Some observations Ive made about my 2013 Pip vs my coworkers 2016 Chevy Volt

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by AyyRon, May 27, 2021.

  1. AyyRon

    AyyRon New Member

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    2013 Prius Plug-in
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    Plug-in Base
    Just recently took ownership of a 2013 Prius Plug in. Im assuming its the base model, it has the smaller resistive touch screen infotainment center, and does not have the Heads Up Display or radar cruise control. Its well equipped for a base model though.

    Anyway, my coworker's Volt seems to work the exact opposite as my Pip does.

    The Pip is programmed to use electricity whenever possible. However, it makes extremely good use of both the engine and the electric motors to provide a seriously sweet blend of performance and efficiency.

    I only have about 9-10 miles of pure EV range, and I only have about 110 horsepower to work with combined. But I routinely get 65-70 MPG and I can commute around my city on electric alone and never touch the gas till its time for the biweekly Kroger run. Even then, electric mode gets me there and the gas engine gets me back so I save tons of money.

    My coworkers Volt acts like its supposed to be a pure electric. It has more range, it has WAY more horsepower and torque, and it supports DC fast charging. It acts like the engine is merely a range extender, not a supplemental source of power to compliment the electric motors.

    Consequently, my coworker routinely gets only 40-45 MPG when the engine kicks in. The Volts engine seems to run *hard* to maintain the battery, and that's the reason Mountain Mode exists. Im not entirely sure and neither is my coworker, but from what he told me, the Volt is driven purely by the electric motor and the engine is only a generator. Which is why, when the battery gets low, the engine cannot generate enough electricity to meet the demands of climbing a hill. Mountain Mode lets the engine charge the battery enough so that the motors can climb the hill effectively.

    On my side, my Pip has no issue climbing a hill when the battery is dead. Engine comes on, sure, but it doesn't need to charge the battery first, because the engine can clutch in and drive the wheels itself. If the Volt can have the engine drive the wheels, it doesn't do it often. I read somewhere it only does so above 70mph, when its electric motors are at their least efficient.

    I love my Pip and wouldn't trade it for anything except a new Prius Prime or Rav4 Prime, but does anyone else on here have a plug in hybrid that operates differently? Ive heard the Ford Fusion Energy is similar to the Volt. Likewise, the Honda Clarity Plug In operates much like the Prius Prime.

    Id be interested toes how different hybrids work in different places. Seems like the Pip (not the Prime) is better suited for people who live and operate in small cities, whereas the Volt can be used for longer travels, on EV alone. However, while the Volt might be a better electric car, it is a worse hybrid compared to the Pip with its worse fuel economy and engine performance. At least from what Ive gathered.
     
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  2. LeviSmith

    LeviSmith Junior Member

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    Yeah, just like every other car, they've all got their differences. The best scenario depends on your usage. I don't know of all of the different models at this point but essentially my views personally are kinda like:
    If you can afford a Tesla and deal with iffy reliability and the inevitable increases in planning/time for trips over hundreds of miles, that would be good.
    Otherwise if you're going hundreds of miles or more per day there's not really anything that beats a Prius for MPG. I've got a '12 PIP that I've had for a month or so now and put about 6K miles on now doing Uber in a hilly town. It works great because I get great gas mileage when on the ICE, and then the larger battery doesn't run out of room down the big hills and then gives me a couple miles of cross town EV driving when I reach the bottom.
    Obviously the Prime would be the step up from that other than the ones missing the 5th seat which woudn't work for Uber. But my next planned vehicle will be an AWD Prius just because I'm REALLY going to miss my old Subaru once the snow starts covering the roads and I'm climbing hills.

    I had a 13' Ford C-Max Energi before the Subaru. Never could love that car, but I attribute that to Ford's engineering more than anything else. It was nice though. Basically the same as the PIP except there was half the trunk space, twice the battery and it had a resistance heater, so down to about 15F you could still do EV only as long as you kept the heat to a minimum and EV range went from around 20 down to about 10 miles.
    Another thing I think I've noticed is that from what I can tell, I can't just plug in the PIP and leave it on beyond ACC mode. I.e. in the Ford, I could plug it in and leave it "ON" and use the AC, etc while it charged. From what I've seen in the PIP, it will only let you turn it to like IG ON for a minute or two and not with the AC on... I think I read I could use the remote AC while it was plugged in, but that's about it...
     
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  3. AyyRon

    AyyRon New Member

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    Plug-in Base
    Yeah, I've noticed that too about my Pip. You can use the remote air conditioning while charging, but that's only for 10 minutes, and it doesn't always work if you're inside the car. But if you initiate it outside then open any door, it stops the air conditioning.

    I dislike how the Pip doesn't have a preheater. Remote air conditioning is just that, air conditioning. Heat cannot be supplied as there is no resistive heater and no remote engine start. One might can be added but I'm not sure.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    congrats and welcome!

    honda clarity is another, and hundai. every mfg goes for what they think will sell. pip owners demande more ev miles, so toyota gave them prime. now prime owners want more ev.

    toyota generally designs around pollution, trying to be as clean as possible. mpg's and ev range are just a byproduct.
    gm's approach was a sales disaster, and they have moved on to pure bev's. phev's are expensive, having to include battery and engine, and customers demanding more and more battery.
    honda has had little success, and toyota only sells prime for carb credits in cali.

    ultimately, phev's are a compromise on the road to bev's. the time frame is uncertain, but the next 4 years will move things forward.
     
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  5. Samuel Williams Jr

    Joined:
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    Four
    My friends have a Chevy Volt and they Luv, but I don't know that they ever took it on a long trip anywhere? They live in San Jose Ca, a commuter hell. RIvaled by only LA in Ca or anything near Washington DC on the East Coast!

    I think they got it because they drive a Suburban and tow an AIrStream. So the fuel management would be outstanding by that standard. :)

    And yeah as I understand them, the motor is there to keep the battery charged not to really drive the car? They can run the car on motor but they are not that great at it.

    The Teslas are great cars and crazy fast, apparently? But they do seem to be put together like crap? Peeling, paint, rear windows blowing out and they can't keep a consistent fender gap from front to back or side to side?

    And God Hell help you if you get in a wreck with one! Which the car will happily record. Repairs are insane! And the car will happily record a disaster if it happens. And don't hit pot hole. If you damage a wheel on a long trip? A local Tire Store will be no help, not with the Tesla S anyway. There are lot's of Tesla's out here we are 40 miles from the Gigafactory in sparks.

    As a normal everyday car that you can take anywhere and not have to worry about range? The Prius beats them, hands down and the Prius Prime more so. :)
     
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  6. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    Different car makers chose different version of hybrid tech. The early Honda Insight used a small "assist" electric motor that basically provided extra boost and recaptured braking energy. It was quite effective for a 2 person car with very little storage. It should be considered a mild hybrid since the engine runs 100% of the time. The early Chevy Silverado used a beefed up starter system so that the engine could be stopped at traffic signals and cleanly restarted. Yes, this is still considered a hybrid, although it falls into the "mild hybrid" class. The Toyotas use a full hybrid that can/does run in parallel mode. That's one where the car can be moved by the engine, the battery or both as demands arise. The original Volt is, in essence, a serial hybrid in that the motor drives the wheel and the engine runs a generator that powers the electric motor and charge the battery.

    Personally, I really like the Toyota PHEV design. I do long trips once a month and short trips the rest of the time. The Prius Prime is perfectly capable of handling the daily errands as well as the monthly 1000 mile round trips.
     
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  7. AyyRon

    AyyRon New Member

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    Plug-in Base
    I hope to trade this 2013 Pip to a new Prius Prime in a couple years. But I really hope Toyota releases an all electric vehicle. That would be amazing, knowing Toyotas legendary work on hybrid systems and batteries.
     
  8. nai1ed

    nai1ed 2006 Prius

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    I purchased a Chevy Bolt back in January and recently purchased a used 2013 Prius Plug in. I am able to use the same charge cable for both vehicles which is great. When I'm driving the Prius, I feel like an 80 year old grandma on the road. The Prius is slow and sluggish, even in power mode. I guess that's the idea of being fuel efficient. When I drive my Bolt, I feel like Richard Petty in Talladega. The Bolt feels like riding a jet engine compared to the Prius. I do like the interior of the Prius over the Bolt though.
     
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