How do you increase miles per charge?

Discussion in 'Prime Plug-in Charging' started by Steve Burns, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. Steve Burns

    Steve Burns New Member

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    Purchased our 2020 prime end of November and now have 7k miles on the car. Most of the miles have been highway miles not in ev mode. In December the average monitor says I was getting 6 or 7 miles per KWh and January and Feb under 5. I don't understand why last month I was seeing 37 miles after a full charge and more recently barely 25. The weather between December, January, and this month hasn't changed that much. I was charging overnight every night if completely depleted or if only 5 miles of EV where used and I have read now that maybe that is not a good idea? Has that affected my miles dropping from the brand new condition by somehow affecting the battery memory? I had a 220v plug installed in the electric box in the garage I already had wired but now have read that charging at level 2 may not be as good for the battery as charging slower at 110 over night? What is the secret to consistently the increasing the EV miles per charge? I've read of some people getting 40+ miles on a full charge and for a short time my highest was 37. Is there anyway to consistently get these higher numbers instead of 24 or 25 miles?
     
  2. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    Welcome To PriusChat !!

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    Today's weather in Santa Fe New Mexico:

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    This is your answer....


    Rob43
     
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  3. Steve Burns

    Steve Burns New Member

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    Thanks. I guess the good news is that I should see significant increases in range come spring and summer.
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    Try leaving it plugged in longer
     
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  5. Steve Burns

    Steve Burns New Member

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    I usually leave it plugged in overnight with the timer set to start charging at midnight to take advantage of the lower rates. It's plugged into a 110v so it can't charge any longer?
     
  6. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Move to Southern CA or Hawaii? If you see no seasonal temperature difference, the range will not change provided other factors do not change.
     
  7. CraigM

    CraigM Active Member

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    Along with cold weather, have you checked tire pressure? Keeping your cabin heat at a reasonable 63-65 degrees?
     
  8. Steve Burns

    Steve Burns New Member

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    Yeah I pretty much just use the heated seats. Tire pressure between earlier 27-29 mile range hasn't changed so it's not that. Don't know what is causing the drop except perhaps as has been suggested the colder weather? Except that it was cold here in December and January too?
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    No change in commute or typical driving?
     
  10. Steve Burns

    Steve Burns New Member

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    Nope no change.
     
  11. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    All things being equal, this is still your answer.

    Screenshot 2020-02-15 at 9.27.00 PM - Edited.png

    Rob43
     
  12. OptimalPrime

    OptimalPrime Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it at all.

    I've found that the biggest factors in how EV range at full charge varies, are:

    1. How have I been using EV mode? If I always use up my charge in 10 miles by going 80mph into a headwind, the car is correct to predict that I'm not going to be betting 40 miles out of the next charge. Though a full charge is a full charge, and if I use EV mode the next day only doing 28mph on cruise control on level ground or downhill, and using the engine for all accelerations, all uphills, and all highway driving, it's pretty easy to get 40 miiles on the next charge after getting 10 miles the previous day. The car's prediction takes some sort of rolling average, it never seems to just use data from the last day's driving. Why haven't I bothered figuring out how it calculates it? Because I don't care, and it doesn't affect anything in the real world, at all.

    2. If using it the same way I normally do, on the same route, then how were weather, driving, and driver conditions versus usual? And was it really the same? Usually not. Headwind or tailwind? Rain or shine? Running a lot of heat or AC? Running 2 seat heaters, the headlights, and the stereo? Did I sit reading emails for an hour with the car Ready? Was I in a hurry or having to go at the pace of fast traffic, or was the road empty and I was going at my usual or favorite or optimal pace?

    I will say that I run my tires at 50psi, so daily and seasonal temperature changes don't affect my tire inflation and rolling resistance as much as someone running lower pressures. If you run tire pressures in the 30s, keep close track of your tire pressures as weather and seasons change. Maybe you're just experiencing Deflategate on colder days.

    3. Did I forget I was in EV mode during a portion of the trip I usually drive in HV mode? Nobody's perfect, if manually switching modes. I've gotten distracted, and then heading into a section where I use EV, I found that I had 0 left, versus the expected 15 miles.

    Also, if you're not talking about comparing your normal commute or some other daily routine you repeat exactly, or if you don't manually select modes, or if you go to your destinations in a different order, then just the topography and driving conditions where the car chose to use up the EV miles (such as at the beginning of your trip) can vary very widely. Elevation changes, speed, and traffic, are huge factors.

    ADVICE TO NEWBIES about EV range shown on the computer after a charge: Don''t fixate on this. Whether it says 15 miiles or 35 miles, it is the same amount of charge that you can do the same things with. It doesn't mean that your car, or your driving, is any better or worse than anyone else's with a wildly different number. It doesn't indicate a problem, it indicates how the EV range was used up previously. You don't have to use it the same way all the time, or the way that maximizes EV range, to be still using the car very well and very efficiently.

    It's OK to play the "maximize my EV range" game for a while, you will indeed learn some valuable stuff about how your car works by the time you're putting up big numbers for it on level ground. But once you learn those lessons, I recommend picking a driving style and car-management style that you like for other reasons. Probably it will still put up good EV range numbers for you, but if it doesn't, that really doesn't matter.

    Decide whether you're out to minimize the amount of gas you use on a particular trip, or maximize the miles spent in EV mode, or maximize the time spent in EV mode. Or maybe you prefer to use your battery power only when accelerating from a stop: that leads to terrible EV range numbers, but absolutely is not inefficient, and it's a lot of fun too.

    I personally enjoy pursuing the 1st and 3rd of those, and a bit of the 4th, more than the 2nd. I consider extracting efficiency to be a fun challenge, and driving in EV mode to just be a pleasure. So, my own driving style and preferences lead me to use up my charge on the lowest-power parts of my trip, including low-speed driving and the downhill parts of my trip. I flip-flop a bit on accelerating from a stop in EV mode, but I do a lot less of it than I used to, except that my passengers (and I) always love it, and I also like silently beating fast, noisy cars off the line. Combined, my style buys me a lot of time with the engine off, which I enjoy. It also gets me awfully close to using the minimum amount of gas possible. And admittedly, it also leads to pretty high numbers for EV range, but I totally am not aiming for that or caring about that, except to the extent that 42 miles of EV range at an average of 42mph lasts 4x longer than 18 miles at 72mph.
     
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