Side-Topic: RAV4 Prime Engine in EV Mode

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by mr88cet, May 14, 2022.

  1. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    I’m toying with the possibility of trading in our 2009 Prius Touring for a RAV4 Prime. However…

    This video:



    at time 14:40, suggests that, unlike our Prius Prime, the RAV4 Prime frequently kicks in the engine in EV Mode.

    I presume this must be because this guy lives in a very cold climate, and not because the RAV4 Prime is designed to kick in the ICE more often than the Prius Prime.

    Do any of you live in a moderate-to-warm climate, and own have a RAV4 Prime? If so, do you see it kicking in the ICE often?
     
  2. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Good luck finding a Rav4Prime. I contacted a dozen dealers recently, and they all said at least 6 mo to 1-year waiting.

    BTW, in the video, the guy says the engine comes on whenever the front defrost is turned on. And also later he says that the engine has to be on to heat the car when the outside is below 20F. This is the same for the Prius PRIME. So, I don't see any difference in Rav4 Prime. Except, he says that he has to turn off the ECO mode in order to use the heat when the outside temp is below 20F. That is different. In PP, ECO mode is fine for heating the cabin as long as the engine comes on. No need to switch to Normal or Power mode.
     
    #2 Salamander_King, May 14, 2022
    Last edited: May 14, 2022
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  3. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Question: Do you actually have one, or otherwise have driven one in moderate or warm temperatures?

    Yes, that, plus avoiding mark-ups. Yeehah… According to a giggle search (er, I mean “Google” ), they sold about 120K of them in 2021, which is like3-4 times the number the originally budgeted.

    Not in a hurry though.

    Yes, I also found that curious. Presumably no such concern at, say, 40F?
     
  4. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Probably OK at 40F. But even at ~50F temp on my 2021 PP, the engine had kicked in occasionally with no clear apparent cause. It is not a frequent occurrence but has happened to my PP and many others, so I would think the Rav4 Prime behaves similarly.
     
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  5. BiomedO1

    BiomedO1 Active Member

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    The engine fires up, when defroster is activated; because it's a safety issue - apart from the fact that the heat pump is very slow in clearing frost off of the glass; especially in cold weather. I'm usually a 'cold-blooded' guy and only turn-on the heat pump below 45; HVAC system is usually off if I can keep my windscreen clear. I've noticed that it takes the heat pump a good 15-20 minutes to start moving the cabin temperature in +40 degrees weather. So half of my short commute is pretty much w/o heat; unless I fire the ICE. The seat warmers do help a lot. I would assume the RAV4 Prime would be worse; considering the larger cabin space.
    The guy did say he preferred a warm car; but I'm guessing he's not using the preconditioning functions of the car. That should take care of that complaint and knock the frost off the glass.
    He also didn't mention if he used the traction battery heater function; that would/should speed up charging. The charger ECU will slow battery recharge (to protect the pack from degradation) until battery temperature is optimal, before it delivers full charge current.
     
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  6. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    So, the Prius Prime has two different windshield defoggers — the … main? … one, with its dedicated button, does the usual air conditioner to dry out the air then engine heat to keep it from freezing up the cabin. Then there’s also one that uses only the heat pump, and therefore does not turn on the ICE.

    Does the RAV4 Prime not have that heat-pump-only defogger?
     
  7. BiomedO1

    BiomedO1 Active Member

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    Actually 3 different modes, I'm 99% sure it's a similar system with larger heat exchangers. Only activating the front windscreen defroster button will fire the ICE, I don't believe the rear defroster does.
    If you set your HVAC to windscreen & floor or vent icon; it will move warm air to leisurely defrost the windscreen. You can also do this with the AC button turned on and recirculate to dehumidify the cabin - something you'll use quite often in Austin.:D If you just set a cabin temperature and keep the fan on low; the heat-pump will slowly warm the cabin to that set-point. You'll have to manually press the AC button to rapidly cool the cabin. If the cabin is above set-point, I believe the heat-pump will simply change heat exchanger positions from warm to cool; that's why there are reports of cool air coming out of the vents with warm outside temps yet the AC wasn't turned on - that's simply how heat pumps work. The colder it is the less efficient they become, and they stop working around 15 degrees - the ECU will automatically fire the ICE, something you won't have to worry about in Austin.
     
    #7 BiomedO1, May 14, 2022
    Last edited: May 14, 2022
  8. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    About the front defroster button in the PP. There is a thread on an aftermarket remote engine starter. As it turned out, it uses the logic to turn on the front defrost to make the engine come on even when the traction battery is full. This works fine in winter. But the OP tested it in warmer temp recently and found that the remote does not start the engine when the button is pushed even though the defrost is turned on. This led to the discovery that, the front window defrost button is not an automatic engine starter. If the ambient temp is warmer than the set temp for HVAC, then pushing the front defrost button does not start the engine.

    Compustar Remote Start - 2022 Prius Prime | Page 3 | PriusChat
     
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  9. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    FWIW, I at least can’t recall the heat-pump-only windshield defogger ever (in itself) resulting in the ICE turning on. Then again, it rarely gets particularly cold here in Austin.

    Some sources here (and IIRC that video) have mentioned that it takes the RAV4-Prime heat pump a while to heat up the cabin. At least with temperatures a little above freezing, I’ve found that the Prius Prime’s heat pump warms up the cabin fairly quickly, so it’s a little surprising to hear that. Then again, the RAV4’s cabin is quite a lot larger than the Prius Prime’s…
     
  10. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    What @BiomedO1 mentioned is not really a dedicated defogger function. It is the setting you can use to defog without max heat thus without waking up the engine. I often use the setting he describes. Set the air flow to the Window and floor, and manually set the fan speed to low. This setting is quite effective in preventing the inside window to fog up even down to 12F temp as shown below.

    upload_2022-5-14_13-24-53.png
     
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  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    without watching the video, just looking at the guy and the car, i assume him to be an abusive owner, who treats his possessions poorly, and cause the prime do do many unfortunate things most owners would never observe.
     
  12. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Yes, that’s what I was describing as the heat-pump-only defogger.

    For me at least, it works fine to defog the windshield, I’ve never seen it (in itself) turn on the engine.

    Does the RAV4 Prime have that equivalent function?
     
  13. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    It must, it is just an HVAC setting. But, again at a lower temp below 20F, the video is talking about, the heat pump is not efficient, and at 14F or below, having the heat on will automatically turn on the engine most of the time. Certainly, you are not going to have that problem in your area.
     
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  14. mistermojorizin

    mistermojorizin Active Member

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    I really wanted one and could have gotten one last year, with the fed, california and local rebates it wouldn't have been that much more pricy. but i'm so used to using open pilot in my prime (about 150 miles each weekday) and the rav4 isn't compatible. Toyota has some security installed on it.
     
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  15. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    I personally expect O’Toyta Safety Sense 2.5 likely to cover all ADAS needs I’d likely want to use day-to-day.
     
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  16. mistermojorizin

    mistermojorizin Active Member

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    radar only cruise control isn't consistent at stopping for stopped cars for one thing. i've never used SS2.5, but the folks that have had a chance to compare seem to think it's not as good as OP.

    edit: i mean maybe you're right, but they never let me test drive one so i can't be sure
     
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  17. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    I personally am not interested in any form of self-driving system; but just want something to “add 9s” to my percent driving safety.

    In other words, I want to keep driving, but if ADAS can make it all-but-impossible to make a driving mistake, or make the driving experience less stressful, then I’m in!

    But anyway, I’m straying from the original topic…
     
  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    seems like a great vehicle. i will be interested when things return to normal, and they discount them like prime
     
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  19. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    Perhaps he is using the EV Auto mode? Why not get the bZ4X instead? RAV4 is outdated. Place a bZ4X order now so that you can beat the September 30, 2022, deadline for the full $7,500 tax credit.
     
  20. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    120k sounds like the RAV4 Hybrid sales, not Primes. One source I see shows 27,703 Primes sold in 2021, which would be up from the originally planned build of 20k.

    Same here with my 2012, but I didn't jump onto any lists last year or the year before. Now it appears too late, there ain't none on my coast.
     
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