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Geoff P

Main hybrid battery type

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Just of interest - can anyone tell me if there is a difference between the Prius 3 Hybrid Battery and the Prius 3 Plug-in hybrid Battery other than the fact the plug-in allows charging home or similar?

Is it a different type of Battery or just the same?

Geoff.

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Standard gen 3 Prius has a 1.3 kWh Ni-MH traction Battery

The gen 1 Prius Plug-in (based on the gen 3 Prius) uses a 4.4 kWh Li-ion traction Battery.

It's a totally different Battery with much higher capacity and using a different chemistry.

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Ni-mh are best suited for non plugins. As they can be charged at wider range of voltage and temperature. Hence the plugin models are more expensive. Plugin batteries probably have cell balancing to stop cells getting overcharged and risk damage or shorter life span.


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On 11/18/2019 at 10:50 AM, Anthony Poli said:

 .................. Hence the plugin models are more expensive ..............

This, to me, is the quandary.

If the plugin version Battery makes the car more expensive, how many miles do you have to do to break even?

I know the question is "How long is a piece of string?" but it is something to consider.

Take for instance the Renault Zoe.  Full electric vehicle, but they want a rental for the Battery - minimum is about £50 a month.  We don't even spend £50 a month on petrol!

What extra cost on the forecourt is a plugin hybrid over a normal hybrid?  Is it worth it?

Mick.

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It’s worth it if you are doing a lot of short trips and you have facilities to charge the Battery overnight at cheaper rates. But if you buy it and driving it as a hybrid without plugging in makes no sense. 

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34 minutes ago, Mick F said:

If the plugin version battery makes the car more expensive, how many miles do you have to do to break even?

What I did was wait until the car was over 3 years old and cost no more than a standard non-plugin Prius ;)

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This probably highlights that not only saving money on fuel but also saving the planet.  I am interested saving money on fuel but also keen to be not polluting the air, especially driving through areas where there are schools (despite most kids being dropped off by mums in posh tractors).

re the Renault Zoe, I understood a purchaser has a choice of either buying the car with Battery included, or renting the Battery - hence the £50, but paying less for the vehicle.

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Thank you all - I have noted that the earlier Gen 3 Hybrid and the Gen 1 Plug in Hybrid are now about the same price secondhand.  Mine is a Gen 3 Hybrid 2012 with only 30K on the clock (genuine mileage) so doubtful if it is worth while changing to a Gen 1 Plug-in as I do a mixture of mileage but probably more distance than just local  (I live in a rural town not in a city) although, I must admit, a Plug-in appeals!

Geoff.

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Unless you're regularly doing round trip journeys within about 10 miles and can charge at home (or 10 miles each way with destination charging), and driving under 53 MPH at that, then the benefits will be minimal.

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3 hours ago, Catlover said:

re the Renault Zoe, I understood a purchaser has a choice of either buying the car with battery included, or renting the battery - hence the £50, but paying less for the vehicle.

Hobby horse of mine.  Sorry!

To buy a Renault Zoe outright, you pay much more for the car and not get much of a warranty on the Battery. Also, if the car is a Battery rented vehicle, it's locked into Battery rental for the rest of it's life.  If you buy a secondhand Zoe that has its Battery rented, you can't opt out of rental and buy outright.

Mick.

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Please allow me to jump in with some thoughts about the fuel efficiency of a pure hybrid on short trips.

I own a 2016 Yaris Hybrid since a few weeks, and I am on the third tank filling right now. So far, I am not overwhelmed by its fuel efficiency, on average the car burns 5.7 liter per 100 km (49.5 mpg UK). Actually, my expectation was 5 liters or less (56.5 mpg). I think there are several reasons for his rather high fuel consumption: I am not perfectly adapted to driving a Hybrid, the car runs on winter tires - and I often do short trips (less than 5 miles) with cold engine. During this I notice that the engine often is running, even when the car is stationary. Obviously the engine runs in order to warm up itself and to warm up the cabin. I have read about fuel efficiency afficionados who avoid high fuel consumption by switching off the cabin heating during the first few miles - they rely on the heated seats.

This raises the question: Is there a difference between the heating system of a plugin hybrid car and a pure hybrid car? If the plugin hybrid is plugged into an ac socket anyway, can you pre-heat the engine and the cabin? If so, this would give you the chance to start with a warm car, so the engine does not have to run in order to warm everything up. This should lower your gas consumption noticeably.

And as we are talking: I know that there are simple electric heating systems used in the Nordics. They work like a immersion heater and simply warm up the cooling water of the engine. They run on 240 volt and simply are used while the car is standing. Has anybody tried such a system in a Toyota Hybrid?

Best regards from Bavaria

Sampleman

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12 hours ago, Sampleman said:

This raises the question: Is there a difference between the heating system of a plugin hybrid car and a pure hybrid car? If the plugin hybrid is plugged into an ac socket anyway, can you pre-heat the engine and the cabin? If so, this would give you the chance to start with a warm car, so the engine does not have to run in order to warm everything up. This should lower your gas consumption noticeably.

And as we are talking: I know that there are simple electric heating systems used in the Nordics. They work like a immersion heater and simply warm up the cooling water of the engine. They run on 240 volt and simply are used while the car is standing. Has anybody tried such a system in a Toyota Hybrid?

For the gen 1 Prius Plug-in: The heating system is no different from the standard gen 3 Prius, the ICE has to run to heat the coolant. The only electric heating is the seats.
For the gen 2 Prius PHV: This has an electric heat pump, and (maybe depending on specification) has a remote pre-heat function when plugged in. Other PHEVs and EVs have similar functionality.

What you describe are called "block heaters" in English, they can be installed in Toyota hybrids but I don't think you'll find anyone in the UK with one.

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Many years ago, we had a paraffin heater designed to go under the engine sump to keep the block warm.  Only any use in a garage of course.

Worked very well.

Attached is a similar one to ours.

Mick.

 

vintage-dante-engine-sump-heater_360_f0dbeea2b271da48d603edb1961c6203.jpg

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19 hours ago, Geoff P said:

so doubtful if it is worth while changing to a Gen 1 Plug-in as I do a mixture of mileage but probably more distance than just local  (I live in a rural town not in a city) although, I must admit, a Plug-in appeals!

In hybrid mode the gen1 plugin gets better mpg than the gen3 prius.  If you can make use of the plug in capability, you get even better mpg.  I used to have a gen3 prius and now have a gen1 plug in.  I know which one i would pick if they were the same price.

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My Prius Gen 3 Hybrid - not plug-in - gives me about 50 to 55 mpg now in the winter and was giving me 60 to 65 mpg during the summer.  Most runs are over 10 miles (unless I am popping down to B& Q that is!) and some upwards of 120 miles each way  Average I suppose would be 20 to 50 miles each time.

It seems to have a good Battery even though it is now seven years old - with - touch wood, no problems.  Not having heated seats I have purchased a pair of 12v heated seat cushions (base and back) at the cost of £16.95 the pair, high and low heat controls as well as off with a single 12v plug  Works very well.  I have changed the wheels from 17" to 15" with corresponding correct new Avon tyres - much more comfortable and a lot quieter on the road as the deeper side walls absorb the bumps and the noise.  Little things I wish it had - auto folding wing mirrors when you turn off the ignition, front parking sensors (although I have fitted my own) and decent interior foot lights (although again I have fitted my own), headlights that come on when the wipers are working and dual air con - but you cannot have it all I suppose although my previous Citroen C5 (2010) had all these things but it was Euro5 diesel and the tax was high!  And yes I have informed my insurance about the changes and additions.

Geoff.

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20 hours ago, Geoff P said:

My Prius Gen 3 Hybrid - not plug-in - gives me about 50 to 55 mpg now in the winter and was giving me 60 to 65 mpg during the summer.  Most runs are over 10 miles (unless I am popping down to B& Q that is!) and some upwards of 120 miles each way  Average I suppose would be 20 to 50 miles each time.

In hybrid mode long journeys my gen1 plugin gets around 65mpg in winter and 75mpg in summer.

On the daily commute (40 miles round trip) leaving home fully charged i get 90+ mpg in the winter and 100+ mpg in the summer.

 

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That's interesting - obviously the plug-in is a lot more economical than the normal hybrid - thanks for the information but do you have to have a special charger point or simply plug into a 13 amp socket (eg in a garage on on an exterior wall)?  Any idea how much it costs to charge via plug-in on your electricity bill?

Geoff.

 

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9 hours ago, Geoff P said:

That's interesting - obviously the plug-in is a lot more economical than the normal hybrid - thanks for the information but do you have to have a special charger point or simply plug into a 13 amp socket (eg in a garage on on an exterior wall)?  Any idea how much it costs to charge via plug-in on your electricity bill?

Geoff.

 

I’ve just changed electricity suppliers to Igloo Energy as I now have a PHV. I was with SSE and with Igloo the charge for each kWh has reduced by 28.5%. It costs me a shade  under £1 for a full charge on a 3-pin plug.

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11 hours ago, HectorG said:

 .................. It costs me a shade under £1 for a full charge on a 3-pin plug.

If you remained in EV mode, how far can you go for that £1?

Mick.

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2 hours ago, Mick F said:

If you remained in EV mode, how far can you go for that £1?

Mick.

I think it's quoted as 25 miles by Toyota, so less in the real world.

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1 hour ago, kithmo said:

I think it's quoted as 25 miles by Toyota, so less in the real world.

In Summer I get mid 30’s on a good day. At the moment it can drop to 26-28 miles with ac, wipers, lights etc on. Most of the charge point apps like Zap-Map suggest a real world figure of 30 miles. The current Toyota brochure for the “new” PHV gives a range of 34, whereas the previous brochure indicated a more optimistic range of 39 miles.

I think the new lower range is a consequence of the new stricter testing regime cars now have to go through. Of course much will depend on your driving style. I am a bit of a hypermiler having previously driven a hybrid and developed an obsession (at times quite irrational) With getting maximum mpg.

You can always drive around in Power Mode with your right foot to the floor, but that would miss the whole point of driving a Prius.  I watched a YouTube video a while ago where the tester drove a PHV for two weeks (from memory) in Power Mode and was very impressed with the car. But gas prices in the USA are low enough to make this viable, whether or not it’s sensible is another question.

 

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Say 20miles then?

Not bad for a quid I suppose, but if a normal car can do 60mpg and petrol costs about £5.50 per gallon, it'll do 20miles in about £1.80

Mick.

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BTW, for my use, which is largely round trips of 20 miles or less - I have a camper van for longer holiday trips - I make very large savings. I last filled up with petrol 8 weeks ago when I had to drive some way to Bristol airport and back a week later. I still have half a tank of fuel left and the car has been operating on 90% EV in the 3 months I’ve had it. 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Mick F said:

Say 20miles then?

Not bad for a quid I suppose, but if a normal car can do 60mpg and petrol costs about £5.50 per gallon, it'll do 20miles in about £1.80

Mick.

I think 20 miles is way too pessimistic. As I said in my post, 30 miles seems to be a realistic figure you can achieve as an average through the year - with a sensible driving style of course.

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