a 12k prius mod to achieve 200+mpg!

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Kev1000000, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. Kev1000000

    Kev1000000 New Member

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    Check this out!

    Has this been posted before?

    That is pretty expensive, but it does sound really cool. I know there have been a few cases where people have modded their prius to be a plug in hybrid, but i believe this is the first commercial available system that anyone can have installed.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Interesting. I may buy one in eight years, when my battery warranty expires.
     
  3. geologyrox

    geologyrox New Member

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    i've been playing around with some numbers today, looking at if a plugin system would ever be worth it economically if you put the restraint on it that you require the power you charge it with be renewable. At 12k, you'll never break even. Even with an ideal commute, and above average results, and pretending you DONT finance the 12k, it will still have a net effect of negative 8 grand on your wallet. Granted, you'll use ~1/3 the gas you would have otherwise. 8k is a little too steep for the 2/3 cleaner the planet would be for me.

    Given the same ideal commute, though (12.5 miles, with 25 miles per day of 'other' driving) and $3.50 gas, you'd be looking at a 6 year breakeven pointif the option cost 3k from the manufacturer, and about at 4 years if it was 2k, with a net good effect on the environtment the whole time, and a net good effect on your wallet after that. When something will end up saving me money, and help the environment at the same time, it makes me happy =)
     
  4. IALTMANN

    IALTMANN New Member

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    Biggest problem is the initial costs., mostly batteries, but the charge unit as I discovered is also an expensive component, and custom made by one company but ONLY made for the company selling the package. The $12-13,000 cost only allows for about $1500 labor, rest is materials costs, batteries range $6-7,000, and that charger unit is $3,000. There is also another control unit that connects to the Toyota System, and is made by the company selling the package, that unit sells for another $1,000 or so.

    The payback picture is pretty grim with that kind of math, unless you REALLY use the maximum commuting distances steadily, you do not get any payback savings, and even with maximum use the battery life of 6-8 years mandate new batteries then, so the cost comes right back again. As a matter of social conscience, a person can INVEST in this technology, and thus help society develop such a system, and with some battery technological development, in the future the picture hopefully will get better. I know I am eagerly watching and waiting and trying to get the best mileage for the transportation I must use, I feel that is the only way, and that hybrid and PEV is the way to go. Maybe with a little more time and some investors the picture can get better. As soon as I can afford it, that is the way I will go. One would hope TOYOTA as welll as OTHER CAR MAKERS, U.S. ones too I would hope will do their part. Another area is the political arena, just as this meager incentive just passed in the 2005 Energy Bill, maybe Government can pass a meaningful bill in upcoming legistative sessions to encourage this development. Write to your representatives !!! That is how it works, and if enough gets there, a change may occur.
     
  5. tmorrowus

    tmorrowus Member

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    I think this is great and very exciting.

    But I really hate it when people make MPG claims for vehicles that require grid charging. I've owned a pure EV with infinite MPG (no gas), so any MPG number for an EV is just silly.

    The important numbers to talk about are range before batteries run out and battery life in years.
     
  6. geologyrox

    geologyrox New Member

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    well, from the research i've done, it's not possible to give numbers WITHOUT mpg, unless you intend to drive the car in EV mode for the entire commute. It wouldn't be feasible for my husbands commute. The reason they give MPG is that the electric vehicle does much more of the work for the first fifty miles, and you 'get' something like 120 MPG for that fifty miles. You are still burning gasoline. 1 gallon of it every 120 miles, if you break it up over a few days.

    I think the thing here is you are talking about cars that 'require' grid charging. This one doesn't. You put gas in it because it's a fake synergistic system (i've been meaning to ask, how did toyota get away with labeling it synergy?) and that doesnt change by adding more battery.

    oh. the link is to the FAQ, which answered both your questions: the range is 50-60 miles, and they expect 6-8 years of useful life, with more years of lower capacity - say a 30 mile range.


    As for breakeven, i've redone the numbers, and even at the 'best case scenario' ($4 gas, 12k install not financed, not using renewable power, ideal commute, cheap electricity, etc,etc...) it brings about a breakeven at about 16 years. If the batteries plan to last 6 years, 16 years is just not quite good enough, and you are talking about taking that 2/3 of the gasoline you use and replacing it with coal powered electricity. at this price point, i'm not of the opinion that it's worthwhile.
     
  7. maggieddd

    maggieddd Senior Member

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  8. SteveT

    SteveT Junior Member

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    OK. First of all, this system is expensive and there is very little info on their site. They say it will be available next year, but these sorts of things are notoriously over-optimistic. I'll believe it when I see it.

    I am a bit dissapointed to see so many people on this site immediately jumping on the payback calculation. The Prius does not have a very good payback. Even with gas at $3/gal it takes 7-8 years and 150K miles to get back the additional cost. And, there is a lot of uncertainty in the cost of gas and the value of a 7 yr old Prius.

    I could have bought a similarly equipped Matrix and put the extra $5,000 in a CD and been better off financially and had more room and better performance to boot. I didn't buy the Prius because of all the money I save. I bought a Prius for the same reason that peopel buy SUVs. I feel good driving it and because I believe that this is the right direction for the industry and I want to reward Toyota for being brave enough to offer us the choice. I am not ready to pay $12K for an unproven system that will void my warranty, but I am not going to discourage anyone who does. I like the idea of a plug in hybrid. I wish I could plug in my Prius even with the small OEM battery.

    Regards,
    Steve T
     
  9. kirbinster

    kirbinster Member

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    Let's see, even if gas is $3.00 a gallon $12,000 would buy you 4000 gallons of gasoline. Assuming the car gets 50 mpg as is, that would fund your driving for 200,000 miles. That means the payback is just slightly under NEVER!
     
  10. Tadashi

    Tadashi Member

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    Any updates from EDrive? I sent them an email to get pictures of the plug-in site on the car and the in dash display. Based on my calculations it would take me 37 years to break even if they charged $12k. :( Now if it was only $3k then I would jump on it, then at least I have a chance of breaking even with the cost of the battery and the gas savings. I would even consider it if I did not break even for the coolness factor but $12k it a hard pill to swallow (let alone justify to the wife).
     
  11. SomervillePrius

    SomervillePrius New Member

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    Steve,

    I agree with you 100%. People don't buy the Prius to "save" money. Car's don't recoup their costs. If we all where trying to "save money" or "recoup" our costs we should all be looking at and driving KIAs that have 32/35 EPA numbers and costs 11.000. For those extra 10k we could get a lot of gasoline.
    We buy Priuses beacuse the make us feel good, be it technology, design or the smug sense of righteousness of not driving a gas gussler or others. I buy it to make a statement to the car industry that I want to drive a car with less environmental impact. Hybrids are currently in my market the best statement I can make. That said I should maybe drive an insight but I like all the gizmos of the Prius as well as the design and queitness.

    $12000 is for an experimental car. I'm sure mass produced you could cut that in half (at least). I haven't been following hybrids and EV for long but it looks like a 50 mile radius EV with car like performance is on the horizon. This would be the car I wanted to commute in! If the car gave 100 mile range then a lot of people could use it. If you could charge it in under an hour it would be even better.

    Sure EV cars power still have to come from somewhere but I believe we could generate a lot cleaner power over a network then all of us running an ICE under the hood.
     
  12. rogerSC

    rogerSC Member

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    For $12,000 I could get 2KW of solar for my house (including tax breaks for solar). That's where I'd put a spare $12,000, not into my car that's already very low emissions and doesn't use much gas at all.

    Not that it wouldn't be cool, there's just larger payback/impact stuff I could do with the money.

    My opinion, for what it's worth.

    -Roger
     
  13. Tadashi

    Tadashi Member

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    For me it would be the coolness factor of having a car with 150+ MPG fuel economy, but having the car break even would be a plus which would make the mod a no brainer. But $12k is too much for me.
     
  14. Kiloran

    Kiloran New Member

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    (Again)
    MPG improvement claims for plug-in vehicles are disingenuous.
    Once you add a secondary fuel (electricity) to the vehicle from the outside, it's no longer honest to claim efficiencies based solely on the other (gasoline).
     
  15. EricGo

    EricGo New Member

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    If you look at the calCars website, you will see that they report fuel consumption as
    mpg + kWh/mile.

    The mpg is the petrol, the kWh is the electricity.

    Nothing disingenuous; heck, not even difficult to understand. And for people like me who are particularly focused on petrol use, exactly what I want to know.
     
  16. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    12.000???

    wow someone is making a mint here. UC-Davis has a Prius that will get about 150 mpg for 5000 and all you need is a standard 110 volt outlet
     
  17. Omita

    Omita New Member

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    Ahhh... I totally want that. I am the perfect customer. My commute is under 15 minutes, less then 55 mph but over 32, (35-40), and my current commute is short enough that i get bad MPG because the car barely has enough time to Warm up before I can utilize the Hybrid efficiency. Plus, we have Hydro-electric power so charging and Night is not even using much Coal energy!

    I would want to make sure that it's pretty safe, because aren't Li-ion battery like Magnesium if they get punctured? So a rear impact crash could be pretty ugly...? Or is that Li-poly that is really dangerous?

    It is a lot of money, definitely a personal choice market, not a budget solution... but I think Solar and most conscious choices are always going to cost more... after all, we got here in the first place because of always putting money before conscious.

    I think I might have to worry about my gas going stale. :)
     
  18. 2Hybrids

    2Hybrids New Member

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    Heck, I didn't even think of that one :lol:
     
  19. Kiloran

    Kiloran New Member

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    I've looked at the site and I disagree.
    The mpg claims all include the unaccounted for plug-in charge: "After the boost mode, the display (and vehicle performance) will be identical to a standard Prius."
    (from Q5)

    Don't get me wrong. I very much like the plug-in concept and want it to succeed.
    These dishonest MPG numbers undermine the effort in my opinion.
     
  20. EricGo

    EricGo New Member

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    Kiloran -- this is taken from the priusplus pdf:

    * Under 35-mile trip all-electric propulsion (at under 34 mph), infinite mpg (i.e., no gasoline) plus 200 Watt-hours/mile.
    * 70 mile trip, 80% 55 mph freeway, 20% city: 120-180 mpg + 115-150 grid Wh/mi, compared to est. 55 mpg as a normal HEV.
    * Beyond 50-60 miles/day, normal HEV mileage -- except better mileage on long descents due to ability to store more recovered energy -- and no further
    electricity use. All-electric miles: power cost approx. 1.0 cents/mile (assumption of 200 Wh/mi
    and 5 cents/kWh on California off-peak EV "E-9" (PG&E) rate, or 2 cents/mile at 10 cents/kWh electricity, not amortizing battery cost), vs. approx. 5.6
    cents/gasoline mile ($2.50/gallon, 45 mpg).
     
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