Prius v new owner best mpg tips - EV only or pump and glide?

Discussion in 'Prius v Fuel Economy' started by Mark Finlay, May 22, 2013.

  1. Mark Finlay

    Mark Finlay Junior Member

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    New Prius owner here - two weeks old. Love this car and relearning how to drive for max MPG. See my avatar for pic....

    I do have a question. Is it best to drive in EV mode as much as possible rather than invoke the gas motor to pump and glide at lower speeds? I notice the MPG goes up, but then there is the penalty that the electric battery needs to be charged more which will invoke the gas motor to charge if too low. For instance, on my way to work for a couple of blocks all the way into my parking structure, it/s possible for me to drive in EV mode only. Otherwise I'd be pumping and gliding along the same stretch.
     
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  2. Jack Cannon

    Jack Cannon Junior Member

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    Mark: I don't think about staying in a "Mode" while driving my Prius v five. I get 44.6 mpg on regular gas (87 Octane) by observing how often I can take my foot "off" of the gas. When I get up to speed (normally 40 mph on most streets), I release pressure on the gas pedal and the mpg indicator will normally read near 99.9. Lightly replacing your foot on the pedal seems to keep you near 99.9 and does much to improve your gas mileage. This becomes a second nature habit after awhile, but be careful when trying this method out as you can devote too much time on saving gas instead of driving safely.

    My gas mileage has been above the 42 mpg estimate even though I have used air conditioning and have done some freeway driving. No big hills yet, but that will come later. I purchased my 2012 in November, 2012. Also, don't worry about the battery. It will recharge itself every time you brake in forward motion. This doesn't happen while backing up--at least not in my wagon.

    Take care,

    Jack
     
  3. mcmoyer

    mcmoyer Junior Member

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    My rule of thumb is to try to use EV mode (the button) when possible. I go to EV mode if I'm stuck in traffic, in the parking garage, etc. I've also been known to turn off the a/c and roll the windows down if the traffic is horrendous ;)

    I have a 5 mile stretch of 40mph backroads from my house to the freeway. On that stretch, I get to 40mph quickly and then try to maintain electric mode. I've never been a big fan of pulse and glide since it usually gets the people behind you pretty upset.
     
  4. skwcrj

    skwcrj Member

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    Just to add to what Marlon said, the v doesn't pulse and glide very well because of the extra weight. It seems to take more gas than you save to arrest the deceleration after the glide. However, it does glide nicely with most descending grades.

    Energy exchange and conservation is a tricky game. You can increase your average mpg by driving in EV but eventually you will deplete the battery. Once the engine starts to recharge the battery, you tend to lose most (if not) all gains and maybe more. I try to balance EV and ICE driving by: a) not trying to EV going uphill (rapid energy loss) and b) maximizing EV during descending grades while trying to regen as much as possible.

    Red traffic lights are bad. Anticipate and slow down (without becoming "that" anoying driver) and hope to not have to stop. If you do have to stop, TRY to not accelerate in the PWR band. But, if you have to get into the PWR band then you have to.

    During the first couple of minutes after a cold start, I try to keep the accelerator just above the middle line to keep the engine running. I do this to help the engine reach normal operating temperature sooner than later.

    In short city driving, sometimes is best to "just drive it" rather than try to manage the EV driving. Let the car manage itself.

    Wayne Gerdes is the best known hypermiler and has a few Youtube videos. I disagree with some of his extreme slow driving techniques but the general concepts are very helpful.

    Here's a few videos:



    This next one was shot at a Prius clinic. Warning: The video is one hour long but it does have some pretty good info.

     
  5. Mark Finlay

    Mark Finlay Junior Member

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    thanks for the comments and feedback. The Wayne Gerdes videos are definitely helpful. I did try and experiment with putting the car in neutral going down hill. Also found the rapid warmup technique by placing foot on the brake and foot on accelerator until gas motor kicked in to warm up and interesting technique.

    I'm not sure yet if going downhill in N is making more mpg then in D with foot off the gas. I guess I'll keep experimenting. All I know is that my every car trip I take now seems to be a game to see how much I can improve my mpg from the last. Each drive to work is a quest to better the previous day's mpg.

    And, I already had two women drivers honk at me for using some of Wayne's MPG tips today. It's amazing how this car has change my whole driving technique.
     
  6. jhinsc

    jhinsc Senior Member

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    The rapid warmup technique is not really that useful because I believe Wayne resets the trip meter after the warmup is completed, negating the effect of fuel used for the warmup. Maybe I'm wrong, but it doesn't make sense to run the ICE while the car is not moving since it lowers your mileage.

    I tried shifting to neutral while "gliding" or going downhill and it's not for me. First there is no regen happening when you use the brakes while in neutral, and then if you need to accelerate or maneuver quickly using the throttle, your response time is reduced.

    I applaud Wayne's tips on efficient driving techniques but some of them are not for real world driving, and even his website posts a "CYA" statement that basically states that you do them at your risk. Having other drivers honking at your means you're either driving too slow for the current road conditions, or you're doing something that is difficult for other drivers to predict what your "next move" will be.
     
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  7. woppa

    woppa Junior Member

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    He mentions that the drivers are going to use their feet to get the same effect but hes just forcing the effect by using neutral. I need to know how this is done because I'd rather not use neutral while driving if its not necessary.
     
  8. skwcrj

    skwcrj Member

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    Agreed. Not to mention the possibility of over-reving the MG's when you exceed 45 mph in neutral since the ICE will not start.
     
  9. jhinsc

    jhinsc Senior Member

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    You can do essentially the same thing by pressing slightly on the gas pedal so you're not seeing a white bar (regen) or a green bar (battery power). I will say that compared to my previous 2010 Prius IV, it's much harder to do in the Prius v. The v's gas pedal is more sensitive than in the liftback. It's a bit easier to do in Eco vs Normal or Power mode.
     
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  10. skwcrj

    skwcrj Member

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    I only drive in ECO mode.

    Here's what I think: The energy display is more like an ammeter. In the Gen III, the threshold to show current flow (lines) was probably set higher than the 'v'. The 'v' energy page is able to sense smaller currents approaching noise(?) but you probably are right at the same sweet spot. What do you think?

    I'll try to pay attention to the Amps Xgauge next time.
     
  11. woppa

    woppa Junior Member

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    Thanks for the tip jhinsc.
     
  12. PruisAz

    PruisAz Member

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    I choose 40-45mph roadways instead of the freeway when possible. Glide toward stoplights when possible, trying to time stoplights so you don't come to a complete stop. Using cruise even on the roadways works for me, plus I use cruise past 25mph to accelerate gradually to a preset speed @45mph. For me to get max mileage, running the vehicle primarily in EV mode for the final 2-3 miles before I get on the freeway insures I exhaust the traction battery, only to be recharged on the freeway. If you like to drive in EV mode, you will need to manage it because it will work against you

    I drive a Gen III and get 58-65MPG on the HSI when I drive to work every day. I drive speed limit. Jacking the tires the 42/40 is a big help as I could always tell the tires are loosing pressure after a couple of weeks. I always keep the windows shut with the a/c on. Its not going to impact your mileage much based on my experience.
     
  13. Fauxknight

    Fauxknight Active Member

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    He was supposedly recharging the battery, but it may have also been to pre-warm the ICE. Either way he reset the meter, thus negating the driver being able to notice the gas he just guzzled. Maybe he just really hates to ever consider a car at 2 bars, or, imho, he was trying to pull one over on the driver by making that next trip's numbers seem better than they should have been. The gas was still used, it doesn't magically not count just because you reset the trip meter.

    Correct on the regen braking, to stay efficient you need to switch back to drive before you start braking.


    Also true, gotta keep an eye out for potential need to accelerate and be ready to switch back to drive quick. At least braking can be done while in neutral, just without any regenerative going on.

    The other thing I've noticed with neutral on my C is that if I change to neutral before it switches to EV mode then the ICE idles through the whole glide. So if I"m going to P&G in neutral I have to pulse in drive mode, let up on the pedal, wait for EV mode, then switch to neutral for gliding...and of course back to drive to slow down or stop to take advantage of the regenerative braking.

    All those things considered I found it easier to coast while in drive (depressing the pedal just enough to cancel the regenerative braking), but I still use neutral for slow long downhill glides.
     
  14. Jzerocsk

    Jzerocsk Member

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    I figure anything is better than 0MPG. In warmer weather, you can hit the EV button as soon as you start it up, which allows me to get my MP3 player going and back out of my driveway without the ICE kicking on.

    Personally all I do is: Favor EV when possible (that is, if I am slower than 45MPH and can maintain my speed using just the EV section of the HSI, I do so), and try to "drive with load" a little bit on hills. I keep up with the flow of traffic at all times, set the climate control to whatever keeps me comfortable, etc. I got 42MPG at worst in the winter and up to 51MPG in the spring when it got warm. Now I've got my roof rack on until October so I'll probably drop back into the mid 40s, but considering the minimal effort I'm putting in yet still "beating" the EPA rating I'm perfectly happy with the results.
     
  15. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Pump and Glide? Isn't that a sex technique?


    :D
     
  16. sURFNmADNESS

    sURFNmADNESS Prii Family

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    I find using the cruise control keeps me from accelerating going down hills like others around me and seems to charge the battery pack at a faster rate than going down hill without it on.
     
  17. woppa

    woppa Junior Member

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    But wouldn't you want to accelerate down the hill?
     
  18. sURFNmADNESS

    sURFNmADNESS Prii Family

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    With the cruise control turned on, the car tries to remain at the same speed going down hill. It instead seems to put more into charging the battery pack.
     
  19. Mark Finlay

    Mark Finlay Junior Member

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    Yes, I'm with woppa...seems like you'd want to decelerate or at least keep your foot off the gas or on one bar above electric when going downhill?
     
  20. Fauxknight

    Fauxknight Active Member

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    Cruise can charge the battery while going downhill, but it does so by engine braking and braking to charge the battery is wasted energy vs simply coasting. Excessive speed or a slow or stop at the bottom of the hill can make it necessary to brake going downhill, but any braking done ever, is a net loss of energy.
     
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