First Hybrid Road Trip - Questions

Discussion in 'Prius c Fuel Economy' started by RocMills, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. RocMills

    RocMills Active Member

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    In three weeks, I will be taking our C2 from Las Vegas, Nevada to Westminster, California.

    I've done the drive nearly a hundred times before, but never in a hybrid.

    Any tips or suggestions for:

    1) A very long, steep uphill stretch of highway

    2) An even longer, not quite as steep, downhill stretch

    I know that the hybrid battery is not supposed to get fully charged, but I'm certain this will happen during this trip owing to the nature of the terrain. What should I do if the battery hits full and I have no way of engaging EV? Should I turn on all the electrical devices in the car? Crank the HVAC up to full blast?
     
  2. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
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    Drive the car and don't worry. Don't even be concerned with using 'B' going down long hill descents. You could use it but if you want to just enjoy the ride it isn't a necessity. Just my opinion, it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme go things the extra worrying about 'how to drive a hybrid'...
     
  3. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    1) the car will take care of itself, you do not 'need' to do anything.

    2) At the top of the long downhill, shift to B until you reach bottom, this may keep your friction brakes cooler. (you will notice that Cruise Control does not work in B, and that the harder you brake, the faster the engine revs, which is non intuitive)
    3) if B mode is too effective and you slow down, try D mode and Cruise Control, unlike many cars, my Prius tries to avoid speeding up in CC.
     
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  4. KaliforniaKid

    KaliforniaKid 2013 Prius v Five 2012 Priuc c Four

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    Just drive.
    Recently traveled from the San Francisco Bay Area to Disneyand averaging 80 MPH with 43 MPG.
    Not a lot of room for luggage but it was a smooth and stable ride with the weight of four people in it.
    Not a problem climbing up or rolling down the Grapevine (was snowing too).
    A lot of stop and go once on metro LA freeways but that's when EV takes over.
    I always drive with the headlights on when traveling on LA freeways so the ICE always comes on to charge up.
     
  5. Rob.au

    Rob.au Active Member

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    I'm going to go "+3" on the "just drive" advice. You can put it in "D" and the car will do what it needs to do and you don't have to think about it.

    If you haven't experienced the HV battery becoming full before, you are in for a bit of a surprise - the ICE will come on and get noisy, possibly very noisy as the system drives the ICE to get rid of whatever energy it doesn't want to put into the battery. This is partly what's behind Jimbo's "the harder you brake, the faster the engine revs" comment. It's not using fuel, so this is not an issue. I just marvel at the car's engineering when it happens - though I do explain this behaviour to unsuspecting "non-hybrid" passengers when I know it is imminent, so they don't freak out.

    I have had at least one occasion where this noise has continued even after I had completed my descent, as my c continued to burn off excess energy. The indicator on the dash will get to "full" but the car is actually holding your HV battery to 80%. I haven't had a lot of opportunities to watch it closely since I got the ScanGauge, but the dash will indicate full when the SoC reaches around 78%.

    Using "B" mode is the subject of much conjecture - essentially what it does is put the car into a version of the above "throw away energy" mode earlier than it would do on its own. Most people do agree that if you are still going to end up filling the HV battery on the descent you are on, then you should use B mode if the incline is steep enough to justify it. There is some argument about other scenarios, though "use it when you would change to a low gear in a conventional vehicle" isn't too bad as a general guideline.

    Regarding cruise control - it DOES have access to regen brakes, which is pretty cool, however it seems to have a limit that it won't go past. It also won't use friction brakes by itself. So for some descents the cruise control can maintain your speed for you, but if it becomes steeper you will have to step in and do it yourself.
     
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  6. RocMills

    RocMills Active Member

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone, I appreciate the input!
     
  7. WD0AFQ

    WD0AFQ Active Member

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    Most of all, have lots of fun.(y) Love that Grapevine climb in the motorhome.(n)
    Dan
     
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  8. born_again

    born_again Member

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    Have fun and drive safe.

    I took the family to Vegas in the Prius v. I averaged 38 mpg on the way to vegas. But not sure if it was just difference in altitude or if I had a tailwind on the way back, I averaged 45 mpg. The downhills are longer on the way to LA, and I was "gliding" with the foot on the gas pedal maintaining the HSI readout just in neutral. I think that would lessen the "overcharging".

    I was passing a lot of cars while gliding. LOL
     
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  9. Ryephile

    Ryephile The Technophile

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    +1. The hybrid and electrical system manages itself, no extra input is needed unless you want to get creative with pulse-n-glide or other hypermiling techniques.

    When I did my road-trip from Detroit to Denver over Thanksgiving, I had it in cruise control for most of the time. Just relax and enjoy the drive. You won't get nearly as good fuel economy on the open road; don't panic if you see a fuel tank as low as 42MPG, it's normal for long hauls on the Interstate.

    (y)
     
  10. RocMills

    RocMills Active Member

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    I'll be happy if I can make the trip on a single tank of gas, won't be too worried about getting high numbers.
     
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