Possible Future Owner, Please Help Me Decide

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Fuel Economy' started by renpriv, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. renpriv

    renpriv New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    52
    1
    0
    Location:
    Southampton UK
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Hi Everyone, this is my first post after reading many from this excellent forum. Sorry if I am asking something that has been asked many times before, but I couldn't find a post that fitted with my journey.

    I am considering a Prius as my next car and I was pretty sure it would meet my needs as far as economy goes, but after reading this post and others I am not so sure :(

    My daily commute is 8 miles each way where the maximum speed limit of the fastest road is 40 MPH, but due to the amount of congestion we have here in the UK I am lucky if I can get to 40 MPH for more that about 1/4 of a mile.

    I would say that about 70-80% of my journey is in stop start nose to tail traffic. I currently drive a Renualt Megane, which I don't think you have in the US and I get about 30-32 MPG from its 1.6 litre engine with Automatic transmission. On a good motorway (freeway) run I can get 40 MPG.

    How long does it take to get the battery bar graph to maximum in the morning and does it loose most of its charge overnight or have I been misinformed. I was thinking that as I can travel about 3 miles before I get to the heavy traffic, which I spend most of my time at speeds under 28 MPH that I would be able to take maximum advantage of running of battery power, am I again wrong on this. How far can you travel with the battery pack at full capacity?

    The thing is in the UK the Prius T-Spirit (top model - T-3, T-4, T-Spirit) is nearly £20,000, so I am not sure now if I am going to get the kind of consumption that I would hope for. :(

    I drove a Prius at the weekend and fell in love and was amazed at how smooth the transistion was from electric to petrol power :)

    What do you think.

    Thanks in advance :)

    PS I have read the excellent MPG post :)
     
  2. tomdeimos

    tomdeimos New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    995
    2
    0
    Location:
    Lexington, MA
    My commute is 10 miles each way per day. And I get stuck in traffic sometimes going 0 to 23 mph.
    My average mpg is right around 50 for my lifetime average. I can mostly get over 55 mpg in summer.

    There are two catches though in comparing to your needs:

    1 in winter cold weather I prewarm with a block heater. Also I add insulation to engine compartement as needed so it gets warm enough when driving slow.

    2 I get the traffic jams at night mostly going home. Driving too slow in morning before car is warm could be bad.
    Engine won't turn off till it is warmed up.

    I'm using us gallons, so if you get 30-32 with your current Renault in imperial gallons, seems like you should see a good improvement.
     
  3. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    4,067
    679
    0
    Location:
    Eastern Oregon
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    Yes I think it would work for you. As Tom said mileage will be better than the Renault but how much better kind of depends on you and your driving style. The HV battery should have about the same charge on it next morning as when you parked the car. People have left the car parked for a couple of months with no problems.

    The SOC (state of charge) on the HV battery isn't much of a factor anyway. Think of the battery as a place to put extra energy so you won't have to throw it away, It would be better not to build up the extra energy to start with but sometimes it can't be helped.
     
  4. Lil Mo

    Lil Mo New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    171
    0
    0
    The battery does not lose much charge overnight. Do not worry about that.

    Good luck. :)
     
  5. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    10,339
    12
    0
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    You'd also be able to drive in London without paying the special tax.
     
  6. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    39,817
    11,343
    40
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    Yep. No congestion charge (£8 now?) for Prius owners.

    Also, you might have to change some things. For example, given that you have heavy traffic, you will see the battery "drain" daily, at which point in time, the engine will kick in to charge the battery. It's because of this, you may not see the type of mileage that we see. It's rated at 65mpg I believe but you'll probably see 56mpg (~5 L/100km). The best type of roads are B roads where you can coast/glide with the engine off and no battery power.
     
  7. renpriv

    renpriv New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    52
    1
    0
    Location:
    Southampton UK
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tideland Prius @ Jul 24 2006, 11:15 PM) [snapback]291818[/snapback]</div>
    Thank you all VERY much for your encouraging replies :)

    Looks like the Prius is going to work ok for me.

    I am a really sedate driver, always have been, and tend to feather the throttle (Gas B) ) peddle a lot, so I think I will be able to do quite a bit of coasting. I tend to read the road ahead quite a lot and usually where possible let the car slow naturally and use the brakes to bring the car to a final halt :)

    I am so glad of you replies. I thought from reading some of the other posts that I may only get mid to high thirties, but it seems I should get much better :D

    From what I can see from posts it would seem that you have many variations of options on the Prius. We just have 3 models - T-3, T-4 & T-Spirit and the only factory options are Metallic Paint, Leather Upholstery and Intelligent Parking Assist.

    Thanks again everyone :)




    I worked out that to break even with cost of the Prius T-Spirt with metallic paint, which costs £20,600 it would take me about 12 years with the difference in mileage and cost of vehicle, but I am not bothered about that, just as long as I get good MPG :D
     
  8. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    39,817
    11,343
    40
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    In Canada, we only get 3 models - base, Pkg "B" and Pkg "C" which is similar but not packaged exactly the way you have it.

    I'm not sure if you have a £1,000 incentive (or is that gone or for company use or whatnot). Check that with your local dealer. You can probably get a lower rate because of the engine immobiliser and alarm system.

    The mpg you'll get will depend on topography, climate, driving style and traffic. You'll find yourself trying new routes and finding the best route to work and back home to maximise efficiency. I know I have. There's a particular stretch of road that'll oh so slightly downhill and is 1km or so long that'll allow me to glide. I'll always use this road if I can rather than use the main thoroughway home.
     
  9. Bearcatzzz

    Bearcatzzz Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    97
    0
    0
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(renpriv @ Jul 25 2006, 10:06 AM) [snapback]292029[/snapback]</div>

    You might see if you can rent one for a week. I rented one for 2 weeks to test in my normal driving situations. Worked great. It was a little expensive ($600 US), but I thought it was cheaper than buying and finding I didn't like it.
     
  10. ...your current car sounds like it des pretty well with fuel eco, and i can undersand your position, because there are instances where the prius doesn't get that good fuel eco in stop and go, especially if your battery is pretty low, the car will start the engine for you to move a meter and then shut down and not charge the batt... its really annoying and puts alot of wear on the engine i think.

    But there are 2 sides to every story. there have been times i have been driving downtown areas where the speed limit is only like 25 and its kinda stop go from light to light, and get 80 mpg for 20 minutes and then cruise on the interstate and get 45 mpg...

    a prius is a wise investment and i think you'd be happy with one, most people are...
     
  11. Jeannie

    Jeannie Proud Prius Granny

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    1,414
    2
    0
    Location:
    Central New Jersey
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    I've had my Prius since mid-April - my commute is similar to yours, 5-6 miles and 15-20 minutes. I have about 2700 miles on my car, and am averaging 47-48 miles/gallon, which is a LOT better than I'd get with my old car. I've only taken one 'long' trip, 500 miles round trip, 1 50 mile round trip and perhaps 6 trips that were in the 12 - 14 mile range, so almost ALL of my history is from the commuting.

    From other things I've read here, this is typical MPGs for short trips - it takes between 5 and 10 minutes for the car to warm the engine and catalytic converter up, so the consumption screen usually shows between 25 and 35 MPG in the first 5 minute bar, and somewhere between 35 - 55 in the second 5 minute bar, then more like 75 MPG in the third one, and around 50 in the fourth one (since the last bit of my trip is uphill).

    Also from what I've read I should probably expect my winter mileage to be in the 38-42 MPG range.
     
  12. renpriv

    renpriv New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    52
    1
    0
    Location:
    Southampton UK
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Jeannie @ Jul 26 2006, 12:37 PM) [snapback]292647[/snapback]</div>
    Wow, this is a really great forum and once again, thank you for your great replies.

    I did think about renting one for a couple of weeks, but I couldn't find anyone that did it. I suppose I could try a Toyota dealer - if they want a sale then maybe they will help out.

    We used to have a "Powershift" grant of £1,000 from the Government to encourage people to buy 'Green' cars, but this has now been stopped :angry: It is really difficult to get any deals on the Prius and all the car brokers that I have tried can't get them, so I get Toyota keep a pretty tight grip on the Prius.

    I guess now that I know the battery doesn't loose its charge over night, hopefully it won't take too long to top it back up and by the time I get to my congestion I should be able to use the battery :)

    Am I right in undestanding that if the battery has a decent charge level that in stop-start traffic below 28 MPH the car should run on battery and then if the charge drops too much or I go above 28 MPH the engine cuts back in?

    Thank you :)
     
  13. Ichabod

    Ichabod Artist In Residence

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    1,790
    13
    0
    Location:
    Newton, MA
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Probably the best thing about Prius is that even though it tells you things like the charge level on the hybrid battery and energy flow and MPG in real-time, you don't need to look at that stuff or think about it when you drive. The system is designed to charge the battery if it gets too low, use electric motors when you go slow, kick in some power when you need it, and all without a second though from the driver.

    Having the MFD just allows people to obsess over milking every bit of economy from their gasoline ("petrol" for you, he he). Which is a good thing, because some of those same people (i.e. me) would obsess over less productive things, like shaving one minute off their commute at the expense of piss-poor fuel economy.
     
  14. SomervillePrius

    SomervillePrius New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    944
    3
    0
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    The prius can run on battery but it's a hybrid and not an electric car. To have it stay in pure EV mode you need to be careful when giving gas or the ICE will kick-in. In stop and go traffic it's quite easy to have it gor for EV only for quite some distance but that requires driving slowly and coastin as much as you can.

    Oh! and if you run the AC it will over time drain the battery a lot quicker.
     
  15. renpriv

    renpriv New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    52
    1
    0
    Location:
    Southampton UK
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(SomervillePrius @ Jul 26 2006, 02:01 PM) [snapback]292698[/snapback]</div>
    I thought you might be interested in this link

    Plug in Prius

    It about a conversion that a compnay called Amberjac are doing to cars in the UK. The conversion only takes 3 hours, but there is a price :p
     
  16. Bearcatzzz

    Bearcatzzz Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    97
    0
    0
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(renpriv @ Jul 26 2006, 11:04 AM) [snapback]292663[/snapback]</div>
     
Loading...