Can 3.3kw charger be upgraded to 6.6kw on Prius Prime or RAV4 Prime?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by wstt, Sep 9, 2020.

  1. wstt

    wstt Member

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    I see the RAV4 Prime offers a 6.6kw charger in their premium model with the most premium package only, Basically you have to get every single option on the RAV4 just to get the 6.6kw charger. Does anyone know if aftermarket a 6.6kw charger could be put in a Prius Prime, or in a RAV4 Prime (that’s not the highest level model)? Is it just a few parts that can be swapped out, or is it built into the whole battery so it’s not possible?

    The 6.6kw charger greatly reduces charging times when charging around town.
     
  2. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Or course, the receptacle that you plug INTO must be capable of supplying that much power too.
     
  3. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    I've heard of Volt owners doing just that. Even upgrading to a faster charger than what the factory supplies is possible.

    The question is it worth the cost of doing so? If you are doing a lot of charging at stations that charge based on time, the savings could be worth the cost. EVgo rates in California mean $3 savings for a full charge. But we talking a PHEV, and the current gas prices in Ca slightly beat out the rate with the 6.6kW charger; $3.584 vs. $3.75. Of course time also has a value, but that ICE means you aren't stuck waiting for a full charge.

    Of course, I have no idea how much the 6.6kW charger and installation will cost. P̵a̵y̵i̵n̵g̵ ̵f̵o̵r̵ ̵t̵h̵e̵ ̵h̵i̵g̵h̵e̵r̵ ̵t̵r̵i̵m̵,̵ ̵a̵n̵d̵ ̵o̵p̵t̵i̵o̵n̵ ̵m̵i̵g̵h̵t̵ ̵b̵e̵ ̵g̵o̵o̵d̵ ̵v̵a̵l̵u̵e̵.̵ Though I'm not seeing anything worth the $3000+ for just the higher trim to me. Just found the $5,760 price for the package.

    At home, the 4.5hrs with the 3.3kW charger is plenty for most, though the 2.5hr rate would be nice if you regularly have a short turn around time between trips. The faster charger doesn't make a difference at Level 1 charging though.
     
    #3 Trollbait, Sep 9, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
  4. wstt

    wstt Member

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    Aren’t all the charging stations around town high power (meaning 220v and high Kw?
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    depends on who's town you're asking about. anything can be done, but not everything should be done
     
  6. genericuser

    genericuser Junior Member

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    I think the question is, can the Prius Prime be retrofitted to charge at 6.6kwh. I think it's currently only able to max at 3.3kwh.

    If so, what is required to make this retrofit.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    a lot, i know that. rav 4 is a much bigger battery to start with. charging characteristics will be completely different.
    the fact that they only offer it in the top model is not necessarily a physics thing. toyota is know for finacially restricting their lower models.
    you want 6.6kwh charging? you can afford all this other crap you don't really need or want;)
     
  8. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    A 40A circuit and receptacle will be just fine.

    All true BEVs have bigger batteries than does the RAV4 Prime, and are built for charging this fast and faster. Just piggyback on the infrastructure meant for them.
     
  9. wstt

    wstt Member

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    So what would be needed to be done to change from 3.3kw to 6.6kw charger on a RAV4 as its already available in the premium, premium model? Do you think it’s just a part, or do you think it’s actually built into the battery, and possibly the software would be completely different?
    It’s just I don’t want all the other stuff in the premium, premium. I don’t want a panoramic sunroof as I live in a very hot climate. I don’t want premium sound as I discover the subwoofer takes up a large area of the trunk. I was all set to buy the RAV4 prime until i discovered this after agreeing on the price with the desler. It cost them a sale. (I’ll stick with my Prius v)... unless I can figure out if getting a 6.6w charger after purchase is possible.
     
  10. DavidA

    DavidA Prius owner since July 2009

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    I'm not at all understanding the need to (expensively) upgrade from 3.3 to a 6.6kW internal charger, especially for a car with an 8.8kWh traction battery. BTW, only 6.6 kWh of that 8.8 is usable. The car isn't a dedicated BEV. The EV range of a Prius Prime is almost laughable these days. Is 1h 55 minutes too slow to fully charge the car on an L2 system?

    Chances are, the subsystems in the Prime wouldn't accomodate a higher output internal charger, and even if it did, could you locate it in the same place under the rear seats?

    I can think of only a half dozen times in 3+ years needing or wanting to fully recharge back to the 30 mile range in less than 2 hours time. If I really need to get back on the road again super fast, I've got 560 extra miles of range with the tankfull.

    I am guessing that your concern here is maintaining use of EV over gas usage in a RAV4 or Prius Prime. I totally understand that since I haven't used a drop of gas in my Prime in 9 months. I would suggest seriously looking into a dedicated BEV vehicle. Heck, a decent used Model 3 runs less money now than either a new RAV4 or a Prius Prime, and there are tons of those for sale. RAV4 Primes are almost impossible to get, and if you can somehow get one, the dealers are highly likely to bump the price by thousands.
     
    #10 DavidA, Sep 10, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2020
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  11. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    AC Level 2 are what most public chargers are, if they aren't DC fast chargers. Places like hotels might have Level 1, which is charging from a 15 amp outlet is.

    The US Rav4 Prime can't fast DC charge. With that the charger onboard the car isn't used.
    6.6kW is an option for the Rav4 Prime, which is what the OP is interested in. Upgrading the Prius Prime is possible, though it might mean more effort. First hurdle would be whether the Rav charger would fit in the Prius. Then up grading components may be needed. The second updating the software for the faster charger.

    A third party charger is possible for both, but will require more effort to accomplish.

    The onboard charger is its own separate part, and likely an outsourced one. The difficult part of swapping the physical charger will be in getting to it. It likely isn't plug and play though. The details for working the 3.3kW and 6.6kW chargers are likely already in the car's software, but a 'switch' may need to be flipped to let the car know which charger is installed.

    Why precisely do you want the faster charger? I admit having it can be a perk, but we aren't talking about a BEV; there is always the engine to fall back on. So the cost and effort will rarely be worth it.
     
  12. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    NO.
    At least not around MY town.
     
  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it takesa lot of around town driving to need 50 miles every 2.5 hours
     
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  14. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

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    I think the RAV4 battery is a higher voltage. So there's no guarantee that it's charger would ever work in the Prius. And it's possible that the charger monitors the individual cell voltages, which the RAV4 would have a different number of.

    I think the top trim RAV4 also has a 120V inverter output. That could be worth it for specific people. Not really a good value, but there's no other way to do it without putting an inverter on the 12V system, which isn't ideal for several reasons.

    I do think being able to charge the Prius twice as fast would help add useful range with a short stop at a charger. Right now the only places I charge are at work or at home. It's never worth the time to stop and plug in during a drive or even when stopped for an errand. But if it was twice as fast there would be many more times when it might be useful, where I would gain enough range to make a difference between getting to my destination in EV mode or not. But I wouldn't pay much extra for that speed, since using gas is no problem.

    Since the RAV4 will be less efficient than the Prius, there are fewer situations where it would be useful for charge a RAV4 at 6.6kw than a Prius at 6.6kw. So I wouldn't put much value on that upgrade, unless it is somehow important for your driving habits.
     
  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The BMS(battery monitoring system;)) is separate from the charger. But yes, upgrading the Prius will be iffy

    There are several features that would be nice to have, depending on the buyer, but it is about $9000 more to get the package with the faster charger. Unless everything is a must, that is a tough financial argument.

    It wouldn't be twice as fast. The closer the battery is to full charge, the more heat that can be generated from charging. The faster the electricity is pumped into the battery, the more heat generated. When the battery heats up, the charge rate needs to drop to prevent damage.

    The rav4's cooling system should be better than the Prius', and the faster charger doesn't cut the time in half for it; it goes from 4.5hrs to 2.5hrs.

    Faster chargers are more useful to less efficient plug ins. Their inefficiency means they gain less miles per time of charging. The Prius gains 12.5 miles per hour on Level 2 with the 3.3kWh charger; roughly, as the actual charge rate isn't linear. The Rav gets 9.4 miles.

    Where gas is cheap, the value of the faster charger on a PHEV is only worth it in niche cases.
     
  16. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

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    For example there's a free 6.6kW L2 charger near Target on my way home. It's 8.5 miles from my house. If I didn't charge at work, I'd probably get to that charger with 10% left, or about 2.5 miles of range. If I want to get home, I need to gain 6 miles of range, 24%, or about 1.6kWh. so I'd need to spend about 30 minutes in Target to get that much charge. I don't usually need to shop for that long, so it's not worth plugging in (the charger behind Target, so it's a bit of a walk). At 6.6kW it would take just 15 minutes. I don't need a full charge, so it is 2x as fast. I could easily spend 15 minutes in the store.

    The RAV4 at 6.6kW would be somewhere between 15-30 minutes to get enough charge to get me home.

    That's just one specific example, but there are lots like it. For example if I don't charge at work (and don't stop at Target), I'll usually be just a few miles short of making it home. Let's say it's 4 miles short. I could stop at the charger at work on the way home (it's a 10 minute walk from my office, so I don't always have time to move my car there during the day) and sit there for 20 minutes, but that's a waste of time. But at 6.6kW I'd only have to sit there for 10 minutes, and it's pretty easy to kill time on my phone for 10 minutes.

    My point is, 3.3kW in the Prius is so slow that it never makes sense to go out of my way to charge. 6.6kW is fast enough that it would sometimes be worth it. Since the RAV4 takes more energy to go the same distance, at 6.6 kW there are fewer situations where it would be worth waiting than a Prius at 6.6kW. So as long as 3.3kW is still fast enough for charging at home and at work, there aren't many situations where 6.6 kW would make a difference.
     
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  17. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Barely. I thought its stack was just a single cell taller.

    Online, I'm finding nominally 351.5 Volts (3.7V x 95 cells) for the Prius Prime, 355.2V for the RAV4 Prime (3.7V x 96 cells?)
     
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  18. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    So the cells are twice as dense as the Prius’ then? (If there’s nearly the same number of cells but twice the capacity).
     
  19. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    ... or the same size, but two banks in parallel. I.e. wider. At least, that is the impression I received somewhere, but don't see the original reference just now.

    The 95 and 96 cell numbers would be the number in series connection.
     
  20. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Hmm, ok I’m gonna need a visual of that. Two banks count the same as one?
     
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