2020 Prius Prime and Extreme Cold...

Discussion in 'Prime Fuel Economy & EV Range' started by Darrell Kolodka, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. Darrell Kolodka

    Darrell Kolodka New Member

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    2019 Stats:

    Picked this vehicle up Aug282019 here are the following stats from Aug282019 to Dec312019

    * Total kilometers\miles driven : 4039.80\2474.40
    * Average km\mi per month : ~1108\688.48

    * Total Fuel used L\G: 44.079 L\9.7 G(Imp.)
    * Total Hydro used kW.h 822.8270
    * Average hydro per month : 205.70675
    * Average hydro&gas cost per month in Canadian Dollars : $26.44 for 1108 km\month

    December 2019 High 3.8 °C Low -32.2 °C
    November 2019 High 4.6 °C Low -20.4 °C
    October 2019 High 19.1 °C Low -10.4 °C
    September 2019 High 30.6 °C Low -1.3 °C

    Cost for cold weather changes based on ambient temps : low for the year was $16.03\month (hydro & gas)
    high for the year was $34.37\month (hydro & gas)

    * From my previous, older vehicle I am saving an average of 89.15125% on fuel costs which lowers the cost basis of the vehicle that I paid by approx. 36% moving the fuel savings to offset the purchase price.

    * During the coldest weather on a full charge haven't seen range less that 35 km
    * During the warmest weather on a full charge have seen range increase to 55 km

    Any thoughts?

    Cheers!
    Darrell (in the deep north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for most of you...lol)
     
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  2. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Here in Minnesota, we have been experiencing Winter warmer than usual. The outcome is just like what you have observed.

    Lows have only been below -10°C (14°F) a few times so far. That means much of EV range has been shared with heat-pump operation. Resulting EV range has been around 35 km (21 miles) for my usual mix of driving. With mostly highway, I have seen it drop another 5 km (3 miles). None of that is a surprise. It's routine for me driving a PHEV since 2012.

    When the warm weather returns, so does the EV range improvement. My results in Summer are very close to yours too. My longest EV range also ends up being 55 km (34 miles). Seeing even higher, like those who live much further south, is something I can only imagine.

    As for calculating operation costs, I don't bother. My recharging at home is done off-peak (late night hours), to get a discount from my electricity provider. When taking trips to visit my sister-in-law's family in Wyoming, the consumption at 80 mph (129 km/h) is an indulgence I can afford... and MPG is still more efficient than everything else I encounter along the way. Those kids are growing up fast and there aren't really that many opportunities to visit.
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    "hydro", for anyone scratching their heads, is electricity. :)
     
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  4. MSantos

    MSantos EcoAccelerometry

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    Hi Darrell

    Yes, on range alone your numbers are definitely in the ballpark for urban Wpg driving. I have met a few Prime owners in the city who also report roughly the same as well.

    In the end, the "operating costs" depend on your daily commuting requirements and whatever else you add to the mix (like Indoor parking, grid-tied solar, etc). ;)

    Cheers
     
  5. Prime Alex

    Prime Alex New Member

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    When I first got the Prime, it would estimate a 32.6 km range when starting, probably because of the heavy use of heating and defrost. But after a few weeks, despite not really using any less heating, it appears to have adjusted (and become better at predicting usage) and now indicates a higher value, usually in the 35-36 km range. Can't wait to see 55 km in summer!
     
  6. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Certainly our cold weather is no comparison to OP's location. It has been relatively mild winter. Unusually cold Nov was the coldest month so far. Our average Jan high is 20F (-6C), and average low is 2F(-16C). With those temperature, I use HV for heating and mix EV for driving after the engine has warmed up, and try using the HV intermittently to keep the coolant temperature high enough so the engine does not go through the warm-up cycle again.

    I am currently seeing 48.2miles (77.6km) on my GOM (Guess-O-Meter) with a full charge.
     
  7. Darrell Kolodka

    Darrell Kolodka New Member

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    Just to add to "2020 Prius Prime Extreme Cold ...." with cold weather here now (-40°C = -40°F for tonight or colder) I am finding that this type of cold is too much for the batteries. I'm in an insulated garage but it's not heated. Temperature tonight in garage will be close to -20°C if not colder. The vehicle will be plugged in but I do not use the cabin prep, I just charge as soon as I get in the garage and leave the car plugged in.

    What I have found is that I go straight to gas as soon as I start the car and leave it on gas. At these temperatures EVERYTHING is at MAX out (heat, fan on high and rear defrost, heated seats, steering wheel, sometimes front defrost as well) until I get to work and only turn it down a bit if it gets too warm. I find the cabin is comfortable and if I get even a "bit" of electric use great but if not I know I will make it up when it's warmer. Gotta compromise in weather like this and from what I can tell this may be the best way for this type of weather, Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
     
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  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Set your cabin temp as low as possible. Fan will still race like crazy, but it might help some.

    I can't imagine that cold, btw. I start getting blisters on my finger tips and knuckles as soon as temps flirt with zero (C) here.

    It's been unusually cold for us the last little while (around -6 to -8 today (C)), and snowing heavy. I'd guesstimate a foot right now, and no signs of slowing down.

    Don't even think about venturing out right now. Saw a couple of RAV4 go by...
     
    #8 Mendel Leisk, Jan 15, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2020
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  9. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    That's the opposite of what we suggest. For battery longevity, waiting as long as possible before beginning the charge is best. The added benefit of that is you get to take advantage of the warmth resulting from the act of charging. The warmer battery provides more EV opportunity, even in extreme cold.
     
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  10. MSantos

    MSantos EcoAccelerometry

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    While I agree with John on the benefits of timing the charging so that it completes just before you leave the next day, I have found the Prime to be less affected by the extreme cold temps when left plugged in than any EV I've owned before. For instance, delaying the charging event on the Model S was pretty much the best way to heat-up the battery pack. Later, this is something we also briefly did on the Ioniq.

    In my case now, as long as both Primes remain plugged-in one can actually see and hear both cars doing their "thing" regularly. We can hear fans running (I assume battery heater cycle) and also see the 400-600 watts of power being pulled from the EVSE by each car. Of course, the colder it is, the more frequently these events happen.

    On the coldest days, I also leave the car's block heater connected to a timed 110V outlet just in case the fossil engine ever needs to start during my commute (to minimize engine wear on cold start). Given my short commutes of just 12Kms, it rarely does start in part because I also wired a compact auxiliary cabin heater (~200W from Canadian Tire) to the block heater that will run whenever the block heater cord is plugged in. This way I have a much warmer cabin just before I drive off the next morning which is good for me and the battery pack.

    This arrangement happens to have worked VERY well for me over the years with the added benefit of the newer block heater on the Primes drawing only half of the power of all other fossil vehicles I've owned previously. No joke. This means that even some public 110V block heater outlets, the plugs will not trip with the block heater and cabin heater both on. Truly a bonus for me in my parking ramp downtown.

    I literally drive almost 100% EV all year round and in the coldest weeks of the year, my range rarely drops below 40kms. As an example, my 2018 has approximately 20K Kms and an average of 0.3 L/100km (or 12.1 KWh/100kms) on the odometer and just about all engine ON events happened on long trips totaling less than 1,000 Kms.

    Cheers
     
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  11. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Man I'm doing something wrong haha. In temps warmer than yours, I barely did my 20km round trip in one charge (pre-heat in the morning but no pre-heat at work). Granted, I did have snow to push around which increased resistance. Climate control was set to 20.5°C on the way to work but toned back to 19.5°C on the way back.

    With 20.5°C, I'm very comfortable but it takes a toll on the A/C Load Ratio. With 19.5°C, I can supplement with the heated seats on LO. Heated steering wheel not needed since I wore gloves (in temps closer to zero or just above, I'll use it since I don't typically wear gloves).

    My load ratio ended up being 30% with 25.6kWh/100km as the average today. That's up from 17kWh/100km just a few days ago in warmer (but still below freezing) temps but bare roads.
     
  12. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

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    Based on the power display in Hybrid Assistant, the seat heater uses an almost negligible amount of power even on high. It's maybe 100W, whereas the heat pump is 1-3KW. I don't have a steering wheel heater, but I assume it would also be low. So it makes sense to use that heat as much as possible to minimize the amount the cabin heater needs to run.

    The battery is probably fine, but using the heater at that temperature will cause the engine to run. The colder it is and the more heat you need, the more the engine runs to maintain coolant temperature. It's not ideal for the battery to stay fully charged for a long time, but I think it's still important to keep plugging in so the battery heater can keep the battery warm. If the battery freezes, the rate at which it can be charged has to be severely limited to avoid damage. We can only assume the car will protect the battery as needed, but if the battery is above freezing the car probably works more efficiently. It would be interesting if you have an ODB dongle and Hybrid Assistant app to see what temperature the battery is.
     
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  13. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Yeah. The A/C load ratio was 30%.

    Here’s the table if you’re interested.

    Estimated EV penalties for various heating cooling and lights | PriusChat
     
  14. Darrell Kolodka

    Darrell Kolodka New Member

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    So, adding to this and wondering what anyone has to say about this. The wipers that are provided in Canada on the 2020 Toyota Prius Prime may be the issue or it may be something else?

    Jan172020 driving home during a normal winter storm in Winnipeg and noticed windshield wipers icing up with water on the windshield. Tried to use wipers unsuccessfully. Too much ice. Got out, noticed buildup of ice at bottom of window while the cabin was "HOT". Strange, normally when cabin is this hot and windshield has water on it, wipers should work?

    Checked further and it looks to me like the wipers are at the bottom of the windshield below the defrost vents? The wipers appear to stay frozen regardless of how warm the cabin and windshield gets? At this point I am thinking getting heavier duty windshield wipers is pointless as this might be a manufacturing\engineering issue?

    Anyone else experience this or anything similar? Are the wipers able to be raised to where they are at least close to the front window defrost vents?

    City driving is tough in the winter of Canada but I think this could be a serious road safety concern if this happened on the highway?

    Cheers!
    Darrell (in the deep north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for most of you...lol)
     
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  15. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    I live in Minnesota and this is my 8th winter driving a plug-in Prius, what you describe as a problem isn't something I have encountered. The description gives an impression water was allowed pool. Spraying windshield-washer fluid (undiluted, of course) from time to time prevents freezing, since that pool will have some anti-freeze in it (which contributes to draining).

    This video I just published (literally, my most recent commute) shows frequency of wiper use under very messy conditions...

     
  16. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Frozen wipers are normal occurrences in our region, but that usually happens when a car is parked and wipers down with freezing rain or snow melting after driving. We routinely lift-up the wipers when the car is parked in inclement weather in winter. Now, once the ice is cleaned and windshield defrost is operating, I have never had wiper getting stuck frozen while driving in the snow down to sub-zero F (-18C). At this temperature, windshield fluid often refreezes instantaneously even with a warm cabin and defroster on, so I try not to use the wiper fluid on those cold days.

    Screenshot 2020-01-18 at 6.20.47 PM.png
     
  17. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

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    On older Toyotas you could turn the wipers on and off very quickly, and it would park the wipers on the visible part of the glass. I haven't been successful getting the prime to do that, except once when it parked them slightly higher than normal.
     
  18. MSantos

    MSantos EcoAccelerometry

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    Quick question: The washer fluid you got, is it still the same the dealer had supplied on delivery?

    I'm asking this because my daughter reported a similar issue while returning home in the 2020 Prime. Next day, I then noticed the washer fluid was heavily diluted and definitely not performing like the usual Rain-X fluid I usually buy (rated for -40C). Since then, I emptied the reservoir and refilled with Rain-X. Last night over a similar trip back from Iles des Chenes, she noticed that neither the wipers froze nor there was any large amount of ice forming around the windshield.

    Perhaps a higher rated fluid will also work for you?
     
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  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Out here I get Toyota Washer Fluid, rated -40C IIRC. Not sure if it's that much better though. I've seen some fluid (might have been the Toyota fluid) freeze on the glass, just below 0C. :rolleyes:

    This was parked, just warming up, so no windchill factor.
     
  20. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

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    Mine came with soapy water. I'd hope they give you something more useful in Canada.
     
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