best fuel efficiency for 50mi+ drives? All Hybrid or EV+Hybr

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Active member
Apr 16, 2019
Hey All,

Which is the more fuel efficient way of driving on 50+ mile one way drives? I know people have preferences but has anyone measured it? Does anyone know which is the most and least fuel efficient?

1. EV on streets. Hybrid on highway. EV (if remaining) on streets after exiting highway.

2. Hybrid from the very start to the end of the trip, on highway and streets.

3. EV to start on streets. EV on highway until battery charge is used up. And Hybrid for the remainder of the trip on highway and streets.
I drive in EV mode until the battery is out. Then while on the freeway I put the car in Sport mode. This has the best EV regeneration when taking my foot off the accelerator. I usually can recharge about 9 miles while driving in traffic on a 20 mile trip. Then when I exit the freeway I go back to EV mode.

However, leaving it in Hybrid mode will probably give you the same results. The E Tron is pretty smart.
I just like to play with all the drive modes manually.
I would guess that hybrid mode would be the most efficient on long trips. But I’m curious as to why the car default starts in EV mode, then default switches to Battery Hold mode once the battery is depleted, bypassing hybrid mode altogether. Does that suggest that hybrid is the least efficient mode?

For my situations, Battery Hold doesn’t make much sense. Not every long trip ends up with a bunch of city driving. If I’m on a long highway trip, that usually ends at a hotel just off the highway.

Even if I do a bunch of city driving at the end. Does X miles of electric driving in the city make up for the X hundreds of miles of gas only highway driving? And what if you don’t remember to switch it back to EV mode? Does it know you’re in the city and automatically switch to EV mode for you? Or do you just keep driving in gas mode in the city since you forgot?

Maybe I’m misunderstanding Battery Hold mode. Can someone enlighten me?
When you burn gas, not all of its energy is converted into propulsion... At best 40%... The other 60% is waste heat, or to put it in different terms, free heat. Thus on a cold day and a long journey, it's more efficient to use the combustion engine to heat the cabin than to use precious and limited battery power. Thus burn the gas first for free heating and then switch to hybrid mode where the car figures out the most efficient form of propulsion. The car will not default to gas engine first because it isn't able to tell if you are embarking on a short or long journey.
I am using mine for long, long trips. I start out with a full tank, and full charge, I drive one mile on electric, get on the freeway, and select hybrid mode. I can make it 323 miles to my first stop, where I get 8.8 gallons of Shell V power, I plug in for 90 minutes at Charge point. cost me about $2, I eat at Denny's.
Then I'm off zooming across the Mojave desert to Needles, where the city has a free charge port next to the motel. I'm into the trip about 9 hours driving time, and 560 miles.
Next day, I am on the road again, stopping in Parker AZ where the gas is $1.56 less than in CA. (I take another 8.8 gallons) From there it is an easy 4 hour 255 mile trip to the end point. I usually get about 41 MPG. Speed limit is 75 in some locations. I show about 27 miles of useful range in electric. Once I come in for landing in AZ, I will take another 7 gallons or so. I made this trip 8 times last year. Before the gas prices went up, I could make the 815 miles for $95 in gas and $2 in electric. Now it is over $100.
I hope this helps answer some questions. (and just an FYI, I had in a previous life a Toyota Prius. I have a secret location where I hypermile all my cars. on my 118 mile trip, the Prius used 1.7 gallons. My A3 etron used 1.8 gallons. You do the math.)