Anyone use public charging stations for your Prius Prime?

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

  1. SeattleBebop1

    SeattleBebop1 Member

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    LOL. I don't have a problem paying a little, but most of the pay chargers around here are quite expensive (far more than the cost of electricity). I'm getting slapped with the usual "Amazon tax" (my neighborhood is full of techies... somehow, people forget that not all of us are programmers pulling down 6 figure salaries.)

    I don't care who uses a charger; it's the "how" you use it that matters. Shared laundry room rule: make sure you've got your alarm set so you remove your car/junk as soon as it's done and someone else can use it. Interestingly, the two free chargers at the grocery store are often not occupied when I shop. I have always been able to get access to one. So I can't complain. I still wish I could charge at my apartment though.
     
  2. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    Oh. I thought that the deadbeats were the ones who deliberately bought a BEV for a long commute with the intention of charging it for free at the office and then again at the free stations near their house instead of plugging it in at night to charge off the grid with the rest of us.

    The only time I used a free public charger was to see how it worked. I tried to use several in Oregon but the ones I tried to use were broken or vandalized by graffiti. When I found one that worked the rate was astronomical. I stopped looking. :)

    After charging that one time, it occurred to me that there MIGHT be someone needing to add a few watt-hours in order to complete their trip home. Since I'm never in that position (It's a prime, after all), I don't even consider using a free public charger anymore.

    Dan
     
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  3. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    I use free public chargers occasionally (maybe once or twice a month) but usually for around 20 minutes while I'm in a store or something. This occasionally prevents me from having to start the gas engine, and thus go through a warmup cycle (the warmup cycle is the most polluting part of the engine use cycle). I see this as a way to improve the environment. Obviously, a road trip is essentially all gas, but I do use public chargers or charge mode to also prevent warmup cycles once I'm at a destination. This way, a trip down the road to a restaurant, etc. doesn't create an engine warmup cycle.
     
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  4. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    My area still has a number of free chargers so I am aim to roam beyond my single home charge on EV. It is getting busy (we do have a lot of EVs, particularly Model 3s so the L2s can be busy).

    Also, some DCFCs (50kW) are still free so those are busy too. However, those have 40 minute time limits and while there's always going to be a handful that are forgetful or just straight up selfish, it appears the majority are following the time limit.

    Some neighbouring jurisdictions have started charging for L2 and they're reasonable rates - $1-2/hr. And they go up in rate after 4 hours. $1/hr is ok for a Prime but $2/hr isn't since it's cheaper to run in HV mode (even at our expensive gas prices around $4.50/gal)
     
  5. Maggy Field

    Maggy Field Junior Member

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    Yes I am learning about my new vehicle, as much as possible in fact, and I appreciate hearing about the edge cases I may not have considered. I also appreciate your assessment of my character, thank you for the feedback.

    You provided anecdotal evidence of your experience on a trip, but there are many variables unaccounted for. Were the trips on the same day? Wind? Temperature? In general I tend to rely on basic physics and the fact is that except for the energy from the grid by plugging in, all must come from the ICE.

    Point taken that using the ICE in its most efficient mode, while cruising steady state, might gain you a small efficiency advantage over regular HV mode. Also, using it when it is already warm rather than having to go through the warm up cycle could factor in.

    Impressing someone with your cool EV when charging is not available may be the best use case I never thought of!

    I stand corrected, the mode does have use, just not much or often for the average driver. For the technophiles that tend to buy this car, it's nice to have available.
     
  6. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    The ICE is horribly inefficient during warmup cycles and at light loads. Using charge mode to avoid warmup cycles later can reduce fuel use overall and using it to increase engine load during otherwise light load areas of a trip can improve average efficiency.

    The trip I mentioned is one I do frequently and the two I mentioned were one day apart in no wind, at the same time of day and in the same temperature. The reason this worked is I used charge mode one way (up hill but on the lightly loaded sections) and Ev on the way back thus avoiding a warmup cycle.

    I've also used it on long trips where I'd otherwise be using many warmup cycles at my destination to go to eat or whatever. I use it before getting to the destination to try to have enough EV range to not need the engine at my destination at all, until I get back on the highway to the next destination. Avoiding warmup cycles just to drive a short distance several times a day is a big fuel saver.
     
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