Is 25 to 40 mile range enough for everyday?

Discussion in 'Prime Fuel Economy & EV Range' started by dbstoo, Nov 27, 2021.

  1. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    I'm wondering how well a short range battery is working for people who have bought PHEVs. To be fair, the question is whether they are working well for their designed purpose. That would exclude discussing commercial uses such as taxi or delivery services. I'm not sure if the cars are designed for use by inter region commuters who travel 100 miles a day.

    So the question is simple. Does the limited range of a prime fulfill your normal daily needs?

    The question came to mind when I ran a LOT of errands on Wednesday. For the first time this year, I ran the battery down without traveling interstate. :) The morning started with 28.5 mile range on the GOM (Guess-0-Meter) and I ran a bunch of errands of 1 to 5 miles each way. I did not plug it in after a 15 mile round trip because at 4 PM the energy cost jumped from 19 cents per kWh to up to 37 cents per kWh. As a result the SOC was rather low as I started out to pick up dinner at the local Sushi place. I knew when I got back into the car that the ICE was going to be called upon before I got home. The ICE fired up when I was only 1/2 mile from home.

    TLDR: So the question is simple. Does the limited range of a prime fulfill your normal daily needs?
     
  2. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

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    Absolutely.
     
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  3. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    I don't know that I would say 25 - 40 miles range should be good enough for everyone, specially these days when that is pretty much all anyone thinks about concerning EV PHEV cars. Another related question is 'What EV range are you hoping Gem5 will have?' That is if Prius Prime still is a PHEV at that time. I know when we were discussing the next Gem PiP 5 or 6 years ago, almost all of us were hoping for at least double what the PiP was getting. And no body seemed to be wishing / hoping for less EV range. Still at Primes 25 EPA charging the pack from empty is typically somewhere around $1 off peek and $3 peek. No body says we have to do a full charge every time we plugin either. So half an hour plugged in at a cost of around $ 0.50 peek rate might have prevented the dreaded ICE warmup. Still it's pretty nit picky of me to go there and pinch some pennies out of the budget and the cars cost of ownership.
    And, not fer nothing, but the Prime kinda offers a lot of options per drive if the driver wants to explore all of them. It might take a few years to find some of them though.
     
    #3 vvillovv, Nov 27, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  4. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Yeah they're not.

    They're aimed squarely at a true average distance driver, and essentially everyone commuting to work near silicon valley is driving above-average miles.

    This doesn't mean you can't enjoy one or save some fuel, it just means that it isn't scaled to give you a fully optimized experience.
     
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  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Yup. Would I have liked more range, similar to the RAV4 Prime? Sure. But those days are rare. I just plug in during the day if I need to go further (flat rate fee here. It only goes to the next tier pricing if your 2-month average exceeds a certain threshold of kWh). I only use the gas engine on days I can’t plug in or don’t go home, or when I go to the States.

    During COVID, I used half a tank that year. Normally, I seem to be averaging 1 tank a year for “around town driving” plus whatever I use on road trips.
     
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  6. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    The PP is perfect for our everyday usage.

    Would it be nice to have double? sure. would I be happy to pay the extra cost? probably not.
    To pay an extra ~$5k for another ~25miles EV...doesnt sound exciting.
    Could it be for someone else, absolutely.
    Lets face the true "cost"

    I think with Primes MSRP is baby bears "just right" vehicle....for my family/usage.

    Overall as I mentioned, perfect.
    We shuttle the kids a few miles to and from school. (horrible life for a standard prius and the warmup routine)
    I also use it to commute to and from work a 2+ days a week, which is also 6 miles a day.

    BUT, when we go out of the PP EV range, we have the BEST hybrid vehicle with the BEST fuel efficiency to drive.

    So best of both worlds. Very happy for the purchase I decided upon, at the best time with all rebates etc.
    Better than a prius, and better than a full EV
    Sitting around 500mpg for the month of November!

    Everyones scenario is different tho aka YMMV
     
  7. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    It really depends on what one expects out of a PHEV. My daily commuting is ~40miles/day. When I first bought my 2017 PP, I was driving daily this distance. For sure, it was a frustrating experience to have the engine come on just a few miles before I get home every day during summertime when the EV range was ~32-35miles. And during wintertime, the EV range was more like 18-22miles. It was just enough to get one way all EV. If my expectation was to have 100% EV mode for everyday commuting, then the PP's range was not enough. I would much rather have PHEV or BEV with over 50miles range.

    But, for me, PP's short EV range was not a problem. For our area, at least until recently, the gas was chea[er than the electricity rate. So, driving more on EV mode meant it would be costing more than driving on a gas engine. It was a good balance between reducing dependence on gasoline and still being able to drive economically. In the end, I have not owned any other car that beat PP's true cost of operation including the purchase price. It has been by far the least expensive car to own and operate. For the 2017PP, after trading in ~3 years later, the price of the car was ~$500 and was getting ~85mpg. It was cheaper even when compared to purchase and use of used gas-only Civic (was ~$12K to purchase and got ~30mpg) or a hybrid Civic (was about ~$15K to purchase and got ~40mpg) or new Gen3 Prius (~$10 after trading-in and got ~45mpg).

    BTW, the situation is now better with a short range of PP. My commuting distance is still ~40miles, but I don't drive every day. I am only going to the office once or twice a week. And, my workplace installed free EV charging stations for employees to use. With the increased gas price now, it is much cheaper to drive exclusively on EV mode, even though the engine still comes on now and then.
     
    #7 Salamander_King, Nov 27, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
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  8. rdgrimes

    rdgrimes Senior Member

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    There's no law against charging your Prime more than once per day.
     
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  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    12 miles works for me, it's so personal. otoh, phev's were not designed to be bev's.
     
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  10. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    My one way commute is 25 miles, so it just meets it:).

    At work they have ChargePoint stations that offer a discounted rate, so I get a full charge there in 2 hours at less than what I pay at home;).

    Several years from now when my son is of driving age and he inherits our 2019 Prime, an Atlis or Rivian will be in my future, so charging up the battery purely at work will save money:whistle:.

    But the Prime is good enough for now(y).
     
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  11. MalachyNG

    MalachyNG Member

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    A full BEV just isn't practical where I live with few charging options and a 120 mile daily commute carpooling with my wife. My work is 40 miles, hers is another 20. I had a gen4 Prius and it was fine for my needs but when I had to replace it this year the Prius Prime made the most sense as far as price and gas mileage. I get about 20 miles on electric even when the temperature is in the teens before the gas engine fires up. Even though I spend most of my time in HV the Prime beats the Prius by 10mpg. I only have to stop for gas once a week instead of twice. That's nice because the nearest gas station from home is 8 miles away. A Rav4 Prime would have been great too but it was at least $10k more than the Prius before dealer markups and the mpg after the ev range was used up wasn't as good. So Prius Prime meets my needs fine.
     
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  12. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    The mention of the first generation PiP around 2012 brings to mind the most frustrating thing about my previous 2002 Prius. The 2002 was designed so that the gas engine came on immediately at the start of every trip to ensure that the ICE was warmed to operating temperatures. Unfortunately, when I was commuting my first 5 minutes of driving was all stop and go. That meant that the ICE was running even though it was not needed for propulsion. The limited range of the PiP would have kept the ICE off until I was on the open road.

    Unfortunately I retired in 2012 and did not have a need for a new car when the old one was doing so well. :)
     
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  13. renoblueprius

    renoblueprius Junior Member

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    I get an average of 33 miles on a charge and it is sufficient for most of my local trips. The only time I need the ICE is on trips to Sacramento or San Francisco. On those trips I use the Charge Mode on the down grade from Donner Summit on I-80 and have sufficient charge to run in EV at my destination. Gas in Reno is $4.29 a gallon and my off peak electricity costs $.05 per KWh.

    I have had my PP for just over a year and am completely satisfied with it
     
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  14. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    Yes it is

    the vast majority of commutes are actually quite short

    it’s the minority of drivers that drive the majority of the annual miles in the us
     
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  15. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Mine is good for about 90% of my local driving. I wouldn't want to never run the ICE, so that's just about perfect.
     
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  16. Ovation

    Ovation Member

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    I drive 1000 miles a week for work (5x200 miles round trip). I can charge for free at work most days (odd day where all the slots with plugs are full notwithstanding). I’ve never considered my Prime as a mostly BEV usage car, so I’m quite happy I’m no longer making that commute with my X-Terra (I consume, on average, 20% of the fuel I used to—pays for the car in gas savings alone). Just depends on expectations, I guess. The price and fuel economy are more important than having a bigger battery (though I wouldn’t say no to a modest increase in range at same price).
     
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  17. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    So you’re saying Toyota is right in that the Prime’s range covers most of the driving for most people.
     
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  18. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    This is certainly not a scientific sampling, but more like a focus group feedback.

    I don't see where this thread would show "Toyota is right". However, it tends to validate the studies that showed that the average person makes short trips. The analysis of those studies suggested that a small battery pack that could be partially charged while at a destination (such as while shopping) would be sufficient to complete the round trip without charging beyond the amount of energy needed to get home. We don't have the infrastructure to do that everywhere, so the bigger battery pack that can handle the total of the average daily travel seems to work OK too.

    I've noticed that there are communities that use glorified golf carts as 'city cars'. These typically have a limited range but are popular anyway. I've talked with many EV enthusiasts over the last 40 years, and most of the DIY BEVs were also limited in range but still used as daily workhorses.
     
  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    more is often better, but it comes at a cost
     
  20. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Years ago, it was a common saying that most accidents happen within 25 miles of home. This was to encourage people to buckle up always and not just on long trips. They could make that claim about most accidents being close to home because most driving is close to home.

    PS. I've put about 35,000 miles on my Prime so far. 11,000 of those miles we're on two trips of over 6,000 and over 4,000 miles. Is, in total, almost a third of my miles are long trips but in normal driving, it's right about 90% in battery range.
     
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