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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I’ve recently bought a BMW 330E PHEV and have found the most efficient use for me is to charge at home overnight and then drive the 8 miles in to work using EV only, charge at work and return home again using EV only, Rinse and repeat 5days a week.
My question is, as PHEVs primary purpose is to combine the ICE with supplementary EV use am I causing accelerated wear/damage by using the car in this way? It feels like it probably wasn’t designed to be utilised in this fashion?
I’d be interested to get som opinions on this,

many thanks,

Andy
 

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It surely depends how you use it the rest of the time. If you use it in the same way at the weekends (8 miles to the shops or entertainment) then why carry the weight and packaging compromise of the ICE which will also deteriorate through lack of use? If however most weeks you do longer journeys beyond the capability of an EV then the ICE is justified.
A good PHEV is ideal if you have a regular combination of short journeys with charging capability at each end and long journeys beyond the capability of an EV.
For me I need the greater range around 5 times a year and its more convenient to hire for those and use an EV for the rest.
 

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Don't worry, just drive it in EV. The car should take care of the engine, meaning once in a couple of months it will start the ICE for maintenance. At least that's what my former VW Golf GTE did.

Read your manual, there should be a best practice statement.
 

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Ok, forgetting the "you must go EV EVangelism", especially since you've already bought the car, the above post is right - drive it in the cheapest way you can. As said, the engine should have a regular start up just in case you haven't done that yourself, either by accident or design, and revel in the knowledge that you've bought a much better car than most EV owners (of normal income rather than above) own, you don't suffer from any range anxiety, and will more than likely not have any issues with the car because of it's "worst of both worlds" design (!) - this anti-PHEV retoric is becoming realy really annoying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I’m not so worried about the long term effects on the ICE, petrol engines are fairly robust and as you mention, periodic running helps keep things in order. Im more interested in the effects the increased duty cycle on the battery/motor/inverter due to increased reliance on the EV only components. In a fully electric vehicle this would be the norm but in a hybrid presumably the design brief would have been to split the duty between the EV and ICE appropriately.
I suppose the basis for the question is by running in EV mode all the time do I increase the wear on these components and reduce their ‘life’ to a point where they will need replacing and I’ll have to sell a kidney to fund it.
 

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I'm not sure there's any evidence that the EV components in a PHEV are designed any differently than in a pure EV, even if they're slightly smaller probably, so follow the "rules" (AKA guidance) on looking after an EV battery, and that will probably fare the same as an EV will - regards the motor, then I think that may be in the hands of the gods - the evidence is that they do last generally very well, but I would suspect that if you've got a baddun, that won't help - the longer it lives without breaking, probably means it will last longer than you possibly !!
 

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I suppose the basis for the question is by running in EV mode all the time do I increase the wear on these components and reduce their ‘life’ to a point where they will need replacing and I’ll have to sell a kidney to fund it.
PHEVs are complicated cars, so I personally have no intention of running my GTE without a warranty (I factored in the VW extended warranty when budgeting the car running costs). Might be worth considering if you want to keep your kidneys.
 

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My parents have a Volvo V90 T8. 90%, or maybe more, of their trips around are in pure EV mode like you. What has been said to them is to charge the car every time they could and drive "normally". The car manages the rest.

In part i understand this anti PHEV retoric over europe. In Portugal government has completely cut the monetary help to buy them. I don't know what's the percentage in Britain, but here i bet 80% of the users simply don't charge their PHEVs regularly. The only reason here to buy one is the fact that with a little charge they can have much more powerful cars to drive off stop signs. That's our sad reality.
 
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I wish someone would do a study of PHEV charging patterns - it would seem to me time to find out just how true the anti-phev claim that they're never charged actually is !!
My average over the last 2200 miles in my GTE is currently about 150mpg, so assuming that the ICE averages about 45-50mpg (which doesn't seem unrealistic based on what I've seen so far), about 67-70% of my driving is "zero tailpipe emissions". Not sure if that means I'm doing it right or not, but I don't feel too bad about that. Would definitely be interesting to see where I sit compared to everyone else though, especially if the study splits out company car drivers and private owners. My guess is that the latter group is much more likely to "do it right".

Having said that, I'd expect my 150mpg average to drop significantly when (if?) lockdown gets lifted, as I'd be doing a lot more long distance driving on top of my current driving. Which is why I got a PHEV instead of a BEV.
 

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Yup, my Ampy has done 94 mpg over the 5 years 60k miles I've had it. It only managed 54 mpg in the 3yrs 17k miles before that, when was used in London as Ulez-avoidance or tax-minimising device/whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I’m not sure I found the an answer to my question but I have found out there seems to be quite a strong opinion about PHEVs which I was somewhat unaware of. I plug mine in, drive too and from work in full EV and it’s cut my fuel bill in half. It certainly works for me. I probably could have gone full EV but the hybrid was a nicer car and a comparison full EV would have cost way more and I like having the duel fuel option for peace of mind. For now it’s perfect. I will go full EV but I wanted to see how it worked for me first without fully committing.
 

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To try and answer your qn, you're doing exactly what I did, 5 years ago, for the exact same reasons. You're not damaging it by mixing petrol use with electric or not. What Internal Combustion engines don't like is being driven hard when they're very cold, whether they're inside a Phev, Rex or regular ICE. So it's a good idea to avoid hammering the petrol/diesel stuff when cold, so try to minimise hard acceleration and high speed until it's warmed through.

If you can do your entire trip on electricity and zero petrol, that's best of all. And if you have to use petrol, it's a good plan to try and do the cabin heating as a freebie from burning petrol, rather then heating using the battery. So on long trips in my Ampera I'll heat the cabin when ICE fires up for a few miles, and when that cuts out, having charged the battery a bit, I turn the fan off which cuts the heating completely so the battery drives the wheels, not a resistance heater as well as wheels. So I try to get max range out of the electricity-only stages. To what extent you can do this in other Phevs all depends on the amount of control you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Great info and good advice, thank you. I did try preheating the cabin using the scheduled departure thingy whilst the still plugged in when the weather was particularly cold but found this came with a cost penalty of an additional 25% which negated a chunk of the saving I was gaining on over fuel so I canned that fairly quick.
 

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Hi @ANicholls86 . I agree with the comments above about running it on electric as much as you can and just let the engine manage the rest. I had a PHEV Outlander and did the same as you for several years, obsessively so actually, which was why I wanted the range of full electric (Leaf 62) eventually. I did like the PHEV though. One thing I did notice was some battery degradation after about 50,000 miles, from the constant recharging of a smaller battery. Perhaps be mindful of that. When I was an Outlander driver I never experienced PHEV hate from BEV drivers by the way; always enjoyed good conversations at charge points, picking their brains. Now I'm BEV I don't hate PHEV therefore. Enjoy the car.
 
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