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Old 01-05-2015, 12:05 AM   #11
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I'm sure fuelly will adapt with time, but I don't think hybrids, plug ins, electric cars are suited to fuel tracking, because Fuelly only tracks diesel/gas usage, and the cars in question are not always using that fuel at all times.
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:31 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by shaggy314 View Post
So screw you if you are frugal in your gas usage and instead use your more efficient electric motor, plan your trips, etc.

Last tank I had to lie about my odometer... 400 miles less so I could get Fuelly to track it.

I apologize to Fuelly for consistently driving within my battery range and my selfish friends and family that let me charge at their houses.

Quit bashing fuelly, it is a simple program for tracking fuel mpg. EVs and half EVs really are too variable to track depending on driving. Your Volt or plug in Prius may only cost you 5 gallons of fuel every 5000 miles if you only drive a couple of miles each time then charge, but take a cross country trip in said vehicle and your mileage is significantly less; there is not a good way to track those vehicles. Volts are not fuelly track able any more than my electric bike I use often is. Tracking MPG of the half gas/EV cars is irrelevant, as they are highly dependent on each persons commute.
My personal commute is 55-70 miles a day, so the half ev/gas vehicles would get much less perceived mpg than someone with a short commute.

Frugal can be many things, is it cheaper for me to keep my 15 year old car that I change the 1.5 qts of oil on once a year and $20 in fuel a month or is it more frugal to spend $40000 on a Volt? From my point of view it is an exorbitant expense to purchase a new Volt to replace my current car. My insurance is $120 every 6 months, which probably more than makes up for the fuel saving I might get from a Volt. I believe I am more frugal as I use bicycle, e-bike, and old car in combo to save on fuel costs, but I am not going to beat up people over their vehicle choice. I just like spending the money on better things.

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Old 01-07-2015, 05:38 AM   #13
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That is a good point, Draigflag, but it would be nice to be able to accurately track our gasoline usage in a Volt. Obviously that is only half the equation, but it is something we can actually track. Our electricity use is much harder to quantify.

I just split my 4.7 gallon fill up into 2 fill ups because Fuelly wouldn't let me put in a 5999 mile fill up. I did something wrong because now Fuelly says my lifetime mpg is 650 mpg and it should be 625 mpg. Not sure how I bungled it but it is a lot closer now than it was before. Or maybe Voltstats is wrong. Not sure.

19.6 gallons for 12,261 miles is not bad. Plus around 50 cents worth of electricity a day. I only drive my Volt 8,000 miles a year, so the 38 mile EPA AER works pretty well for me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Draigflag View Post
I'm sure fuelly will adapt with time, but I don't think hybrids, plug ins, electric cars are suited to fuel tracking, because Fuelly only tracks diesel/gas usage, and the cars in question are not always using that fuel at all times.
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:19 PM   #14
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Frankly, I do not think Fuelly should even allow the Volt or any other vehicle using more than one type of energy on the site. It is just exactly as if I used my F150 with two gas tanks, but only entered the fuel I put into one of them. If ALL the energy used cannot be accounted for, then no part of the accounting is valid. The data is misleading and should be purged from Fuelly.
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:32 PM   #15
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Exactly. Its kind of like riding a bike 20 miles in a very hilly region, half is up hill, the other is down. But you still tell people you cycled 20 miles
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:21 AM   #16
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Fuelly needs to throw plug in Prius and Volt into a totally separate area. Especially with the Plug in Prius it is throwing off the accurate average fuel economy for all Prius combined.
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Old 01-08-2015, 07:53 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Draigflag View Post
Exactly. Its kind of like riding a bike 20 miles in a very hilly region, half is up hill, the other is down. But you still tell people you cycled 20 miles
Actually, if you went uphill for 10 miles and coasted downhill for another 10, you still went 20 miles and you also still did the same amount of work as cycling for 20 miles. So saying you cycled for 20 miles is neither false nor is it misleading.

Charon hit the nail on the head. Counting half the energy your car uses to do the same thing is deceptive, and what's more it paints plug-ins in a misleadingly favorable light, which seems to be the implied intent of many of the plug-in users we see posting in these threads. Volt owners that I have encountered love spreading the tale that their cars get X-hundred miles per gallon, while seemingly thinking it's unimportant to mention or even know how much electricity they've used.

I'm all in favor of getting plug-in hybrids full integration to fuelly, but that can't happen until the technical issues of electricity recording are figured out. I wonder if the plug-in users in this thread can tell us how much electricity they used for each of their gasoline "fill-ups."
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:10 AM   #18
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I just spent a little time on Voltstats.net. It's quite interesting to see all the data and exciting that it seems to be downloaded and recorded automatically.

What's totally mind-boggling to me is that nowhere on the website are kilowatt-hours reported. Only the imaginary "MPG equivalent" term whose sole purpose seems to be keeping people from actually understanding how much energy their electric vehicle uses.

My take is this: Fuelly users are concerned with energy efficiency with particular concern about gas usage. But most plug-in hybrid users are concerned only with using the least possible amount of gas, with little to no concern paid to the electricity. If we are going to integrate the plug ins into Fuelly, we have to reconcile the plug-in hybrid users to the fact that we consider it pointless to record just the gasoline used and not record the electricity just as accurately. Then, the developers (and owners) also have to solve the technical issue of recording that electricity in an accurate and convenient way.

Otherwise, it just seems like the plug-in hybrid owners come here to seemingly brag about not using gasoline. If that's the case, clearly biased sites like voltstats.net are much more appropriate places to be.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:45 AM   #19
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Electric motors usually are pretty efficient. They can run better than 90%, although small motors are worse than large ones. The trick is in the electricity itself. Electricity supplied by your friendly utility company is generated at about 30 to 35% efficiency, measured from chemical energy in the fuel to electricity out to the grid. By the time it reaches your house it has had enough line losses to be about 20 to 25% of the original chemical energy. Factor in the efficiency of storage batteries (maybe 65 to 70%) and their associated chargers (80 to 85%). Gasoline engines as installed in cars run in the area of 15 to 20% efficiency, measured from chemical energy in the fuel to actual output (motion along the ground, accessory power, and so on). There isn't a lot of actual difference, is there?

It occurred to me that someone will raise the topic of "green" energy. Present day photovoltaic cells produce electricity at about 15 to 20%. Since the energy comes from the sun, the wasted 85% doesn't cost anything. Solar insolation runs about 750 watts per square yard, so a yard-square photocell will produce on the order of 100 to 150 watts in full sun. As you move further North that drops, because the sun has to penetrate more atmosphere. I have seen it claimed that the theoretical maximum efficiency of wind turbines is 59%, and of course none are actually that good. Bigger ones do better than small. Since the wind is free no one cares much about the waste. Wind turbines are raising the issue of bird kill, particularly when the birds in question are protected species such as the Bald Eagle.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:33 PM   #20
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What's totally mind-boggling to me is that nowhere on the website are kilowatt-hours reported. Only the imaginary "MPG equivalent" term whose sole purpose seems to be keeping people from actually understanding how much energy their electric vehicle uses.
Blame focus groups. When the EPA put the question to them, they preferred mpge to using a Wh or kWh and distance metric. Annoying, but those can be calculated back from mpge.

Electricity generation efficiency and plug in cars can be a tricky subject. Older steam driven turbines like the older coal plants are around the 30% mark. The combined cycle gas turbine plants that are mostly being built now are over 45% with some going past 50% in the field. If also cogen plants for heat, their efficiency climbs up to 90% to 95%.

I think PV panels aren't much better than an old coal plant, but as long as they produce more energy over their lifetime than went into making them, who cares? They are making use of sunlight that is being wasted in the perspective of electric generation. Wind generation has the same basic deal.

Charging a plug ins at night is counted as marginal use. They are seen as pushing the electric load on the grid over the historical baseline. Most electric produced at night for this marginal load is natural gas with some wind in a few areas.

MPGe is based upon the energy content of gasoline, and is based on the electricity coming out of the outlet. A wall to wheels accounting to mirror an ICE car's pump to wheels. The efficiencies of the charger and battery are already reflected in the window sticker. An EV is 3 to 4 times more efficient than the gasoline equivalent car.

You can go back farther along the electricity's pathway. To distribution for transmission losses, and the plant for production losses. That isn't a like comparison to the gasoline car's pump to wheels mpg though. That involves taking into the account the energy spent dispensing, distributing, and refining the gasoline.
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