Why I Hate my Prius Prime

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by stevepea, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. huskers

    huskers Senior Member

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    This is what we have until we can move into the George Jetson time frame.
     
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  2. Andyprius1

    Andyprius1 Senior Member

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    I only think in terms of max charge from the charger.
     
  3. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    We had similar feeling about our Volt.
    It gave us a taste of all electric driving, but only a taste.
    However, it also showed us, much more accurately than our previous assumptions, just how far we drive.
    As such, it served as a gateway drug to going all electric (as a household).

    So I wouldn't say I "hated" it, but rather that it showed us how unneeded that flammable, carcinogenic, poison spewing gasoline really was for our household.
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    that's what makes a plugin hybrid so perfect for so many. ev for most of your driving, and hv for the occasional long trips.
    one downside to a bev is the battery non use for 90% of the time. tesla excluded perhaps? but for now, they are too expensive to consider in the equation for most.
     
  5. stevepea

    stevepea Senior Member

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    Hi everyone, thanks for the many replies. In case anyone missed it, I did say I was being a bit playful with the title. I do like my car (a lot!) -- but loved driving it in all EV so much that it became a disappointment when the EV ran out so soon at highway speeds, as well as the other small personal dislikes I mentioned. A couple replies/questions... and thanks everyone for the replies so far!

    (1) Hatch light:
    Tideland Prius, thanks for the info that the hatch light actually IS automatic. For some reason it was in the "off" position, and the dealer said just to "turn it on when you need it." Indeed, it IS automatic if you set it to on (as it should be on a car of this level).
    BWilson4web, good idea, buying a small LED flashlight for the hatch. But I wonder... with the tiny incandescent hatch bulb being somewhat weak, one would think there must be a brighter LED bulb of similar size available somewhere that one could replace the incandescent bulb with (just as you can replace an old incandescent refrigerator bulb with an LED refrigerator bulb today if you want). If one could be found, I don't imagine it would harm the circuitry of the car, would it? If anyone who tinkers a lot knows of a place selling such sized bulbs in LED, please post it here...

    (2) Mileage in EV Mode:
    Thanks everyone, for your mileage stories.
    So... what mode should I be in for a longish freeway drives then? HV or EV? The owners manual specifically recommends HV over EV when driving the freeway (including for better mileage) but most of my driving is always freeway. Today (Sunday) I'm going to drive from Orange County up to Pasadena and back for a concert. Being Sunday (and leaving earlier and coming back later) traffic should be moving fast. Driving at, say, 68 for maybe 45 miles each way today, should I just do what the owners manual says and move it to HV (and hardly use the EV except for support), or put it in EV and use it all up until the HV comes on automatically? This is 98% Freeway miles. Some (longer) version of this is my usual commute (though sometimes with traffic) so I'm not sure what to do. Maybe what I'll do today is set it to EV for the way there, and at some point the EV will run out. Then on the way home at night I'll reset a trip odometer and put it to HV (though it'll be in HV anyway because the EV will be all used up) to measure what the MPG is for mostly-hybrid driving.

    But just to take a poll among PriusChat users: if you're going to take a long, freeway driving trip (whether it be your commute or a weekend drive somewhere) and: (a) it's going to be almost all freeway miles, (b) it's far, and (c) you won't be charging until you get back home... do you put it in HV mode for such trips as the manual seems to suggest? Or do you instead just start out with it in EV mode and wait for the EV to run out, and the automatic switching then to HV mode?

    (3) Glare:
    dalcon95, thanks for the suggestion. I'm not a big fan of window tinting though.
    Just wondering if there is any kind of protector film (like a smartphone protector film) that also cuts down on glare, that could be used on the Prime screen (of either size)? I haven't looked into it at all, don't know if something like this exists (could easily be cut to the right shape)...

    (4) Back Seat Separator:
    fuzzy1: I didn't even think about lawyers, and I can't remember offhand if in the Camry Hybrid, there is a middle seatbelt or not if the back cupholder tray is retracted (might very well be). Of course everyone is different, but if you took a survey of Prime drivers, I'm willing to bet a vast majority never regularly have passengers in the back seat, and having a back seat divider makes it very awkward to set larger (or longer) objects down on the seat (especially if the small amount of hatch space is full).

    Other comments:
    LeeJay, you're indeed right about how it drives like an EV even in HV mode. The HV mode is very quiet and seamless.

    bisco: good analogy!
    No product can be everything to everyone of course, and it's because I like certain features of the car so much (ie, the EV mode) that it's disappointing it can't go further. I only keep one car at a time, typically for about 12 years. I know in 3-4 years there will be many more choices, but that's not in the budget for me. I'll be (hopefully) keeping this car for well over a decade. It'll be interesting to see in 2029 if EV, LNG or Hydrogen (or something else) wins out. And by then perhaps autonomous driving will be standard on most cars.

    Warranty:
    BWilson4web, speaking of Toyota's warranty, did anyone purchase an extended warranty/MBI policy for their Prime? If so, can I ask the amount, years/miles, and where you bought it from (dealer, website, credit union)? I know they often don't make sense in the end (last time I did I never used it), but just am curious. California has strict rules about selling such policies (ie, can't fleece the consumer), so many companies won't sell in California. The dealer's price was absurd ($4,000 down to $3,000 for 7 years) and Autoland's only plan (at the local credit union) was an MBI ($1100 for 8yr/150k or $940 w/$100 deductible) that is unfortunately run and administered by probably the worst company out there, National Dealer Services -- the one that had to pay a $4.2 million fine recently for junk calling everyone's cel phones, and has something like a 99-1 ratio of people complaining that they never, ever pay out claims. I'm not going to go there. California has the longer hybrid/battery warranty mandatory, and I probably will pass this time, but am just curious... (for the non-hybrid parts of the car) if anyone purchased an MBI or extended warranty for their Prime. As I said, I usually keep my car for about 12 years.

    Zythryn: good point. I can't currently afford solar, I'm just one person (and as I posted, ironically, by doing my best to cut down on electricity usage but still be on the grid, I'm fined by the local power company now for not using ENOUGH of their electricity because I always keep it in the lower tier). A colleague has a Leaf and solar at his house. Perhaps at some point.

    Just a comment (for older gen Prius owners) from someone coming to the Prime off of a Honda Hybrid instead of a Toyota Hybrid. I originally bought the Honda over the Prius because the cabin was much more comfortable to me than the Toyota, but I knew that "under the hood" the Toyota hybrid was much better. The Honda hybrid system was a soft hybrid.. gas was always on, hybrid at first helped moderately, but when the hybrid batteries started failing everyone for the 2006/2007 model years, and had to be replaced every 2-3 years (constantly, every couple years) -- at Honda's expense for those living in California and the states that adopted Calif's battery warranty -- Honda soon called everyone in for "safety updates" -- that basically shut off most of the hybrid system, to where the hybrid barely operated at all anymore (where 8-10 bars used to be normal, the max became only 3 bars, except for the first 1-2 seconds of acceleration from zero). After all, if you hardly ever use a flashlight, the battery in it will last a lot longer, right? This resulted in class action lawsuits (and one lady successfully suing Honda for $10K in small claims court, before Honda appealed and won it back on appeal). It was a comfortable car in the cabin, but it was hardly a hybrid after the first couple years because of what Honda required their owners to do (if they wanted the battery replaced under warranty). I've asked so many people with Priuses over the years if they've had to change their hybrid batteries, and without exception the answer was "no" (unless it was something like over 200k). So I'm hoping for a nice, long life with the Prime :)
     
    #25 stevepea, Apr 30, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
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  6. Prius from Dad

    Prius from Dad Senior Member

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    (2) For my commute I use EV for the first 3 miles (28 mph) and my estimated EV miles usually go up 1.5-2.5 miles. Then I use HV for 4 miles until I am at cruising speed on the parkway (60 mph). That will get me to work (35.9 miles) with some EV left for the return trip. I've found that this will get me the best mpg for the day.
     
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  7. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Tesla is actually the worst since they have the longest range, and thus the heaviest battery. If I had a Tesla, I'd be carrying around about 1,000 pounds of battery which I'd use for 5% of my driving. Instead, the Prime's entire gas system weighs around half of that, and can produce twice the range, meaning four times the energy density.

    Still learning, but what I did on my first two long trips was to use Ev mode to get from my house to the highway (about 2.5 miles of Ev range), Ev for the first five miles or so because it's steeply down-hill (used less than 1 mile of Ev range), and then Hv the rest of the way until I got off the highway, then Ev again.
     
    #27 Lee Jay, Apr 30, 2017
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  8. pricoaster

    pricoaster Member

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    I'm also on Southern California Edison. Have you looked into switching to the Time of Use plan? You don't need to worry about how much electricity you use and which Tier you're in, rather, just the day/time you use electricity. I switched to the ToU Plan B when I got my Prime. With electricity rates based on time, and cheapest overnight with super off-peak (.13c in the summer, .14c in the winter) from 10pm to 8am, I set my charge timer to begin at 10:15pm everyday. If you can limit electricity use during the workday, it's the perfect plan. And weekends are either billed at off-peak (.17c in the summer, .16c in the winter) during the entire day or super off-peak at night, so I'll just typically charge at anytime during the weekend when needed. With these rates, and assuming I charge empty to full everyday at the cheapest prices, it costs around $25/month.

    Also, the EV plan rates only apply to charging the EV. It requires a separate meter so that it will bill separately at the EV rates than the rest of your home electricity consumption. Since I'm a renter, the ToU plan made more sense than going through the hassle of getting a second meter approved for installation, also the rates are nearly the same for overnight charging (one cent cheaper on the ToU plan during the summer)

    If I know I'm going to be on the freeway for awhile at maximum speeds, I'll switch to HV mode, and switch back to EV mode when I'm back on surface streets. In HV mode, I'm getting around 60mpgs at speeds between 70-80mph.
     
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  9. Andyprius1

    Andyprius1 Senior Member

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    I think the best solution is: start in EV/HVAC mode as the load is then the lightest, then when entering the freeway, either leave or switch totally to EV. You never want to totally deplete your EV charge as it takes a long time to restart. The option of when to go totally into EV depends on each individuals circumstance. I.e.: do you have a free charger at work, how quickly is your EV depleted, Do you want do drivecharge in HV/EV
    MODE, Depletion rate is of course determined by load, many small ridges, how fast do you drive ( big load factor) my conservative nature allows me to obey all speed limits and if I leave 10-15 minutes early then my highway speed can produce significantly better mpgs. The best advantage I always arrive early and safely.
    So, it's all very individualistic and depends on the individuals circumstances. Good Driving.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i would use 'evauto' and let the car decide. if for some reason, it wasn't using up the ev, i would burn it up the last miles of the trip by switching to ev mode.
     
  11. Prius from Dad

    Prius from Dad Senior Member

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    I can't charge at work. I forgot to mention that after 4 miles on HV I switch to EV for the rest of the trip. I'm always at or below speed limit. Now that the weather is warmer, I'm getting 30-35 EV miles that way.
     
  12. Andyprius1

    Andyprius1 Senior Member

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    Excuse the stupidity of my question, but, how do you determine EV miles?

    Remember that, it's really HV/EV mode determined by the cars computers according to load factors. In what is called blended mode.
     
    #32 Andyprius1, Apr 30, 2017
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  13. Prius from Dad

    Prius from Dad Senior Member

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    When I deplete the EV miles I subtract the 4 miles of HV from the total miles driven at that time.
     
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  14. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    The Camry Hybrid is listed as 5 passengers, so it must have the middle seatbelt. I'm finding a claimed load capacity rating of 905 pounds, compared to 670 for the Prime.

    I'm seeing the divider as being a direct result of our tort climate. Not having an obstruction there either creates some customer expectation suggesting someone may sit there, or is an attractive nuisance. That in turn creates a major financial liability. The best way to head off this liability is not merely to put a label there, but to design away the attraction or customer expectation.

    Over the field of vehicles with these obstructions, it is likely that someone is still going to be stupid, sit atop the obstruction, and get killed. But these obstructions will go a very long way towards convincing juries that the deceased had no reasonable expectation of that being a legitimate seat, so the manufacturer ought not be held liable.
     
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  15. pricoaster

    pricoaster Member

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    Correct, I know that in HV mode it will also switch back to EV mode depending on certain factors (e.g. slow traffic on the freeways), and then back to HV when I accelerate, and then back to EV when coasting, and so on and so forth. That's why the H stands for hybrid :). I intentionally select HV mode when I'm on the freeways at maximum speed for an extended period of time since it's more efficient than straight EV mode.
     
  16. Andyprius1

    Andyprius1 Senior Member

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    OK

    Totally agree with you.

    So if the Total is 100, that = 96 miles of EV. Where do you get 4 miles from ?
     
    #36 Andyprius1, Apr 30, 2017
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  17. Prius from Dad

    Prius from Dad Senior Member

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    No, when the EV miles run out it is about 34-39 miles on the trip meter. So I subtract the 4 miles I was in HV mode.
     
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  18. joachimz

    joachimz Senior Member

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    re determining EV miles, on the drive monitor screen it shows "EV %", and using the "Trip" button you can go through total miles, Trip A, Trip B and the next one is your current trip since starting the car, so on my commute it site at 49.7 miles, EV% =80 so that's 40 miles EV give or take. I think my total of ~ 2550 miles sits at 62%EV so that would make ~ 1580 EV miles thus far
     
  19. Prius from Dad

    Prius from Dad Senior Member

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    Yes, that works out to the same as what I am calculating on a daily basis. It's just easier math to do in my head. :)
     
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  20. Bob Comer

    Bob Comer Active Member

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    I don't have my Prime yet, but I was going to ask about EV auto here. It appears most people don't use it, and I'm wondering why. It seems on paper that it's perfect for a daily commute job.
     
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