Three Prius_PHEV owners, three varying but excellent results.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Sept. 13, 2012
2012 Toyota Prius PHEV – 11 miles all-electric range at up to 62 mph from the plug and 50 mpgUS combined on the gas.
Toyota’s Prius PHEV has been purchased by 6,061 customers in its first full six-months on the market but that is only a small part of the larger picture.
The 2012 Toyota Prius PHEV
The new Prius PHEV is offered in two trims, the Standard and Advanced.
The standard trim provides all of the features of the Prius Two Hatch plus some features from the upscale Prius Three and Four trims including LED Daytime Running Lights, new driver-feedback screens, heated front seats, Smart Key System on three doors with push-button start and remote illuminated entry, and the Touch Tracer Display.
In addition, the 6.1 in touch-screen based Display Audio and navigation system with rear backup camera plus new Entune multimedia services and smartphone apps -- Charge Management, Remote Air Conditioning System, Charging Station Map, Vehicle Finder and Eco Dashboard remote controls and information -- are all standard.
The Advanced trim level adds a Head-Up Display, LED headlamps, SofTex interior seat trim, eight-way adjustable power driver seat, a JBL premium audio and HDD navigation system. Additional safety features in the Advanced trim include the Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Safety Connect system.
Even when not running in the driver-selectable EV mode
, the Prius PHEV will rely more on its electric-only capability in situations where it is more efficient than running the gasoline engine, especially in urban and suburban driving and during shorter trips when drivers will enjoy the smoothness and quiet of EV operation.
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against corrosion with no mileage limitation. The hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, and the battery-charging system and cable/connector, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles (10 years/150,000 miles for CARB states).
The Prius Plug-in Hybrid will also come standard with Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for three years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Basics and Charging
The Prius PHEV is the 50 mpgUS rated Prius we all know with the addition of a 4.4 kWh Li-Ion pack allowing an EPA estimated 11 miles all-electric range. We have experienced double that rating more than once already. A full charge from depleted when plugged into a 120V home circuit takes 2.5 to 3.0 hours or 1.5 hours using a 240v level 2 charging station.
Case Studies from San Francisco, Massachusetts and New York
Toyota highlighted 3 owners from both sides of the country giving their take on what the Prius PHEV provides on their unique commutes. In each case, the Prius PHEV provides more than promised!
Bay Area resident Rich Stephens learned to appreciate the high efficiency of the Prius PHEVs blended fuel economy.
“I commute 31 miles each way to work. I have put about 4,000 miles on my Prius Plug-in, equally split between gas and EV, and so far the average mileage shown on the computer is 136 MPG. With a full charge, my estimated EV range on the dash started at 12.9, dipped slowly to 11.3 as I was learning how best to drive, but has gone back up now to 12.5 miles and continues to climb. In the mornings, even when it is cool, I can drive more than 14 miles in EV mode on the freeway.”
Paul Kenyan of Massachusetts who surely is an avid hypermiler added the following:
“When I pre-ordered the Prius PHEV, I was wondering (and hoping) if it would do my 15-mile commute in EV mode. To my pleasant surprise, I have found that I can do it with 2 to 2-1/2 miles of EV range to spare. Even with the A/C on, I make it home with a mile or more left. Of course, terrain, speed limits, climate and driving style have something to do with that.”
Mark Rickey, a Prius PHEV owner in New York says the EV range helps him postpone the engagement of the gasoline engine during his commute:
“My commute in EV Mode is early in the morning with light traffic, so I am able to drive most of it at 35 mph, timing lights to reduce stop and go. My engine typically doesn’t engage until I am over the Verrazano Bridge. The system shows a 120 mpg blended average for my commute. I have put 2,500 miles on the car thus far, with an average fuel economy of 69 mpg, which is the result of blended operation that is about 30% EV and 70% hybrid.”
Now wouldn’t we all like to have those kinds of averages each and every day? If you have a 20 mile or less commute and can charge at work, the Prius PHEV is another good choice. If it is much longer, there are savings and there are expenses. Make sure you understand what is involved and if it meets your individual needs, consider its purchase for yourself.