Prius Winter Driving in Mongolia

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Old Bear, Dec 20, 2018.

  1. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2017
    566
    870
    19
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    The Economist magazine just ran a short article about the popularity of the Prius in the frigid winters of Mongolia.

    See: Hybrid Heaven: Everyone in Mongolia drives a Prius

    Apparently, Mongolia acquires used Prius vehicles from Japan where Japanese inspection requirements encourage owners to trade-in their cars every three years. These vehicle then are sold abroad. In 2017 Japan exported 30,000 hybrid vehicles to Mongolia.

    The story discusses the appeal of the Prius' fuel economy etc., but the most surprising observation is this:

    But the clincher is the Prius’s reliability. Ulaanbaatar may be the chilliest capital in the world. On a winter morning drivers must sometimes start their cars in temperatures below -30°C (-22°F). Cars that run on petrol and diesel tend to sputter and die at such temperatures. The Prius can use its battery to power its electrical engine until the car warms up enough for the petrol engine to run smoothly—saving many a Mongolian from freezing frustration.

    There is no mention of the Prime, but Mongolia does generate its own electricity from locally mined coal -- presumably less expensive than gasoline which must be imported.

    It does put winter driving into perspective and gives one greater appreciation of having electric drive even with limited EV range on these cold winter days.
     
  2. TheChip

    TheChip Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2017
    346
    1,052
    0
    Location:
    Misissippi
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    It's not limited to the will yet driving capability of the Prius.

    I did the Mongol Rally in 2016, and driving through Mongolia I saw more than one Prius fording three foot deep streans, rolling through deep mud and tackling all sorts of insane terrain. There were more than a few cars getting bogged down and stuck, but we didn't see a single Prius struggle.

    It's the entire reason I bought one. If a car can take that punishment and not even flinch, it's good enough for me.
     
    SFO and reallyreal like this.
  3. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    647
    386
    0
    Location:
    Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    The Prime owner's manual says something about how in temperatures below -20F the vehicle might be damaged, and below -40 the vehicle will probably be damaged. I suspect the Lithium battery is not ideal for extremely cold places.

    Usable temperature range :
    ●Do not charge if the outside temperature is -22F (-30C) or below, as it is likely that charging will take longer, and equipment related to charging will be damaged.
    ●Do not leave the vehicle or the charging cable in areas where the outside temperature is lower than -40F (-40C). The vehicle or charging cable will probably be damaged.


    The hybrid system will not start even though the correct starting procedure is being followed:
    ●There is a possibility that the temperature of the hybrid battery (traction battery) is extremely low (approximately below -22°F [-30°C]).


    ●When the hybrid battery (traction battery) is extremely cold (below approximately -22°F [-30°C]) under the influence of the outside temperature, it may not be possible to start the hybrid system. In this case, try to start the hybrid system again after the temperature of the hybrid battery increases due to the outside temperature increase etc.
     
  4. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    5,799
    4,524
    0
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius Prime
    Model:
    LE
    Just curious. Is there a similar warning for regular Prius about low temp operation? I think the inherent danger of damaging PRIME under extremely low temperature is for CHARGING only. After all, Li-ion battery is being used in space on board the Mobile Surface Asteroid Scout where the temp can be near absolute zero –273.15°C or –459.67°F.
     
  5. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    14,927
    6,718
    0
    Location:
    eastern Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    When at 32f/0c, a typical Li-ion battery can be easily damaged if charged. That is why most plug ins have some type of heating system to get the battery above that temperature. Those that don't, like the PiP, will trickle charge until the process self heats the battery enough. The extreme temps warned about in the Prime's manual are when its battery heating system is simply overcomed by the cold.

    Then Li-ion simply is negatively impacted in terms of performance when cold. More so than other chemistries. Which is Toyota's stated reason for using NiMH only in AWD Prii.

    There are Li-ion batteries than work better in cold, but they come at a higher cost.
     
    Salamander_King likes this.
  6. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    40,712
    12,278
    41
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
  7. TheChip

    TheChip Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2017
    346
    1,052
    0
    Location:
    Misissippi
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Here's what I mean when I say the Prius is an awesome car.

    Part one, seeing the Land Cruisers in front of us sinking past their rear bumper in deep mud. We had to stop and wait for another car to drive through and try to follow their line. If we got stuck, we may have been out of luck until it dried out. In the meantime our Mongolian visas were ticking away days.



    After waiting for a while and watching some people stuck in mud in the distance, this came through.

     
    benagi likes this.
Loading...