Discussion:
Mini review: Aldi battery mower
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R D S
2021-06-03 15:55:57 UTC
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Aldi Ferrox battery mower, around 130 quid with battery/charger i'm told.

40cm cut, seems sufficiently powerful, I can't see it struggling unless
your lawn is neglected.

It's surprisingly sturdy, feels a fair bit more substantial than the
prior plug in mowers i've owned.

Easily adjustable cut height.

I'd highly recommend.
T i m
2021-06-03 18:09:37 UTC
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Post by R D S
Aldi Ferrox battery mower, around 130 quid with battery/charger i'm told.
40cm cut, seems sufficiently powerful, I can't see it struggling unless
your lawn is neglected.
It's surprisingly sturdy, feels a fair bit more substantial than the
prior plug in mowers i've owned.
Easily adjustable cut height.
I'd highly recommend.
Did you get the charger / battery thing sorted or was that an 'extra'?

Would you say it's any easier to manhandle than a corded mower with a
similar capacity?

I ask because Mum (92) was considering such a thing a while back (we
looked at them in Homebase) and likes to be self sufficient and if it
was fairly light / manoeuvrable and didn't have a cord to trip over
(more than cut though) it might be a solution for her?

Cheers, T i m
R D S
2021-06-03 20:09:46 UTC
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Post by T i m
Post by R D S
Aldi Ferrox battery mower, around 130 quid with battery/charger i'm told.
40cm cut, seems sufficiently powerful, I can't see it struggling unless
your lawn is neglected.
It's surprisingly sturdy, feels a fair bit more substantial than the
prior plug in mowers i've owned.
Easily adjustable cut height.
I'd highly recommend.
Did you get the charger / battery thing sorted or was that an 'extra'?
We got it sorted, it's approx 85 quid without battery, 130 with, we
bought it with and battery/charger turned up today.
Post by T i m
Would you say it's any easier to manhandle than a corded mower with a
similar capacity?
It's easier for *me* than pissing about with an extension but TBH it
feels a fair bit heavier than our prior pair of Bosch Rotaks.
It's OK when it's on the ground but it is a bit of a lump to carry.
Post by T i m
I ask because Mum (92) was considering such a thing a while back (we
looked at them in Homebase) and likes to be self sufficient and if it
was fairly light / manoeuvrable and didn't have a cord to trip over
(more than cut though) it might be a solution for her?
I suspect she may struggle. Documentation suggests it's 16.5kg.
T i m
2021-06-03 21:24:51 UTC
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On Thu, 3 Jun 2021 21:09:46 +0100, R D S <***@yahoo.com> wrote:

<snip>
Post by R D S
Post by T i m
Did you get the charger / battery thing sorted or was that an 'extra'?
We got it sorted,
Good.
Post by R D S
it's approx 85 quid without battery, 130 with, we
bought it with and battery/charger turned up today.
I suppose you might want to buy it without if you already have a
matching battery system.
Post by R D S
Post by T i m
Would you say it's any easier to manhandle than a corded mower with a
similar capacity?
It's easier for *me* than pissing about with an extension but TBH it
feels a fair bit heavier than our prior pair of Bosch Rotaks.
Ah.
Post by R D S
It's OK when it's on the ground but it is a bit of a lump to carry.
And I'm guessing the battery wouldn't add sufficient weight to make it
easier to move after detaching it first (like they do with some
take-down mobility scooters)?
Post by R D S
Post by T i m
I ask because Mum (92) was considering such a thing a while back (we
looked at them in Homebase) and likes to be self sufficient and if it
was fairly light / manoeuvrable and didn't have a cord to trip over
(more than cut though) it might be a solution for her?
I suspect she may struggle. Documentation suggests it's 16.5kg.
Assuming she can keep it on it's back then front wheels when getting
it in over the step up to the garage (as you would a pram / baby buggy
going up a kerb) then she would only be levering the weight up with
the handle, rather than dead-lifting the whole thing (with the front
half being easier as she would be pressing down and with a better
lever). Whilst she's still strong she's not always that steady on her
pins but I was thinking that the handle (like a walking frame) and
even weight might help her?

Do you lift the battery out to charge it and if so is that reasonably
light / easy would you say?

Did you run the battery flat and if so what sort of run time did it
give?

Cheers, T i m
Paul
2021-06-04 02:02:14 UTC
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Permalink
Post by T i m
<snip>
Post by R D S
Post by T i m
Did you get the charger / battery thing sorted or was that an 'extra'?
We got it sorted,
Good.
Post by R D S
it's approx 85 quid without battery, 130 with, we
bought it with and battery/charger turned up today.
I suppose you might want to buy it without if you already have a
matching battery system.
Post by R D S
Post by T i m
Would you say it's any easier to manhandle than a corded mower with a
similar capacity?
It's easier for *me* than pissing about with an extension but TBH it
feels a fair bit heavier than our prior pair of Bosch Rotaks.
Ah.
Post by R D S
It's OK when it's on the ground but it is a bit of a lump to carry.
And I'm guessing the battery wouldn't add sufficient weight to make it
easier to move after detaching it first (like they do with some
take-down mobility scooters)?
Post by R D S
Post by T i m
I ask because Mum (92) was considering such a thing a while back (we
looked at them in Homebase) and likes to be self sufficient and if it
was fairly light / manoeuvrable and didn't have a cord to trip over
(more than cut though) it might be a solution for her?
I suspect she may struggle. Documentation suggests it's 16.5kg.
Assuming she can keep it on it's back then front wheels when getting
it in over the step up to the garage (as you would a pram / baby buggy
going up a kerb) then she would only be levering the weight up with
the handle, rather than dead-lifting the whole thing (with the front
half being easier as she would be pressing down and with a better
lever). Whilst she's still strong she's not always that steady on her
pins but I was thinking that the handle (like a walking frame) and
even weight might help her?
Do you lift the battery out to charge it and if so is that reasonably
light / easy would you say?
Did you run the battery flat and if so what sort of run time did it
give?
Cheers, T i m
A self-propelled battery mower, might provide some
mechanical advantage when pacing the yard. It is not
likely to help when putting the mower away though
(width of mower versus width of doorway? mess?).

Paul
Jeff Layman
2021-06-04 07:12:17 UTC
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Permalink
Post by Paul
Post by T i m
<snip>
Post by R D S
Post by T i m
Did you get the charger / battery thing sorted or was that an 'extra'?
We got it sorted,
Good.
Post by R D S
it's approx 85 quid without battery, 130 with, we
bought it with and battery/charger turned up today.
I suppose you might want to buy it without if you already have a
matching battery system.
Post by R D S
Post by T i m
Would you say it's any easier to manhandle than a corded mower with a
similar capacity?
It's easier for *me* than pissing about with an extension but TBH it
feels a fair bit heavier than our prior pair of Bosch Rotaks.
Ah.
Post by R D S
It's OK when it's on the ground but it is a bit of a lump to carry.
And I'm guessing the battery wouldn't add sufficient weight to make it
easier to move after detaching it first (like they do with some
take-down mobility scooters)?
Post by R D S
Post by T i m
I ask because Mum (92) was considering such a thing a while back (we
looked at them in Homebase) and likes to be self sufficient and if it
was fairly light / manoeuvrable and didn't have a cord to trip over
(more than cut though) it might be a solution for her?
I suspect she may struggle. Documentation suggests it's 16.5kg.
Assuming she can keep it on it's back then front wheels when getting
it in over the step up to the garage (as you would a pram / baby buggy
going up a kerb) then she would only be levering the weight up with
the handle, rather than dead-lifting the whole thing (with the front
half being easier as she would be pressing down and with a better
lever). Whilst she's still strong she's not always that steady on her
pins but I was thinking that the handle (like a walking frame) and
even weight might help her?
Do you lift the battery out to charge it and if so is that reasonably
light / easy would you say?
Did you run the battery flat and if so what sort of run time did it
give?
Cheers, T i m
A self-propelled battery mower, might provide some
mechanical advantage when pacing the yard. It is not
likely to help when putting the mower away though
(width of mower versus width of doorway? mess?).
I have a self-propelled Mountfield (60V 4A battery). It is very good,
and cuts well. The self-propelled speed can be adjusted to suit the
user. I also found out by chance that the self-propelled motion works
whether the blades are rotating or not - in other words, it can be used
to just move the mower around on the flat, or up and down slopes, etc.

However, it is at least as heavy as the corded mower it replaced (25Kg),
and the battery is not only heavy, but the contacts in both the mower
and charger hold it very firmly indeed. I doubt that anyone with a hand
or wrist weakness would be able to pull it free.
--
Jeff
T i m
2021-06-04 10:36:39 UTC
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On Fri, 4 Jun 2021 08:12:17 +0100, Jeff Layman
<***@invalid.invalid> wrote:

<snip>
Post by Jeff Layman
I have a self-propelled Mountfield (60V 4A battery). It is very good,
and cuts well. The self-propelled speed can be adjusted to suit the
user.
Hmm, it was the 'self propelled' bit that got her into trouble on a
mobility scooter recently but the mower should be ok as long as it's
not a 'ride on'. ;-)
Post by Jeff Layman
I also found out by chance that the self-propelled motion works
whether the blades are rotating or not - in other words, it can be used
to just move the mower around on the flat, or up and down slopes, etc.
Assuming a push mower is reasonably free rolling her back lawn is
literally right outside the garage door (where a mower would be
stored) but the front lawn is accessed down the side of the
(semi-detached) house and so it could be handy for that. It's all very
much on the flat.
Post by Jeff Layman
However, it is at least as heavy as the corded mower it replaced (25Kg),
and the battery is not only heavy, but the contacts in both the mower
and charger hold it very firmly indeed. I doubt that anyone with a hand
or wrist weakness would be able to pull it free.
And does it *need* to be removed for charging?

The dust collection container on her hand held G-Tech cleaner is a
struggle for me to get off (without risking throwing it across the
room when it does) and she can actually get that off!

We bought her a convertible shopping trolley, two wheels when taking
it there empty and then 4 wheels when it's loaded and it seems to have
the capacity of a wheely bin. She often pulls that back into the house
(up two steps) on her own with little issue so it's not a strength /
grip issue.

Daughter is due to re-lay the rear lawn after the rescue lurcher Mum
was looking after ripped it up like a racetrack so we have some time
to check stuff out.

Cheers, T i m
Jeff Layman
2021-06-04 20:09:16 UTC
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Post by T i m
On Fri, 4 Jun 2021 08:12:17 +0100, Jeff Layman
<snip>
Post by Jeff Layman
I have a self-propelled Mountfield (60V 4A battery). It is very good,
and cuts well. The self-propelled speed can be adjusted to suit the
user.
Hmm, it was the 'self propelled' bit that got her into trouble on a
mobility scooter recently but the mower should be ok as long as it's
not a 'ride on'. ;-)
No, it's "walk-behind".
Post by T i m
Post by Jeff Layman
I also found out by chance that the self-propelled motion works
whether the blades are rotating or not - in other words, it can be used
to just move the mower around on the flat, or up and down slopes, etc.
Assuming a push mower is reasonably free rolling her back lawn is
literally right outside the garage door (where a mower would be
stored) but the front lawn is accessed down the side of the
(semi-detached) house and so it could be handy for that. It's all very
much on the flat.
In which case it should work very well for that purpose. If access to
the garage for storage is either on the level or over a small step it
should be relatively easy.
Post by T i m
Post by Jeff Layman
However, it is at least as heavy as the corded mower it replaced (25Kg),
and the battery is not only heavy, but the contacts in both the mower
and charger hold it very firmly indeed. I doubt that anyone with a hand
or wrist weakness would be able to pull it free.
And does it *need* to be removed for charging?
Yes, though depending on how much lawn has to be mown, it may be able to
do several cuts before needing to be recharged.
Post by T i m
The dust collection container on her hand held G-Tech cleaner is a
struggle for me to get off (without risking throwing it across the
room when it does) and she can actually get that off!
We bought her a convertible shopping trolley, two wheels when taking
it there empty and then 4 wheels when it's loaded and it seems to have
the capacity of a wheely bin. She often pulls that back into the house
(up two steps) on her own with little issue so it's not a strength /
grip issue.
Daughter is due to re-lay the rear lawn after the rescue lurcher Mum
was looking after ripped it up like a racetrack so we have some time
to check stuff out.
It isn't cheap...
--
Jeff
T i m
2021-06-05 19:39:47 UTC
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Permalink
On Fri, 4 Jun 2021 21:09:16 +0100, Jeff Layman
Post by Jeff Layman
Post by T i m
On Fri, 4 Jun 2021 08:12:17 +0100, Jeff Layman
<snip>
Post by Jeff Layman
I have a self-propelled Mountfield (60V 4A battery). It is very good,
and cuts well. The self-propelled speed can be adjusted to suit the
user.
Hmm, it was the 'self propelled' bit that got her into trouble on a
mobility scooter recently but the mower should be ok as long as it's
not a 'ride on'. ;-)
No, it's "walk-behind".
I thought it was (she got thrown out of her mobility scooter recently,
hence the lighthearted reference). ;-(
Post by Jeff Layman
Post by T i m
Post by Jeff Layman
I also found out by chance that the self-propelled motion works
whether the blades are rotating or not - in other words, it can be used
to just move the mower around on the flat, or up and down slopes, etc.
Assuming a push mower is reasonably free rolling her back lawn is
literally right outside the garage door (where a mower would be
stored) but the front lawn is accessed down the side of the
(semi-detached) house and so it could be handy for that. It's all very
much on the flat.
In which case it should work very well for that purpose.
I was thinking she could be more stable behind it than walking
unaided, if it's heavy enough.
Post by Jeff Layman
If access to
the garage for storage is either on the level or over a small step it
should be relatively easy.
It's actually it's just 'up a step' (on the way in) as the garage is
probably 6" higher than the concrete outside it.
Post by Jeff Layman
Post by T i m
Post by Jeff Layman
However, it is at least as heavy as the corded mower it replaced (25Kg),
and the battery is not only heavy, but the contacts in both the mower
and charger hold it very firmly indeed. I doubt that anyone with a hand
or wrist weakness would be able to pull it free.
And does it *need* to be removed for charging?
Yes, though depending on how much lawn has to be mown, it may be able to
do several cuts before needing to be recharged.
Ok, thanks.
<snip>
Post by Jeff Layman
It isn't cheap...
No, I'm familiar with Mountfield mowers (we had a petrol rotary /
driven one). ;-)

Cheers, T i m
Chris J Dixon
2021-06-05 08:09:28 UTC
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Post by T i m
We bought her a convertible shopping trolley, two wheels when taking
it there empty and then 4 wheels when it's loaded and it seems to have
the capacity of a wheely bin. She often pulls that back into the house
(up two steps) on her own with little issue so it's not a strength /
grip issue.
Absolutely no help, but thought you might like Granny Turismo:



Chris
--
Chris J Dixon Nottingham UK
***@cdixon.me.uk @ChrisJDixon1

Plant amazing Acers.
T i m
2021-06-05 12:10:34 UTC
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Post by Chris J Dixon
Post by T i m
We bought her a convertible shopping trolley, two wheels when taking
it there empty and then 4 wheels when it's loaded and it seems to have
the capacity of a wheely bin. She often pulls that back into the house
(up two steps) on her own with little issue so it's not a strength /
grip issue.
http://youtu.be/g1NXtX2l_6Y
That's very clever / funny and can even picture my Mum as part of it
(and would be up for it and wouldn't need the fake legs). ;-)

Since Dad died she is generally up for anything, as long as it means
spending time with her friends or family. So if we were thinking of
her and offered to take her to a garden centre or us and a trip to
Santa Pod, she would probably say 'yes please' to both (and could just
turn her hearing aids off at The Pod). ;-)

Cheers, T i m
T i m
2021-06-04 10:22:07 UTC
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On Thu, 03 Jun 2021 22:02:14 -0400, Paul <***@needed.invalid>
wrote:

<snip>
Post by Paul
Post by T i m
Assuming she can keep it on it's back then front wheels when getting
it in over the step up to the garage (as you would a pram / baby buggy
going up a kerb) then she would only be levering the weight up with
the handle, rather than dead-lifting the whole thing (with the front
half being easier as she would be pressing down and with a better
lever). Whilst she's still strong she's not always that steady on her
pins but I was thinking that the handle (like a walking frame) and
even weight might help her?
Do you lift the battery out to charge it and if so is that reasonably
light / easy would you say?
Did you run the battery flat and if so what sort of run time did it
give?
A self-propelled battery mower, might provide some
mechanical advantage when pacing the yard.
Agreed, just not sure they are available at that price break and how
much heavier it might make it?
Post by Paul
It is not
likely to help when putting the mower away though
(width of mower versus width of doorway? mess?).
It's not that difficult (and something she had done regularly for the
50 years she has lived there with a whole range of mowers).

She seemed to take to her G-Tech battery cleaners and so it was losing
the cord that was the draw on them (less likely to be a trip hazard)
and so the same thought with a battery mower.

Her main mobility issues are the *distance* she can walk *comfortably*
(bunions) and sometimes, balance (typically after standing up or
turning round quickly etc).

That's why we tell her off when we go round there and catch her
standing on a chair and cleaning the windows! ;-(

Cheers, T i m
Rod Speed
2021-06-03 22:37:08 UTC
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Post by T i m
Post by R D S
Aldi Ferrox battery mower, around 130 quid with battery/charger i'm told.
40cm cut, seems sufficiently powerful, I can't see it struggling unless
your lawn is neglected.
It's surprisingly sturdy, feels a fair bit more substantial than the
prior plug in mowers i've owned.
Easily adjustable cut height.
I'd highly recommend.
Did you get the charger / battery thing sorted or was that an 'extra'?
Would you say it's any easier to manhandle than a corded mower with a
similar capacity?
I ask because Mum (92) was considering such a thing a while back (we
looked at them in Homebase) and likes to be self sufficient and if it
was fairly light / manoeuvrable and didn't have a cord to trip over
(more than cut though) it might be a solution for her?
I wouldn't go with an aldi in that situation, the availability of
spares would be worse than with a better brand like Makita etc.
Peeler
2021-06-03 22:50:50 UTC
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On Fri, 4 Jun 2021 08:37:08 +1000, cantankerous trolling geezer Rodent
Speed, the auto-contradicting senile sociopath, blabbered, again:

<FLUSH the trolling senile asshole's latest trollshit unread>
--
Website (from 2007) dedicated to the 86-year-old senile Australian
cretin's pathological trolling:
https://www.pcreview.co.uk/threads/rod-speed-faq.2973853/
T i m
2021-06-04 10:39:06 UTC
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On Fri, 4 Jun 2021 08:37:08 +1000, "Rod Speed"
<***@gmail.com> wrote:

<snip>
Post by Rod Speed
Post by T i m
I ask because Mum (92) was considering such a thing a while back (we
looked at them in Homebase) and likes to be self sufficient and if it
was fairly light / manoeuvrable and didn't have a cord to trip over
(more than cut though) it might be a solution for her?
I wouldn't go with an aldi in that situation, the availability of
spares would be worse than with a better brand like Makita etc.
You are probably right as I've generally been able to get parts for
'big brand' stuff but have never tried (needed?) for anything from
Lidl / Aldi?

If it comes with a 3 year warranty (at that price) it might not be an
issue?

Cheers, T i m
Rod Speed
2021-06-04 19:06:14 UTC
Reply
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Post by T i m
On Fri, 4 Jun 2021 08:37:08 +1000, "Rod Speed"
<snip>
Post by Rod Speed
Post by T i m
I ask because Mum (92) was considering such a thing a while back (we
looked at them in Homebase) and likes to be self sufficient and if it
was fairly light / manoeuvrable and didn't have a cord to trip over
(more than cut though) it might be a solution for her?
I wouldn't go with an aldi in that situation, the availability of
spares would be worse than with a better brand like Makita etc.
You are probably right as I've generally been able to get parts for
'big brand' stuff but have never tried (needed?) for anything from
Lidl / Aldi?
If it comes with a 3 year warranty (at that price) it might not be an
issue?
I keep my lawnmowers for much longer than that and you
may well find that a replacement battery is a problem outside
warranty and with the blades too unless they are generic.
Brian Gaff (Sofa)
2021-06-04 06:55:35 UTC
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I wonder how long the battery lasts for, ie does the time it runs get lower
with increasing age, and when its ready for a new battery will they still be
around to buy?
Brian
--
This newsgroup posting comes to you directly from...
The Sofa of Brian Gaff...
***@blueyonder.co.uk
Blind user, so no pictures please
Note this Signature is meaningless.!
Post by R D S
Aldi Ferrox battery mower, around 130 quid with battery/charger i'm told.
40cm cut, seems sufficiently powerful, I can't see it struggling unless
your lawn is neglected.
It's surprisingly sturdy, feels a fair bit more substantial than the prior
plug in mowers i've owned.
Easily adjustable cut height.
I'd highly recommend.
Paul
2021-06-04 20:13:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Brian Gaff (Sofa)
I wonder how long the battery lasts for, ie does the time it runs get lower
with increasing age, and when its ready for a new battery will they still be
around to buy?
Brian
The neighbours previous battery mower, lasted four years, before
I saw it appear out on garbage day. The battery on that wasn't
modular, so did not lend itself to easy replacement.

One weakness of lithium, is if you let it run down,
below the "low" fill line, the charger will refuse to
charge it. For safety reasons (plated out lithium).
I expect the reason the mower was unusable after
four years, is improper maintenance over the
winter interval.

Paul
Jim Jackson
2021-06-05 11:15:48 UTC
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Post by Paul
One weakness of lithium, is if you let it run down,
below the "low" fill line, the charger will refuse to
charge it. For safety reasons (plated out lithium).
I expect the reason the mower was unusable after
four years, is improper maintenance over the
winter interval.
I've had a battery mower - this is it's fifth season. Removable batteries.

Curious what you consider "improper maintenance" - not recharging
batteries? I always keep mine charged. But what else is to do over
winter on an electric mower? I always clean mine out every other cut.
I suppose re-sharpen the blade.

Jim
Paul
2021-06-05 19:09:29 UTC
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Post by Jim Jackson
Post by Paul
One weakness of lithium, is if you let it run down,
below the "low" fill line, the charger will refuse to
charge it. For safety reasons (plated out lithium).
I expect the reason the mower was unusable after
four years, is improper maintenance over the
winter interval.
I've had a battery mower - this is it's fifth season. Removable batteries.
Curious what you consider "improper maintenance" - not recharging
batteries? I always keep mine charged. But what else is to do over
winter on an electric mower? I always clean mine out every other cut.
I suppose re-sharpen the blade.
Jim
"Sloppy", would be running it down to zero, pushing it
into the garage, shutting the door, coming along next
spring and noticing "gee, the charger refuses to charge it.
Broken charger ???".

That sort of thing.

The average consumer isn't a rocket scientist.

To give an example of science, a twit down the
street left their Prius in the drive for six months,
no apparent "engine turnover and charge" or anything else.
Is the battery pack in a Prius, impervious to such
treatment ? Is it lithium ? Or NiMH ? It just seemed
strange that they left the Prius sitting there, and
drove some other gas guzzler instead. Why would you own
a Prius, if you didn't plan to take it out every couple
days and allow it to maintain itself ?

You would think they would rotate their two vehicles
and keep them all happy.

Paul
Rod Speed
2021-06-05 21:41:24 UTC
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Permalink
Post by Paul
Post by Jim Jackson
Post by Paul
One weakness of lithium, is if you let it run down,
below the "low" fill line, the charger will refuse to
charge it. For safety reasons (plated out lithium).
I expect the reason the mower was unusable after
four years, is improper maintenance over the
winter interval.
I've had a battery mower - this is it's fifth season. Removable batteries.
Curious what you consider "improper maintenance" - not recharging
batteries? I always keep mine charged. But what else is to do over winter
on an electric mower? I always clean mine out every other cut.
I suppose re-sharpen the blade. Jim
"Sloppy", would be running it down to zero, pushing it
into the garage, shutting the door, coming along next
spring and noticing "gee, the charger refuses to charge it.
Broken charger ???".
That sort of thing.
The average consumer isn't a rocket scientist.
To give an example of science, a twit down the
street left their Prius in the drive for six months,
no apparent "engine turnover and charge" or anything else.
Is the battery pack in a Prius, impervious to such
treatment ? Is it lithium ? Or NiMH ? It just seemed
strange that they left the Prius sitting there, and
drove some other gas guzzler instead.
Why would you own a Prius, if you didn't plan to take it out every couple
days and allow it to maintain itself ?
When you don't understand the problem.
Post by Paul
You would think they would rotate their two vehicles and keep them all
happy.
Or they don't like driving the Prius for some reason.
Peeler
2021-06-05 22:08:01 UTC
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On Sun, 6 Jun 2021 07:41:24 +1000, cantankerous trolling geezer Rodent
Speed, the auto-contradicting senile sociopath, blabbered, again:

<FLUSH the trolling senile asshole's latest trollshit unread>
Theo
2021-06-05 22:27:11 UTC
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Post by Paul
"Sloppy", would be running it down to zero, pushing it
into the garage, shutting the door, coming along next
spring and noticing "gee, the charger refuses to charge it.
Broken charger ???".
It probably shuts down at some low but not zero point. So it's likely OK to
do that if you don't leave it for years such that it self-discharges into
the danger zone (Li-ion self discharge is small but non zero). Similarly
it's OK to store fully charged, but a bit more stressful on the battery.
Better would be to fully charge it and then run for a few minutes to make it
a bit more relaxed, best would be to store at 40% SoC which is the best spot
for a storage charge.
Post by Paul
To give an example of science, a twit down the
street left their Prius in the drive for six months,
no apparent "engine turnover and charge" or anything else.
Is the battery pack in a Prius, impervious to such
treatment ? Is it lithium ? Or NiMH ? It just seemed
strange that they left the Prius sitting there, and
drove some other gas guzzler instead. Why would you own
a Prius, if you didn't plan to take it out every couple
days and allow it to maintain itself ?
Depends on the Prius - the Plug In ones are lithium, the others are NiMH.
But they all have a 12V lead acid which is used to start the car and run
accessories, the alarm etc. 'Starting' means opening the contactors to
connect the HV NiMH battery to the inverter, and running the brake servo,
which takes a gulp of current (~20A for a few seconds).

If your 12V battery is flat because the alarm ran it down it won't 'start'
but the NiMH battery is sitting there disconnected perfectly fine. The 12V
is just a regular lead acid car battery (although AGM).

With a flat 12V battery I can 'start' my Prius with a tiny 12V lithium
jumpstart pack which is enough to get the contactors open and the HV system
up and running. If the HV battery is a bit low it'll fire the engine to
recharge it. I don't know what happens if the HV is so flat it can't fire
the engine, but it doesn't seem to suffer much from self-discharge. It's
possible there's a bypass route to run the inverter directly off the 12V but
I doubt it.

When I was looking at them to buy, often dealer cars would have a flat 12V
battery - but happily jumpstarted.
Post by Paul
You would think they would rotate their two vehicles
and keep them all happy.
It's what I've done, but driving a few miles every couple of weeks hasn't
been enough. I've had to externally charge the 12V on a few occasions (or
jumpstart and leave the car powered up where it charges the 12V from the HV
battery - it will run the engine periodically when the HV gets low).

Theo
T i m
2021-06-06 07:55:09 UTC
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On 05 Jun 2021 23:27:11 +0100 (BST), Theo
<theom+***@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:

<snip>
With a flat 12V battery I can 'start' my Prius ...
<snip>

As an aside and knowing you like yer stats n stuff <g>, do you have
the real world mpg figures for *your* Prius perchance?

I get how by combining an IC engine running at optimal levels with an
electric motor / battery and being able to recoup energy whilst
braking sounds like a good idea but how does all that relate to mpg
ITRW?

Cheers, T i m
Theo
2021-06-06 09:50:37 UTC
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Post by T i m
On 05 Jun 2021 23:27:11 +0100 (BST), Theo
<snip>
With a flat 12V battery I can 'start' my Prius ...
<snip>
As an aside and knowing you like yer stats n stuff <g>, do you have
the real world mpg figures for *your* Prius perchance?
https://www.fuelly.com/car/toyota/prius
don't forget to switch to 'UK' units on the left side.

When I was doing ~6-10 miles each way daily commuting, with the occasional
100+ mile journey I was getting about 60mpg. Now I'm driving 3 miles each
way once a week or less, with no long journeys it's more like 50mpg. Lose
maybe 5mpg in the winter.

The main thing here is cold engine starts - on a 3 mile journey the engine
has barely got up to temperature before you shut it down again, which hurts
the MPG. It also needs to recharge my regularly-low 12V battery which is a
small additional load.

On mine it always starts the engine for a few minutes to begin with (to warm
up the cat for emissions purposes) and it can only run on pure electric up
to 42mph at which point the engine kicks in. On the 2003-9 model there's
only a 1.2kWh battery and a 20hp electric motor so, while it can do pure
electric with the engine off if you're gentle with it below that speed, most
of the time the engine is ticking along with the motor helping out when
needed. The newer models are more powerful on the electric side than mine
(the early ones were very conservatively designed).
Post by T i m
I get how by combining an IC engine running at optimal levels with an
electric motor / battery and being able to recoup energy whilst
braking sounds like a good idea but how does all that relate to mpg
ITRW?
The usage pattern is very different from say a diesel - hybrid is best in
slow or stop/start traffic, say up to 40mph. Diesel is better at motorway
but poor for town driving. Most of my driving is 60mph+ so isn't ideal for
the hybrid, but I think the cold starts might lean a bit in favour of it.
And of course every journey starts and stops at 0mph so there's always a bit
of lower speed driving which compensates for lower efficiency blasting it
down the motorway. I would guess motorway efficiency is roughly 50mpg
unless you're behind a lorry when it can be more like 80mpg.

Horses for courses...

Theo
Fredxx
2021-06-06 13:42:48 UTC
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Permalink
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
On 05 Jun 2021 23:27:11 +0100 (BST), Theo
<snip>
With a flat 12V battery I can 'start' my Prius ...
<snip>
As an aside and knowing you like yer stats n stuff <g>, do you have
the real world mpg figures for *your* Prius perchance?
https://www.fuelly.com/car/toyota/prius
don't forget to switch to 'UK' units on the left side.
When I was doing ~6-10 miles each way daily commuting, with the occasional
100+ mile journey I was getting about 60mpg. Now I'm driving 3 miles each
way once a week or less, with no long journeys it's more like 50mpg. Lose
maybe 5mpg in the winter.
The main thing here is cold engine starts - on a 3 mile journey the engine
has barely got up to temperature before you shut it down again, which hurts
the MPG. It also needs to recharge my regularly-low 12V battery which is a
small additional load.
On mine it always starts the engine for a few minutes to begin with (to warm
up the cat for emissions purposes) and it can only run on pure electric up
to 42mph at which point the engine kicks in. On the 2003-9 model there's
only a 1.2kWh battery and a 20hp electric motor so, while it can do pure
electric with the engine off if you're gentle with it below that speed, most
of the time the engine is ticking along with the motor helping out when
needed. The newer models are more powerful on the electric side than mine
(the early ones were very conservatively designed).
Post by T i m
I get how by combining an IC engine running at optimal levels with an
electric motor / battery and being able to recoup energy whilst
braking sounds like a good idea but how does all that relate to mpg
ITRW?
The usage pattern is very different from say a diesel - hybrid is best in
slow or stop/start traffic, say up to 40mph. Diesel is better at motorway
but poor for town driving. Most of my driving is 60mph+ so isn't ideal for
the hybrid, but I think the cold starts might lean a bit in favour of it.
And of course every journey starts and stops at 0mph so there's always a bit
of lower speed driving which compensates for lower efficiency blasting it
down the motorway. I would guess motorway efficiency is roughly 50mpg
unless you're behind a lorry when it can be more like 80mpg.
Is there any facility to charge the battery from an external source? I'm
assuming this is not a 'plug-in' hybrid?

The Prius is quite a large car, the thing that concerns me is a 15 year
old diesel Mondeo can typically get 55mpg overall, without the
complexity of a hybrid.
Theo
2021-06-06 14:03:40 UTC
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Post by Fredxx
Is there any facility to charge the battery from an external source? I'm
assuming this is not a 'plug-in' hybrid?
Not the HV battery. It's 200V DC, and charging it would only allow a couple
of miles on electric alone. It's not designed to be an EV, it's an energy
buffer. The 12V battery is a regular car battery that can be charged on any
charger.
Post by Fredxx
The Prius is quite a large car, the thing that concerns me is a 15 year
old diesel Mondeo can typically get 55mpg overall, without the
complexity of a hybrid.
People quoting mpg numbers typically quote them 'on a run', when
conventional diesels/petrols are most efficient at motorway speeds. They
are less clear what they get running around town.

https://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/mondeo
suggests 15 year old diesel Mondeos ('L4 diesel' being the most populous
category, not sure what 'L4' means) get 35-40 UKmpg overall.

If all you're doing is motorway driving, buy a diesel.
The hybrid makes sense when you do more driving at lower speeds.
It's the reason hybrids are so popular as taxis.

Complexity is not really an issue apart from upfront cost - I was looking
for a scrap part recently and the scrap Priuses were all 200-300K miles. I
presume they just ran until the owners just had enough and they were
worth more parted out.

Theo
Fredxx
2021-06-06 17:16:11 UTC
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Permalink
Post by Theo
Post by Fredxx
Is there any facility to charge the battery from an external source? I'm
assuming this is not a 'plug-in' hybrid?
Not the HV battery. It's 200V DC, and charging it would only allow a couple
of miles on electric alone. It's not designed to be an EV, it's an energy
buffer. The 12V battery is a regular car battery that can be charged on any
charger.
Shame it's just 2 miles. The average journey is/was 7.
Post by Theo
Post by Fredxx
The Prius is quite a large car, the thing that concerns me is a 15 year
old diesel Mondeo can typically get 55mpg overall, without the
complexity of a hybrid.
People quoting mpg numbers typically quote them 'on a run', when
conventional diesels/petrols are most efficient at motorway speeds. They
are less clear what they get running around town.
https://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/mondeo
suggests 15 year old diesel Mondeos ('L4 diesel' being the most populous
category, not sure what 'L4' means) get 35-40 UKmpg overall.
I saw those numbers and some other Mondeo diesels in that site give
better numbers. They do seem low to me. Obviously UK mpg is higher than
US mpg.

I was going from experience, and mainly rural miles rather than urban,
so you certainly have a point. One tank when I was taking it easy I got
65mpg.
Post by Theo
If all you're doing is motorway driving, buy a diesel.
The hybrid makes sense when you do more driving at lower speeds.
It's the reason hybrids are so popular as taxis.
Complexity is not really an issue apart from upfront cost - I was looking
for a scrap part recently and the scrap Priuses were all 200-300K miles. I
presume they just ran until the owners just had enough and they were
worth more parted out.
I was aware they are popular as taxis, historically well be before the
Prius. I recall the Toyota Corolla being a popular taxi.
Tim+
2021-06-06 18:01:13 UTC
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Permalink
Post by Fredxx
Post by Theo
Post by Fredxx
Is there any facility to charge the battery from an external source? I'm
assuming this is not a 'plug-in' hybrid?
Not the HV battery. It's 200V DC, and charging it would only allow a couple
of miles on electric alone. It's not designed to be an EV, it's an energy
buffer. The 12V battery is a regular car battery that can be charged on any
charger.
Shame it's just 2 miles. The average journey is/was 7.
Post by Theo
Post by Fredxx
The Prius is quite a large car, the thing that concerns me is a 15 year
old diesel Mondeo can typically get 55mpg overall, without the
complexity of a hybrid.
People quoting mpg numbers typically quote them 'on a run', when
conventional diesels/petrols are most efficient at motorway speeds. They
are less clear what they get running around town.
https://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/mondeo
suggests 15 year old diesel Mondeos ('L4 diesel' being the most populous
category, not sure what 'L4' means) get 35-40 UKmpg overall.
I saw those numbers and some other Mondeo diesels in that site give
better numbers. They do seem low to me. Obviously UK mpg is higher than
US mpg.
I was going from experience, and mainly rural miles rather than urban,
so you certainly have a point. One tank when I was taking it easy I got
65mpg.
Post by Theo
If all you're doing is motorway driving, buy a diesel.
The hybrid makes sense when you do more driving at lower speeds.
It's the reason hybrids are so popular as taxis.
Complexity is not really an issue apart from upfront cost - I was looking
for a scrap part recently and the scrap Priuses were all 200-300K miles. I
presume they just ran until the owners just had enough and they were
worth more parted out.
I was aware they are popular as taxis, historically well be before the
Prius. I recall the Toyota Corolla being a popular taxi.
One of the big advantages for taxi use is regenerative braking. Brake
components on EVs and hybrids generally last much longer than “normal”
cars.

Tim
--
Please don't feed the trolls
T i m
2021-06-06 19:11:00 UTC
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On 6 Jun 2021 18:01:13 GMT, Tim+ <***@gmail.com> wrote:

<snip>
Post by Tim+
One of the big advantages for taxi use is regenerative braking.
And all the exceptions re congestion charging. ;-)
Post by Tim+
Brake
components on EVs and hybrids generally last much longer than “normal”
cars.
I would be interested to hear from Theo below what speed the breaking
is still mostly mechanical (re urban / motorway driving).

Cheers, T i m
Tim+
2021-06-06 19:24:08 UTC
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Post by T i m
<snip>
Post by Tim+
One of the big advantages for taxi use is regenerative braking.
And all the exceptions re congestion charging. ;-)
Post by Tim+
Brake
components on EVs and hybrids generally last much longer than “normal”
cars.
I would be interested to hear from Theo below what speed the breaking
is still mostly mechanical (re urban / motorway driving).
I think you mean “braking”. I can’t speak for hybrids but on EVs there is
no “speed limit” for regenerative braking. The limits are the rate of
deceleration that the motor can produce and the battery capacity. A fully
charged EV won’t do regenerative braking as there’s simply nowhere to put
the energy.

Tim
Post by T i m
Cheers, T i m
--
Please don't feed the trolls
Theo
2021-06-06 20:16:30 UTC
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Post by Tim+
Post by T i m
I would be interested to hear from Theo below what speed the breaking
is still mostly mechanical (re urban / motorway driving).
I think you mean “braking”. I can’t speak for hybrids but on EVs there is
no “speed limit” for regenerative braking. The limits are the rate of
deceleration that the motor can produce and the battery capacity. A fully
charged EV won’t do regenerative braking as there’s simply nowhere to put
the energy.
I think gen2 Prius regen goes down to about 7-8mph. At that point the
amount of braking you can get from the motor alone is limited, and you want
it to stop accurately (going 1 metre extra across a pedestrian crossing
would not be great). You can feel it's a bit notchy slightly above that
speed - as if you can feel the poles of the motor as it rotates - which
is a bit disconcerting until you get used to it. Your instinctive reaction
is to push the brakes harder which will bring in friction braking anyway.

Unless you're descending hills, on the flat it will keep some headroom in
the battery such that there's enough space to capture energy in regen.
It'll then use that energy next time you accelerate, so it tries to always
have scope to regen. Although the motor isn't large, so if you're less than
gentle on the brakes it'll bring in the friction system.

Theo
T i m
2021-06-06 20:52:48 UTC
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On 06 Jun 2021 21:16:30 +0100 (BST), Theo
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
I would be interested to hear from Theo below what speed the breaking
is still mostly mechanical (re urban / motorway driving).
I think you mean “braking”. I can’t speak for hybrids but on EVs there is
no “speed limit” for regenerative braking. The limits are the rate of
deceleration that the motor can produce and the battery capacity. A fully
charged EV won’t do regenerative braking as there’s simply nowhere to put
the energy.
I think gen2 Prius regen goes down to about 7-8mph.
That's lower than I thought but that said, I know all too well how
'heavy' a shorted electric motor can become when trying to push a
mobility scooter. ;-)
Post by Theo
At that point the
amount of braking you can get from the motor alone is limited, and you want
it to stop accurately (going 1 metre extra across a pedestrian crossing
would not be great).
So it *will* actually bring you to a halt with motor braking alone,
noticeable above rolling resistance etc?
Post by Theo
You can feel it's a bit notchy slightly above that
speed - as if you can feel the poles of the motor as it rotates - which
is a bit disconcerting until you get used to it. Your instinctive reaction
is to push the brakes harder which will bring in friction braking anyway.
Makes sense.
Post by Theo
Unless you're descending hills, on the flat it will keep some headroom in
the battery such that there's enough space to capture energy in regen.
So what does it do when descending hills, assuming you approach the
top of one with a fully charged battery? Two questions really:

Does it 'coast' if you don't touch the brake like a car in neutral or
'hang' on the motor / transmission like one in gear but with you foot
off the throttle?

What if you apply some (electric) brake that would maintain the same
speed but then make the battery fully charged (either really or
technically), does it then apply the mechanical brakes on it's own
(like an ABS) 'instead' or start coasting faster till you use
mechanical brakes?
Post by Theo
It'll then use that energy next time you accelerate, so it tries to always
have scope to regen. Although the motor isn't large, so if you're less than
gentle on the brakes it'll bring in the friction system.
The motors on the mobility scooters we have seem quite large (by
comparison then) and the big one will bring it and me to a halt from
full speed (8mph) down a fairly steep slope in a bit over a second.
;-)

Cheers, T i m
Theo
2021-06-06 21:17:40 UTC
Reply
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Post by T i m
On 06 Jun 2021 21:16:30 +0100 (BST), Theo
Post by Theo
I think gen2 Prius regen goes down to about 7-8mph.
That's lower than I thought but that said, I know all too well how
'heavy' a shorted electric motor can become when trying to push a
mobility scooter. ;-)
OTOH 1+ tonne of car has a lot of KE, even at low speeds. A 20hp motor
isn't a lot in comparison.
Post by T i m
Post by Theo
At that point the
amount of braking you can get from the motor alone is limited, and you want
it to stop accurately (going 1 metre extra across a pedestrian crossing
would not be great).
So it *will* actually bring you to a halt with motor braking alone,
noticeable above rolling resistance etc?
It won't let you find that out, it brings in the friction below 7mph.
Post by T i m
So what does it do when descending hills, assuming you approach the
Does it 'coast' if you don't touch the brake like a car in neutral or
'hang' on the motor / transmission like one in gear but with you foot
off the throttle?
I think it's like a regular auto - it won't brake unless you press the brake
pedal. It's not one-pedal driving like some EVs. It's not 'coasting' in
the sense of running away due to having the clutch disengaged (the
transmission is always engaged - I suppose you could try forcing it into
neutral but it would complain mightily). If you take your foot off the
accelerator then it's a fight between friction, gravity and momentum as in
any other car.
Post by T i m
What if you apply some (electric) brake that would maintain the same
speed but then make the battery fully charged (either really or
technically), does it then apply the mechanical brakes on it's own
(like an ABS) 'instead' or start coasting faster till you use
mechanical brakes?
When the battery is full it'll use friction brakes. You can't select what
kind of braking it uses, you can only tell by paying close attention to the
sounds and the feel. You just use 'the brakes' and it decides how to
achieve it.

There is also 'B' mode which provides classical engine braking, in case
you're doing a heavy descent and are worried about your friction brakes
overheating. I've used it about twice, in neither case did I need it.
Post by T i m
The motors on the mobility scooters we have seem quite large (by
comparison then) and the big one will bring it and me to a halt from
full speed (8mph) down a fairly steep slope in a bit over a second.
;-)
I imagine you don't weigh a tonne? :-)

Theo
T i m
2021-06-06 22:51:11 UTC
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Permalink
On 06 Jun 2021 22:17:40 +0100 (BST), Theo
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
On 06 Jun 2021 21:16:30 +0100 (BST), Theo
Post by Theo
I think gen2 Prius regen goes down to about 7-8mph.
That's lower than I thought but that said, I know all too well how
'heavy' a shorted electric motor can become when trying to push a
mobility scooter. ;-)
OTOH 1+ tonne of car has a lot of KE, even at low speeds. A 20hp motor
isn't a lot in comparison.
Understood.
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
Post by Theo
At that point the
amount of braking you can get from the motor alone is limited, and you want
it to stop accurately (going 1 metre extra across a pedestrian crossing
would not be great).
So it *will* actually bring you to a halt with motor braking alone,
noticeable above rolling resistance etc?
It won't let you find that out, it brings in the friction below 7mph.
Ah.
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
So what does it do when descending hills, assuming you approach the
Does it 'coast' if you don't touch the brake like a car in neutral or
'hang' on the motor / transmission like one in gear but with you foot
off the throttle?
I think it's like a regular auto - it won't brake unless you press the brake
pedal.
Ok.
Post by Theo
It's not one-pedal driving like some EVs.
No, I didn't think the Prius was like that for some reason (I'd
consider them more 'traditional' that way).
Post by Theo
It's not 'coasting' in
the sense of running away due to having the clutch disengaged (the
transmission is always engaged
That was my question. I guessed the transmission would always be
engaged and I believe it 'blends' a mix of inputs and outputs (but not
disconnects). It was in the overrun situation but with no need for
regen charge I was wondering about.
Post by Theo
- I suppose you could try forcing it into
neutral but it would complain mightily).
That wasn't my suggestion. ;-)
Post by Theo
If you take your foot off the
accelerator then it's a fight between friction, gravity and momentum as in
any other car.
Quite, where none the 'friction' is introduced, it's whatever present.
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
What if you apply some (electric) brake that would maintain the same
speed but then make the battery fully charged (either really or
technically), does it then apply the mechanical brakes on it's own
(like an ABS) 'instead' or start coasting faster till you use
mechanical brakes?
When the battery is full it'll use friction brakes.
So with that, does the pedal have physical travel ranges where it
would first only be electrical and then mechanical after that or is
the actual braking used linear from the outset (decided by it as you
next mention)?
Post by Theo
You can't select what
kind of braking it uses, you can only tell by paying close attention to the
sounds and the feel. You just use 'the brakes' and it decides how to
achieve it.
Ok.
Post by Theo
There is also 'B' mode which provides classical engine braking, in case
you're doing a heavy descent and are worried about your friction brakes
overheating. I've used it about twice, in neither case did I need it.
The only time I seen that was on a Daf 'Daffodil' and it was like a
choke knob that affected the CVT. ;-)
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
The motors on the mobility scooters we have seem quite large (by
comparison then) and the big one will bring it and me to a halt from
full speed (8mph) down a fairly steep slope in a bit over a second.
;-)
I imagine you don't weigh a tonne? :-)
No, but my point was more how effective even a small motor can be as a
brake, dependant maybe on the gearing between wheels and motor.

eg, If you do the same thing on a loose surface it will lock one of
the (tranaxle / diff) wheels up.

Or when racing slot cars or the 12th scale RC 4WD comp cars where you
could also lock the wheels up (well, ABS stylee) under heavy
(electrical) braking.

Cheers, T i m
John Bryan
2021-06-07 14:12:11 UTC
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[snip]
Post by T i m
So what does it do when descending hills, assuming you approach the
Does it 'coast' if you don't touch the brake like a car in neutral or
'hang' on the motor / transmission like one in gear but with you foot
off the throttle?
[snip]

The high voltage battery can never be fully charged under normal driving.
It is only charged to 80% capacity and allowed to discharge to 40%, this
preserves the cells.
The energy monitor inside the car normally has one bar left.

So when descending a hill with a fully charged i.e. 80% battery, the
regenerative braking charges the battery to 100% filling the remaining bar
on the energy monitor regardless of the gearbox normal or the additional
braking mode.

It takes quite a bit to fill this one bar and I have only seen it happen
once in the two years I have driven my Prius generation 3.

The transmission never coasts it is always engaged going down a hill is
like a manual car with your foot off the throttle.
I hope this answers your questions.
--
John Bryan
T i m
2021-06-07 15:18:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by John Bryan
[snip]
Post by T i m
So what does it do when descending hills, assuming you approach the
Does it 'coast' if you don't touch the brake like a car in neutral or
'hang' on the motor / transmission like one in gear but with you foot
off the throttle?
[snip]
The high voltage battery can never be fully charged under normal driving.
Understood.
Post by John Bryan
It is only charged to 80% capacity and allowed to discharge to 40%, this
preserves the cells.
Understood.
Post by John Bryan
The energy monitor inside the car normally has one bar left.
So it knows there is 40% left but inhibits you using it any further?
Post by John Bryan
So when descending a hill with a fully charged i.e. 80% battery, the
regenerative braking charges the battery to 100% filling the remaining bar
on the energy monitor regardless of the gearbox normal or the additional
braking mode.
Ah, 'additional', so am I right in thinking it would typically include
electrical / regenerative braking *and then* mechanical braking under
all circumstances? I believe Theo suggested that the mechanical
braking can come in quickly if you aren't gentle on the brake but I
wasn't sure if it *always* applied both or if there were instances
where you just had mechanical only (other than when it was 100%
charged etc)?
Post by John Bryan
It takes quite a bit to fill this one bar and I have only seen it happen
once in the two years I have driven my Prius generation 3.
Nice long down hills where you had to apply some level of braking the
whole time?
Post by John Bryan
The transmission never coasts it is always engaged going down a hill is
like a manual car with your foot off the throttle.
Understood.
Post by John Bryan
I hope this answers your questions.
I'm getting a better feel for it all (thanks).

Actually, whilst watching (typically) taxi drivers dropping people off
when out walking the dog when it's quiet at night and being fascinated
by the 'silence' as these (typically Prius's) waft about, I have
suggested to the Mrs we see how much it would cost to hire one for a
day, when we have somewhere 'urban' to go?

I am familiar with pure EV's as I have had one for over 30 years, but
it's very basic (std mechanical brakes and no regen), not a hybrid and
it's those that interest me from these technical / usage POV.

Cheers, T i m
Theo
2021-06-07 17:14:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by T i m
Post by John Bryan
The energy monitor inside the car normally has one bar left.
So it knows there is 40% left but inhibits you using it any further?
The bars are fiction - they're an indication of the battery status but not a
direct measure of it. You can read out the SoC with OBD if you want the
actual numbers. I think 'nearly full' at the top of the blue bars which is
where it prefers to keep it is something like 66% of SoC and the extra two
green bars come up to at about 80%.

If you do regen you can get those green bars to fill up, but it won't do it
from the engine out of choice.
Post by T i m
Ah, 'additional', so am I right in thinking it would typically include
electrical / regenerative braking *and then* mechanical braking under
all circumstances? I believe Theo suggested that the mechanical
braking can come in quickly if you aren't gentle on the brake but I
wasn't sure if it *always* applied both or if there were instances
where you just had mechanical only (other than when it was 100%
charged etc)?
I believe it's mech only below 7mph on Gen2. If you emergency stop I don't
know what it does with regen, but it stops like any other car.

Way to think of it is that it's basically normal mechanical braking but with
regen creaming off energy when it can. If you brake gently you hear the
regen, if you drive it heavily the friction will take over.
Post by T i m
Post by John Bryan
It takes quite a bit to fill this one bar and I have only seen it happen
once in the two years I have driven my Prius generation 3.
Nice long down hills where you had to apply some level of braking the
whole time?
Not sure about the Gen3 but it's easy on a Gen2 - motorway offslip with
nobody behind you so you can brake through it gently down from 70mph. Or on
hills, I hear they have them in other parts of the country.
Post by T i m
Actually, whilst watching (typically) taxi drivers dropping people off
when out walking the dog when it's quiet at night and being fascinated
by the 'silence' as these (typically Prius's) waft about, I have
suggested to the Mrs we see how much it would cost to hire one for a
day, when we have somewhere 'urban' to go?
I am familiar with pure EV's as I have had one for over 30 years, but
it's very basic (std mechanical brakes and no regen), not a hybrid and
it's those that interest me from these technical / usage POV.
The older ones are easier to work out what's going on. The newer ones have
it blended more smoothly so it's harder to tell what it's doing. In general
you just drive it like a normal car, there's nothing extra to do.

There's a display that shows what's happening with energy transfer which is
useful when you first get it and want to understand what's going on:
http://john1701a.com/prius/prius-how.htm
('Classic' is a Gen1, 'Iconic' a G2)

Some of the newer ones have this as a prettier display but much less
readable when driving:
Loading Image...

I think other Toyota hybrids have a similar screen, possibly more hidden in
the entertainment system. Almost all new Toyota autos are hybrids these
days (apart from the diesels and the sports cars), so probably wouldn't be
too difficult to hire one.

Theo
T i m
2021-06-07 19:53:20 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On 07 Jun 2021 18:14:31 +0100 (BST), Theo
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
Post by John Bryan
The energy monitor inside the car normally has one bar left.
So it knows there is 40% left but inhibits you using it any further?
The bars are fiction - they're an indication of the battery status but not a
direct measure of it.
I'm surprised. I know (from personal experience) it's difficult to
accurately indicate the current SOC of a battery but you would have
thought that with all the engineering that Toyota obviously put into
even the first Prius, it would have a fairly accurate battery gauge?
Post by Theo
You can read out the SoC with OBD if you want the
actual numbers.
That makes even less sense then if 'better' information is available
but not used?
Post by Theo
I think 'nearly full' at the top of the blue bars which is
where it prefers to keep it is something like 66% of SoC and the extra two
green bars come up to at about 80%.
Ok.
Post by Theo
If you do regen you can get those green bars to fill up, but it won't do it
from the engine out of choice.
Understood.
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
Ah, 'additional', so am I right in thinking it would typically include
electrical / regenerative braking *and then* mechanical braking under
all circumstances? I believe Theo suggested that the mechanical
braking can come in quickly if you aren't gentle on the brake but I
wasn't sure if it *always* applied both or if there were instances
where you just had mechanical only (other than when it was 100%
charged etc)?
I believe it's mech only below 7mph on Gen2.
Yes, I believe you said.
Post by Theo
If you emergency stop I don't
know what it does with regen, but it stops like any other car.
I guessed it would but I was (only) wondering if the braking role was
a direct function of the pedal position / hydraulic pressure in that
it went though the 'electric' then 'mechanical' braking no matter how
fast / hard you pressed the pedal or if the electric was bypassed (as
opposed to not having time to come in) if you did a rapid stop. Not
because of the outcome (as you say, it should / would stop like any
other car), but the process behind the scenes.
Post by Theo
Way to think of it is that it's basically normal mechanical braking but with
regen creaming off energy when it can. If you brake gently you hear the
regen, if you drive it heavily the friction will take over.
Understood, where the 'taking over' is simply mechanical braking
effect out-performing the electric braking effect (both are likely
still running in parallel).
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
Post by John Bryan
It takes quite a bit to fill this one bar and I have only seen it happen
once in the two years I have driven my Prius generation 3.
Nice long down hills where you had to apply some level of braking the
whole time?
Not sure about the Gen3 but it's easy on a Gen2 - motorway offslip with
nobody behind you so you can brake through it gently down from 70mph.
Gotcha. So not that long / difficult then?
Post by Theo
Or on
hills, I hear they have them in other parts of the country.
Apparently.[1] ;-)
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
Actually, whilst watching (typically) taxi drivers dropping people off
when out walking the dog when it's quiet at night and being fascinated
by the 'silence' as these (typically Prius's) waft about, I have
suggested to the Mrs we see how much it would cost to hire one for a
day, when we have somewhere 'urban' to go?
I am familiar with pure EV's as I have had one for over 30 years, but
it's very basic (std mechanical brakes and no regen), not a hybrid and
it's those that interest me from these technical / usage POV.
The older ones are easier to work out what's going on.
I imagined they might be. Not that 'evolution' can not also include
'simplification' but it rarely seems to.
Post by Theo
The newer ones have
it blended more smoothly so it's harder to tell what it's doing.
Do you feel they have done that with advanced software or are you
aware of significant advances in the drivetrain / rolling gear?
Post by Theo
In general
you just drive it like a normal car, there's nothing extra to do.
Funnily, that also applies to my old EV, just that there is no engine
noise when you turn it 'On'. ;-)
Post by Theo
There's a display that shows what's happening with energy transfer which is
http://john1701a.com/prius/prius-how.htm
('Classic' is a Gen1, 'Iconic' a G2)
Interesting ta. I might make a replica one with an Arduino to put in
the Meriva. ;-)
Post by Theo
Some of the newer ones have this as a prettier display but much less
https://car-images.bauersecure.com/pagefiles/70180/1040x0/toyotaprius_91.jpg
Why do they do that. ;-(

It looks 'bling' but as you say, probably doesn't convey the
information as clearly as the 'old way'.

It was a bit like that with my older Garmin GPS's and the newer one.
The newer one is obviously more targeted at 'Consumers' but there was
a load more information you could optionally select / display (that
probably wouldn't be of interest to 'most people').
Post by Theo
I think other Toyota hybrids have a similar screen, possibly more hidden in
the entertainment system. Almost all new Toyota autos are hybrids these
days (apart from the diesels and the sports cars), so probably wouldn't be
too difficult to hire one.
I'll see what's about (I'd want to have at least a day driving it
'normally' myself, rather than blagging a test drive etc).

Cheers, T i m

[1] Something you don't necessarily notice till you are on a cycle or
driving a pure EV. ;-)
Theo
2021-06-07 20:39:58 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by T i m
On 07 Jun 2021 18:14:31 +0100 (BST), Theo
Post by Theo
The bars are fiction - they're an indication of the battery status but not a
direct measure of it.
I'm surprised. I know (from personal experience) it's difficult to
accurately indicate the current SOC of a battery but you would have
thought that with all the engineering that Toyota obviously put into
even the first Prius, it would have a fairly accurate battery gauge?
It's not an EV, so it doesn't need to show you accurately how many miles
you've got. It's just really three states: 'low, I'm going to start the
engine', 'a few levels of normal' and 'high: I've got plenty,
thanks'. You don't need to care - when it gets low it'll kick in the
engine.

I'm sure there are rules that determine 5 bars is between 42 and 51% SoC or
whatever, but you don't need to know them. You also don't care if it says
'empty' or 'full' - 'empty' does not mean 0% and 'full' does not mean
100%.

It's the same with laptops and others these days: 0% does not mean
the battery is at 0V.
Post by T i m
Post by Theo
You can read out the SoC with OBD if you want the
actual numbers.
That makes even less sense then if 'better' information is available
but not used?
You're overthinking it. You can, and I usually do, drive it with the screen
turned off. I don't care what the battery SoC is - it's a car, it worries
about that.
Post by T i m
I guessed it would but I was (only) wondering if the braking role was
a direct function of the pedal position / hydraulic pressure in that
it went though the 'electric' then 'mechanical' braking no matter how
fast / hard you pressed the pedal or if the electric was bypassed (as
opposed to not having time to come in) if you did a rapid stop. Not
because of the outcome (as you say, it should / would stop like any
other car), but the process behind the scenes.
No idea - the pedal position goes into the ABS ECU, the comms to the
hydraulics and motor ECUs come out. I don't know what that software does.
Post by T i m
Post by Theo
Not sure about the Gen3 but it's easy on a Gen2 - motorway offslip with
nobody behind you so you can brake through it gently down from 70mph.
Gotcha. So not that long / difficult then?
Each bar is about 50Wh so about half a large laptop. It doesn't take a lot of
0.5mv^2 where m = 1tonne to capture that. In normal town driving you might
capture 25-50Wh every 5 minutes. It's more limited by the motor capacity in
that you typically need to brake in a short-ish distance.
Post by T i m
Post by Theo
The newer ones have
it blended more smoothly so it's harder to tell what it's doing.
Do you feel they have done that with advanced software or are you
aware of significant advances in the drivetrain / rolling gear?
The motors are much more powerful so it's like you have a bigger engine -
put your foot down and you get full engine power plus full motor power at
the same time. It doesn't last for long (at least on the non-plugin
versions with the small batteries) but makes up for the smaller engines.
More recent Prius have 1.8 engines over the original 1.5, which is now found
in the Yaris. That helps with acceleration and possibly motorway efficiency
as it's not running quite as hard.
Post by T i m
Interesting ta. I might make a replica one with an Arduino to put in
the Meriva. ;-)
I'm sure there's some fun to be had with writing a fake display app for
Android Auto or Carplay. On that note, I should try this one:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nexcell.app&hl=en_GB

(I tried an app called PriiDash on a Windows tablet - gave me lots of stats
which were nice but ultimately distracting. Only worth doing if something is
broken really)
Post by T i m
Post by Theo
I think other Toyota hybrids have a similar screen, possibly more hidden in
the entertainment system. Almost all new Toyota autos are hybrids these
days (apart from the diesels and the sports cars), so probably wouldn't be
too difficult to hire one.
I'll see what's about (I'd want to have at least a day driving it
'normally' myself, rather than blagging a test drive etc).
Forgot to mention, the Aygo still has a miserable 'X-shift' computer-clutch
that everyone else abandoned a decade ago. So if you hire and get a small
auto you might end up with that. All the other auto 'normal cars' in the
current range should be OK.

Theo
T i m
2021-06-07 21:11:02 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On 07 Jun 2021 21:39:58 +0100 (BST), Theo
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
On 07 Jun 2021 18:14:31 +0100 (BST), Theo
Post by Theo
The bars are fiction - they're an indication of the battery status but not a
direct measure of it.
I'm surprised. I know (from personal experience) it's difficult to
accurately indicate the current SOC of a battery but you would have
thought that with all the engineering that Toyota obviously put into
even the first Prius, it would have a fairly accurate battery gauge?
It's not an EV, so it doesn't need to show you accurately how many miles
you've got.
Ah, good point (my baseline is EV's / battery powered stuff etc).
Post by Theo
It's just really three states: 'low, I'm going to start the
engine', 'a few levels of normal' and 'high: I've got plenty,
thanks'. You don't need to care - when it gets low it'll kick in the
engine.
Cool. ;-)
Post by Theo
I'm sure there are rules that determine 5 bars is between 42 and 51% SoC or
whatever, but you don't need to know them. You also don't care if it says
'empty' or 'full' - 'empty' does not mean 0% and 'full' does not mean
100%.
Quite. It's those AFAYAC.
Post by Theo
It's the same with laptops and others these days: 0% does not mean
the battery is at 0V.
Sure.
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
Post by Theo
You can read out the SoC with OBD if you want the
actual numbers.
That makes even less sense then if 'better' information is available
but not used?
You're overthinking it. You can, and I usually do, drive it with the screen
turned off. I don't care what the battery SoC is - it's a car, it worries
about that.
Understood.
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
I guessed it would but I was (only) wondering if the braking role was
a direct function of the pedal position / hydraulic pressure in that
it went though the 'electric' then 'mechanical' braking no matter how
fast / hard you pressed the pedal or if the electric was bypassed (as
opposed to not having time to come in) if you did a rapid stop. Not
because of the outcome (as you say, it should / would stop like any
other car), but the process behind the scenes.
No idea - the pedal position goes into the ABS ECU, the comms to the
hydraulics and motor ECUs come out. I don't know what that software does.
I didn't think you would specifically, just you might be aware of the
higher level processes involved (beyond what you may have mentioned so
far)?
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
Post by Theo
Not sure about the Gen3 but it's easy on a Gen2 - motorway offslip with
nobody behind you so you can brake through it gently down from 70mph.
Gotcha. So not that long / difficult then?
Each bar is about 50Wh so about half a large laptop. It doesn't take a lot of
0.5mv^2 where m = 1tonne to capture that. In normal town driving you might
capture 25-50Wh every 5 minutes.
But if in 'electric mode' that wouldn't be a net gain (less the
journey was downhill). ;-)
Post by Theo
It's more limited by the motor capacity in
that you typically need to brake in a short-ish distance.
Understood.
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
Post by Theo
The newer ones have
it blended more smoothly so it's harder to tell what it's doing.
Do you feel they have done that with advanced software or are you
aware of significant advances in the drivetrain / rolling gear?
The motors are much more powerful so it's like you have a bigger engine -
put your foot down and you get full engine power plus full motor power at
the same time. It doesn't last for long (at least on the non-plugin
versions with the small batteries) but makes up for the smaller engines.
Quite. Similar to 'load shedding' (disconnecting the output of the
alternator) on std IC cars.
Post by Theo
More recent Prius have 1.8 engines over the original 1.5, which is now found
in the Yaris. That helps with acceleration and possibly motorway efficiency
as it's not running quite as hard.
I wonder what the sweet spot is and (so) if they will come out with a
different size?

When buying a new (company) Sierra Estate you could get 1.3, 1.6, 2.0
and a 2.3 (might have been diesel) but ignoring the diesel if it was,
the 2l (from memory) offered the best 'all round' MPG, especially if
you were doing a fair bit of motorway work.
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
Interesting ta. I might make a replica one with an Arduino to put in
the Meriva. ;-)
I'm sure there's some fun to be had with writing a fake display app for
Android Auto or Carplay.
Don't know those.
Post by Theo
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nexcell.app&hl=en_GB
I would if I had a Prius. That's why I have OpComm and Forscan. ;-)
Post by Theo
(I tried an app called PriiDash on a Windows tablet - gave me lots of stats
which were nice but ultimately distracting. Only worth doing if something is
broken really)
Yeah, or to get a better understanding of what's going on. I like the
'Heads up display' on Torque. ;-)
Post by Theo
Post by T i m
Post by Theo
I think other Toyota hybrids have a similar screen, possibly more hidden in
the entertainment system. Almost all new Toyota autos are hybrids these
days (apart from the diesels and the sports cars), so probably wouldn't be
too difficult to hire one.
I'll see what's about (I'd want to have at least a day driving it
'normally' myself, rather than blagging a test drive etc).
Forgot to mention, the Aygo still has a miserable 'X-shift' computer-clutch
that everyone else abandoned a decade ago. So if you hire and get a small
auto you might end up with that.
Ah. ;-(
Post by Theo
All the other auto 'normal cars' in the
current range should be OK.
I think I will specifically look for a Prius as they sorta set the
scene at the beginning?

Cheers, T i m
John Bryan
2021-06-07 19:33:18 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by T i m
Post by John Bryan
[snip]
Post by T i m
So what does it do when descending hills, assuming you approach the
Does it 'coast' if you don't touch the brake like a car in neutral or
'hang' on the motor / transmission like one in gear but with you foot
off the throttle?
[snip]
The high voltage battery can never be fully charged under normal driving.
Understood.
Post by John Bryan
It is only charged to 80% capacity and allowed to discharge to 40%, this
preserves the cells.
Understood.
Post by John Bryan
The energy monitor inside the car normally has one bar left.
So it knows there is 40% left but inhibits you using it any further?
Yes and it then starts the petrol engine being a hybrid car.
Post by T i m
Post by John Bryan
So when descending a hill with a fully charged i.e. 80% battery, the
regenerative braking charges the battery to 100% filling the remaining bar
on the energy monitor regardless of the gearbox normal or the additional
braking mode.
Ah, 'additional', so am I right in thinking it would typically include
electrical / regenerative braking *and then* mechanical braking under
all circumstances? I believe Theo suggested that the mechanical
braking can come in quickly if you aren't gentle on the brake but I
wasn't sure if it *always* applied both or if there were instances
where you just had mechanical only (other than when it was 100%
charged etc)?
Post by John Bryan
It takes quite a bit to fill this one bar and I have only seen it happen
once in the two years I have driven my Prius generation 3.
Nice long down hills where you had to apply some level of braking the
whole time?
Post by John Bryan
The transmission never coasts it is always engaged going down a hill is
like a manual car with your foot off the throttle.
Understood.
Post by John Bryan
I hope this answers your questions.
I'm getting a better feel for it all (thanks).
Actually, whilst watching (typically) taxi drivers dropping people off
when out walking the dog when it's quiet at night and being fascinated
by the 'silence' as these (typically Prius's) waft about, I have
suggested to the Mrs we see how much it would cost to hire one for a
day, when we have somewhere 'urban' to go?
I am familiar with pure EV's as I have had one for over 30 years, but
it's very basic (std mechanical brakes and no regen), not a hybrid and
it's those that interest me from these technical / usage POV.
Cheers, T i m
--
John Bryan
Theo
2021-06-07 21:14:02 UTC
Reply
Permalink
OOI, is there an 'emergency, take it down to (say) 20% option', (user
option, rather than workshop / tech) in case you were out of fuel and
wanted to get somewhere safe?
There's an EV mode button. You can press that and it won't start the engine
when you start driving. Eventually it will when the battery gets low. You
aren't supposed to run it without fuel in - I don't know what happens if it
can't start it. Possibly you can force it to limp a bit further somehow, I
don't know.

Theo

T i m
2021-06-06 20:20:23 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by T i m
<snip>
Post by Tim+
One of the big advantages for taxi use is regenerative braking.
And all the exceptions re congestion charging. ;-)
Post by Tim+
Brake
components on EVs and hybrids generally last much longer than ?normal?
cars.
I would be interested to hear from Theo below what speed the breaking
is still mostly mechanical (re urban / motorway driving).
I think you mean “braking”.
Yup, I thought it looked wrong. ;-)
I can’t speak for hybrids but on EVs there is
no “speed limit” for regenerative braking.
Ok.
The limits are the rate of
deceleration that the motor can produce
Well that was the bit I was interested in. If there was a speed below
which electric braking wasn't sufficiently effective (above a walking
speed I mean).
A fully
charged EV won’t do regenerative braking as there’s simply nowhere to put
the energy.
Understood, although I'm guessing it doesn't take many miles to create
some space on a dedicated EV. ;-)

Cheers, T i m
Dave Plowman (News)
2021-06-06 23:54:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Theo
When I was doing ~6-10 miles each way daily commuting, with the
occasional 100+ mile journey I was getting about 60mpg. Now I'm driving
3 miles each way once a week or less, with no long journeys it's more
like 50mpg. Lose maybe 5mpg in the winter.
I remember doing a long journey in an early Prius. Due to being rather
underpowered, it had to be driven near flat out on the motorway. And used
more fuel than my Rover V-8. ;-) But it gave very good MPG in town - I
suppose that's why they're so popular as mini-cabs.
--
*Reality? Is that where the pizza delivery guy comes from?

Dave Plowman ***@davenoise.co.uk London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.
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