I discovered a new benefit for L2 charging at home

Discussion in 'Prime Plug-in Charging' started by Tha_Ape, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Tha_Ape

    Tha_Ape Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2019
    237
    142
    0
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    I've only had the car since March and even though I've always use scheduled charging during the week, I never really used pre-conditioning because my garage kept the car at a nice temp and I like driving with the windows down whenever possible (even in high heat).

    However, now that it's cold, I started using the scheduled charging with pre-conditioning. I used to use Level 1 to charge overnight, no need to rush it, but I found with pre-conditioning, it wouldnt be able to keep up and I would lose some range before I left.

    I decided to try L2 scheduled charging with pre-conditioning and I love it! The car is warm and at 100% charge when I leave in the morning. I'm a glutton for punishment, so I dont turn on the heat on the way to work (~25min drive). I dont think I could bear it without having the car pre-heated though. I'm going to try cranking the heat up to 80deg tonight and see if the L2 can keep up in the morning.
     
    jerrymildred and vvillovv like this.
  2. Mark57

    Mark57 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    2,599
    2,146
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    It works great. I use L1 charging with preconditioning with the schedule set to be complete by a certain departure time. It hasn't failed me yet. We recently had some mornings that were a nice balmy 14° and I didn't use the heater. It works very nicely if you wear a coat.;)

    I do the same thing in the summer when the night temp lows are still in the high 80's.
     
    vvillovv likes this.
  3. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    5,159
    3,893
    0
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    Did your preconditioning (i.e. heat pump) work at that low ambient temperature, or maybe your car was in a warmer garage. I tried one winter when the ambient temp was 4-6F, but preconditioning (using remote A/C while the car is still plugged in) did not warm-up the cabin temperature at all after repeated remote A/C for 3-4 times. I gave up on preconditioning and remote A/C after that attempt. I really don't need the car to be warmed up if the temp is above 14F, but if it's colder than 14F I wish to be a bit warmer when I first get in the car.
     
  4. Mark57

    Mark57 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    2,599
    2,146
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    It was in a nice toasty (in comparison) garage. The garage temp had gone down to the 40's inside.
     
    Salamander_King likes this.
  5. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    5,159
    3,893
    0
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    That explains. (y) For a car parked outside, when I really want the preconditioning, it does not work.:cry::cry::cry:
     
  6. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    590
    349
    0
    Location:
    Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    The heat pump doesn't work below about 13 F degrees. I've seen it keep working down to 12, but I turned it off to keep the engine from having to start.

    On a snowy morning it will usually take 3 or more pre-conditioning cycles to melt the snow or frost on the windshield enough to make it easy to brush off. Of course it depends a lot on the temperature.

    Also, I think you have to set the temperature and vent setting to what you want when you park the night before. It does still work if the fan is set to Off when you park.
     
  7. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    11,737
    4,477
    57
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    How long does it take with an old-school guzzler ?
     
  8. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    590
    349
    0
    Location:
    Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    Maybe 10 minutes? But I don't have remote start, so I have to go outside.
     
  9. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    5,159
    3,893
    0
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    Yeah, that was my first winter with PRIME. I have not used the pre-conditioning or remote A/C every since. I contemplated, installing a remote engine start to pre-warm in those frigid cold days, then discovered that remote engine start would not be able to start ICE if the car is plugged. That defeat the purpose of having a remote if I have to go outside to unplug the car first.:(:(:(
     
  10. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    590
    349
    0
    Location:
    Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    You could try a block heater. That would pre-heat the engine a bit, and if it's below 13F the engine is probably coming on anyway. Although one 9 degree morning I drove to work with the heat off in EV mode just to see if I could. It worked since the battery was pre-heated from being plugged in. Needless to say the drive was quite chilly.

    If you add a block heater you'll want to plug it into a separate circuit, limit your charging current to 8A, or come up with a creative combination of wall timers so that both things don't run at the same time.

    Another option would be to add an electric interior heater and plug that into another circuit like you would with a block heater. You could set that to run for 30-60 minutes before you plan to leave. For example check out the Zerostart 2600900. I have one that I will probably never use, so I'll sell it to anyone here if you're interested.

    I wish the seat heaters and rear defroster could be set to come on with pre-conditioning or remote AC.

    My ideal setup would be one block heater plug that powers:
    • Engine block heater (400W)
    • Interior electric heater (900W)
    • 12V battery charger (<100W)
    • Relay to activate seat heater and any other 12V accessories
    It doesn't usually get cold enough here to justify adding all that, and my garage only has one circuit that I use for charging.
     
  11. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    40,315
    11,834
    41
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    I would use an EBH if you require the engine to run for heat. This way, the engine is pre-warmed and can provide heat sooner. It also helps reduce the mpg hit (your electricity cost may be less than the cost of fuel to run the engine rich).
     
  12. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    5,159
    3,893
    0
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    Yap, thought about EBH. But as mentioned, having a separate circuit to plug in is the problem. I am currently using only the circuit outside of the house on 15A breaker for charging. This is the circuit that feeds the garage. I have a freezer plugged in on this circuit and two garage door openers, a few lights for outside and inside of the garage. I really do not have a headroom to use EBH or any kind of heater inside of the car. Putting another circuit will require upgrading the main panel and doing some digging under the blacktop. The cost is too much for my liking.

    Yeah, that's the thing. Our electricity is high enough it is very likely it's cheaper to buy a bit more gas than trying to heat my car by electric heater.
     
  13. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    590
    349
    0
    Location:
    Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    It might be worth it for comfort or to save time clearing the windshield. Here we have cheap electricity ($0.11/kwh), but even then it wasn't worth running a block heater for my SUV to save gas.
     
  14. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    5,159
    3,893
    0
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    Am planning to put solar pannes on the roof sometime in near future. When I do, I have to upgrade the main panel and do major electrical work on the garage, for I am using both garage roof and main house roof. But I am also hoping to do addition/remodeling to the house before doing the solar panel. All in all, I don't want to duplicate any of the electric subcontract works needed to accommodate those projects. Until then, I will suffer a cold car.
     
Loading...