My first trip through the mountains

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Lee Jay, Jan 28, 2018.

  1. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    I took my first trip in my Prime into the Rocky Mountains. This and the return trip (right to left on the graph):

    upload_2018-1-28_16-31-14.png

    The spike at the 60 mile mark isn't real. It's the Eisenhower tunnel so we actually went through the mountain (the spike) rather than over it.

    The car performed amazingly.

    First, it had no problems at all maintaining charge in Hv mode on 7% grades at 65mph. My 2004 wouldn't do that, rather it would drain the battery completely. Not the Prime. Start at 50%, end at 50%.

    Second, descending that huge hill from 63-70 on the way there (7% at 60mph the entire way) resulted in a gain of 30% on the battery. It looked like the maximum sustainable regeneration level was around 15kW, give or take a bit. It was dumping the rest into engine braking.

    Third, at the destination, we left the car outside all day starting at 28°F and ending at 11°F well after dark. When we got in, the battery was at 74% so I decided to put the car in charge mode to generate as much heat as possible by running the engine harder than idle. We had been outside in the cold for a couple of hours and wanted the heat. I got heat within the 60 seconds it took to get out of the parking lot, lots of heat within the three blocks it took to get to the highway, and a comfortable car within 3 miles - from 11°F! This was max everything - charge mode, no Eco mode or S-Flow on the HVAC, set-point at 74°F

    On the way back as an experiment, I tried to climb that really steep slope between about 70 and 63 miles in Ev mode. The car went up the hill easily at about 3/4 throttle for about 30% of the battery (75% to 45%). Then it tripped into running the engine. This was on a warm engine because of what I said above (charge mode). I expected it to trip earlier than that because that's a major climb, but it zipped up effortlessly in both Ev and after tripping into engine running mode (still in Ev).

    I left it the car in Ev from the top of the tunnel all the way home (that's from about the 63 mile mark back to the 0 mark). It used the engine on a few spots of big decent and on Floyd hill (30 mile mark) and the couple of the steep hills after. But I made it home easily all Ev aside from that. 63 miles starting from about 45%.

    I got home at 25%, without charging along the way. So, using 3/4 of one battery, a 162 mile trip resulted in 65.3mpg. Can't complain about that!
     
    Sarge, Pdog808, breakfast and 11 others like this.
  2. Mark McIntyre

    Mark McIntyre Junior Member

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    Very similar to my fall trip report. Mountain Driving Trip Report 66.8 mpg | PriusChat

    If one takes the time to think about maximizing the charge mode and maximizing the fun of driving up hill in EV mode this is a GREAT car to drive in the mountains.
     
  3. Skylis A

    Skylis A Senior Member

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    This is why I am once again more content to have a hybrid with a bigger battery than the regular Prius.
     
  4. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    I drove that highway one but not in my Prius, that is some mountain.
    Pikes peak would be another challenge.
    Electric cars are ideal for the Pikes Peak race because they don't suffer altitude sickness. lol
     
  5. Pdog808

    Pdog808 Active Member

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    Were you swapping into and out of EV Auto mode?
     
  6. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    I've never had my car in EV Auto mode.
     
  7. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    I've tested it but can't find any case where it makes sense:
    • +90% EV - around town
    • ~9% HV - when driving out of town
    • <1% CHARGE - when low gas light comes on or I plan to leave later and want to use EV to reach cruise speed and then switch to HV
    Bob Wilson
     
  8. Pdog808

    Pdog808 Active Member

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    I've never run in EV auto mode myself either. Except for the one time I hit the button by accident ;)
     
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