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Is what my registration certificate does say. I thought it wasn't a hybrid then? Error or is everyone's the same?
 

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I don't know what my V5 says it is but the Ampera is most certainly a hybrid. A hybrid is a car that uses or can use more than one type of fuel or energy store. In the case of the Ampera that is battery and petrol. In fact, if we were to be picky... the Prius isn't a hybrid at all. All non-plugin hybrids get there energy from petrol. OK, they can then store some of it is a battery for use later but all the energy the car uses comes from petrol. So to me, current hybrids are not really dual energy source vehicles. The Ampera is.

In fact, in my opinion, I think it is rather disingenuous of GM to say that the Ampera isn't a hybrid. It completely muddies the waters for the non-techie public.

By any definition of what a hybrid is, the Ampera is one. The question though is what kind of hybrid is it? That is where it gets rather messy.

I shall ignore the fact that current hybrids are not really hybrids at all because my opinion is very much in the minority. The industry seems to accept that the Prius et al are hybrids so I shall run with that for now.

There are several types of hybrid... the most are parallel hybrids where the wheels are driven by an electric motor but are also driven directly by the petrol engine. Then there are serial hybrids where the wheels are driven by the electroc motor all the time and the petrol engine just creates the electricity and does not drive the wheels.

The Ampera is a hybrid hybrid :eek:

It is neither a parallel nor a serial but a combination of the two. Most of the time it acts like a serial hybrid with the petrol engine disconnected and not driving the wheels. But at high speed and high load it engages a 3rd clutch and the petrol engine does then directly drive the wheels albeit through a power merging planetary gear system.

So, the Ampera is a hybrid. It is a combination serial/parallel but it is serial most of the time. It is also a ER-EV or Extended Range Electric Vehicle which is simple an electric vehicle that has a range extender generator. ER-EV is what GM want us to call the Ampera and I think that is perhaps the better description because it is probably the most accurate of the descriptions and it is non-technical removing the questions like is it a hybrid? What kind of hybrid? etc.

So short answer... yes, it is a hybrid :)
 

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I think (from memory) mine is the same. I understand that the 'other' hybrids are "Petrol Hybrid" whereas this is classed as "Electric Hybrid". There is a distinction.
 

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My V5 says same
 

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My V5 says "Hybrid Elec"
Another strange description is on my insurance document (the Post Office) they insist that the Ampera is a 4 door saloon and will not alter their description despite several attempts to get them to correct it. :roll:
 

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Brian Matthews said:
My V5 says "Hybrid Elec"
Another strange description is on my insurance document (the Post Office) they insist that the Ampera is a 4 door saloon and will not alter their description despite several attempts to get them to correct it. :roll:
They probably can't correct it... Most Insurance systems are driven from a standard List known as ABI codes, the rest of the information is done by lookup from this standard list.
Don't worry about it, as long as they know its an Ampera they cant hold anything against you.

I've just had a look at the tables and the floorplan data only seem to indicate in the number of doors and whether it is convertible or an estate, so it seems that saloon/hatch is the default 'other'.
The funny thing is that the most recent list is showing the Earth as Petrol! rather than Electric Like the Electron and Positiv.

Code:
Make		Model				CC	Years		Plan	Engine	Trn	ABI Code	Term	Security	ABI Group (1-50)	
VAUXHALL	AMPERA EARTH		1398	-2012		--4--	P		A	52136901	E		T1			20				Green
VAUXHALL	AMPERA ELECTRON	1398	-2012		--4--	E		A	52137101	E		T1			21				Green
VAUXHALL	AMPERA POSITIV	 1398	-2012		--4--	E		A	52137001	E		T1			20				Green
 

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Which field are you guys looking at? My V5 has taxation class: electric and type of fuel: electricity. Unless I've missed something it looks like the V5 is another subtle difference between Volt and Ampera.
 

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Thank you Parax for clarifying the insurance situation, did not realise the insurance group on the Electron was higher than the Earth and Positiv.
Very strange the Earth is clasified as petrol and all models are 4 door.
You have explained the situation clearer than the Post Office Insurance, Thanks.
 

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Parax said:
Brian Matthews said:
I've just had a look at the tables and the floorplan data only seem to indicate in the number of doors and whether it is convertible or an estate, so it seems that saloon/hatch is the default 'other'.
The funny thing is that the most recent list is showing the Earth as Petrol! rather than Electric Like the Electron and Positiv.

Code:
Make		Model				CC	Years		Plan	Engine	Trn	ABI Code	Term	Security	ABI Group (1-50)	
VAUXHALL	AMPERA EARTH		1398	-2012		--4--	P		A	52136901	E		T1			20				Green
VAUXHALL	AMPERA ELECTRON	1398	-2012		--4--	E		A	52137101	E		T1			21				Green
VAUXHALL	AMPERA POSITIV	 1398	-2012		--4--	E		A	52137001	E		T1			20				Green
I just looked up my Volt on thatcham.org, and it looks like I've got more doors than you!
Code:
Manufacturer    Model           Series  Year    CC      Fuel    Gear Box        No. of Doors    Group (1-50)    Group Type      Security        BHP     Seats
CHEVROLET       VOLT            1       2012 On 1398    E       A               5               22              E               T1              148     5
VAUXHALL        AMPERA EARTH            2012 On 1398    P       A               4               20              E               T1              148     4
VAUXHALL        AMPERA ELECTRON 1       2012 On 1398    E       A               4               21              E               T1              148     4
VAUXHALL        AMPERA POSITIV  1       2012 On 1398    E       A               4               20              E               T1              148     4
Hmm. Apparently I should have more seats too, but they seem to have forgotten to fit the fifth one.
 

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Spoke to Trevor at My Ampera today about the errors on documentation. He is now aware of the anomalies and will report them to "The Powers That Be"
Hopefully the queries will not enter a black hole :roll:
Thanks guys for your input :D
 

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Duncan said:
Code:
Manufacturer    Model           Series  Year    CC      Fuel    Gear Box        No. of Doors    Group (1-50)    Group Type      Security        BHP     Seats
CHEVROLET       VOLT            1       2012 On 1398    E       A               5               22              E               T1              148     5
Hmm. Apparently I should have more seats too, but they seem to have forgotten to fit the fifth one.
ha! yup, but why is it a grp 22? its a cheaper car so you'd expect it to rate lower. Maybe its that extra seat! that'll be 5 whiplash claims instead of 4 on the ampera! or maybe the vauxhall lifetime warranty is helping to reduce theirs.

I'm guessing that the 4 door is why it's listing as a saloon as opposed to a 5 door hatch.

I Also noticed that the ABI code for the Earth is a lower number than the positive/electron so it was submitted in the normal spec first!
 

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Parax said:
Duncan said:
Code:
Manufacturer    Model           Series  Year    CC      Fuel    Gear Box        No. of Doors    Group (1-50)    Group Type      Security        BHP     Seats
CHEVROLET       VOLT            1       2012 On 1398    E       A               5               22              E               T1              148     5
Hmm. Apparently I should have more seats too, but they seem to have forgotten to fit the fifth one.
ha! yup, but why is it a grp 22? its a cheaper car so you'd expect it to rate lower. Maybe its that extra seat! that'll be 5 whiplash claims instead of 4 on the ampera! or maybe the vauxhall lifetime warranty is helping to reduce theirs.
I saw a possible explanation of the insurance groups in one of the reviews back about February or March: they reckoned that with fewer dealers spares for the Volt might be harder to come by, so that pushes the insurance group up by 1, but because the purchase price is lower the actual cost of the insurance will be about the same.
 

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Paul Churchley said:
the Prius isn't a hybrid at all. All non-plugin hybrids get there energy from petrol. OK, they can then store some of it is a battery for use later but all the energy the car uses comes from petrol. So to me, current hybrids are not really dual energy source vehicles.
I think of a 'hybrid' in terms of the number of motive sources on the vehicle and not the number of outside energy sources it uses. It's the combining of motive sources, in effect increasing the amount of useful energy available from petrol, that does the magic.
 

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Yes, your interpretation is the accepted one and I can see that definition makes sense and I must accept that is the accepted definition.

However, I think that it can be looked at another way and that is the source of the energy and I think that is a much better way to look at it. It does then beg the question what would I call a car such as the current model Prius that is a hybrid in the accepted meaning?

Hybrid Drive is what the Prius hybrid system is called and I think that is a good definition.

An Ampera in my eyes might be a hybrid power system.

I would class hybrids that take their motive energy from multiple sources as hybrid drive vehicles (HDVs ?) and those that have multiple external power sources as hybrid power vehicles (HPVs ?)

These are all just my way of looking at it and my classifications and I don't suppose many others see it the same way so I will just have to use the accepted definitions but there is a huge difference and yet we all seem to just lump them all together as hybrids.
 

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I don't really like the term hybrid at all it doesn't tell you anything about a car other than it's not standard. It's too broadly used to mean anything in particular, hence Paul's interpretation above.

But I'd be careful to keep dual fuel in a separate category. I wouldn't like to call an LPG car a hybrid, after all I don't consider it a very green solution. (lower calorific value means you burn twice as much giving same overall energy per carbon emmissions, and its fossil not renewable) but a dual fuel electric petrol is greener...

if you look at a Prius it's primary fuel is petrol but, it does technically have a second fuel source, and just because you don't fill it up doesn't mean its not a fuel (just as you don't fill up a solar car) but by exploiting something that all other cars give off to the environment, that being regeneration from the braking energy, there is a second energy store available to the drive-train. albeit a very minor amount in comparison with other duel fuels.

so I guess the question becomes is self generating/collecting/accumulating fuel a second fuel source?
 

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Parax said:
if you look at a Prius it's primary fuel is petrol but, it does technically have a second fuel source, and just because you don't fill it up doesn't mean its not a fuel (just as you don't fill up a solar car) but by exploiting something that all other cars give off to the environment, that being regeneration from the braking energy, there is a second energy store available to the drive-train. albeit a very minor amount in comparison with other duel fuels.
Actually this is not so. The current model Prius only has one fuel source... petrol.

Regen braking is simply recovering kinetic energy (basically speed) or potential energy (hills) and storing it in a battery. The kinetic energy is the energy of movement. Potential energy is the energy gained by going up a hill. Both the Prius and Ampera do that.

The important thing here is where did that kinetic or potential energy from? In a Prius it only comes from petrol. So all that regen braking is doing is storing energy that has come from petrol... it is a single energy (fuel) source. All that is happening is that the regen braking recovers it and store it in a different form... battery instead of wasting it as heat in the mechanical brakes. The energy itself though always comes only from petrol.

The difference between a Prius and an Ampera in this respect is that the Ampera can charge the battery from an external source. It has two energy sources... the grid and petrol. This is an important differentiation that explains why regen braking when you are running on petrol does not show up on the electric range... the energy recovered when running on petrol is not from grid, it is from petrol. It is a subtle difference but an important one.
 
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