A Plug-In vs. Standard Prius Question.

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by qdllc, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. qdllc

    qdllc Senior Member

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    From what I learned, the plug-in is basically a Prius with an extra battery and "tuning" so the EV mode runs under more load, for longer distance and at higher speeds before the ICE will kick in.

    So, for those who have the plug in BUT regularly drive beyond the extended EV range, how much better do these "tweaks" in the plug-in version boost your overall MPG compared to those trying to hypermile in a regular Prius?

    I didn't think the additional cost of the plug-in version was worth it, but I wonder how the numbers work out for those of you who don't drive within the expected parameters of an EV-only vehicle.

    Example, you can take small hills and go faster with EV and likely coast a lot longer or even reclaim enough energy in a coast so that you're using the ICE a lot less than a standard Prius could.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i'm getting about 10 mpg more than my '08. so, assuming a gen III will give you 5, this tech gives you another 5. but i find that hypermiling is difficult until you run out of battery because the car likes to use ev more.
     
  3. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    It entirely depends on HOW much beyond the electric range you drive it regularly. If you drive 25-30 miles between charges, it will help significantly - netting you ~65-75MPG from what I can tell. If you drive 100 miles between charges, it will help a lot less, netting you generally ~2-3mpg over a regular Prius.

    It's worth noting that in many markets the Plug-in is only marginally, if any, more expensive than a comparably equipped regular model with the incentives that have been available this year.
     
  4. Hi Burrito!

    Hi Burrito! Regenerative Farting

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    For me there's at least one clear situation where my PiPA gets better fuel economy over a standard Prius. This is when there is a long downhill grade on drive that generates more than a standard Prius battery can hold. When the standard Prius battery becomes full with regenerative charging, the engine starts. Moreover, you really don't get any EV from that full battery.

    On the other hand, with my PiPA I've been on some downhill grades that have charged well over 7 miles worth of EV and the engine does not come on. This is where the PiPA shines when driving beyond the original plug-charged range. I'm posting a picture of an example. I few weeks ago I drove home from Yosemite and was able to charge up my battery several times with alternatively downhill (charging) and flat (running on mostly EV) terrain. I left Yosemite with nearly no EV charge on the battery. 77 miles later I stopped for lunch. It was a beautiful and mostly silent drive!

    Yosemite Return Trip.jpg
     
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  5. giora

    giora Senior Member

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    I think most of us are driving 'beyond the EV range'.
    Not sure what you mean by 'overall MPG', if it is simply total mile driven divided by gallons consumed (ignoring kWh consumed) then the PIP is far better than the regular and the result will be heavily dependent on your 'EV ratio'.
    My EV ratio is about 61% and my 'overall MPG' is about 170. But remember, kWh consumed should not be ignored.
     
  6. 9G-man

    9G-man Senior Member

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    I drive a 100 mile round trip to work each day, charging only one way.
    And most all my local driving is fully electric charging home and away. I average 70-75 mpg every tank.
    I averaged 55-58 mpg in our Gen 2 Prius for the exact same driving. So there's the mileage difference for me with a 13-18 % EV ratio in the PHV. But an unexpected difference is My driving speed. I'm cooking along the interstate at 70-75 MPH now with the PHV I had to keep my speed down to 60-65 MPH in the Gen 2.

    When I'm on vacation from my daily work drive I average 90-93 mpg.
    Been driving the car for almost 50K miles and 1 1/2 years.
    I drive it like a hybrid, NOT an electric. Meaning don't waste your electric range climbing steep hills and really hard acceleration/speed.

    It's worth it! especially if you can get a NE discount.
     
  7. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    Dear OP,
    Some good information in this thread and some very bad information. Take it all with a grain of salt.

    As a good friend on here once told me, "The PiP will provide you with many more tools for your hypermiler's toolbox." He was dead right. There are tons of different scenarios where someone can wisely use their EV miles. On a long (100+ mile) trip someone probably isn't using their EV miles to their fullest potential unless they are getting 25+ miles in EV.

    That being said, I know you are also looking for some hard numbers. I regularly take a 130 mile round trip. In my PiP I average 75-80 MPG with just one full charge at the beginning of the trip. In my 2012 regular Prius that I used to have it was 60-65 MPG.

    All said and done I will have only paid an additional $2000 over what a Prius II would have cost me. I will more than make up for that in gas costs over the lifetime of the vehicle. (not to mention it should have higher resale)
     
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  8. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Having driven a 2010 Prius for about 56,000 miles (3 years) and a 2012 Prius PHV for about 30,000 (1.5 years), I would say you're asking an ineffective question. That's common, since few have enough exposure to even know what's possible. The better, more informative thing to ask is how much of a difference does the plug-supplied electricity makes for those of us who just drive it.

    For me, lifetime average went from 50 to 75 MPG. That matches up with what we had predicted, which is saying a lot considering the efficiency with EV-BOOST (when you drive faster than the EV-ONLY threshold) is quite difficult to estimate. I recharge at work too, so that makes a difference. But then again, my commute is beyond the range available and I often drive somewhere in the evening.

    There are many, many variables at play. It gets especially complicated when the effects of temperature are considered. Running the Heater and A/C really take a toll on efficiency. There's the variety of scenarios affecting warm-up too. In other words, the question could be: How much does the increase in capacity & power improve overall efficiency?
     
  9. ny_rob

    ny_rob Senior Member

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    I traded in my 2012 Prius Five for a 2012 PIP here are the MPG figures I attained driving the same daily commute (57mi round trip, five days/week) with both cars:

    2012 Prius Five: 50.5 mpg lifetime (for the 6 months I owned it)

    2012 Plug In Prius:
    June 2013- 110mpg
    July 2012- 111mpg
    Aug 2013- 117mpg
    Sept 2013- 107mpg
     
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  10. CaliforniaBear

    CaliforniaBear Clearwater Blue Metallic

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    On 225 mile mountain round trips my gas mpg for the trip went from around 56 mpg in a Prius Three to around 66 mpg in a PiP. Some of that is from the original charge good for 12 miles or so and the rest is from significant battery charging when going down hill. No hyper-mileing, just driving.
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    My take: if you only drove the PIP in regular hybrid mode, you'd get a bit lower mpg, due to the overhead of extra battery weight. OTOH, if your driving is mostly short trips, with charging always handy...
     
  12. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    Research and real world experience says the opposite due to more efficient charge/discharge chemistry. (also, straight from the Toyota website)
     
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  13. Emcguy

    Emcguy Member

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    I'm still angry that Toyota Australia treat the PIP as a BEV. They figure that because the average Aus commute is 30km then this car isn't viable. From my short membership on Prius chat I understand the potential advantages can cover much more than just the initial portion of your trip. Please make it available soon, it can't be that dear to ship Aus –> Jap! [End Rant]
     
  14. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I've found that the PIP allows you to easily achieve mpg numbers usually reached by extreme hypermiling in a regular Prius. The shorter the trips the higher the numbers. So if you like big numbers but don't want the stress of hypermiling and or driving slow then the PIP is a great deal.
     
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  15. Jonny Zero

    Jonny Zero Giggidy

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    But, it really does not save you much money, or CO2 to justify the extra cost, or does it?

    I am not counting the government subsidies, because someone else is still paying for it. The governments are getting a bad deal too when it comes to CO2 reduction /$.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    where is the graph from and why does it flatten out like that?
     
  17. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    It flattens out because MPG is not linear. 1mpg means a lot going from 10 to 11 mpg. (A 10% increase) It means almost nothing at 100mpg. (A 1% increase) This graph illustrates why most countries rate fuel consumption in liters/100km or gallons/hundred miles. Both sides of the equation are constant values, so it provides a somewhat more meaningful metric.

    Using gallons per 100 miles, we can see that increasing a vehicles mileage from 15 to 20 mpg saves as much fuel as increasing another car's from 30 to 60 mpg.

    15 mpg = 660 gallons per 10,000 miles
    20 mpg = 500 gallons per 10,000 miles
    30 mpg = 330 gallons per 10,000 miles
    45 mpg = 220 gallons per 10,000 miles
    60 mpg = 160 gallons per 10,000 miles

    Why MPG is a Stupid Measurement
     
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  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    gotcha, thanks! i guess by that logic, there's no point to trying to increase mpg on efficient vehicles, unless it costs almost nothing.
     
  19. CaliforniaBear

    CaliforniaBear Clearwater Blue Metallic

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    If I wanted to save money I would have kept my 2004 4-cylinder Toyota Highlander. It was good for at least another 75 K miles. Sometimes saving gas and enjoying a car with a built in game is just more fun. :)
     
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  20. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    There is a lot more to air pollution than just CO2. In fact, the original reason I stopped racing and bought a Prius was to reduce air pollutants that are directly harmful to humans and crops. :)

    Your graph illustrates a great point, however. You can drive a regular Prius and feel pretty good about your contribution to reducing harmful pollutants. You can do even better with a Plug In. While the total amount of fuel saved for yourself may be small, when extrapolated to include all plug in vehicle purchases the savings become much bigger for the world. I like to think of it as doing your small part for the greater good. From an economic standpoint the PIP don't make a lot of sense without the subsidies. Government is not really on the losing end of this deal however. By subsidizing plug ins they are reducing the amount of pollution in our air and on our lands. The result is cleaner air to breath and cleaner soil/water in which to grow things. Because so many economically-challenged individuals rely on government subsidized healthcare it only makes sense that by cleaning up the environment they live in will reduce healthcare costs associated with those environmental pollutants. So while you and I get a nice incentive to buy a cool car, the family living on skid row will have cleaner air to breath and that 2yr old playing in the front yard may not develop lung lesions (and suffer a lifetime of reduced productivity which hurts our economy). :)

    So from the angle you presented I would have to agree that the PIP doesn't make sense. But when looked at from a myriad of other angles it can indeed make sense.
     
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