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Torn on the Plug in Prius

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Plug-in' started by Pasaman, May 19, 2012.

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  1. Pasaman

    Pasaman Member

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    Ive been going back and forth about which Prius to get I've considered all the options. I have a 30 mile all freeway commute to work. So this makes the plug in sound not so wise but one big plus to the plug in: I would get to use the HOV lane everyday to and from work. I'm just torn on if the extra 10k or so is worth it to shorten my commute. It would probably shave half an hour off my afternoon commute (60 min to 30-40) and cut 5-10 off my morning commute. At work we do have charging stations as well right outside my office.
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you're not gonna get a 2012 for 10K less than the plug in. no way. not even close. no chance. not gonna happen my friend. next question. after tax credit, $29,500. even if you have to pay msrp. how much you gonna get off a II? maybe 5-6000. less. how much is your time worth? and aggravation? and the pip is WAY better than the II. i think we're done here, all the best! :)
  3. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    Your math is wrong, but there isn't a right or wrong reason. In California, a PiP works out to about $2,500 over a COMPARABLY equipped Prius, after you account for the rebates, and you get the commuter lane decal. But comparable means the exact Basic trim level needs to be what you value.

    The trim level of the Basic PiP is:
    Prius 3, plus
    Seat heaters
    Remote AC
    Very nice alloy wheels
    Plug-in feature
    California commuter lane sticker

    You pay $32,000 + tax - $2,500 Federal tax credit - $1,500 California rebate

    The rest is up to you. If the commuter lane access through 2015 is valuable to you, factor it in. If the better features of Prius 4 or 5 matter more to you, consider them instead. I don't think there's a right or wrong decision or a decision that should give you buyer's remorse. If you like the car and the payments feel affordable, you won't go wrong.
  4. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

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    You'd be getting 30% of your commute gas free and the rest at 50 mpg so you'd be in the 70 mpg range.

    You'd get the HOV and that's huge, time is life/money saving 20 minutes a day is a lot.

    You should really look at Volt. It could likely do 100% of your commute gas free.
  5. Pasaman

    Pasaman Member

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    Hey all thanks for the help. I realize my math was off. I was considering cheapest regular vs cheapest plug in. I also wasn't aware of the rebates. That is huge!
  6. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Get a Volt and you won't use any gas, for just another couple grand over a PiP, if you have a $7500+ tax liability. Volt fans are just as rabid about their cars as PiP fans. But the PiP is the cheapest way to get a green sticker.
  7. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    I have to agree... It's nearly impossible to drive gasoline-free with a Plug-in Prius. But the smaller battery keeps Prius much less expensive.
  8. mitch672

    mitch672 Technology Geek

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    Yes, the Volt can go further on a charge, but once the charge is gone, it gets worse MPG than a Prius (38-40MPG), and takes premium gas. If you can charge at work, you could do 70-100 mile RT commute gas free, depending on your driving style and speed.

    Couple of other things about the Volt, it's 4 passenger as opposed to 5 in the Prius, categorized as a compact car versus the Prius is a mid-sized car, I'm not a fan of the trunk (it's not really a hatchback like the Prius, it's more of a trunk), also when the drivers seat is adjusted all the way back, only a person with no legs can fit in that rear passenger seat. I myself had trouble getting in to the drivers seat, but I am on the large side, I have no issue getting into the drivers seat on my PiP.

    I have a link to the EPA site comparing the PiP and the Volt:

    http://fueleconomy.gov/feg/phevsbs.shtml
  9. drinnovation

    drinnovation EREV for EVER!

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    "much less" is a relative term. The federal tax credit, if one can claim the full amount, reduces the price difference to about 2K.. or about the difference between a comparable Prius and the Pip.
    Prius 2K -> Pip 2K for 11miles EV range
    Pip + 2K -> volt for 24 added EV miles (35 total).
    Price per mile, the volt adds more EV per added dollar.


    For commuting 250 days/year the op is looking at probably 1.25 gallons a day in a Prius or 312 gallons per year. Charging at work the Op is looking at .78 gallons /day or 193 per year in a PiP, and with charging at work, the Volt would use less than a gallon for the year (just maintenance mode)

    The real value for the OP in the PiP is the cheaper way to get an HOV, which is why I expect he, like many, will go with the PiP. Is not about the savings in fuel or money, its the minimal cost to save the time.
  10. Pasaman

    Pasaman Member

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    How do plug in hybrids work when you rarely use anything but electric? Is it true that it's not good to leave the same gas in the tank for too long? Just wondering if this is an issue if you fill up once and rarely use gas.
  11. drinnovation

    drinnovation EREV for EVER!

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    The car designers have considered that.

    The Volt has what is called engine maintenance mode. If you go 6 weeks with no engine usage, it will start the engine and run for 2 min or so (using .07 in each of my runs). This is to help ensure the engine is properly lubricated.

    The long time in the tank is one of the reasons for using premium (and top-tier brands recommended) as it does not degrade as fast.

    If you can avoid long trips long enough then after a year the Volt will burn half the tank to help purge the car of old gas. I tanke enough longer trips (airport, mountains, etc) that I don't expect I'll get to see one of those. People who do just run the car with 2-3 gallons when the "fill up", so they don't have a lot of gas going bad and adding weight.

    Recall, but don't have a citation that Prius PHV will also run for maintenance, though its unlikely many will be able to get see that.


    Its a great feeling to go 5-6 months without stopping for gas. I really don't miss stopping, especially when I'm running late for a meeting.
  12. mitch672

    mitch672 Technology Geek

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    The PiP will run the engine every 126 hours of EV only operation, however, it's nearly impossible to actually have that happen due to limitations on the PiP (power demands such as rapid accelerstion use the engine, speeds over 62MPH use the engine, use of the HVAC causes the engine to run). The PiP is about reducing gasoline usage, not elliminating it.
    2 people like this.
  13. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #00005

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    (oops. My comment about the ICE running occasionally already addressed. How does one delete their own posts on this forum? I cannot find a Delete option.)
  14. Codyroo

    Codyroo Senior Member

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    In California, you need to make sure you get the "correct" Chevy Volt, because I don't think the one's before 2012 qualify for the HOV lane. Having the ability to charge at work is a big plus! Every weekend, I lament not having a plug-in Prius (as that is when I do my "short" hops and lower my overall tank average). But for my commute, a regular Prius is quite good.

    My personal bias against the Chevy Volt is mostly fear of the unknown. The Prius is an established vehicle (known batteries, known reliability), while the Volt is starting out. I hope the Volt ends up being a superb and reliable car, because it raises the bar for all competitors (we all win).
  15. drinnovation

    drinnovation EREV for EVER!

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    Correct the 2011 and early 2012 volt's did not qualify for HOV. Ask for the HOV/CARB compliant Volt, (all cali builds since Feb were, but any non HOV might be sitting on the lot and have a lower price.

    Note the PiP is also a new battery for Toyota.. but yes the Volt is more of a risk which is I think why so many went for a lease. (And people are getting crazy good leases ($249.00 Per Month Lease! Yay! I GOT MY VOLT!).

    I did my own research/assessment on the batteries and bought my Volt, but I have an advantage in the research since my Univ has an EV drivetrain degree and a lab that does battery research work with U Mich. under contract to GM.
  16. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    There are Volt owners, including Jay Leno, who have driven over 10,000 miles without emptying the full tank of gas that comes with the car. The Plug-in Prius cannot come close to that. I agree, but it's still a gas miser.
  17. longterm

    longterm Member

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    Why is a Volt driver trolling in the Prius forum? I don't drive a Volt, so I can't see any reason why I'd lurk there.

    Just curious.
  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    whom are we speaking about?
  19. ryogajyc

    ryogajyc Active Member

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    It's actually every 124 miles. Owner's Manual pg. 41:


    1 person likes this.
  20. mitch672

    mitch672 Technology Geek

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    Okay then, I was off by 2 miles, doesn't matter anyway, as I doubt anyone can drive that distance in EV only, unless they never drive on any highways.
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