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Potential Newbie Questions

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I am considering a Prius, either late gen 2 or early gen 3 (if I can get one with 5 year warranty at a decent price)

I have no experience of hybrids, but for my current use/driving style, they would appear ideal but just a couple of general questions though,

After running in electric mode, how long does it take for the Battery to recharge fully?

I live approx. 1 mile from a dual carriageway, so potentially could run in EV mode, till I get their, but how does the heater work, will it run the engine just to provide heat?

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With the normal Prius, it is not an electric car. It is a petrol car with electric assistance so you don't normally run it in electric only mode and you don't charge it up. The charging is managed by the Prius itself using regenerative braking, and the petrol engine.

However, the plug-in Prius is an electric car with petrol assistance and can be plugged in to charge it up.

For heating, the Prius burns petrol so yes, it runs the engine to provide heat. (Pretty sure the plug-in does the same).

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You could of course press the EV button to force it remain on electric only for that first mile if you were so inclined. But it will still drop out of EV if you exceed 31mph or floor it.

I run my first mile each day like that (well, a bit less than that actually - you'll be lucky to get a mile in anything other than perfect conditions and a fully charged Battery in the green to start with), which gets me off the drive and out of the village before the engine starts.

Incidentally for every post you find telling you that's a bad idea you'll find another telling you it isn't, and the car doesn't object or suffer.

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Thankyou for your quick reply, I appreciate it is not an electric car as such, but does it not run in electric mode at low speeds in stop start traffic?

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It certainly does - until the Battery runs out, then it recharges. A bit of careful light footery sees me driving in town about 50% electric, 50% petrol on my commute.

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I run my first mile each day like that (well, a bit less than that actually - you'll be lucky to get a mile in anything other than perfect conditions and a fully charged Battery in the green to start with), which gets me off the drive and out of the village before the engine starts.

Thank you, so in the current weather conditions, does the petrol engine cut in to provide heat? also once you use the charge, how long does it take to charge fully again?

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Yes it does, once the engine is warm enough. Which often isn't for the first mile anyway so makes no odds.

Recharging is amazingly fast - we drive a mile, Battery goes to lowest state. We drive another two and it's fully recharged, generally. In our case we then reach Big Town with a full charge, ready for gliding about again.

Edit - that's confusing. I mean even if the engine is running it won't give you heat in the cabin until it's warm enough.

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Great, that sounds what I was expecting.

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Thank you, so in the current weather conditions, does the petrol engine cut in to provide heat? also once you use the charge, how long does it take to charge fully again?

If you want heat, it has to come from the petrol engine so yes, the petrol engine will cut in. Note that the Prius likes to keep itself warm too.

Don't get hung up on "fully charged" and "discharged". The Prius manages the HV Battery state of charge so that it is never discharged or fully charged. That way the Battery life is extended a lot.

If the HV Battery state of charge gets low (2 bars on the display), the petrol engine will cut in to generate electricity to top the Battery up. The petrol engine will stop once the the Prius decides there is enough charge in the Battery (usually about 3 bars on the display). It will not fully charge the Battery.

During normal driving, the Battery is charged up from electricity generated when you brake, and from electricity produced by the HSD. Sometimes the HSD needs a bit of electricity, sometimes there is some left over.

So in order to charge the Battery (above 3 bars) you have to do some braking / driving around.

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