Anyone use public charging stations for your Prius Prime?

Discussion in 'Prime Plug-in Charging' started by Roger T, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    Is it cheaper than gas though? That's probably the more important question.
     
  2. AnneLW

    AnneLW Member

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    I haven't done the math but I'd wager it's comparable (the old "invisible hand").

    But to be honest, I think the car drives much nicer in EV mode, so I use it whenever I can regardless.
     
  3. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    cheaper? in what way. depletion of non-renewables? - respiratory disease? - hugely crushing national debt from military spending/controlling access to non-renewables around the world?
    .... or the extra 79ยข per fill-up.
    just kidding ... sort of.

    .
     
  4. cigar3tte

    cigar3tte Junior Member

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    It's not cheaper in Texas. Gas is under $3/gal and one gallon gets about 40 miles with the Prime. A full charge is maybe just over $2, but only for 25 miles.
     
  5. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    If you are only getting 40 mpg's you are doing something wrong. Are you driving 80 mph or just gunning it and slamming on the brakes at every light?
     
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  6. cigar3tte

    cigar3tte Junior Member

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    Once I got the car with around 8,000 miles on it (it's a program we have my workplace), My first full tank w/o charging went for 420 miles (about 10 gal of gas, which is 42MPG). I haven't gone a full tank w/o charging at all since that tank. I got hooked up with a wall outlet at work parking.
     
  7. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    Reset the tripometer and see what it tells you. But if you are really getting that low of MPG, either you drive like a mad man or there is something wrong with the car.
     
  8. cigar3tte

    cigar3tte Junior Member

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    I definitely don't drive like a madman; I haven't even floored the Prime yet. The tripometer may affect the onscreen MPG score, but my 42MPG is coming from actually using 10 gallons of gas to drive 420 miles. I will probably just not charge on my next fill-up and see how many miles I get to test this.
     
  9. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    You went from totally full to totally full? It can vary widely even if you use that parameter. Best to use the trip computer. I highly doubt you are getting that low.
     
  10. slsmag

    slsmag Junior Member

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    Ideally, you want to plug in your Prime at night to charge while you're sleeping. That's not an option for you right now - but may be in the future. Until then you'll charge when and where you can. One great option is that many hotels now have chargers available and many don't have any charging fees. Since hotel guests are often out & about during the day it usually easier to find an open charger if you can beat the 'lunch crowd'. And they are level 2 - so an hour charge will likely get you a 65% charge (~2hrs+ to a full charge).

    But one of the cool features of the Prime is that you can tell it to charge itself... even beyond its normal regenerative charging. When you hold in the EV button, the Prime will run the engine to charge the EV battery. Your mileage while charging will drop to around 38mpg... but as you charge the EV Battery, the Prime can then operate in EV/Hybrid mode and eventually be able to run in EV mode - so your average mileage will still come out to be in the 60MPGe range. It's a nice feature that allows you to still make the most of your hybrid even if you can't get to an external charger right away.
     
  11. Maggy Field

    Maggy Field Junior Member

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    I don't think it's a cool feature, I think it's a very silly feature.
    In a nutshell it lets you run your ICE to charge your battery so that you don't have to run your ICE...???
    It's even worse because you will suffer the substantial conversion losses both into and out of the battery. I never anticipate using this 'feature".

    Driving in EV is great fun and I do it as much as possible, but the economics are not very compelling unless charging is free.
    @ 10 cents per KWH running a L1 charger for ~ 5.5 hours costs about 66 cents, which gives me ~ 30 miles of EV.
    Assuming the car will get 50 MPG in regular hybrid mode, that 66 cents bought me the equivalent of .6 gallon of gas saved.
    At this moment gas is $1.59 (I live in a cheap gas state) so .6 gal is $0.95
    Bottom line is I am saving about 30 cents per 30 EV miles driven or about 1 cent per mile vs running as a hybrid. Of course if gas goes back to $3+ /gal the numbers look a little better.

    I bought a Prime because I have wanted one ever since they came out, not for economics but because I think they are cool as hell.
    I am also old enough to remember the "gas crisis" of the 70s and I like having options. 30 miles is enough to get me into town, to several stores, and home again with charge to spare. As long as my home has electricity I know I'll have transportation. I also have several hundred watts of solar available. Of course it would take a week of sunny days to get me those 30 miles from solar, so I would get one trip to town a week for groceries if it's sunny.

    Don't buy a Prime to save the planet. Watch Michael Moore's "Planet of the Humans" on Netflix if you don't believe me. Buy it because you want one, you love the tech, and it's a great car.
     
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  12. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Once you start driving almost entirely with EV, you find yourself struggling to find situations when the ICE can be run. Since it must be run from time to time, why not take advantage of CHARGE mode? Adding to the engine load is beneficial for both the necessary usage as well as getting it to run more efficiently. After all, less isn't always cleaner.

    Also, keep in mind that economics are the primary mission of Prius. It is to offer a cleaner choice. The fact that you don't want to spend a few more cents to be greener is a choice... but doesn't take advantage of the technology you purchased.

    btw, the losses aren't actually substantial anyway. I tend to see about 37 MPG while in Charge-Mode cruising on the highway. Some vehicles struggle to deliver 37 MPG. In a Prime, you end up with EV to use afterward.
     
  13. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

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    Yes, it's inherently inefficient but it does serve a purpose in specific situations. When Toyota designed the Prime, some European cities had already banned non-electric vehicles from their city centers during certain times. The Prime's charge feature is to allow you to commute into the city and arrive with a fully-charged (actually 80% charged) battery so that you can drive that final few miles in electric mode.

    And some drivers just prefer electric mode in city traffic, so this gives them the option of charging up the Prime's traction battery while cruising at highway speeds (when the ICE is most efficient) and then being all electric when city driving.
     
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  14. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    There are other edge cases when the charge feature comes in handy.

    a) On a long trip on a hot day I needed to pull over for a nap. I'd been up very late the night before and I was about 300 miles into a 500 mile trip. I took an off ramp and parked under some trees. The AC ran sporadically for the hour or so that I was sleeping. Fortunately the HV battery was well charged by the long incline that I'd been coming down for the last 20 miles or so. The engine did not need to fire off.

    b) As mentioned above, some cities are restricting ICE power in the big cities.

    c) Sometimes you want to show off your toy but the HV battery is in hybrid only range. 10 minutes of charge gives you about 10 minutes of EV mode. That's plenty to impress your date.

    Dan
     
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  15. SeattleBebop1

    SeattleBebop1 Member

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    There's a free one in my grocery store's parking garage. I have no way to plug into my apartment, sadly. So I just charge during the weekly grocery run (I'm a weekend driver).

    The city was going to put in a free public one nearby but it got nixed. They also nixed one at Gas Works Park.

    For an alleged socialist jurisdiction, we are rather sparse on free public chargers.
     
  16. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    If you choose to learn a little more about the car, you'll find specific cases when charge mode can provide you with an efficiency advantage. I gotten 72MPG round trip using charge mode correctly when I only got 60MPG on the same trip using HV mode. There are several ways to use charge mode to gain both efficiency and convenience advantages. However, I'm not sure you're the type of person who wants to learn that they were wrong.
     
  17. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    On my delivery drive, I wanted to confirm the tank capacity and verify the fuel indicator accuracy:
    • On "E", the earlier Prius had a 40-80 mile variance to engine stop.
    • At highway speed, the overhead of CHARGE mode is barely measurable.
    • A fully charged battery, 25 mi, will have very accurate range to reach the next gas station.
    From memory, my operational scenario:
    1. Initial drive, use EV to reach interstate for regenerative braking in urban traffic
    2. Blended mode, ICE warms up and EV turns off.
      • Residual EV range is used when taking necessary biology breaks.
      • Driving +3 miles from Interstate often reduces the gas price.
    3. When "E" is indicated, enable CHARGE mode to bring battery to maximum 25 mi EV range.
    4. When gas runs out, use the very accurate EV range and adjust speed to reach next gas station.
    5. Fill up and start at step #1.
    Compare and contrast the 25 mi EV Prius Prime and 72 mi BMW i3-REx, the BMW became to first choice around town. It meant only EV driving around town. In contrast after three stops, the Prius Prime needed a charge or the ICE would come on for obscure control law reasons. Furthermore, the Prius Prime ~3 kW charging rate was half the ~7 kW BMW which meant the Prime could not get enough charge while shopping to cover the distance to the free charger.

    I liked the Prius Prime but in Huntsville AL, it ran the gas engine too often compared to the BMW. So trading in the Prius Prime for our Tesla Model 3 made sense keeping the BMW as backup for the Tesla. My girlfriend is driving the BMW and she loves it (and comes over for a full charge at my house <GRINS>). My experience revealed the BMW i3-REx was a better solution than the Prius Prime BUT both are good rides.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  18. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    The bad thing about free Chargers is every deadbeat Under the Sun will be there waiting to get there whatever for free. Of course if folks are really desperate for free, they can hit up the charger around 2 am.
     
  19. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    And what, exactly, is the difference between "every deadbeat" who wants to charge at free charger and the Fine upstanding citizen who does the same?

    Dan
     
  20. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    The difference is, a fine upstanding citizen parks and charges while they are patronizing the establishments in the area whereas the deadbeat parks their long-range BEV there for the night and has their friend/spouse/SO/kid pick them up and drive them home in the family Hummer while they leave the BEV there on charge overnight.
     
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