Do (or should) Toyota dealers provide courtesy charging for Toyota Primes and Plug-ins?

Discussion in 'Prime Plug-in Charging' started by SHDL, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. SHDL

    SHDL Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    23
    43
    0
    Location:
    SW Portland Area
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    I recently bought a Prius Prime to replace my 2005 Gen 2 Prius. Not that the '05 was worn out, but my daughter and son-in-law needed to replace their old clunker and could not afford a new car. They bought our old Prius, and my wife and I get to enjoy a new Prime!

    We test drove Primes at two dealerships in the Portland Oregon area. Neither dealership had charged the cars at all, so the test drives were in hybrid mode (I did turn on charging mode during on the second test drive -- much to the amazement of the salesman who didn't know about that feature -- long enough to get 1 mile of EV range). The Prime we purchased was delivered with no charge as well, even though we specifically asked that it be charged.

    Just yesterday, I was having a lunch at a place right next to a Toyota dealer in Bellevue, Washington. I figured it would be a great time to get some charge on the EV battery, since I had been driving a couple of hours. To my surprise, the dealer told me they have no facility to charge Primes. I asked what they do with new Primes they sell, and both the salesman I first spoke with and the service manager I then checked with told me that they do not charge the EV battery for either test drives or when delivering a new car. I asked the service manager if there were any nearby charging stations, and he said there were not.

    I also own a Nissan LEAF, which I bought new in 2011. I have been to at least 4 different Nissan dealers (obviously not too far from home) and every Nissan dealer has had multiple charging stations that LEAF owners can use for free. (Ironically, there was a Nissan dealer across the street from the Toyota dealer I had just asked about charging my Prime. My "ChargePoint" app showed that the Nissan dealer did have a free charging station. But it was a very busy 6-lane street to try to cross, and I wasn't sure Nissan would appreciate my bringing a Prime over to charge for free.)

    So my questions for this forum are:
    1) Do very many Toyota dealers provide courtesy charging stations for Toyota Prime or Plug-in owners, the same way Nissan does, or did I just happen to find the only 3 dealerships who don't really support Prius Primes?
    2) Should Toyota require their dealers provide better care and support for their EV customers?

    My apology if there is already a thread on this topic. I couldn't find one.
     
    Geo Dude, Opt1mus and Andyprius1 like this.
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    88,612
    39,599
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    1) i have not encountered L2 charging at any of the 7 toyota dealerships i have done business with over the years.
    i have never heard that toyota requires dealers to have L2 chargers installed, though it may be possible.
    neither my pip, nor my prime test drive came charged.
    i assume if a dealer needed to charge a battery for diagnostics, they would just plug in the 120v evse.

    2) yes
     
  3. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    12,113
    6,440
    2
    Location:
    Greenwood MS USA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    Toyota does not make an EV.
    All their customers can make it home on gasoline if need be. (this is in stark contrast to Nissan customers)
    Should Toyota desire to have all dealers do something, they will have to renegotiate the contract between each dealer and Toyota, each is an independent company.

    Nissan can't make Nissan Dealer behave either 2011 Nissan Leaf: Free Recharging At Dealers, Except When They Balk
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    88,612
    39,599
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    blah, blah, blah...
     
  5. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    4,253
    2,234
    33
    Location:
    Texas
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    While logic would suggest Toyota Dealerships maintain and PHEVs purchases be delivered with a fully charged battery, I would suggest that being a niche market with limited vehicles "so far" they just have not caught up with the logistics yet...if they even choose to. As for dropping in for a free bump...should I then expect them to give me a free bump on gas for my regular hybrid?
     
    dubit likes this.
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    40,095
    28,627
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Can't you charge the Prime, or the Plug-In predecessor, with a regular 110 volt outlet? I would think if they're hoping to make a sale, and you requested that the car was charged for a test drive, they could easily accomodate you. Or the demand is high enough that they don't care, they're selling anways?
     
    Geo Dude, Rmay635703, m.wynn and 5 others like this.
  7. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    2,763
    2,225
    13
    Location:
    Chesterton, Indiana Another third world country.
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    When I bought my new Prius in November it came with a full tank of gas and I didn't test drive a prime.
    The dealership had two of them, one inside and one outside. My wife make a comment, "they are always plugged in".
    We make two trips to the dealership and they were plugged in at Lake Shore Toyota in Burns Harbor Indiana.
     
    m.wynn and Mendel Leisk like this.
  8. Diemaster

    Diemaster Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    220
    194
    2
    Location:
    so. cal
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    my thought is:

    if they give you a full tank of gas (for a normal gas car) when you buy one, and they advertise >600 miles using both Gas and EV, then the Gas tank should be Full and EV fully charged prior to leaving the lot.

    for the price you pay for the car even for a lowly Leaf or EV soul, giving the customer a full fuel source (both gas AND EV in the primes case) is mandatory for marketing (match what your advertising.) your also making the customer happy.

    again this is how i see it.
     
  9. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    2,763
    2,225
    13
    Location:
    Chesterton, Indiana Another third world country.
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    What do you think would happen if Tesla sent one of his cars out the door with a flat battery. :X3:
     
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  10. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    41,052
    12,612
    41
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    I would think if you took delivery, it should come with a full battery (I mean, wouldn't you want the customer to enjoy EV driving on the way home?). It's possible the checklist doesn't include "full charge" but only "full tank of gas" so it doesn't cross the minds of the people doing the pre-delivery or at least they can claim that they weren't told to do it.


    Also, yeah it can be charged with 110V but either the dealer is incompetent or they're actually not allowed to use the 110V cable (since it's part of a customer's car and there's a "do not unpack until delivered to the customer" part)
     
  11. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    12,113
    6,440
    2
    Location:
    Greenwood MS USA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    This may be the answer. They can't charge the Prime unless they have a charger from some other source.
     
    Geo Dude and Mendel Leisk like this.
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    40,095
    28,627
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
  13. DavidA

    DavidA Prius owner since July 2009

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    2,187
    1,671
    18
    Location:
    Chicago western burbs
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    ^ (link above) Gahhhh! That is a totally ridiculous price for the Toyota 120v charger. You can buy TWO L2 chargers for that!

    ...and yes, all Toyota dealers should have an L2 or L1 charger. Same price, or less, than many of their service dept. tools they use every day. And... yes, they should use it for all test drives and deliveries of any car they sell/service that can be plugged in. Heck, they can't even diagnose an EV problem without a charger of their own, assuming the customer's charge cable doesn't, or might not work.

    My Prime had not been charged at the time of delivery. Their sister dealership, next door, selling BMW i3's, has an L2 charger. Apparently, they aren't allowed to use that, even though it is technically theirs to do so. Doesn't make any sense to me.
     
    Geo Dude and pilotgrrl like this.
  14. dubit

    dubit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    801
    507
    23
    Location:
    Indiana
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    At the dealership my brother works at, there is a charger available for anyone to use for free (GM Dealership). He has seen people on more than one occasion get into an argument with the Service department because the dealership itself was using it. Seriously, it's the dealerships charger, therefore the dealership gets priority for it's use.

    But I do not think any business (dealership or otherwise) should be "required" to provide you with a courtesy charge. Let the business decide whether or not to provide that service. But don't think it should be a free service. Why should they have to pay for your drive? Do you also think they should be require to put gasoline in all the other vehicles for free to customers who "happen to be in the area"?
     
    #14 dubit, Feb 3, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
    Geo Dude, scona and Andyprius1 like this.
  15. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    11,159
    10,765
    0
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    They should provide a courtesy charge at sale or stop providing a courtesy tank of gas to the vehicles they sell. Otherwise they are discriminating against PHV buyers.
    The comment about not being able to troubleshoot should bring up another thought to those who southern people who bought Prime's even though their Toyota distributor has chosen not to sell them. Service could be a long distance nightmare.
     
    pilotgrrl and dubit like this.
  16. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    6,525
    2,952
    1
    Location:
    NJ
    Vehicle:
    2014 Chevy Volt
    When I bought the PiP, none of the samples the dealer had were charged. I mentioned to the salesman that the whole idea behind the car was to use less gas, but nonetheless, the car wasn't charged when I took it home. When I traded it in on the Volt, all of the ones I looked at were charged and gassed up. The shop has a Level 2 station for the Volts and Bolts, as this is part of the prepping. Now, Chevy dealers have been putting up Level 2 charging stations outside for the Bolt owners and some of them even have Level 3 stations.
     
    Geo Dude and Chodronish like this.
  17. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    5,053
    3,326
    0
    Location:
    So. Texas
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    If gas poured out of a wall socket anytime you pushed a hose into it then, yes, it would probably be considered OK but gasoline distribution doesn't work the same way as electricity does (apologies for stating the obvious) and is tightly controlled/regulated so it's apples to oranges comparison. That's one of the biggest cons of it, you can't make it at home like you can with solar.

    Are dealership customers told they can't plug in their phones while waiting? What about the coffee, donuts, and bottle water? Air for tires? etc. I have a local dealer who gives free car washes for life of the vehicle. I took them up on it but eventually stopped going only because it took too much time as they were on the other side of town but they never declined no matter how much I went in. It's just overhead they choose to allow and when they sell a few extra cars to those waiting customers who otherwise wouldn't be there, then it easily pays for it.

    So yes, I could see a dealership giving out the equivalent cost of gas required to travel the same distance as a fully charged Prime; about 1/6th of a gallon for the average 25mpg car! ;) :D Who knows, it might sell a lot more PHEV's when folks see the dramatic difference in economy! (y)
     
    #17 fotomoto, Feb 3, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
    Chodronish likes this.
  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    88,612
    39,599
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    they make a point of 'giving' you a full tank of gas, (not sure why) it would only make sense to put a dollars worth of electricity into it.
    but most toyota dealers are way behind the ev curve.
     
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    40,095
    28,627
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    It makes sense to provide you with a charged plug-in when you come in for a test drive, if that might tip you to buy. And sales are slow enough...
     
  20. dubit

    dubit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    801
    507
    23
    Location:
    Indiana
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    That's a lot of "overhead" you seem to think they should assume. Neighbor has a Chevy plug-in Bolt/Volt whatever it's called. He said his car costs him on avg of an extra $28 or $38 dollars a month (can't remember which he said). But he only charges once a week. Imagine that being every day and on more than one charger.

    I say pay for what you use just like everyone else. Have read other threads here where individuals have worked out a "deal" with business or homeowners to charge while they are at work for a few dollars a week. Never heard any of them expecting it for free.
     
    Geo Dude, scona and Mendel Leisk like this.
Loading...