My Prius uses the battery more than the Honda hybrid (civic)

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Troy Heagy, May 29, 2014.

  1. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    1,218
    4
    0
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius
    Model:
    One
    For the Honda I was told "they artificially boost the EPA test scores by using the battery hard & shortening its life". Now that I have a Prius I can compare. The Honda battery is only used for a few seconds of assist going up slopes (and regen down slopes). Most of the time it is off & running purely on the engine.

    But I noticed my G3 prius is constantly doing something with the battery even on flat areas. Sometimes it runs several miles at 40 in pure electric.

    Toyota has designed their car to make faaaar more use of the battery than Honda did with their civic.
     
  2. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    3,159
    978
    0
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    Maybe you should sell your Prius and try to buy your Civic back.
     
  3. CdotK

    CdotK Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    376
    46
    0
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    the point to the Prius Hybrid is to reduce emissions. If using the battery more does this then they have done their job.
    If the point was who gets better gas millage on motor only then the civic may win.
    Your comparing two different things.
     
  4. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    15,467
    8,725
    90
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Toyota HSD and Honda IMA are so very different in construction and operation that this sort of comparison has essentially no meaning.
     
  5. miscrms

    miscrms Plug Envious Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    2,076
    520
    5
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    If you think about how the HSD/PSD works, I think it will make sense to you why this is the case. The Prius ICE is not directly coupled to the wheels, and tends to run in discrete rpm steps with the speed of the two MGs used to set the effective gear ratio to the wheels. With the ICE running at a given rpm, its roughly making a fixed amount of power. If the load condition / power requested via the gas pedal is a little higher or lower it uses the MGs to either add a little more load or supplement a little more drive. In almost all circumstances there is a least some electrical current moving around in the system. The job of the HSD HV controller is to take a given power request and determine the most efficient means of delivering that power given current speed, temperatures, battery SOC, etc.

    Its important to note that how often you see arrows moving on the display has very little to do with "how much" or "how hard" the vehicle uses the battery. It conveys direction of current flow, but not magnitude. Using the battery all the time with a few amps flowing in or out is much less stressful on it than less frequent high amp charge/discharge events. To compare this you would need detailed measurements of the behavior of the two vehicles vs. time for a wide variety of operating conditions. Using more battery would also not really be cheating on the EPA test, unless the controller is specifically designed to use net electric drive power output over the length of the typical EPA test cycle that then has to be replenished after the fact. This would equate to boosting the numbers in a way that would not be realizable in real world driving, where eventually net power in and out of the battery must be zero. I believe this is pretty much a moot point now anyway given the new EPA 5-cycle testing procedure.

    To be a meaningful comparison, you would also need to normalize the results to the specs/capabilities of the battery. What is tough on one battery can be pretty pedestrian for another. The Prismatic NimH cells developed by Toyota/Panasonic for the Prius are fairly exceptional in their max safe charge/discharge current relative to their capacity without significantly compromising longevity. A 6.5Ah battery that can routinely accept/supply 100-120 Amps is quite exceptional. That would be referred to as a 15-18C max charge/discharge rate (max recommended safe charge/discharge current divided by Ah capacity). By comparison Li cells commonly available to EV hobbyists tend to have max ratings of 3-5C, with exceptional examples such as the A123 pouch cells are rated at 10C.
     
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    46,026
    32,867
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    We came from about 4 years with a second gen Civic Hybrid. One thing that sticks in my mind is coming back from a test drive in the Prius: driving at low speed up a ramp into the dealer's lot, and noted it was in electric only.

    That was quite a revelation. The Civic will drive electric-only, but only for a few seconds, on level or downgrade roads, with ever so gentle touch on the gas.

    The Civic Hybrid is an interesting car, it has multiple ploys at work to improve fuel consumption: autostop, CVT (a mixed blessing...), dual sparkplugs, dual cam lobes (the lower lift used most of the time, the higher lift only for heavy load conditions), 1.3 liter engine, extensive use of aluminum, and of course it's (overtaxed) hybrid battery.

    The latter is the Achilles heel, unfortunately, coupled with Honda's head-in-the-sand response.
     
    #6 Mendel Leisk, May 29, 2014
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  7. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    1,218
    4
    0
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius
    Model:
    One
    my Civic is not CVT (it's a manual) and it barely uses the battery at all, so I wouldn't call it "overtaxed". A better term would be underutilized.
    I still have my Civic. The Congress has not passed a law (yet) that limits us to one car per person. ;-) I'm learning that Prius people are very clique-ish. Apparently only the "right kind" of people are allowed to own a prius, and I'm not that right kind. (People keep telling me to sell it.) Did I accidentally wander into San Francisco? (Brian Cooley at CNET: "I live in San Francisco. I can't drive a truck or a diesel car, because it will get keyed.")
     
    #7 Troy Heagy, May 29, 2014
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  8. KennyGS

    KennyGS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2014
    1,243
    1,042
    1
    Location:
    Keystone State
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius
    Model:
    Five
    Holy crap! o_O

    I guess maybe I'm "Prius people" to you?
     
  9. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    1,218
    4
    0
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius
    Model:
    One
    I was talking to usnavystgc's comment that I should sell the Prius... clearly he doesn't welcome me into the fold.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    46,026
    32,867
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Troy, yours must be first gen, with the manual transmission.
     
  11. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    1,218
    4
    0
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius
    Model:
    One
    Yes 2003. I wanted the manual shift. The Jetta and Sonata hybrids don't have CVTs, but instead use standard automatics (with gear shifts).

    They both still get high MPG, and the Jetta is ranked as a top 10 cleanest car at 53% (versus 55% for Prius and Civic) (greenercars.org). I think direct gearing makes more sense than a belt drive.
     
    #11 Troy Heagy, May 29, 2014
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  12. Stratman

    Stratman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    334
    73
    0
    Location:
    Lilburn Ga
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    I definetly understand what your saying about prius owners in general. Civic vs. Prius is like PC vs. Mac. I'm a rare breed. I don't fall in love with brands. I have a friend and a bro in law with Civic Hybrids. Both had battery failures and both got about the same mpg. As a standard Civic. Literally the only driving difference was the drop in mpg. The main reason I chose the Prius is the transmission. The first gen Civic Hybrids were failing left and right and the friend that has one has a first gen and it failed.

    BTW. I watch a few vids of the Prius CVT torn down and explained (both a gen 2 and gen 3 side by side). Everything was inline. From the engine crankshaft through both motors and the Planetary gearsets.
     
  13. drysider

    drysider Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    823
    329
    1
    Location:
    Liberty Lake WA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    While this is an often stated concept, it is incorrect. The battery/regeneration/Synergy system control represents about 2/3 of the cars increased efficiency. The regenerated energy is pretty much free, while most of the energy put into the battery from the engine utilizes excess capacity that would otherwise be wasted as low-grade heat.
     
    CaliforniaBear likes this.
  14. Former Member 68813

    Former Member 68813 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    3,524
    976
    8
    Location:
    US
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    YES, yes, and yes. Most prius owners will make this startling discovery sooner or later. Sometimes it's much later.
    Read on the pulse & glide driving.
     
    Troy Heagy likes this.
  15. Former Member 68813

    Former Member 68813 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    3,524
    976
    8
    Location:
    US
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Since you like to use up the "free" energy yourself, let me ask you a question, what's your MPG?
     
    Troy Heagy likes this.
  16. drysider

    drysider Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    823
    329
    1
    Location:
    Liberty Lake WA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    My current mileage is just under 70mpg with 175 miles on my current tank. I had it up to 73mpg but have been plagued with a series of short trips. I do not use neutral or cruise control. Just pulse and glide. The picture was taken a couple of days ago.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. jdk2

    jdk2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    751
    217
    0
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    That's PIP territory :)
     
  18. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    15,467
    8,725
    90
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Both of you are quite new here, so you have missed a considerable amount of history, some of it very contentious, concerning that one member. He has been banned from certain other forums.
     
    usnavystgc and drysider like this.
  19. drysider

    drysider Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    823
    329
    1
    Location:
    Liberty Lake WA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    I am thinking I will get a plug-in when Toyota gets the battery up to 25+ miles. Until then, just a G3 hatchback.
     
  20. Former Member 68813

    Former Member 68813 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    3,524
    976
    8
    Location:
    US
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    I see that you are doing OK with your MPG. But look, my battery is fuller and will last longer.

    [​IMG]
     
Loading...