Shopping for a Prius, but can I charge it in Europe?

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by NoteboomM, Jan 12, 2021 at 4:58 PM.

  1. NoteboomM

    NoteboomM New Member

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    Hi all,

    I don't *think* this has really come up elsewhere at least regarding the current models, and Toyota Canada is giving me bottled answers that don't help much. I'm seriously looking at the Prius Prime as it's called here (PHEV) for my next car, with a catch: I'm in Canada, but will be going to the Netherlands for a government posting 2022-2026 and plan to take the car.

    I know NL has a different wall plug and different grid supply, but can anyone tell me anything about the compatibility of the current Canadian-spec Prius Prime with Euro facilities? I'm specifically trying to work out basically whether we'll be able to drive it home from the port and plug it in, or whether it will be completely unworkable, or somewhere in between. Bonus points if anyone knows anything about public charge points, of which there are many in NL.
     
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I'm going with maybe.

    Mostly because the North American spec PHV comes with a J1772 port on the car itself. The European spec comes with a Mennekes Type 2 port.

    The "maybe" part is only if you can find an adapter to convert the J1772 on the Prime to the Mennekes.
     
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  3. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Wouldn't it be cheaper and way less hassle to acquire a vehicle in Europe that will be certain to have no issues with license and registration, as well as compatible with the vehicle's charging needs?

    I mean, consider your worst case scenario of your vehicle arriving at the port and you think you covered all of the requirements but you forgot one detail and suddenly customs has seized your vehicle and you can't get it back and your only hope is to wait for months for the bureaucracy to release your vehicle so you can ship it back home?

    I say this because there's lots of complicated laws in each country around the world about importing vehicles for sale. See: Grey import vehicle - Wikipedia

    And while your intention clearly is not to sell your car, that's what the laws are set up to prevent. I mean, think of how much it would cost you if this didn't go as planned?
     
    #3 PriusCamper, Jan 12, 2021 at 11:27 PM
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021 at 11:51 PM
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  4. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Not to mention cool features on their side that we don't have like matrix LED headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control and optional solar roof.

    Plus, they could just lease it for 4 years.
     
  5. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Generally a BAD idea......for all kinds of reasons.
    Buy a car THERE.
    Sell the one you have now before you leave.
     
  6. NoteboomM

    NoteboomM New Member

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    Thanks everyone. I asked a technical question because that's what I needed an answer to. So thanks to the one user who didn't offer unsolicited, irrelevant legal and purchasing advice. The plug issue was something I'd noted from reading posts about older models, but thought that maybe, just maybe a north American business might for once choose to coordinate with international standards. The 'standard' Prius is still an option. Although the 4-yr lease at posting is also a possibility, thanks for that idea, although I'm not sure how credit processes might work out as foreign nationals.

    For the rest of you - no, as diplomats, there are very few cost and legal concerns except that the base Prius plugin is around CAD33k here, but close to EUR40 there. This would not be a private export/import process - I certainly wouldn't bother dealing with that quagmire.

    Further, in other circumstances, I would intend to keep it 5-10 years. Diplomats exporting a car to a similar climate, with traffic on the same side of the read is a VERY common practice.
     
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  7. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Yep... When I was writing my reply the thought occurred to me that maybe you're doing this as a diplomat, but you didn't mention that. And if you want to complain about all our "unsolicited, irrelevant legal and purchasing advice" I'd like to complain about the lack of specificity which would of eliminated that.
     
  8. ILuvMyPriusToo

    ILuvMyPriusToo Active Member

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    Maybe inquire of a company in the NL that deals with EV charging cables?
    Like these folks - Charge cables and charge stations for Prius Prime

    They say "We have more than 10 years of experience in charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. We help you find the right solution to charge your electric vehicle. You will find cheap and high-quality charging cables that meet your requirements."

    Just an idea!
     
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  9. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    People tend to give the best advice they have, based on the information provided.
    Your snotty attitude doesn't sound very diplomatic to me.
     
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  10. NoteboomM

    NoteboomM New Member

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    Fair. I was grumpy about going back and forth with Toyota staff who kept saying 'we don't have that information'.

    Thanks - might be a good source for information.

    Yep, and I specifically asked about compatibility of cables/connections. Oh, and don't worry - although I'll have diplomatic 'status' I'm DEFINITELY not a working diplomat. :)
     
    #10 NoteboomM, Jan 13, 2021 at 10:21 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2021 at 12:02 AM
  11. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    Put me down as another “maybe.”

    There are cables, such as this one, to adapt between SAE J1772 and IEC 62196-2 Type 2 charging connectors, but I don’t know about interoperability of control signals or power line frequency. As you may know, the standard AC frequency in North America is 60 Hz, but in Europe, it’s 50 Hz.

    The edition of New Car Features (more info) that describes Prius Prime cars built for sale in the U.S. and Canada says—under Engine/Hybrid System: Hybrid/Battery Control: Plug-In Charge Control System: General—that the specification for “Power Source Frequency” is “60 Hz.” The label on the car itself, at least in the photos I’ve seen, just says “100–240V 1ϕ 20A,” with no mention of frequency. In contrast, the European edition of New Car Features, under the same heading, gives the specification as “50 To 60 Hz” for Prius PHV models built for sale in Europe and “60 Hz” for models built for sale in South Korea and Taiwan.

    Since Japan uses both 50 Hz and 60 Hz, Toyota would have had to develop and validate a design for the electric vehicle charger assembly that works on either frequency, at least for their home market. (The charger assembly, not to be confused with the charging cable or EVSE, is the unit permanently installed in the car that converts AC to DC for charging.) It wouldn’t surprise me if the U.S./Canada version also works on 50 Hz power, but I don’t know if anyone has tried it, and in any case, such use would be outside Toyota’s published specifications.

    That raises another issue: how difficult would it be to get warranty service and other repairs for the car in Europe? Oil changes and tires wouldn’t be a problem, of course, and I imagine Toyota would find a way to do a safety recall, if necessary, but there may be some practical limits on what Toyota dealers in Europe can do:
    • Prius Prime and Prius PHV cars have many parts in common, but parts used only on Prius Prime cars, including many of the electronic control units (ECUs), wouldn’t normally be stocked in Toyota’s European parts supply system. These might be available only after a long delay, if at all.
    • Toyota’s Global Techstream diagnostic software is licensed for one of four major areas (Japan, North America, Europe, and “General Countries” such as Australia and the G.C.C. region), and I don’t know if the license keys provided to dealers in Europe would allow their software to communicate with a Prius Prime car having the U.S./Canada versions of the ECUs.
    If any of your future colleagues drives a Toyota vehicle en poste, perhaps they could share their experiences.
     
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  12. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    People in general are prone to actually ask the wrong question often, and they really need something else.

    BUT enough of that, I think that you NEED to contact someone, a Toyota dealer maybe, in your destination country.
    Maybe more than one source.......because you might not get the right answer the first time.
    The guesses you are getting on here are about as useful as my advice of "don't do it".
     
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