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Captain Hybrid

Video: Our Prius Plug-In Test Drive

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Rick DeMeis
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Driving a Prius Plug-In for a week
Rick DeMeis   9/14/2011 10:10:59 AM
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We had the Prius Plug-In Hybrid for a week of testing at the Design News sister site Automotive Designline. Click here for our report on living with a plug-in.

mr88cet
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Re: Air Conditioning
mr88cet   8/18/2011 2:18:21 PM
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13 miles certainly doesn't get you very far, yes.  And even during those 13 miles the engine isn't completely off all the time. 

However, if you tend to make a lot of short trips at low speed, the engine would be off almost all of that time.  Short trips are very desirable to target, however, because tend to really drop your mileage.  That, since gasoline engines run especially inefficiently at low speeds, or at idle.  Or before/while warming up.

On a somewhat-related note, I've seen discussions of the Volt of the nature of, "I wouldn't buy this thing because, I can't fit my 50-mile commute into the nominal 40 mile pure-electric range of the car."  Well, OK, but isn't burning 10 miles of gas a big improvement over burning 50 miles worth of gas?

tucsonics
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Re: Air Conditioning
tucsonics   8/18/2011 12:14:36 PM
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As distances here are expanded compared to other parts of the country, <13 miles doesn't get us very far. I didn't mention in my post that I sold the Prius 2002 because it had no trunk. My needs changed, so I bought a used 2002 Aerio SX (Suzuki) hatchback (in 2004) that has good carrying capacity. Put $7k in the bank. It gets a measured 29-30 mpg, losing 1 mpg when the A/C is on.

Charles Murray
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Re: Air Conditioning
Charles Murray   8/18/2011 12:00:07 PM
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To tucsonics: In answer to your question about air conditioining, the 13-mile range that I got was with the AC off. I can only assume that would drop by a mile or two if the AC was turned on.  

mr88cet
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Re: 0 to 60
mr88cet   8/18/2011 10:07:07 AM
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Having a battery warranted for 8 years or 100Kmiles doesn't necessarily mean that either OEMs or their customers actually expect it to fail after that period.

Statistically, Prius batteries are warranted similarly, but go much longer than that.  Can't be certain with Li-Ion instead of NiMH, but I guess we'll see...

mr88cet
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Re: Air Conditioning
mr88cet   8/18/2011 10:02:42 AM
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Air conditioning certainly does take a bit out of my 2009 Prius' mileage, but thankfully not to the point of keeping the engine running all the time.  Then again, here in Austin, it's only 100 degrees at 9:30PM!  :-)

tucsonics
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Air Conditioning
tucsonics   8/18/2011 4:44:20 AM
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Is the 13 mile range with or without the air conditioner on?

I owned the 2002 Prius and with the A/C on, the engine never turned off. MPG was reduced by 2-4 with A/C on. Here in Tucson AZ we need A/C at least half a year.

Charles Murray
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Re: 0 to 60
Charles Murray   8/17/2011 2:59:24 PM
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Rob: Automakers are definitely considering battery replacement, and are trying to make it part of the buying decision. GM offers an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the Volt's battery. The fact that they did so indicates consumers are asking about it. However, my guess is that most consumers aren't asking about it until it comes time to plunk down the money. Nissan actually interviews prospective buyers of the Leaf to make sure they understand the issues associated with the performance and care of an electric car.

mr88cet
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Re: EV, PHEV, EREV
mr88cet   8/17/2011 2:39:15 PM
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So, does the plug-in Prius warm up the engine when you fire it up?

mr88cet
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Re: 0 to 60
mr88cet   8/17/2011 2:37:38 PM
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I think that full-production EVs are still new enough that a mentality related to battery replacement has not yet to emerge.  However, I think the expectation is that you simply won't need to replace traction batteries for a normal expected lifetime of the vehicle - say, 150Kmiles.  As for whether it will really happen that way ... I guess we'll see.

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