Considering Hymotion... questions

Discussion in 'Prius PHEV Plug-In Modifications' started by edselpdx, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. edselpdx

    edselpdx Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    191
    1
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    I'm seriously considering getting the Hymotion pack installed on my Salsa Baby. I have several questions and things to consider, and wanted input from those of you with experience. I've read through this forum pretty well.

    I'm in Portland OR, so no true extremes of temp. My car is long-since paid for and in good shape with 40K miles on it--out of warranty. I have taken care of all the (oh-so-extensive) scheduled maintenance pretty much on time, and use an EBH on a timer. Mostly city driving, with a 2x/month 100 mile highway drive for child hand-off with the ex. I averge on the low side with 35--40 MPG in the colder weather, largely because of relatively short trips for work.

    If I upgrade to Hymotion, it would be in lieu of buying a new PHEV in a couple of years. I'm not the type who's worried about having a new car every few years, just looking to lower my impact on the planet a bit and not buying a new car definitely falls into that category. I realize that it won't "pay for itself" or any of that stuff (what car ever has?)

    A few questions and clarifications:
    1. I have a Coastal EV switch. From my reading here, it will continue to work, and I can continue to force the car into EV for short trips if needed eg 2 miles between worksites with <35 MPH speed and either no or very small/low incline hills between. Is that correct? This is really a key to whether I decide to purchase this or not.
    2. Extension cords... much discussion here. I plan on a good 12 gauge as short as possible for home use and a longer one for possible parking garage/public use. The gauge discussions here are odd. The LOWER the number, the thicker the actual wires are, right?
    3. Next question--kinda odd. I have an unused dryer circuit and plug inside the basement on the side of the house where I park (no garage--washer/dryer moved upstairs years ago). Would I be best off with an electrician running a weatherproof outlet to outside from that? I own the house an am not moving anytime soon. My only other option would be a longer run from my only outdoor plug in the back yard. I'd have my EBH/timer on it as well as the Hymotion. Sound reasonable? Or should I just continue with the longer run?
    4. With the reliability of a Prius in general, is it a reasonable choice to install Hymotion in and "older" Prius? I plan on driving it for many more years. Why would I NOT install a hymotion in a 3 yr old car?

    Thanks!
    Sonya
     
  2. boxer93

    boxer93 Psyched for PHEV

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    155
    22
    0
    Location:
    Southern NH
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Hi Sonya,
    1. The dealer/installer would probably cut your coastal lead unless you specifically ask them not to. I had an OEM switch. It is now disconnected because the L5 does EV automatically (when it can) I find that I would probably forget to push the EV switch sometimes. IMHO I am leaving my switch disconnected. I know that others use it for their own circumstances

    2. yes lower is thicker. 12 gauge is probably as large as you would want to go. 50ft maximum is the Hymotion reccomendation, 25 ft for 14 gauge. 16-18 are too small for this electrical draw. 16 would be fine for the EBH.

    3. IMHO Wire it closer. The electrician can tell what gauge wiring to get from the panel to the outlet. Plus you'd probably want some kind of waterproof 'mounting' to allow you to attach the plug without risk of shock.

    4. I have a 2008. I cannot speak from experience. Quite a few people are using older models and since they made the Hymotion investment they must have confidence in the car.

    Good Luck with your decision.
    Chris
     
  3. PeakOilGarage

    PeakOilGarage Nothing less than 99.9

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    334
    12
    3
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    1) You do not need the EV switch it you have Hymotion. The Hymotion battery and software use the same PIN 27 that the EV switch uses. The software from Hymotion is constantly trying to put the Prius in EV mode. If you have energy in the Hymotion battery, then an EV request is being made. Your driving style determines whether or not your car is actually in EV mode. If you are under 33 mph and have energy, then you are in EV mode. In certain scenarios (warmed up Prius) you can do EV mode at 40 mph and maintain it as long as you have energy in the Hymotion battery.

    2) I also have two extension cords. A short 8 foot cord and a 24 foot cord. I just made sure that they are outdoor cords. The Hymotion only pulls about 9 amps and between 900 to 1,100 watts. Just about any outdoor extension cord can handle that small load.

    3) The EBH draws 400 watts and the Hymotion draws 1,100 watts at the maximum point during recharging. So you could run both of them off of the same outlet safely. Regular outlets can handle that load.

    4) I have seen people installing the Hymotion on 2004 models with 100,000 miles.

    FYI, since you live in Portland, your installer would be the Green Car Company in Bellevue Washington. We are opening a new Green Car Company location in Portland in February or March of next year. We are hunting for the location right now. There will likely be a few trained Hymotion technicians in your area to provide training and support.
     
  4. edselpdx

    edselpdx Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    191
    1
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    Currently, I can force an EV start even with a cold engine with my coastal switch by holding the switch during startup. I use this mostly for moving the car around occasionally, or coasting down the ramps in parking garages (prefer to warm the engine with real need for the engine.) Since most of my trips are <7 miles without significant hills, why would I want the engine to warm up?

    Thanks for the info! A Portland site would (obviously) be ideal for me, of course; I was already planning on the Seattle trip to do the install if I decide to go ahead with this. If I were to put down a deposit today at Hymotion's website, does anyone know what the wait is? Could I put down the deposit and later switch to the Portland install site if the wait's that long or I decide to delay install?
     
  5. PeakOilGarage

    PeakOilGarage Nothing less than 99.9

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    334
    12
    3
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    I can also do my short trips in pure EV mode. But the warm-up phase is only 55 seconds and it allows you to go at higher speeds in EV mode. I find that I often go through a warm-up phase eventually, even if I am trying to stay pure EV. It is not a big deal.

    You can put down your deposit today and change the install location later. Or you can call Susan at the Green Car Company and let her know the details on where you want to have it installed. If the Portland store is opened when your install date arrives, then it will be easy to organize it in that location.

    I have no idea what the time frame is for installation. You should get an instant email from Hymotion after your $1,000 credit card deposit. It will assign you a number and estimated install date. If you get that info, please post it here.
     
  6. neosapiens

    neosapiens New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    2
    0
    0
    Location:
    California
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    1. Coastal EV switch. According to Hymotion, the switch is irrelevant since the L5 PCM sets the EV-mode setting for you, so you should get EV behavior at 34 MPH and below.
    2. The L5 Users' Manual says:
    Extension Cord
    The L5 PCM must be charged using an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed 12/3 American Wire Gauge (AWG) or 14/3 AWG contractor-grade extension cord approved for outdoor use.
    3. The circuit needs to be 120V and has to handle 10 amps and have a circuit breaker for 15amps. The outlet or extension cord has to be GCFI (ground circuit fault interrupting).
     
  7. edselpdx

    edselpdx Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    191
    1
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    Thanks for all the info so far, everyone. So the warm up phase is not a full warm up? Because I take a good 10-12 minutes or so in the cool 40 degree mornings if I forget my EBH before (and at least 5-7 minutes with it) before I get 40-50 MPG bars on the monitor.... which is often most of my trip. I guess this is the most confusing part of the Hymotion to me. A 55 second ICE warmup is NOT a big deal to me, but a 10 minute one really defeats the purpose for my particular driving.

    Can anyone point me to a good site or previous post where it's been discussed more (more graphically, less electrical theory is good...)? I know I saw them in the past on PriusChat somewhere, but can't find them now that I'm actually considering a purchase.
     
  8. ksstathead

    ksstathead Active Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    1,244
    242
    0
    Location:
    Kansas
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
  9. PeakOilGarage

    PeakOilGarage Nothing less than 99.9

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    334
    12
    3
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    I don't think the same applies when a Hymotion battery is installed. You get an entirely different set of scenarios compared to a normal Prius. The Prius is being fed so much electricity that this causes the Prius to behave in different ways.

    For example, once mine reaches 110 degrees F, the ICE will go off and never come back on. The article makes reference to the ICE coming back on at temps below 145 and then the ICE will stay on until 164 degree F.

    That never happens with a Hymotion unless you spend some time on the highway.

    My temp spends a lot of time below 100 degree F, even after a warm-up phase. The ICE can briefly come on to help with a hill or fast acceleration. Then it goes off immediately no matter what the temperature is. Once the ICE has just one simple warm-up to 110 degree F, then a full stop of the vehicle, after that EV mode is very easy off and on depending on driving conditions.
     
  10. edselpdx

    edselpdx Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    191
    1
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    I think this is the most helpful info I've gotten. Clearly "warm up" is different. I appreciate the time you've spent and your insight! Very different from the regular stages of operation.
     
Loading...