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2012 Prius Plug-In to Allow User-Selectable EV Mode, Full Regen

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Danny, Jun 16, 2011.

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  1. Danny

    Danny Admin/Founder Staff Member

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    When I first drove the Prius Plug-In "PHV" prototype last April, there were 3 real issues that I came away with: 1) No ability for the driver to select when to use the EV battery capacity, 2) No regeneration of energy was going back into the EV battery packs, and 3) The MPG read-out maxed out at 99.9 MPG. It looks like Toyota has solved 2 of my complaints.

    According to ConsumerSearch.com, Toyota has added back in the EV button that is present in the 3rd Gen Prius but noticeably absent from the prototype Prius Plug-In models. What does that mean for you? It means you'll be able to decide when to use your 13 miles of EV range, not just the Prius' computer. You know your commute better than anyone, and know when you can best utilize your EV range, so I'm happy to hear that this has become an option for Prius Plug-In drivers. I haven't had a chance to confirm with Toyota, but I'm willing to bet that the car will default to EV mode if battery capacity is available.

    #2 in my complaint list was that the prototype Prius Plug-In did not allow regenerative braking to "re-fill" the Prius Plug-In's EV batteries. This limitation probably had more to do with the battery architecture in the prototype than anything else since the prototype had 3 separate battery packs, but I have been hearing murmurs that the final battery design would be a single battery pack to provide both EV and Hybrid driving modes.

    With the addition of the regen feature, it is possible that a Prius Plug-In owner will be able to extend their EV range to 15+ miles without any hypermiling trickery. Regenerative braking is one of the Prius' least talked about super weapons, but it can play an even bigger role when you are talking EVs (just ask any EV owner).

    So, now we just have to work on complaint #3: the 99.9 maxed-out MPG display...
    Source: ConsumerSearch.com
    4 people like this.
  2. ksstathead

    ksstathead Active Member

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    Excellent news!

    And that last item seems so easy to fix that I struggle to imagine they wouldn't fix it, too.

    May have to trade my 2010 when this baby finally makes it to Oz.
  3. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow, I'm glad I wasn't the only one who brought up these three points. It would only stand to reason that they would fix the third point then.

    To get regen w/ a single pack, it would stand to reason that Toyota will decide on a baseline SOC that the ICE will maintain, and anything above and beyond will be gravy.

    I'm also curious if they've made the pack a bit smaller to regain the ability to use a spare tire (but lose the underfloor space). That was another point of concern, especially w/o run-flat tires.

    Great find!
  4. ThatPriusGuy

    ThatPriusGuy New Member

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    Hey, how about asking for an upgrade to the TPMS? It can't be too hard to add a simple box with 5 circles, each representing a tire including the spare. When u power on the vehicle, all 5 circles illuminate green, if a tire is low, it should turn solid yellow on x tire. If its relatively flat, the yellow should flash. Its nice to know a tire is low, but thiss vehicle should be able to tell the driver exactly which tire has the issue!
  5. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    Excellent! Most people drive City to get to the Highway, then drive City to get to their destinations. Being able to switch off the EV and resort to gasoline when going highway speeds should maximize efficiency. (Of course I am mindful that a regular Prius gets better City than Highway MPG, so maybe I'll need to experiment a little once I have a PHV. Anyone who can reply, sharing their experience on this would be greatly appreciated).
  6. JJay

    JJay New Member

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    The "single battery pack" is the bigest plus! I'm now registered, and in the Portland OR area!

    Thanks for the update Danny!
  7. JJay

    JJay New Member

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  8. ksstathead

    ksstathead Active Member

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    Prius PHV will not qualify for full 7500 credit.
  9. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    $7500 is the largest federal credit, there are some local and state credits in some locations. I don't see any details from toyota saying they are changing the size or the number of packs. Only if they increase the total battery capacity would the credit change. We still need to wait to see what toyota has changed.
  10. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    This news is what they call in the south A GOOD THANG.
  11. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator Staff Member

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    Let the surprises and good news about this car keep coming in! Spring 2012 cannot come quick enough for me.
  12. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    The government should have a separate rebate just for having a plug and some portion of electricity that drives the wheels, irrespective of battery size. A simple $200 rebate just for "any car that is a plug in and uses that electricity to drive the wheels, regardless of battery size" would be great. Some automakers might put plugs and smaller batteries, but hey at least we're getting plugs into cars.
  13. Puddlejumper

    Puddlejumper Junior Member

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    Is the 2012 supposed to look like the prototypes? In other words, still a Gen 3? Or are these just test vehicles for the PHEV setup, that will go into a redesigned, gen 4 Prius? I am looking forward to trading my new Prius for a new Prius. :D
  14. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    It will be the Gen III design, probably with unique color options.
  15. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, definitely Gen III design (WAY too early for Gen 4 already which would be a complete redesign) and maybe a mid life refreshening. That's how the Gen II did it; 04-05 then 06 was the mid life refreshening.
  16. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    I think Entune would come standard with the Prius PHV. I bet PHV specific app would come along with it.
  17. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    Everything, I mean the entire human race, hinges upon this thing's price. Until then it's still up in the air.
  18. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    The pricing for 2012 Volt has been announced. Nissan has not announce 2012 Leaf price (now standard with cold weather package).

    I can't wait to find out the price of the Prius PHV.
  19. billnchristy

    billnchristy Active Member

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    I just had a thought, with the battery pack supplying more power and possibly not starving the motor do you think the HP of the car will be rated higher? Not saying the full 80hp of the motor plus the engine but maybe 50hp instead of 36?
  20. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    That's what Nikola Tesla said. :D

    .

    .

    [​IMG]
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