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EV, ECO and PWR modes

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Technical Discussion' started by loc1281, Feb 28, 2012.

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  1. loc1281

    loc1281 New Member

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    I'm looking to buy a new 2012 Prius Two and when test driving the dealer told me about these three modes: EV, ECO and PWR. He briefly explained them but I'm still confused as to when I would want to use each mode specifically. I may have missed a previous thread about this topic, but if someone could explain to me when and how I would use each of these modes?

    Also, the B gear was also confusing to me as well.

    Thanks!
  2. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    There are three driving modes: ECO, NORMAL, and PWR.

    ECO - ECO or economy mode changes the throttle mapping of the accelerator pedal to make the Prius feel more sluggish. In other words, you have to press harder to get the same response. Full power is still available, but the first half of the accelerator travel is less aggressive.

    In addition, ECO mode allows the engine to turn off more easily and reduces the use of air conditioning.

    PWR - PWR or power mode maps the accelerator pedal to make the Prius feel sportier. The power output is the same, but the first half of the accelerator travel is more aggressive. Air conditioning is normal, and the engine is less likely to turn off.

    NORMAL - This is the mode when neither PWR or ECO is selected. It lies between the two, and is identical to the only mode available on the older Gen II Prius.

    You also mention EV mode, which really isn't a separate mode, even though we call it that. EV is more of a modifier. It stands for Electric Vehicle mode, and what it does is ask the Prius to run on only electric if possible. Generally this mode is useful for backing out of the garage or changing spaces in a parking lot, or for impressing your friends.

    B Mode is Brake mode. It invokes engine braking, so it is somewhat similar to down shifting. In B mode, the Prius spins the engine as an air pump to dissipate braking power, which helps keep the brakes from over heating. Generally this mode is only useful for mountain driving.

    Tom
  3. loc1281

    loc1281 New Member

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    Thank you for the detailed reply. Clears up a lot of my questions!
  4. boopie

    boopie Are we there yet?

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    I've seen this a few times now and there's something I'm not quite getting about EV mode. When I cold start my car, EV mode is not available. I believe this is because the engine needs to warm itself up, for emissions efficiency, lots of technical terms. I don't see how people are using it to back out of the garage. I've never had the engine not start when backing out.

    The dealer told me, EV mode for stop and go traffic, ECO mode for highway driving, PWR mode for hill climbing, otherwise leave it in normal.
  5. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    There is no need to go to EV mode for stop and go. The car is better at figuring out when to run the engine than 95%+ of the drivers are.

    Hill performance is the same in Eco, Normal or Power. The only difference is you have to push further on the throttle when in Eco, but the engine is still doing the same amount of work.

    So much for dealer instructions:D
  6. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    With a cold engine you are correct. EV is generally not very useful, but it can be used to keep the engine from needlessly starting for a short move, such as backing out or changing parking spots. Obviously this only works if the engine is warm and all of the other requirements are met. As I said before, EV is not very useful.

    Tom
  7. Alexma

    Alexma Member

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    I thought I had read in the manual that in stop and go traffic, you should be in power mode.

    Can someone verify this? I haven't been able to locate my manual for a few months now. LOL....I took it out to look something up and can't remember where I left it.
  8. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    No. No advantage or disadvantage to Power mode in stop and go traffic. Eco mode will save on A/C and engine idling, but Pwr and Normal are pretty much the same in this regard.

    Tom
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