Opinions on the 2010 Prius? I rented one last weekend and thought it's EV/Hybrid system was pathetic

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reikiman
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Opinions on the 2010 Prius? I rented one last weekend and thought it's EV/Hybrid system was pathetic

Over the weekend I rented a 2010 Prius ... I've written up a review but before posting it want to get some second opinions about it.

Basically it's a fine car and maybe if I wasn't so much of an EV bigot I'd actually like it. Well, maybe not.. one flaw was that the roof descends so far in front and pack that it cuts down the vertical field of view and I kept feeling like I had to scrunch down to have a decent view of what's going on around me.

Anyway - about its hybrid/EV system which I just found so completely pathetic.

Somehow I made it through the last 11 yrs without ever getting to even ride in a hybrid car much less drive one. I've driven the EV1 a couple times, other electric cars, and of course own my fleet of electric bicycles, scooters, motorcycle, etc. In 1999 I was on the waiting list to buy either an Honda Insight or Toyota Prius (the 1st gen of both) but the timing was wrong. This was my first experience with a Hybrid.

This version of the Prius has an EV Only button (I understand earlier ones didn't have the button, but it was in the control system and is part of the usual plug-in prius conversion). Selecting the button I could only go to 25 miles/hr in EV mode, and EV mode lasted for only 2 blocks or so. How completely useless is that!!!!?!?!?

The battery pack only charges from regenerative braking. It doesn't charge from the engine during normal driving. You can't plug it in to recharge the pack. This isn't rocket science - as the 3rd party conversions have shown, it's relatively simple to convert existing Prius's to be plug-in. In any case this falls into the "completely useless" EV system observation.

There is an Eco mode but while it does limit acceleration it gave no discernable benefit.

Somehow the car routinely showed a claimed miles/gallon in the 50-100 mpg range on the dashboard widget. Not sure how they did so with such a pathetic EV system.

Basically I'm unimpressed and am confused how this is such a popular car. I came away from it thinking Toyota produced it with a deeply flawed EV mode purposely to confuse the public into believing that EV's can only be slow boring golf carts. But maybe I'm missing something. Probably someone here has a Prius and can explain a different point of view.

marcopolo
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Re: Opinions on the 2010 Prius? I rented one last weekend ...

Anyway - about its hybrid/EV system which I just found so completely pathetic.

The Prius, like its 4 larger siblings, Was not designed to be a range extended EV.

It was designed to be an experimental method of reducing pollution and decreasing fuel consumption. As such It works brilliantly!

Eerily quiet at low speeds, and easy to operate, it provided owners with a taste of how EV's will perform in the future. It is deigned as a 4 door, 4 seat automobile that can be driven as the owners only car.

Until the recently release of LEAF and iMev, for many years only Hybrids could provide the experience of a production electric vehicle. (the EV RAV, Tesla etc were either just experiments or very expensive and difficult to get).

Sorry, I forgot, for the last 6 years the Hyundai based Blade Electron EV, has been sold in Australia/NZ. I have driven this EV and was very impressed. In many ways it easily outshines the iMev.

The Prius is due,like the entire range for a bigger EV input.

marcopolo

Mik
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Re: Opinions on the 2010 Prius? I rented one last weekend ...

The ICE does get used to recharge the Prius battery. Regen braking is only the icing on the cake.

The EV only mode is the least efficient mode of driving a Prius. Losses galore.

The electric part basically adds grunt for acceleration and helps to avoid running the ICE at very low speeds. This allows to use a smaller ICE which runs with a less polluting and less wasteful setup. It's called the Atkinson cycle (vs Otto cycle), I think.

But to get best fuel efficiency, hypermilers use the "Pulse and Glide Technique", which aims at minimising use of the battery.

Each time energy is converted into (or out of) the battery, there are inefficiencies involved.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

marcopolo
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Re: Opinions on the 2010 Prius? I rented one last weekend ...

The ICE does get used to recharge the Prius battery. Regen braking is only the icing on the cake.

The EV only mode is the least efficient mode of driving a Prius. Losses galore.

The electric part basically adds grunt for acceleration and helps to avoid running the ICE at very low speeds. This allows to use a smaller ICE which runs with a less polluting and less wasteful setup. It's called the Atkinson cycle (vs Otto cycle), I think.

But to get best fuel efficiency, hypermilers use the "Pulse and Glide Technique", which aims at minimising use of the battery.

Each time energy is converted into (or out of) the battery, there are inefficiencies involved.

Yes, indeed. But the Prius technology is fairly dated. However, it has served to bring awareness and market acceptabilty to the concept of EV technology with the general public. Before Prius, EV's were seen in the opinion of the general public as an impractical concept, suitable for little more than golf carts.

I realise that the Hybrid aspect of my Lexus 450h, is little more than token support for the EV concept, but you would be surprised how many people are intrigued and impressed by this aspect.

The success of the Prius as an EV educator, has been very significant.

marcopolo

reikiman
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Re: Opinions on the 2010 Prius? I rented one last weekend ...

The success of the Prius as an EV educator, has been very significant.

I knew someone would give me a different perspective ...

That dashboard which shows the power flows - it was rather educational.

- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- Electrified Electra To

7circle
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Re: Opinions on the 2010 Prius? I rented one last weekend ...

Not sure how tall you are but did you have the seat Lift set to lowest. I think there is rake adjust ment too.
But I doo agree the seating posting and your head location is far back from the windscreen. The C pillar is very thick an obtusive when making turns.

I've Hired them a few times, the AVIS dealer had very good rates and they were supplied to them a discount cost. (so the AVIS rep said)

I faound the fuel economy was very empressive, On days when I pushed hard and full of stuff (lots of room to move things with back seat down)
The fuel use was always low. Thats going by how much it cost to refuel with CarbonChains.

The console screen is pretty basic.

Maybe you should get a hold of someone with a PLUG-IN Battery pack conversion.
I've seen dongles as add-on to trick the CAN BUS to keep it in EV motor mode.

I should try one too. If you can get 20ks with out Petrol its time to become more aware.
I'd go for one if it could have a tow-bar, but they not allowed.

7circle
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Re: Opinions on the 2010 Prius? I rented one last weekend ...

may be these guys can add a tow-bar ball.

The've added a UTE/TRAY extrension to a Pruis

http://www.autobeyours.com/06%20Baja%20Prius.htm
Crazy Prius Workups

PHEV-SUV Pri-Uted
PHEV-SUV Pri-Uted

Plugin Kits from
http://www.enginer.us/
http://www.pluginsupply.com/
http://www.pluginconversions.com/

These guys have general info from all.
http://www.autobeyours.com/HighSpeedStealth.htm

http://www.pluginsupply.com/products/
Has a clear list of there product specs.

I hope you get a chance to drive one of these.

Good Luck

reikiman
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Re: Opinions on the 2010 Prius? I rented one last weekend ...

Yeah, I should follow through with the thought I had on finishing the write-up. I know two shop owners in San Francisco who do plugin-prius conversions (Lucious Garage and Green Geers) and could arrange a walk-through of the conversion and test driving in a converted vehicle. And for that matter Richard Hatfields plugin Prius (he's the owner of the Lightning Motors motorcycle) is supposedly capable of 100 miles per hour speed in electric mode and has a huge battery pack.

- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- Electrified Electra To

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