Questions concerning PHEV modification, particularly Enginer

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by Unresolved_ERR, Jun 17, 2021.

  1. Unresolved_ERR

    Unresolved_ERR Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
    37
    8
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Hello all,

    I have a 2010 Prius. I bought it used just about a year ago now. At the time, I did not know about plug-in hybrids (but that said, any official plug-in hybrid was out of my price range anyways).

    I am very much fascinated with the idea plug-in hybrids, a careful balance achieving the best of both EV and gasoline. That said -

    I have a variety of questions concerning these conversion kits.

    First off, most of these are aimed at Enginer because they're the only PHEV mod I can find with a still-functioning site (that looks like it hasn't been updated since 2011). If anybody knows any other PHEV mod service businesses that are still running, and have mods for Gen 3, it would be great to know, thank you. Despite the fact their site seems to have not been updated, I am running under the assumption that they're still in business.

    1), a number of older threads (from 2011-2013) talk about the lack of reliability in Enginer, and the consistency of parts failing; I was wondering if anyone in modern day, with a newer Enginer system, could attest to this. I would like if the system did not need service every month, although I understand it would be reasonable to need it serviced every 6 months - 1 year. I am not keen on spending thousands of dollars and then having headache after headache of new parts, even if they are free due to warranty.

    2) As someone who does not know much more than the typical layman about batteries (as much as I am willing to learn, I am not eager to have to learn), will I need any amount of electrical knowledge even if I pay for the install?

    3) Anyone know how the EV for their Gen 3 conversion works? I basically would just like to have something similar to the EV of the original Prius Plug-in, the 80 HP motor working on its own, but I'm ok with it kicking out of EV mode for too much pedal pressure. They explicitly state on their website that their system is designed to simply get very high mileage (which, let's be honest, with how small the Prius plug-in and Prime's batteries are, they have the same goal, even if the Prime has a proper EV mode).
    Once I have the finances, my idea would be to purchase an 8 kWh pack and keep it in EV mode as much as possible - make the engine go on vacation. I understand there are a variety of conditions that could make that difficult or impossible, but that would be my goal.

    4), I would imagine that the top speed of that 80 HP motor would be similar to original Prius plug-in (62 MPH, if I'm not mistaken), and I just wanted to confirm if that's possible in EV with a mod kit like Enginer.

    Thank you for any response.
     
  2. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    15,421
    8,692
    90
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Is Enginer even a going concern anymore? It looks like it was acquired by someone in Shanghai who hasn't updated the website in years. Many page links are now broken.
     
    Valiant V and Unresolved_ERR like this.
  3. Unresolved_ERR

    Unresolved_ERR Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
    37
    8
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Telling from the website, I'm not surprised. In which case...

    are there any running PHEV mod services? especially for Gen 3, which is far less common because it got an official plug-in (although later than mine, of course)...

    I haven't been able to find any others with functioning websites. I've seen on threads that the plug-in supply used to be very good, but they went out of business once official models were available.
     
  4. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    6,514
    2,737
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Used Prius with these kits show up occasionally... But in general, when Toyota copied the design, these startups went out of business and you'll have to have some strong electrical engineering skills to fabricate parts and keep the system running if you can find one.
     
    Unresolved_ERR likes this.
  5. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    9,125
    7,275
    0
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    I don't know anything about Enginer kit nor have I ever attempted such conversion while I owned Gen3 some years ago. But I am pretty certain that when you can buy a brand new Prius Prime PHEV for sub $20K, there isn't much market left for any mod for Gen3 Prius conversion to PHEV, IMHO.
     
    Unresolved_ERR likes this.
  6. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    4,448
    4,394
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    I'm pretty sure that's the answer right there. Enjoy the cordless version for what it is, or trade it in if you really want PHEV.
     
    fotomoto and Unresolved_ERR like this.
  7. Unresolved_ERR

    Unresolved_ERR Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
    37
    8
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    I'm unsurprised.

    If a conversion, especially with 40+ miles of EV, was $5000 or less, I'd be much more keen on that than buying an official PHEV. For two reasons -
    1), ignoring the nigh-useless EV-only range of the original Prius plug-in (yes, it gets better gas mileage and does not have much extra battery weight, which was the point of original PHEV mods in the 2000's, so I understand why - just not my taste), the 2017-2019 Primes only have 4 seats, and I just so happen to have 4 friends I consistently drive with, so that's a dealbreaker for me.

    2), even the Prime only has 25 miles of EV, and this is without bad conditions - my round-trip to and from school is 28 miles, and my round-trip to and from work is 30. (You can see why I chose a Prius). While 25 miles of EV, or even 6* as in the original Prius plug-in, is far, far better than 0.25 miles of EV that can only be recharged by burning gas, it doesn't hit that goal I'd like - all for an entirely new car when I just got this one a year ago.

    * 11 miles by EPA estimation, but that includes running the engine - I'm talking about driving without the engine coming on. Remember, on vacation.

    So I suppose, unsurprisingly, my best bet is to wait for the 2022 or 2023 Prime, and hope it has at least 35 miles of EV range. Even then, I'll be waiting until they're reasonably priced when used (as Salamander King mentioned, $20k ish).

    So best bet is to stick to my car and just hypermile when reasonable and safe.

    Thank you all for your help!
     
  8. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    9,125
    7,275
    0
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    Unless you drive in subzero weather, PP can get 35 miles of EV range fairly easily. I averaged well over 30 miles of EV range except during coldest months of winter. I highly doubt that there will be EV range change in this generation of PP. The next generation of Prius is not likely to be introduced until 2024 or later.

    BTW, in order to achieve a 40+miles of EV range on Gen3 PHEV conversion, I must think the battery size has to be larger than the current PP, close to twice the size or ~15kwh. I have never sourced such a battery, but I can imagine that alone would cost you over $5000.
     
    Unresolved_ERR likes this.
  9. Unresolved_ERR

    Unresolved_ERR Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
    37
    8
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    That's surprising to me, because the gas mileage on my 2010 will quickly drop below the EPA estimated 50 without hypermiling at least a little. not too far below - more like 45 MPG or 40 in cold (below 40 F) weather, but still.

    I'm good with hypermiling, but that's not something I want to have to do - Under bad conditions and normal driving, I would like 35 (as a minimum).

    I cannot imagine why the next gen of Prius would not be introduced until 2024, since there is a clear and obvious pattern they have followed. Every 6 years.

    1998-2003 Gen 1
    2004-2009 Gen 2
    2010-2015 Gen 3
    2016-2021? Gen 4

    Even if they, as rumored on one thread, made Prius into a PHEV mainly, and followed the 6 year pattern for the Prime, that would make next-gen 2023.

    If it ends up true that the EPA estimated range on the Prius Prime will not be increased beyond 25 miles, then I'll inevitably end up getting a Honda Clarity. I just don't see the EPA estimations actually being underestimates for once instead of overestimates.

    You're the exact person that posted a brief review of the translated article on the Gen 5 Prius, so I'm surprised - why would you say not until 2024?

    That is a good point about the battery.
     
  10. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    5,407
    3,634
    0
    Location:
    So. Texas
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    I do!

    Here’s the method: Clean up vehicle needing a plug, trade it in or sell it, and buy new or used plug-in.

    Takes anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to complete the whole process. No tools or special skills required.
     
  11. Unresolved_ERR

    Unresolved_ERR Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
    37
    8
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    [​IMG]
    Someone didn't read the whole (literally only 10 posts) thread before making a snarky response.

    Or you read my complaints about the official models, and blatantly ignored it.

    Thanks! (y);)
     
  12. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    1,308
    872
    4
    Location:
    Foot of Pikes Peak
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Boulder Hybrids in Colorado is a really good hybrid shop and still has a page on their web site about doing plug in upgrades:

    Plugin Upgrades

    They could let you know if it is still a realistic option.
     
    Unresolved_ERR likes this.
  13. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    5,407
    3,634
    0
    Location:
    So. Texas
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    You’re welcome. ;)
     
  14. Unresolved_ERR

    Unresolved_ERR Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
    37
    8
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Thank you! That's definitely a road trip, but one I would be willing to look at taking with the right finances.

    I'd give you a dollar if I could.
     
  15. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    1,308
    872
    4
    Location:
    Foot of Pikes Peak
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Paul, the owner is a great guy and definitely let you know before hand whether it is worth the trip or available elsewhere.
     
    Unresolved_ERR likes this.
  16. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    9,125
    7,275
    0
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    On Gen3 (2015), I got a lifetime average of 54mpg over 3 years of ownership. I have never done any hypermiling. On both 2017 and 2019 PP, I was able to get over 30 miles of EV during most of the year, but with winter months crushing my EV range to around 22miles, my overall average was probably around 30miles. On PP, finding actual HV mpg is not easy, but for several times HV-only drives, I was usually getting well over EPA estimated 54mpg. Again without any hypermiling. mpg is more dependent on tires, road condition, and traffic (speed you drive).

    Read this thread: Gen 5 Prius now further delayed to the model year 2024 | PriusChat
    Toyota has not announced an official date for the release of the next-generation Prius (Gen5). But rumor is that it will be late 2022 in Japan, making the US release be early to mid-2023 which is the 2024 model year.
     
    #16 Salamander_King, Jun 17, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2021
  17. Unresolved_ERR

    Unresolved_ERR Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
    37
    8
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    I recently outfitted my Prius with Bridgestone Ecopias, after learning from the nearby Hibdon's that the Michellin Fuel Savers were discontinued, or at least not available there.

    Hopefully that helps - the Previous owner had Michellin Defenders on there, and while those are not bad tires, they definitely roll less than the Ecopias.

    There are countless steep hills where I live - if you drive anywhere (and I drive a lot of places) around here, it's up and down and up and down. Very little actually even ground. How about New England?

    Also, because Stitt and others in our state government do a great job of embezzling our taxes, the roads here are awful. Always have been.

    The inconsistent weather doesn't help those roads, either.

    My car is also running on the original drive battery, so I have no idea how the battery health is doing. But the dealership has yet to tell me to replace it, so it must work well enough.
     
  18. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    9,125
    7,275
    0
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    I drove the same route to and from work every day, there are some up and down, but none are very steep nor long. What makes my drive much more amenable to get good mileage is that there is usually no traffic. It is a rural road with no traffic lights or stop signs, and my lifetime speed was around 35mph. I rarely drove on a highway except for occasional trips to the cities.

    Yep, the road condition makes a big difference in mpg, that's for sure.

    I imagine in a 12 years old Gen3 Prius, an original battery indeed does negatively affect the fuel efficiency. As I said, my average on Gen3 was only for the first 3 years of the life of that car. Your 12 years old Prius now has a weaker battery, and maybe other things accumulating to reduce the efficiency, such as dirty EGR. The fact you can still squeeze 50mpg out of your car is an amazing feat.
     
  19. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    2,607
    794
    0
    Location:
    Arcadia, CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    Well, I did search for available systems and seems you are correct that only Enginer is left. To "reserve" a system you have to fill out an online form. At least unlike the PriusChat shop where you can buy stuff, get charged, and wait wondering when or if your order will be fulfilled, they don't have that.

    A consideration to think about. The plug is literally a plug, that goes into a 120V standard outlet and runs at 10A. Now if you drive daily I know from experience with our prior C-MAX Energi that the 5.6 kW would take 7.5 hrs to charge on a wall outlet, (I'm guessing it ran at 12A). I'm not confident you'll be able to fill a drained 8kW pack nightly. It may make more sense to get the 4kW if that is the case. (I didn't compare pricing nor size penalty)...

    moto g(7) power ?
     
  20. Unresolved_ERR

    Unresolved_ERR Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
    37
    8
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    I'm in suburbia in OK, so there's plenty of traffic to and from school - which is where my mileage is typically around 50, in the summer.

    I work a night job though, with no traffic, so I've gotten it up to 75 a couple times, 60's on a pretty regular basis. But that's intentionally avoiding the highway, which does cost a couple minutes, so if there's assignments I need done or some reason I need to be home quicker, I'll be on the highway.

    If I hypermile as best I can with that highway, the absolute max is 60 MPG. Usually closer to 55, and that's without any traffic because it's like...3 AM.

    I think I've been up to 80 once? I'll see if I can find the image and post it.

    Of course, these are all computer, not calculated by tank. Tank averages recently are at 48 ish, so I'd say that probably can go up to 50 sometimes, but in the winter it can get down to 40 flat. During the freeze that broke Texas's power grid, it was in the lower 30's.

    I know I've complained about EPA estimates, but the Prius still. Even 12 years old and regular driving, gets far better mileage than any gas car I know, except for maybe Mitsubishi Mirages or Nissan Versas under the most optimal conditions.

    Once I graduate I intend to move away from Oklahoma, not sure where yet. Hopefully wherever I end up, there isn't a new pothole every 60 feet.

    I may very well have to replace the battery soon, and that may increase the mileage.
     
    Salamander_King likes this.
Loading...