Toyota finally plugs in the Prius - Paris Car Show

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Unlimited_MPG, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. Unlimited_MPG

    Unlimited_MPG Member

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    In this article they make it sound like Toyota really doesn't want to go the plug-in route? Not much of a range either. Good read though. Thoughts?

    Toyota finally plugs in the Prius | Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET - CNET Reviews

    After much badgering by DIYers and energy activists, Toyota relented and built a plug-in version of its Prius hybrid, showing it off at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. Noting that the Prius' hybrid system let it run on electricity only during low speed driving, a few DIYers hacked their Priuses to run longer and at higher speeds on electricity, keeping the batteries charged by plugging them in overnight and achieving over 100 mpg in some cases. For a long time, Toyota refused to acknowledge the benefits of plugging in, but now has seen the light, sort of.
    The plug-in Prius at the show uses an expanded battery pack, but Toyota sticks with the car's standard nickel-hydride batteries. The people who have created their own plug-in Priuses use batteries that can stand a deeper discharge. But where most electric cars take 4 to 8 hours of charging, this plug-in Prius gets a full recharge in an hour and a half. The downside? Its electric-only range is just a little over six miles. Toyota claims that in Europe, most car trips are less than six miles, so that plug-in Prius drivers will infrequently have to buy gas. Toyota intends to market a plug-in hybrid in 2010, and is currently testing different configurations in the U.S. and Europe.
     
  2. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    I would take 6mi EV range over nothing.

    That would cover a lot of errands, but only part of my commute.
     
  3. subarutoo

    subarutoo New Member

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    What a deal! That's a whopping 6/90ths of my daily commute. I think I'll pass. If I only had to go 6 miles, I'd ride my bike!
     
  4. SomervillePrius

    SomervillePrius New Member

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    While 6 miles is not a lot it would allow me to only but highway miles on the ICE where it already gives me great mileage.

    So I think it could bump the MPG more then it looks as my first 2 miles and last 3 miles of my commute uses a lot go gas (when the ICE is cold) compared to the rest.
     
  5. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    Why do they limit the EV mode to under 35mpg? Do they consider it "dangerous" to have an EV running at higher speeds? (in that having the motor coupled to the wheels becomes less stable at high speeds) What is Toyota's explanation?
     
  6. CMonster

    CMonster Member

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    It's a step in the right direction, but I was hoping for a bigger step.
     
  7. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    Yeah 6 mi isn't a lot, only a third or fourth of what I'd be willing to pay more
    for.

    Still, I'm with SomervillePrius. Although my normal commute is 14.4
    miles with ~60 MPG, it includes a net 350 ft. drop in elevation. Using only 3
    mi of EV in the uphill warmup, I'd probably be seeing 75+ MPG. On the way
    home I have to climb that hill, and I'm usually at 52 MPG for the day, or 44
    MPG for the homeward leg. Again, judiciously using just 3 mi of EV, I can
    see where I could be well over 60 MPG for the day.

    We can only hope that the "different configurations in the U.S." acknowledge
    the typically greater distances due our wholly different civic development
    philosophy. (Lay off. I intentionally said "different" not "better.") At 20, or
    better yet 30 miles, I'd be getting ready to think about considering whether or
    not to be excited.
     
  8. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    I think 34 mph limit is due to the HV battery power output. You can no longer feel the acceleration of a ~3,000 lbs car with a 28 hp battery pack above that speed. 34 mph is the limit if the EV button is activated. Prius can go on electric only mode up to 42 mph (stealth mode). At around 40 mph, battery pack can only keep the speed when going slight hills. In down hills, battery power alone can go higher than 42 mph but the gas engine will kick in.

    Another reason 42mph is the limit because gas engine can operate efficiently above that speed. The idea is to use electric when the gas is not efficient -- the goal of synergy.
     
  9. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    I am guessing that plug-in Prius in the Paris car show is the same as the one shown before. It had two 1.31 kWh NiMH packs totaling 2.62 kWh of energy. With the incentive in the billout bill for 4kWh or more, I am sure Toyota will put in at least 4kWh. That means the range will be like 9-10 miles.

    Remember the larger the battery pack, the longer you'll need to charge it. The wall outlet with 20 Amp fuse can provide only 2.3 kW -- an hour of charging will give 2.3 kWh of energy (probably 2 kWh with heat loss).

    Back to the range... 10 miles range can do a lot. I am going to list them out:

    - Cover short trips where a normal Prius will get 30's MPG.
    - You can now blast your AC with the gas engine off.
    - Cover those long heavy traffic jams without running low on battery.
    - Faster acceleration. There will be extra 56 hp from the larger battery pack. MG2 has to be more powerful to take advantage of it.
    - Regen brake with ~84 hp instead of ~28 hp. 28hp x 3 = 84 hp. Prevent brake pads kicking in for most of those sudden stops.

    Eliminating / utilizing them will make the average MPG higher.
     
  10. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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    some time ago ( cant find the topic ) toyota stated that the pluing will have 100kmph ( 60-65 ) highway all electric speed
    and thats the maximum the electric drive will go
    or there needs to be change to the planitair drive to go faster on electric.
    so if you say the battery can nog provide that how did toyota do that 2 pack Nimh plugin 100kmph prius?
     
  11. bedrock8x

    bedrock8x Senior Member

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    The motor cooling system only allow sustained speed of 38mph, otherwise it will over heat the motor and causes failure of the windings. The motor is capable of running at higher speed for a very short period like 15 seconds.
    It can be done when going down a steep hill in EV mode.


     
  12. miscrms

    miscrms Plug Envious Member

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    Its all about range vs. cost. The Volt's 40 mile miles range comes with a $20k+ Li-ion battery price tag. Doubling the Prius' NimH capacity might add $1k to the car's price. 6 miles sounds a bit short to me, but they do indicate this is the Euro version. I'd say 10-15 miles would be more suited to the US from a cost/range balance perspective. They should be able to achieve that for ~$3k in NimH, and qualify for a $3k tax credit. So then the choice is 10-15 miles for free, or 40 miles for $15k+ (after $5k credit). I think free will do much better in the market until Li-ion volumes bring prices down.

    The range may not sound like a lot, but it still makes a big dent in your fuel consumption. In a Prius, a PHEV10 will go 10 miles using no gas or ~20 miles at 100mpg+. My RT commute is 18 miles, and I'd be very happy to get over 100mpg every day at no additional cost. In reality I'd do even better as I have the option to charge at work. The US average commute is up to about 33 miles RT now. Getting 100+ mpg for 20 miles, and then returning to ~53mpg ('10 Prius) for 13 miles, one should still average 74mpg or more for that commute. I would think most people would be happy with a bump from 53 to 74+ mpg at no additional cost. A PHEV15 would increase that bump from 74+ mpg to about 92.5+ mpg for a 33 mile commute. A PHEV15 in NimH might have some additional cost over the $3k credit, but would also save you about $300 a year. A PHEV33+ would probably save you another $300 a year, but the larger pack capacity forces you into Li-ion which at least doubles the cost/kWh right off the bat.

    Personally I might consider a larger pack, even if it doesn't make financial sense as that doesn't account for all the benefits. However, I think the larger pack is a much harder sell to the general public, which I think is going to be tough for GM and the Volt.

    Rob
     
  13. miscrms

    miscrms Plug Envious Member

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    I think the EV speed question is a blend of several factors. MG2 is rated for 50kW (~67hp), the battery for ~20kW ([email protected]), and MG1 for another 30kW. MG2 has plenty of power as is to move the car along at pretty much any speed, except up a major grade. As USB noted one limitation to max EV speed is the amount of power the battery can put out. Another is the RPM limits set on the MGs. As Dutch noted, Toyota has done more testing and believes they are safe up to 10,000 rpm now. In their prototype PHEVs they have altered this limit in software, allowing EV mode up to ~60mph. Of course they also have more batteries, so their instantaneous power available goes up with capacity. Some of the PHEV converters have also come up with a way of tricking the ECU into simulating an out of gas condition, allowing real full EV operation (car will not try to start the ICE under any conditions but will spin it above 42mph to maintain rpm limits. As I recall they have found that the stock prius runs out of steam around 52-55mph on a flat due to the battery limitation. They carefully monitor the temperature of the MGs and inverters and have not observed any issues from prolonged high speed EV use so far. There is some concern about long term impact from very long EV use, as there are some lubrication components that only turn with the ICE. This has also not been observed to be a factor in the 4+ years the hobby converters have been working on it.

    Rob
     
  14. ken1784

    ken1784 SuperMID designer

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    Toyota already announced the plug-in more than a year ago, and there are a lot of field testing plug-ins runnung in many countries including Japan, US, UK and others.
    TOYOTA: News Releases

    Also, the report says a lot of wrong data.

    [email protected]
     
  15. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    I know what you were referring to. The plug-in Prius can go pure electric up to 62 mph. It was probably done with a change in the software to allow MG1 to spin up to 10,000 RPM (which it is rated).

    I said one HV pack is not suitable to go higher than 42mph in electric only mode. Two or three packs should be good for the 62 mph limit.
     
  16. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    I think PHEV10 will get pretty good MPG in blended mode (gas engine assist for peak power). Volt is expected to use 200wh per mile in pure EV mode (usable 8kWh / 40 miles). Hymotion L5 has 3kWh usable energy. If Prius use 200wh/m and drive in pure electric mode, L5 is actually PHEV15 (3kWh/200wh). Google average 93.5 MPG with these hymotion L5s. So, PHEV10 should average around 75 MPG. Google picked the trips based on the study done by the National Household Transportation Survey. I think GM based their 40 miles range based on that study as well.

    The initial sale is one thing... Resale may be even harder.
     
  17. hampdenwireless

    hampdenwireless Active Member

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    <shields up>
    The Volt does not seem to bad now. Add that to the $7500 tax credit for the Volt and they may actually sell a good number of them.
    <sheilds down>

    I am sure that this Prius is just a stopgap demo to show what they are doing. Its basically a Prius with two battery packs. Its not as good as the advanced conversions for the Prius done by others that use LIon batteries.

    The next Prius will be designed from the beginning to accomodate a plug in version. It will have advances in its controllers that the current Prius does not.
     
  18. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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    Main Specifications of Toyota Plug-in HV
    Secondary batteryType
    Nickel-metal hydride
    Capacity13Ah (6.5Ah x 2)
    Rated voltage202V
    Overall systemMaximum output*100kW (136PS)
    Voltage202 — 500VBattery charging
    Power source Household electrical powerCharging time1 — 1.5hrs (200V), 3 — 4hrs (100V)

    high res video http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/tech/environment/phv/conference/driving_300k.asx
     
  19. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    10 EV miles for a fleet that averages say 20 mile trips is a HUGE deal, amounting to a 50% drop in fossil fuel consumption. Let the government focus on a standardized, distributed charging infrastructure, and the auto companies will offer choices that meet consumer use.
     
  20. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Obviously the answer is NO, theres not an issue with any kind of 'stability', because there's a conversion done for under $5K posted here on PC that'll do high speeds.

    Edit:
    Here's the link ~ thanks for the post Dr. E.
    (Nice thing is the conversion is built on opensource info)
    http://www.pluginsupply.com/
    10 mile range ... up to 52mpg ... heck, taking side streets, I seldom hit 50mpg anyway!
     
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