Fuel efficient tip for driving the Outlander

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Fuel efficient tip for driving the Outlander

Post by FairyFloss » Sun, 27 Sep 2015, 14:01

Hi there,

I've had my Outlander PHEV aspire for 6 months and I'm not sure what the most fuel efficient way to drive it is. I was using CHARGE but would watch the petrol gauge drop dramatically when I did. Perhaps I'm better off using SAVE. Has anyone done an experiment and found out the most efficient way?

Here is an example of a situation:

Trip A - a 65km return trip, in suburban area, mix of highway and suburbans streets, no charging options available.

Which is the most fuel efficient way to drive:

Option 1: Car fully charged on departure, giving a range of about 45km. Drive using regenerative breaking, put car on SAVE when down to 10km -now using a hybrid mode. When 10km from home turn off SAVE so all battery is exhausted by the time I get home.

Option 2: Car fully charged on departure, use all electric for the first 45km, use regenerative braking, then switch to CHARGE, charge it up so that I have enough km to get me home. Once I have the km, turn off CHARGE and get home using the remaining battery.

Option 3: Car fully charged on departure, use all electric for the first 45km, let it automatically start using petrol when it's run out. Do not use CHARGE or SAVE modes.

TRIP B - a 200km, mostly motor way.

The same options as above.

Thanks!



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Fuel efficient tip for driving the Outlander

Post by zzcoopej » Tue, 29 Sep 2015, 03:11

FairyFloss wrote: Option 3: Car fully charged on departure, use all electric for the first 45km, let it automatically start using petrol when it's run out. Do not use CHARGE or SAVE modes.


Yep, the car will get the best economy (# except in 1 circumstance, see below)

FairyFloss wrote: TRIP B - a 200km, mostly motor way.
In this case probably some of the driving will be freeway. The PHEV is more efficient using petrol at freeway speed and saving the electric for 60km/hr roads. This is when you use SAVE.

CHARGE only makes sense when you need more battery to supplement the petrol engine - eg an extended mountain climb when you have let the battery run down to empty, or towing a caravan etc.
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Fuel efficient tip for driving the Outlander

Post by dgh853 » Tue, 29 Sep 2015, 03:38

I'd second FairyFloss's comments that you should use option 3 and let the car work it out.
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Fuel efficient tip for driving the Outlander

Post by TassieM » Thu, 15 Oct 2015, 16:39

I try to avoid using CHARGE and only use it when I have accidently allowed the battery charge level to get too low for the terrain I have ahead. I usually use SAVE to keep the battery in the range of 40% - 60% of charge, particularly when I have a bit of hill-climbing ahead. Having some charge in the battery gives you additional power availability (petrol engine plus battery) if you want it. Remember it is only a 2 litre engine pushing a heavy vehicle. I have a fairly flat run home so I discharge the battery going home and recharge it from the mains at home. We have made two Hobart to Canberra return journeys and have been impressed with the fuel economy running only as a hybrid with no mains recharging. It requires discipline to remember hitting the SAVE button every time you start up away from home.

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Fuel efficient tip for driving the Outlander

Post by MollyD1053 » Sun, 03 Jan 2016, 19:11

when to use the 'EcoMode' button?
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Fuel efficient tip for driving the Outlander

Post by zzcoopej » Sun, 03 Jan 2016, 19:15

MollyD1053 wrote: when to use the 'EcoMode' button?


I push ECO every trip. If you push it when driving you can feel the acceleration drop. Also the airconditioning is not as powerful.
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Fuel efficient tip for driving the Outlander

Post by MollyD1053 » Sun, 03 Jan 2016, 19:29

I live in Busselton and work in Dunsborough. With my previous car I would use the Busselton Bypass as I can go a bit faster, there are some sections of 110km/hr. However with the Outlander PHEV I arrive in Dunsborough with the battery almost depleted. Recently I went through Busselton which is largely 60 and 70km/hr zones with traffic and plenty of breaking. I arrived in Dunsborough with the battery still with half a charge. (the final section of road between Busselton and Dunsborough is 90km/hr for about 17kms. no other option). So far I have mainly used battery only mode, only using 'Charge' on the faster stretches if the battery is running low. what is my best option?

Sometimes I work from Bunbury. I take it from the above discussion that I should be using the 'Save' function for this stretch. Or should I use the Eco button?
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Post by zzcoopej » Sun, 03 Jan 2016, 20:04

MollyD1053 wrote: used battery only mode, only using 'Charge' on the faster stretches if the battery is running low. what is my best option?


Its been a long time since I was in Busselton area but from memory its pretty flat. For a trip you can do entirely on EV, only press ECO. If you can't make it on pureEV, press save for the highest speed section however its tricky to know how much battery the final low speed section will use so I usually go conservative (eg if the low speed section at the end is 25km, remove save when 20km RR). Charge should only really be used to prepare for big hills which you don't have, or if you are towing. There is a thread which suggests that Charge gives better fuel economy than Save, however that is only for very long trips and in particular circumstances.
MollyD1053 wrote:
Sometimes I work from Bunbury. I take it from the above discussion that I should be using the 'Save' function for this stretch. Or should I use the Eco button?


ECO works in conjunction with "default", "charge" and "save", ie you can use it all the time (pity you need to press it every trip).

PS Remember there are two "litres/100km" values stored in the "MMCS" PHEV computer - "manual" and "automatic". Leaving the "manual" reading going (no reset) gives a useful reading for the entire time you have owned the PHEV, and "auto" resets after 4 hours so it stores the L/100km for the current trip. The "auto" value will give you an idea of the most efficient way to drive.
Last edited by zzcoopej on Sun, 03 Jan 2016, 09:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Fuel efficient tip for driving the Outlander

Post by woody » Wed, 06 Jan 2016, 16:55

Try taking the freeway at different speeds. e.g. do one trip at 110, 100, 90, 80.

In theory going 50% faster uses 2 1/4 times as much energy per km (for wind resistance).

I suspect freeway @100 will save you 20% compared to @110.
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Fuel efficient tip for driving the Outlander

Post by 1GR8KA » Wed, 20 Apr 2016, 02:13

I do a regular 130km trip from Doreen to Torquay. Vic..and return.
I've tried all possible methods.
The trip is about 15km stop start urban, then 80 km of 100km/h on the ring road and Princes Hwy. Then another 35 k of urban traffic mostly till Torquay.
I've found the most efficient way is to drain the Battery which is about 45 kms worth. Whilst sitting on 100km/h I hit charge. It takes about 45 to 50 kms to charge the battery to around 35 km.
At this stage the consumption has gone to 5 litres per 100km
I then use battery for the remaining trip.
Usually consumption has gone back to around 3.8.
If I use save then the same journey is around the 4.4 mark
I'm happy with that result.
If you watch what the car does if left to do its own thing, it charges the battery for a few kms and then uses battery for a bit.
I believe instead of letting the car constantly switch it seems to be better to just let it charge.
This will depend on the road conditions. My trip is basically flat.
Cool car though.
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Fuel efficient tip for driving the Outlander

Post by rhills » Wed, 20 Apr 2016, 06:30

Hi Baz,

Do you routinely use Eco Mode or leave it in "Normal"?
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Fuel efficient tip for driving the Outlander

Post by Johny » Wed, 20 Apr 2016, 16:10

1GR8KA wrote: I do a regular 130km trip from Doreen to Torquay. Vic..and return.
...
Not actually having a PHEV (so you can ignore this post if you like) I can't verify this but wife has a hybrid and with that and my EV driving - here's my thinking.

1/ By depleting the battery pack a large amount it's life will be shortened. When the car is handling things it's maintaining a shallow charge/discharge regime. If the gain is 0.6 litre per 100km, I'd tend just let the car handle it.

2/ If you want to use lots of battery power then best EV energy economy is at low speeds. Use the pack for the low speed travel at the start of the trip, then preserve it for the other end and use ICE for 100km/h travel. Again, I'd tend to only do the first OR the last bit in EV mode and opt for a shallower discharge.

I think the Outlander is one of the best PHEV/EV solutions at the moment and I envy you. Wife is seriously looking at the Outlander maybe next year as she wants a modern tow-car that is fuel efficient - so I'm glad for the observations and reports.

Hope I'm not offending by suggesting other ways to drive it.

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Post by 1GR8KA » Wed, 20 Apr 2016, 17:13

Glad you have joined the discussion.
1.I've never charged over 10kw/h overnight so I'm assumingt he last 2 kw is held for engine use and battery integrity.
i usually start the charge cycle at 2 km left.
2.100% agree witht his statement. ( I pretty much always exceed 50km for my city driving in EV) the trick here is to use B0 - the car has great coasting potential and it's FREE distance gained. ONLY use break regen to slow the car when I can no longer coast in B0.
However there is no point saving the charge when it doesn't help fuel consumption.
ALSO prefer the ICE to run consistantly @ 100 km/h than to have it cut in and out in EV mode (in this case)
The more input on the subject the better - so thanksf or your input.
BTW- I would not have bought the PHEV, but there were massive savings available as dealers clear stocks for the car 2015/6 model.
The base model can be bought new from just under 35k and I got my brand new Aspire with tow bar, usual warranties for 39k.
Those prices are great value.
Baz

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Fuel efficient tip for driving the Outlander

Post by 1GR8KA » Wed, 20 Apr 2016, 17:17

I drive the car gently and don't use ECO mode generally, however when air conditioning is involved then ECO mode is great and I do use it.
If you are a bit of a lead foot then I would definitely have it on though.
Thanks for your question.
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Post by MollyD1053 » Thu, 21 Apr 2016, 02:23

I am still experimenting but this is what I have noted so far:
* My first tank of fuel lasted for 2,000km. (but I didn't keep track of the electricity)
* In March I did just under 800km. I used about $28 in electricity and less than $10 in fuel. I didn't do anything special apart from press 'charge' when battery was getting low. My trips are pretty flat but that is about 1/5th of what it cost to run my previous vehicles per month.
* I did to a trip to Perth (about 460km round trip). again, I didn't do more than press 'charge' when the battery was low. so did a bit of leapfrogging that way. the round trip cost $40 in fuel

I am very happy with the Outlander. Would be good if it had a fast charge option but I am still extremely happy with the car. Got it as an ex-demo model too so that was a saving.

It's a different mind-set. I often charge at a public charging place and people's first question is 'how long does it take to charge'. well it does take quite a few hours but then its just sitting there anyway so might as well be plugged in charging. If I had the fast charge option then it would be more efficient in some situations, but in the mean time I am still VERY happy with the Outlander. No need to wait for the Tesla3 folks!

I have not experimented with the paddles so far.

The other thing I have only just noticed is that if I use cruise control on the longer stretches, that also saves on battery. As someone else has said, the slower you go, the more battery you can save. Will try doing 100kmh instead of 110 sometime, I just don't do many of those kind of trips. The route I take to work (ie whether I go through town or on the bypass) also makes a difference. Through town defiantly uses less battery than the ring road.

Apologies for the long post, but I am very excited about my Outlander.
MollyD1953

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Fuel efficient tip for driving the Outlander

Post by 1GR8KA » Thu, 21 Apr 2016, 04:28

Its great to hear about others experiences. You are right about the mindset though.if you approach it from the wrong way it is easy to miss the point of the car.
The paddles are your gateway to greater range. Especially B0, coasting.
Ive now just finished 2 months of normal running around.
3200 kms
Just filled up today, so thats 65 litres of fuel.
So thats 2.03 litres per 100km.
Im going to call the charging a wash as my panels produce more money than it takes to charge it EVEN if i charge every night, and i dont.
I always charge on off peak power so it maxes out at $1.20 per charge.
Lets face it if you just did running around you would never need fuel!
It would be great if you post your long range fuel figures and how you operated the car to get it.
My wife has an ASX and even on a long run the Outlander will be more fuel efficient.
My new golf club has some chargers so now It will be a 9 holes and a charge.lol
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Fuel efficient tip for driving the Outlander

Post by zzcoopej » Thu, 21 Apr 2016, 12:32

1GR8KA wrote:The paddles are your gateway to greater range. Especially B0, coasting.
Yes, coasting (also referred to in some forums as "Hypermiling") is fantastic, however did you know the PHEV uses about 1kW of power to stop the e-motors from slowing the car down. Tesla uses a different motor design to prevent the need for this small energisation of the motor coils for true hypermiling.
1GR8KA wrote:So thats 2.03 litres per 100km.

The MMCS displays some bad data, however the "manual" value for l/100km of fuel is accurate and will store the overall value without you having to calculate it. I've done 14,600km now in my PHEV and when I last checked it was running at 3.4l/100km since new. Its higher than you due to about 7000km being from interstate trips. The worst I've seen is 9.8l/100km with 4 bikes and 2 waveskis, 4 adults and gear almost to the roof.
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Post by 1GR8KA » Thu, 21 Apr 2016, 17:03

That's good to know - wondering how many watts that would be ie 1kw per hour used for 10 seconds ? or whatever.
Couldn't use 1kw every time you coast !
I learnt to coast in my VW MK7 that had a special economy mode including coast. So over the last couple of years I was learning when to stop driving and use coast and it is amazing how much you can use it.
The Phev is a better coaster I guess because of its weight.
However with the VW everytime I used the brakes i cringed wasting the energy through heat.
The PHEV's paddles means that's a thing of the past !! Just about reclaiming every bit of energy possible. WHAT brake dust ??? lol
I was born to be an EV driver - only just found out though !!
Your figures are comforting too and seriously 9.8 is about average for my next door neighbor with a Honda HRV AND THATS EVERY DAY !!
My wife was asking some good questions as I showed her the 65 litres of fuel receipts for the last two months over 3200km. (She has an ASX)
I'm freaking out about the MMCS trip computer. NO actual fuel use guage and NO mileage readout in it either. (Sorry the VW wins hands down)
On the whole though loving the Phev and big thanks for your input. Hopefully more people get on.
BTW I've only ever seen one other PHEV on the road !
Baz

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Post by zzcoopej » Thu, 21 Apr 2016, 22:22

1GR8KA wrote: how many watts that would be ie 1kw per hour used for 10 seconds ?

Correct, it only amounts to much if it involves a long distance. You can see the power draw of the e-motors while hypermiling using my EvBatMon App.

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Post by MollyD1053 » Fri, 22 Apr 2016, 15:08

I was told the paddles were only for towing. So I can use B0 anytime and save on battery?
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Post by 1GR8KA » Fri, 22 Apr 2016, 17:36

Absolutely !
The joystick gear lever when pulled back once gives you B3 and you will notice a B3 appearing in a small box in the centre console screen. Pull it back twice and you go to the max - B5 - this also changes in the little box.
If you hit the plus paddle you will see it sequence back to 4,3,2,1,0
The paddles are basically a fine control of the centre joystick.
Mine defaults to B1 (I think)
I usually drive around on B0 and when I forsee a stop I coast and as I get closer tap the minus paddle to slow me down further or plus again to roll further.
You get very good at rolling further and further with practice.
In the city I will always get over 50km and usually over 52km on EV - my best has been 56km on EV only.
Have a look at the manual and have a go. Good luck.
On towing - to assist with braking and regen B5 would be great.
Baz

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Fuel efficient tip for driving the Outlander

Post by Johny » Fri, 22 Apr 2016, 18:08

1GR8KA wrote:...
On towing - to assist with braking and regen B5 would be great.
Have to have a look into the implications with electric trailer brakes - like on our campervan. It would be nice to be able to hold them off when safe to do so.

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Post by 1GR8KA » Fri, 22 Apr 2016, 18:33

I would be interested to know that too !
Baz

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Post by HHL » Sat, 23 Apr 2016, 13:15

I think of the paddles purely as a means of "downshifting" as one would in a manual or auto car when going downhill. Do bear in mind by selecting B5 to slow down that the brake lights do not come on! You will find that the default (no indication) is B2, that also seems to provide maximum regenerative braking via the pedal. In b0 or b1 there is less.
If you do use the paddles or the stick to "downshift", the quickest way to return to the normal setting is to hold the right paddle for about 2 seconds.
Overall, I think there is no noticeable difference in range by trying to "fiddle". Tried all the different "tricks" when I first got the car and now I just get in and drive it!
The only annoying thing I find is unwanted starts of the petrol engine and I try to avoid them by staying below about "11 o'clock" on the economy gauge, that works.
I don't fully cycle the battery every day as most of my driving is short runs and often less than 30km in a day. When I do go further afield, say more than 15km, I push "save" when the battery indicator has moved about 3 or 4 bars down. This allows maximum use of regeneration when slowing down and the car then runs like true hybrid. It also avoids lots of "cold start" bursts. The fuel economy is good in this mode, returning between 7 and 8l/100 in suburban driving.
Last edited by HHL on Sat, 23 Apr 2016, 13:16, edited 1 time in total.

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Fuel efficient tip for driving the Outlander

Post by 1GR8KA » Sun, 24 Apr 2016, 01:16

MollyD. I hope you are a girl because i just re read your post and i think i am in love with you,!
Lol
Baz

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