Plug-in Hybrids require a different diving style in comparison to other BEV's or even ICE vehicles. I have audited a 2023 Volvo XC90 T8 driving over 1000km and would like to share my experience:
The dictum ABC Always Be Charging again applies and all my charging is via solar PV. Park the car and plug!
1/4 of the 10 000km was town driving at 0 l/100km and the remaining distance was > 300km per journey. The 15 Kw/hr battery has a 50km real world range, good enough for over 90% of daily commutes in the city. On only 2 occasions did the car in pure electric mode run out of battery. The pure mode should be the default setting but this for some inexplainable reason is not available in SA!
The long distance trips are where adapting one's driving matters. Here I achieved 4.6 l/100km bearing in mind the trip always started with a full battery. Here are my tips in no particular order.
- Start with a full battery and a preconditioned car.
- The driving mode should be in hybrid or constant all-wheel drive ; battery system on hold.
- Whenever you pass through a town and decelerate to 60km/hr , change to pure electric mode. This ensures the petrol engine is off and minimal battery is used traversing the town. This saves fuel.
- The same principle applies to going down a long incline. Switch to pure EV mode whatever the speed. The petrol engine is off and there is minimal battery consumption. In pure EV mode the battery hold is immediately released.
- Hypermiling or coasting in N is unhelpful and is potentially dangerous; the desired speed is maintained for a short distance only on most declines.
- Keep an eye on your remaining battery range. If you have arrived at your destination with any remaining charge you have wasted free energy !
- Interestingly in the all-wheel drive setting it is not only smoother and subjectively more powerful on the open road but I feel it may also be a more efficient mode. Perhaps another audit is necessary.
- Planning a nature break at a public charger stop is pointless, the Volvo only has a weak AC on board charging system and the 1 km of range gained is not worth the effort. The full battery capacity in this car is 20Kw/hr with only 15Kw/hr usable. Why the buffer in a hybrid? Why no DC charging?
(source: Drive Electric)