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Got my PIP Monday! Initial observations...

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Plug-in' started by chuckp, Mar 10, 2012.

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  1. chuckp

    chuckp Junior Member

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    Well, it's finally in my garage! A Winter Gray Metallic Advanced package PIP. Overall, it's pretty great. I live in West Seattle, so most commutes are round trip 20-40 miles and the ICE has to run part of the time. But of course in Seattle when it's raining you need the A/C to dry out the inside of the windows so you can see. Unfortunately there's apparently no way to run "just the A/C" so the ICE runs the moment you try to turn on the A/C. And, plugging in while away from home, using the often-available standard outlet brings with it a security problem. I wish there was a 120 v plug on a reel I could just pull out and put into a socket. But the plug device is way too dear to just leave outside the car plugged in while not there to watch it. The few times I've plugged in while away I've had to use an extension cord (#12) to reach the plug, while the supplied "charger cable" mostly hides inside the back seat with one end of each cable running out the mostly-closed rear window to protect both the extension cord and the charger cable. That trick was suggested in this forum and works well, if a bit strange to configure. However, the result was a 30 mile, 180 'mpg' round trip using about 40 cents worth of power.

    As we drive, it's becoming obvious that the best way to deal with this great car is just to drive it. It will start the Ice for heat, or to warm up, or for several other reasons and mostly you will need it for part of the journey. We have some 50 mile trips coming up so I will be able to see how they go, but in the meantime the town trips of 30 miles or so are turning in numbers very close to 100 mpg without midpoint-charging.

    My wish list: to be able to use the shore power to heat the cabin in preparation for a trip. I live on top of a hill and would just as soon not start the ice until I get to the bottom, and I don't want to have to actively manage the heater switch. A minor complaint, really. Also, the cord security is a big deal to me. The availability of 110v plugs is pretty common, and that charger cord is VERY expensive. it seems so silly to run cords out the rear window I probably won't do it very often. It would not be difficult for an intelligent charger to detect voltage drop with current when the car is plugged in, and to adjust the charge rate accordingly, thus allowing a built-in 110 plug for convenience to be able to use nearly any extension cord that has 3 wires.

    I see the charger cord has a potentially switchable 110v pigtail on it. Hmmm. Wonder if it can be replaced with a 220 pigtail?

    In summary, for the first iteration of this car they did it pretty well, and we're very happy with it. Just have to learn to be more comfortable with the ice starting up occasionally. It really doesn't hurt the mileage for runs longer than 12 miles. By the way, the hills around here destroy the battery mileage numbers. It takes a LOT of juice to climb a 500' hill! and you don't get much of it back on the way down.
    4 people like this.
  2. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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    i think is strange that with al the smart guys out there desiging these "standard" plugs they did not look at the french elecric car plug thats already around for years.
    that plug is locked and can only be removed when opening the car with your remote control.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  3. andi1111

    andi1111 Member

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    Running the AC requires the ICE to run? Are you sure or did you have heating on too?
  4. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    There will be a new thread started in a few days revealing the key-lock solution I came up with to secure the charger. In the meantime, I still await delivery of my own PHV. Soon...
    .
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    yes, this heat and a/c thing is bothersome. are you in ev mode? my prius doesn't start the engine when i turn on the heat or the a/c, it only starts when it needs to based on software parameters. granted, you're not going to get heat if the engine hasn't run yet, but you should get a/c. what do you mean by 'shore power'?
  6. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    The OP may have confused the setting issue. A/C is heating with humidity control if the temperature setting is above ambient temperature. Presumably when he just wants to dehumidify he'll need to try setting the temperature to LO to see whether just running the A/C will defog.
  7. drinnovation

    drinnovation EREV for EVER!

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    Thanks for the post.
    With respect to locking you might try something like
    [​IMG]


    Since I mostly charge at home and since I don't use it often so I did not want attach something all the time the in the above image. So I took another cable I had laying around, with loops on both ends (from a bike lock) and used a long-shank masterlock (like this) [​IMG]
    which I've had for years and then instead of looping the cable and locking it to itself as in the picture, I just loop the cable though the wheel and lock the two cable ends and with the ESVE cable in the middle. It locks pretty snug and should be enough of a deterrent.
    1 person likes this.
  8. LurkAzusa

    LurkAzusa Member

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    There is a hole thru the locking button on the Prius charger. With a nail sized pin thru it, you can't remove it from the car. I'll look at making a locking pin.
  9. stream

    stream Senior Member

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    Congrats--enjoy.
  10. ukr2

    ukr2 Active Member

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    I thought of a Cable Lock too, but all they need is a Bolt Cutter and they steal your Charger Cable.

    Something needs to secure the Charger Cable so the thief needs to destroy it, rendering it useless to him (or her).

    Using the window trick, that I mentioned before, can work, but looks crappy. If you're close enough to the outlet, loop part of the cable in through the window, clamp it with a locking clamp (see below), and snug up the window. If you need an extension cord, put the end of the cord and the plug-end of the cable in through the window and snug up the window.

    [​IMG]
  11. drinnovation

    drinnovation EREV for EVER!

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    I'd rather have them cut the lock than smash a window (which takes no tools at all). And is why I dismissed that approach.

    Assuming the "lock" mentioned above is what is required by J1772, its easy to lift up the "lock" tab that connects to the car (can do it with a ball point pen). However a lock on the actual charge handel would also stop most people from trying.

    I've not seen the PiPs ESVE so I cannot say for sure but when if if it has a handle and you use an extension cord the long shackle could go around the handle of the ESVE (and the head of the extension cord too). I could do that with the Volt, but never bothered .

    Security is a balance of deterrent for thieves and hassels for the owner. Most people don't carry bolt cutters, so I consider the cable+lock sufficient deterrent. Heck I don't even lock the car all the time, let alone the ESVE.
  12. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    Is the cable long enough to drive over? The weight of the car should adequately secure the cable.
  13. Gurple42

    Gurple42 New Member

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    People will really steal these cables? Do they then sell them on Ebay? Aside from plugging in a Pip, what use do they have? :confused:
    lensovet likes this.
  14. Tracksyde

    Tracksyde Member

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    They sell for about $1000 from the dealer? I'm positive they will show up on eBay or Craigslist when the opportunity arises. It's somewhat of an industry standard plug/cable for EV/PHEV charging.
  15. drinnovation

    drinnovation EREV for EVER!

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    Depends where you need to plug in but in general its long enough. Multipel Volt owners do park on it, but the manual recommends against it. If you do that you might get a cable protector such as this

    [​IMG]

    To protect the insulation a bit. Have to make sure you park so people cannot just try to pull it out.


    I considered that but that means parking, get getting out, moving the car, etc. I find it simpler to park, plug in, lock a cable. (which I've only done twice anyhow).
  16. LurkAzusa

    LurkAzusa Member

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    Here's a luggage lock by masterlock 4688D that will work fine to deter the casual thief. And it matches :)

    [​IMG]
  17. chuckp

    chuckp Junior Member

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    Well, you know it's kinda tricky when the engine is ice cold and I want to dry the window. One has to turn the temp way down and that can't be done until one turns on the "system". In the meantime the engine starts to supply heat and won't turn off until it warms up. There may be a way to ask for a/c without heat but I've not found it yet.

    By "shore power" I meant with the plug in the wall I hoped the system would heat the cabin so the engine wouldn't start for short runs.
  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    thanks chuck, i didn't realize you were defrosting. that is a prolem i have as well during certain weather conditions. i was hoping to find a 12v hair dryer for the windshield.:)
  19. ukr2

    ukr2 Active Member

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    LurkAzusa,
    Since I don't have my PIP yet, and haven't seen the charger yet, I didn't realize the J1772 plug had a way of locking the handle from being removed.

    Does your lock work?
    Why all the concern in the messages above?

    Maybe even get a lock with stronger loop.
    [​IMG]
  20. chuckp

    chuckp Junior Member

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    Wow! Several great security ideas. I already had one of those little TSA Suitcase locks and it had just the right size pin for the little hole in the latch. Still, before I do much "common charging" I'll probably wait to install some kind of 220v charger in my garage so the 110 cable can live in the car, and I can afford to have it be gone for a while if it does get swiped. Thanks to all for the great ideas!
    1 person likes this.
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