Fun Prius Stories Project

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Prius Team, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Prius Team

    Prius Team Toyota Marketing USA

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    Hi all. We’re working on a fun little project and thought we’d ask the PC community for some inputs. If you want to participate, please respond to any or all of the below key questions in this thread and the team will monitor your feedback. Thanks!
    • How has Prius impacted you environmentally, culturally and socially?
    • Recently we discovered a story on our Facebook page about a woman who got engaged in the back of her Prius? Are there any remarkable Prius stories personal to you or that you've discovered recently?
    • Do you or have you heard of any interesting examples of how hybrid technology has been used in creative ways by others, i.e, we heard about several accounts of using a Prius as a generator during Hurricane Sandy?

    Thanks for your help!
    Erica Gartsbeyn
    Prius Product Manager
    Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.
     
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  2. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    I have used my PiP as a Emergency Mobil Generator Power source during the tragedy of Sandy and I'm all prepared for this Snow Storm hitting the NE region the USA.
    LIPA, our electricity supplier doesn't have a good reputation lately at sustaining the required energy to their customers, shame on them. I'm ready for any eventuality.
    EDIT: Also fallow my thread in PriusChat from early today.
     
  3. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    My sister (and brother in law) are driving from Seattle to Fort Myers and back, following baseball spring training, and visiting relatives, about 7700 miles in 6 weeks in her Prius v3. Black Diamond, WA to Black Diamond, WA - Google Maps

    I drive 30,000 miles a year doing computer networking. Robinsonville MS to Hollandale MS and Winona MS to Hughes AR In my Prius. As there are no real computer stores in this area, all my gear is in my hatch.

    Tunica Resorts, MS to Hughes, AR - Google Maps

    [​IMG]
     
  4. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    I can commute far to work (which I often have to do) without too much pain at the pump. I filled up yesterday after 449.6 miles on 8.705 gallons for 51.6 mpg and cost of $34.81

    Our team leader hopped in his Chevy Suburban and my first thoughts were 'that thing gets 15 MPG, so 450 miles driven would take 30 gallons gas and cost $120 to refill at today's $4 /gal price. Holy smokes!!!'..

    and Fuelly | Share and Compare Your MPG backs up the 15 mpg figure for Suburbans, and Tahoe's, etc....
     
  5. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    How Prius Impacted Me

    Until September of 2005, I drove a Camry with a fuel mileage journal, a practice I've used with every car. When the MPG would go down, I knew maintenance was needed. But otherwise, I had nothing in common with gear-heads, people who fawn over pictures of bikini women lounging on a shiny car.

    Piqued by the 52 MPG of our Prius, I soon had the shop manuals, numerous Toyota engineering papers, Government studies, and joined several Prius forums that discussed owner experiments. I repeated many of these experiments, some worked and some not so good, and shared my results. I had become a Prius 'gear head.'

    So now I subscribe to a 'gear head' magazine without bikinis; survey the April SAE papers for Toyota and hybrid papers, and; continue to advance Prius capabilities with private experiments. For example, I towed 1,700 lbs of pontoon boat trailer and an airplane, 600 miles from Canton IL to Huntsville AL during a cold, windy, wet storm. Averaging 53-54 mph, we got 28 MPG. The trip included an emergency stop in wet conditions that our 1.8L Prius handled without a problem.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Prius Story

    I bought my first Prius on the Internet, 800 miles away. On the flight out, I calculated the passenger-miles per gallon, 61 air MPG at 233 mph and I started driving our used 2003 Prius 800 miles back home.

    My first hundred Prius miles, I got an abysmal 39 MPG, way below the EPA advertised 45 MPG. Over the next seven hundred miles, I mapped the relationship between mph and MPG and found I could get 52 MPG at 65 mph highway speed . . . and I was hooked on Prius hybrid technology.
    [​IMG]

    My first Prius modification was to install a 1kW inverter. We have used it every year when the power goes out for more than half-an-hour to run the furnace in winter, small air conditioner in Alabama summer, lights and TV. The longest was over four days when tornadoes tore up the TVA transmission lines and we only burned two gallons per day.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    details.

    Creative Hybrid Technology By Others

    Alternate body styles and usage remains fascinating. Good Prius Friend Hobbit has described 'Motel Prius'. He takes marathon vacations and lives out of his car with modifications such as sleeping pad, insect barriers, and a fan to deal with heat and humidity.
    [​IMG] details.

    Long before the Prius v, Bob Bruninga over in 'Prius Technical Stuff' had invented the first (and only) Woody Prius. He literally used cabinet making skills to make a Prius based, Woody Wagon and it looks GOOD and WORKS!
    [​IMG]

    Steve Woodruff of AutoBeYours has a Prius 'Luv' style pickup. He rebuilds salvaged 1.5L 2004-09 Prius and his 'Luv' style, Prius pickup is awesome. There are few if any light pickups in the USA market yet a lot of folks who commuted in pickups that are much too large and inefficient for their 'day job' commute. Steve's Prius 'Luv' pickup would be perfect and fill a market abandoned by everyone else.
    [​IMG]

    Comments?
    Bob Wilson
     
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  6. rcf@eventide.com

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    "Do you or have you heard of any interesting examples of how hybrid technology has been used in creative ways by others, i.e, we heard about several accounts of using a Prius as a generator during Hurricane Sandy? "

    See PriUPS.com. I have been doing this since 2005.
    Also take a look at RIKLBLOG - Open Letter to Rental Car Companies With Hybrid Fleets
    This would be an ideal activity for car rental companies that have Prii.

    Richard
     
  7. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    We've been having some serious Prius fun in Virginia!

    Seems our esteemed Governor recommended taxing Prii (and other Clean Special Fuels vehicles) to help make up state tax shortfalls. This lead to a hybrid parade in the state capital of Richmond. Had I known about the demonstration, I would have been there myself. But I was actively doing my own write-in campaign. Here are the two threads here on the topic:

    Virginia "Hybrid Tax" | PriusChat

    Dumb Idea of the Week: Repealing the Gas Tax Because Too Many People Drive Priuses | PriusChat

    Prius parade protests Gov. McDonnell’s proposed hybrid tax - The Washington Post

    Apparently the legislators got the message as the proposed hybrid surcharge was dropped (by the Republican House) after the demonstrations.
     
  8. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    Yep, the old Prius generator comes in handy when the power goes out. :D
     
  9. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    I always have my 1200w inverter in the rear. I actually use it every day to power the house sub... but that's a different topic.

    When i was staying with my family, the power went out on several different occasions. I would use my car to power lights, heaters, a huge aquarium during an extended outage (4ft nurse shark was loosing air), tvs, power tools, and much more. One night i ran the car all night to power my uncles bed. he is a quadriplegic and requires an air mattress and ventilator system along with constant heat. I powered it all with the inverter and even charged his chair while i was at it.

    I found that a prius only consumed about a gallon every 10 to 12 hours if it's not a really heavy load. On a heavy load it shortens a bit but not by a whole lot.

    When my parents moved off grid, i used my car to power the entire electrical system (900 watts for all the internal lights) while we worked on the house. Sure did beat running a really noisy generator (eventually a winding failed so we had to use my car).

    I have a lot of stories related to this topic... just figured i'm sum a few.

    I even have a 5x8 trailer i use for construction. It works so well my brother "retired" his f350 to only heavy duty pulling and purchased a used prius for himself. I get a huge amount of questions and comments about the trailer as i tote it around los angeles. Even more so when i help someone move and there is 4-6ft of boxes stacked up on it.
     
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  10. JMD

    JMD 2012 Prius 4 Solar Roof

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    Following
     
  11. SlowTurd

    SlowTurd I LIKE PRIUS'S

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    just a obvious idea...

    there are so many ways to get energy back into "the system". take the rear wheels and add disk charging on them to recharge the traction battery. oh boy i bet you would almost double your gas mileage.

    thanks you can send me $$$ for the idea
     
  12. techntrek

    techntrek Member

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    See my signature. 4000 watts from my Prius, I rarely use my 12 kw propane generator anymore during outages.
     
  13. techntrek

    techntrek Member

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    slowturd doesn't understand the laws of Physics.
     
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  14. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    For reasons that are not clear, we don't see someone elses signatures in posts in this forum. So I found one of your post in another forum and followed the signature link and that sent me to another web site.

    This might be a great time to take some photos and post a little write-up here to make it clear how your solution works. I got the impression your UPS is fixed, like Richard's version, not something that travels in the car to where power is needed. You're writing with Toyota USA in mind, to help them understand what folks are doing with their cars.

    Bob Wilson
     
  15. techntrek

    techntrek Member

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    Unfortunate that the sigs don't show up here.

    The UPS is usually semi-permanently mounted in my garage and attached to the Prius when needed, but it could be put in the rear hatch and used as a mobile power station. I did have it in the hatch during tests shown in the link below, I've just never actually needed to take it anywhere. That was the reason I pursued this though, after my parents were without power after the hurricane that came up the East Coast before Sandy (then they got a generator).

    Unfortunately there are way too many details to re-document the project here, but the short story is much of the background came from priups.com. This included a reference to an article where Toyota ran a demonstration house from a Prius and said it could safely supply 3000 watts continuously. The priups site also ran tests which show that it can supply more over shorter periods. I then did my own research to find a modern inverter source which would be compatible with the traction battery output.

    Here's the link that was referred to which documents the path I've followed over the last few years: Using a Prius as a generator
     
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  16. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Thanks,

    You bring up a good point, the two types of installations:
    There are several technical approaches of which only two have examples:
    1. Traction battery, DC connected, part of house structure - minimizes weight to vehicle and allows integration with the house local wiring. But the risk is dealing with a traction battery modification.
    2. AC connected, part of vehicle - provides AC power on long distance drives as well as remote locations. The 12V circuit is power limited but relatively easy for lay people to deal with. Vehicle weight increases by 4-5lb 12V-to-AC power inverter and some loss of efficiency.
    3. Prius inverter power - the vehicle inverter, MG2, when parked could easily provide AC power if the inverter leads to MG2 were switched to AC sockets. There would not be AC power when traveling but when parked, easily enough high efficiency, house power.
    4. A variation would be to use the inverter leads that power the air conditioner. This would let one choose between air conditioner or a reasonable amount of house AC power. Making the air conditioner power interface into an AC socket/plug would make it almost trivial.

    The last two examples require reverse-engineering the inverter interface(s). Something only Hobbit has published any early investigations. However, I suspect Toyota could handle this in a fairly short period of time.

    Bob Wilson
     
  17. Prius Team

    Prius Team Toyota Marketing USA

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    Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts.

    Best,
    Erica Gartsbeyn
    Prius Product Manager
    Toyota USA
     
  18. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Sorry for the late response!
    For me, once I got my Prius, it (along w/Priuschat) got me to be more informed about so many things such as the topics below.

    I learned what actually goes on w/the EPA tests along w/fuel economy tests conducted by others (e.g. Consumer Reports) along w/factors that can cause mileage to be higher or lower than the EPA values. I've been able to educate others (in person and on other forums) about the EPA and other FE tests.

    Prior to the Prius, I had no idea as to where the figures came from. I just looked at the numbers on the Monroney sticker and shrugged if I fell short of EPA values, which was always the case when I had short city drives.

    It also got me interested in looking into greenhouse gas emissions from cars as well as that of harmful pollutants (e.g. NOx, particulate matter, etc.) and their associated scores/standards (e.g. PZEV, SULEV, Tier x Bin x, etc.) Prior to all this, I had no idea that a single ICE vehicle would produce tons of greenhouse gasses/year.

    I also became interested in topics such as American vs. world oil consumption and import figures (Oil: Crude and Petroleum Products - Energy Explained, Your Guide To Understanding Energy - Energy Information Administration), size and location of "proven" oil reserves (CIA - The World Factbook and Countries - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)), projected production figures from ANWR (EIA - Analysis of Crude Oil Production in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - Results) and oil chokepoints like the Strait of Hormuz (U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)).

    The above made me more aware of the geopolitics surrounding oil and the likelihood of increasing demand for a limited supply from two countries w/huge populations and growing middle classes: India and China.

    It's also steered me into becoming more interested in other hybrids, PHEVs, BEVs and auto start/stop systems. I now visit sites like AutoblogGreen -- We Obsessively Cover the Green Scene daily. I now really dislike driving cars where their engines idle uselessly when stopped and when braking results in all energy being thrown away as useless heat and brake dust vs. some if it being recaptured.

    For those who've never driven hybrids or never got a "proper demo", I usually explain to them regen, point out where the HV battery pack is, point out the lack of distinct shift points when accelerating, ICE being off when stopped, demonstrate the SKS, demonstrate the voice recognition, etc. Some of the features (e.g. SKS and voice recognition) were rare on non-luxury cars back when I got my Prius in 06.

    I think if I'd never gotten the Prius, I likely would've continued to be blissfully ignorant about most of the above and driving my 20 and 19 mpg combined (after adjustment to the MY08+ EPA numbers) V6 cars.
     
  19. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Toyota Team-
    OOPs...not so much fun anymore in Virginia!!!
    We thought we had won this fight, but VA legislators re-inserted a "Prius Tax" into this bill at the last minute, and now we are the proud owners of a new $100/yr tax aimed at hybrid owners.

    Virginia Transportation Funding Deal | PriusChat

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  20. techntrek

    techntrek Member

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    New info related to my posts above - additional brands/models of UPS, and an inverter, that are compatible with the Prius traction battery. I added the info to the end of the thread linked in my signature (same link I provided in post 15).
     
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