while to get into the habit of changing to HV when making a quick stop during a long drive. The default is EV when starting up. It doesn't really matter if the EV range is down to 0 miles since there is still plenty of traction battery capacity left for the hybrid function. But I've found that the most efficient approach is to keep the EV range over 25 miles.

It's possible to charge the traction battery while driving in HV mode. Can get up to about 35 EV miles, out of the max of 45-48 depending on the temp while charging. For assorted reasons I mostly charge while the RAV4 is parked at the front door, instead of in the garage. We have the basic battery and charging cable, so a full charge takes 10-12 hours on 120V (12A).
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
The greatest range I have had with my RAV4 Prime SE is just under 500 miles.
Just learned something about how Toyota RAV4 gas tanks are set up. When the fuel gauge goes to empty, there is actually 2-3 gallons of gas left. I'm used to American cars that only have about a gallon left at that point. The MPG I get is 39-40 in pure hybrid mode. Slightly lower than the RAV4 Hybrid rating because the RAV4 Prime is heavier because of the larger traction battery. Doing the math the easy way: 40x14.5 = 580. Add in another 40 miles EV and getting to a max range of 600 miles makes sense.

I've just been going by what the dash readout says about HV range. That has never read higher than 495 or so. Another 80 miles is about 2 gallons @ 40 MPG.

I only recently pushed past the indicator for low fuel. Added 11 gallons. I had less than 10 miles to go for a usual gas stop and had 30 EV miles when the computer estimated "miles left" gave up doing a calculation. That was a day I was driving 530 miles and didn't start with a full tank. Didn't feel like making an extra stop just for gas in the morning.
 

yecatstrip

Certified Ski Diva
We opted to buy the new 2022 Toyota Sienna Woodland Edition which is a hybrid. We are really loving it, especially because it has a 1500W inverter that comes in handy.

The RAV4 Prime looks sweet, and a part of me wishing my run around car (Chevy Cruze) would go kaput soon. But still going strong @ 200k miles.
 

Susan L

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I drive my Tesla to the mountain. It is AWD and weighs more than my ICE SUV. Supercharging is free for me but I usually charge at Level 2 chargers, some are free, some cost money. What I don’t pay in gas, I pay with time because no matter how fast the car charges, you still have to sit there and wait. Plus no detours and long distance trips has to be planned out.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
It was certainly easier to have a PHEV instead of EV on the drive from NC to CO in December. In order to get in bonus ski days, my travel buddy and I opted to drive 800 miles in a day on the way there and on the way back. Would not like to try that at short notice with an EV.

Did see a few charging stations at the Wolf Creek parking lot.
 

berryblondeboys

Certified Ski Diva
We have a plug-in hybrid and have had it for 3 years. It's a Honda Clarity. The only thing we didn't like about was that it was a sedan, but with the tax benefit, it was a no-brainer.

The worst thing we have run across is that you will void your warranty if you put a hitch on it, so we don't have one yet which is a bummer because I would like to put my bike on a hitch so that I can bike in other areas than where I can pedal to.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
We have a plug-in hybrid and have had it for 3 years. It's a Honda Clarity. The only thing we didn't like about was that it was a sedan, but with the tax benefit, it was a no-brainer.
How often do you charge it up?

What sold me on the RAV4 Prime was being able to have about 40 miles of EV when fully charged. That means when I'm home, I usually don't have to charge it after just doing a few errands in the neighborhood.
 

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