Prius seldom runs on batteries alone?

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I rode in a friend's Prius and he showed me that the engine started up before he hit 5 mph even under mild acceleration. I thought the difference between the "full" hybrids like Prius and "mild" hybrids
like the Civic was the ability of the former to operate as a pure electric over a modest range of conditions. It would seem that the Prius' all electric performance is very modest indeed. Is this correct?
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I believe that the Prius could theoretically start up and mildly accelerate with the battery powered electric motor alone (assuming it was charged) but there would not be enough horsepower in the electric motor alone to satisfy people (and it might not be safe to accelerate so slowly in high traffic situations). If not accelerating, then the electric motor can sometimes do it alone.
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On Wed, 14 Feb 2007 22:20:58 -0700, Mark A wrote:

The electric motor has plenty of juice to run the car. There are a LOT of other factors here...was the heat on? Air Conditioning? lights? Also, the US models are set up differently from the models used in the rest of the world...they run on gas more often in North America. This can be changed by hacking the ECU (and voiding the warranty...)
Also, was the car fully charged? If not, the engine turn on to run the generator, while the electric motor provides the locomotion. The display will show you what's happening...
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"Hachiroku wrote

I have and drive a Prius. It is just how it is set up. My Prius will start up in electric when the battery is charged enough and accelerate up to maybe 40 or so on electric alone - but it is painstakingly slow. One cannot do this in traffic, thus the need to press down a bit harder and engage the gas engine. I too would very much like for this car to rely on the electric much more than it does now. Tomes
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I've heard of Prius people adding another battery pack(in addition to the stock one) and 120VAC charger to get better use on the electric side,and reduce gas usage.Then you can plug it in at night or when you have access to an outlet.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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Thanks for the thoughtful comments. I am really just curious about the state of the technology. Not really interested in purchasing any current hybrid but I would consider it if the right one existed. Electric performance is not an issue in this regard - like I said, I am just curious.
More info on the experience I opened the thread with:
The OAT was about 30F/0C. The engine should have been up to temp at this point. Lights were on and there were three people in the car. I don't know the state of the battery but he generally drives like an old man. Also, the car is a new model, about 2 years old with 7000(!) miles on it. He mostly drives it to the train station and back. He indicated that it almost never ran on electric alone and showed me this by gently accelerating from an electric creep. As best I could tell, the schematic showed power coming from the engine the moment his foot hit the gas.
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On Thu, 15 Feb 2007 18:34:51 -0600, Gordon McGrew wrote:

Hmmm...I drove a 'classic' for about a week (1999...hey, how'd he do that when the 'first' year was 2000?) and got to where I could control the gas engine with my left foot.
Sad thing was, I got better economy for my type of driving with my '95 Tercel Automatic!
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     snipped-for-privacy@AE86.gts      "=?iso-2022-jp?q?Hachiroku_$B%O%A%m%/(B?=" writes:

Year number applied in the previous calendar year, maybe?

Quite possible. Driving style is so important. Too many folks think a hybrid doesn't benefit from being driven properly. Not true. It's like any other vehicle, that way.
Is the Tercel a small car? The Prius is not. USian Mid-sized, almost. I see Toyota FWDs being advertised, with mpgs horribly lower than the Prius, despite related hybrid tech. (Maybe good for FWDs, though.) Body mass must count for a lot, although of course FWDs have the extra transmission bits to power.
--
Andrew Stephenson


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On Fri, 16 Feb 2007 12:45:03 +0000, Andrew Stephenson wrote:

How about Corolla II?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Toyota_corolla_ii.jpg

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The first Prius was available in calendar year 1997 as a 1998 model year (the NHW10 model). The 1998-2000 model year Prius was only available in Japan. Beginning with the 2001 model year (available in 2000 calendar year), the Prius was redesigned and available for sale internationally (the NHW11 model). The 2001-2003 model year Prius is what is usually referred to as the "Classic" Prius.
A small handful of the original Japanese Prius were brought out of Japan for some testing, to see what updates were needed for an international release. Was this one that you had tried in 1999? It's best identified as a compact sedan, no rear spoiler, the center display is all in Japanese, and had dash buttons for the display rather than a touch-screen. Oh, yeah, and it's RHD. (The NHW11 added the rear spoiler, a touch-screen, and has a more powerful engine and a more powerful (different design) battery pack, so better fuel economy and acceleration.)
To my knowledge, there has always been just the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal... So how were you controlling the gasoline engine with your left foot?
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On Fri, 16 Feb 2007 11:51:02 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@kluge.net wrote:

It was a dealer 'teaser', that was available for show before actual sale. It was LHD, but this one was at the dealership months before they were actually available for sale here. One side was white, due to an accident. The other side was a huge billboard "PRIUS 60MPG Hiway Mileage Hybrid"

Sorry...meant right foot...
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wrote:

I'm sorry too. I thought you were implying you could steer with your...... Oh, never mind. mark_
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Dear Newsies
If you want a high performance, all-electric automobile (which seems to where the thread was going) you might check out:
http://www.teslamotors.com/index.php?js_enabled=1
It is based on the tZero:
http://www.acpropulsion.com/tzero /
and uses many Lotus parts and basic chassis.
There are to Honda or Toyota bits in either that I know of so this is an off-topic post.
Elliot Richmond Itinerant astronomy teacher
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On Fri, 16 Feb 2007 15:30:31 -0600, Elliot Richmond wrote:

Yeah, but the original was $134,000 to the first 200 customers, and $80,000 after that!
But...va-ROOOOOM!!!!
Basically a Lotus Exige with an electric motor.
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On Fri, 16 Feb 2007 16:04:05 -0500, mark_digital© wrote:

Well, I *CAN*, but that's besides the point...
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"Gordon McGrew" wrote ...

I am betting that the engine/exhaust system was not warmed up yet. It needs to warm up to get the emissions stuff hot, then it goes into its normal mode. This is another of the ways that it is set up by design. Tomes
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On Thu, 15 Feb 2007 13:07:27 +0000, Tomes wrote:

There was a Web site a couple years ago where a guy who is an Electrical Engineer hacked into the ECU via the ODBII connector, changed the mode, and then wrote a program in order to control the ECU from the interior Real Time with a Toshiba Libretto.
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You can find more expertise at alt.autos.toyota.prius. They will also want to know what year, since there are significant differences between the Classic (2001-2003) and the second generation (2004+). Ours are both Classics (2002), so I'll go from that perspective.
As the others indicate, there are a lot of variables. Cold weather makes it much more prone to run the engine in order to produce heat, which passengers seem to enjoy :-) The state of hybrid battery charge will affect it, too, including the entirely counter-intuitive behavior of restarting the engine periodically to bleed off extra charge if the state of charge is high.
Cold weather, particularly as the temperature drops below freezing, will take the edge off fuel efficiency. I'm barely managing 30 mpg with mainly 3 mile trips in subfreezing weather right now, but when the weather warms up it will go back into the mid-40s. OTOH, what other car would provide 30 mpg under those conditions?
Mostly, the hybrid system knows what to do. There have been reports of misbehavior - especially shuddering when the engine shuts down - that have been corrected by disconnecting the 12 volt "aux" battery for a few minutes. Maybe the car should have ctrl-alt-del keys ;-)
Mike
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On Thu, 15 Feb 2007 05:50:19 -0700, "Michael Pardee"

In cold weather get 30mpg ? uh, the corolla will easily do that.

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A driver is a total weenie if he or she cannot get > 50 MPG from a Prius, even in cold weather.
I've been getting high 50s lately, and am looking forward to summer-mix gasoline (non oxygenated) with 5% higher energy content so I can cross 60 MPG per fill-up.
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