2011 Prius PHEV-13 Impressions... And they are good ones :)

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Family' started by xcel, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] Prius Plug-in proves Toyota’s commitment to continuous improvement.

    [FIMG=RIGHT ]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/2010_Prius-III_PHEV_.jpg[/FIMG]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - April 12, 2010

    San Diego, CA -- The largest gathering of Prius PHEV-12/13’s in the history of the U.S. occurred today at a conference dedicated to “Sustainability”. And the gathering proves once again that Toyota is not standing still.

    25 brand new, just off the boat Prius PHEV’s destined for the U.S. Fleet trial (previously announced any number of times at CleanMPG) were available for Journalists to drive not only under Plug-in power but in charge sustaining mode as well. And like a child at Christmas, some were more excited to try out the latest wares more than others… I think you all know where I stand ;)

    Although I cannot go into the tech detail, I am allowed to discuss the driving impressions. While we wait for LEAF’s to fall, Focus to be attained and Volts to be charged, the OEM 2010/2011 Prius PHEV offers hundreds of thousands already familiar with the icon everything they have come to know and love plus a lot more.

    The Drive

    Along with the tech detail pronouncements we will have available after 08:30 AM tomorrow morning (you do not dare break an embargo or you will never be invited back ;)), noticeable improvements were seen from my own short 20 mile drive in a number of areas.

    The Prius MFD now includes a few new screens and information on the screens we are all familiar with. On the standard HSI screen, there is now an all-electric countdown allowing one to consider when and where you will run out of juice and the ICE will take over in standard Hybrid mode. This range counter is also shown on the energy screen.

    The HSI threshold bar disappears under PHEV “EV” mode and you have the entire range to the PWR section before the ICE will kick on and assist for either power or above 62 mph (see below).

    In addition, the EV button is gone and if you have juice available (kWh) in the sub packs, a large EV icon appears in the standard display.

    I had 8.5 miles left when I took off and at 8.3 miles, the Prius transitioned into charge sustaining mode or standard hybrid mode. In heavy afternoon traffic on an urban drive route with ~ 500’ descents followed by 500’ climbs again and again, the range counter would climb rapidly under heavy regen and drop precipitously when climbing. If you are on EV, you can regen the Sub-Packs and continue to use it until 0.0 miles AER (All-electric range) appears. I saw the drop out occur during a heavy climb at 1.1 miles left and once the climb was complete, the EV Icon reappeared and I was able to use the remaining charge until 0.0 miles. While the ICE was on for just 30-seconds or so to finish the climb, coolant was dead cold yet the engine shut down and after those 30-seconds and allowed me to finish off the last little bit of charge available in the last sub-pack.

    I asked about EPA requirements given the emissions and the engineer said the Prius PHEV passed its cert’s under the FTP75 test cycle and all is good on that front. Finally logic prevails even at the EPA :)

    Charge Sustaining Mode (just like the Prius’ we know and Love ;))

    If there is charge in the pack, it feels stronger than the std. NiMH pack. Easier to EV while climbing for example. In addition and a downside of the new PHEV, I was told are in Charge sustaining mode, you will only see a maximum of two bars to zero bars as a range of SoC and. Not good… But, just 5-minutes after I was told this while in the car, another 500’ drop occurred and up to 4 bars she went. The Engineer has a call into Japan about that one now that he has seen it ;) However, I could not find a way to coax the sub-packs to fill even a bit in order to go back to PHEV mode in order to allow regen to fill the “big” subs although I was told that is possible maybe. We’ll get that back as there are places in the country when regening down a mountain would be extremely handy ;) There is no On/Off button so as to force this situation with .1 miles of AER left or anything so it has to be done carefully if it can be done at all.

    While this was an all-city drive with a maximum speed of 40 mph, the kicker is S1 through S4 has been tweaked. I never performed an idle check and out of possibly 50 Cycles (ICE-On to ICE-Off to ICE-On transitions, THERE WAS NO GLIDE FAILURES and that was with coolant anywhere from 125 to 191 degrees F!!! Not a single one no matter the speed, the Coolant temp or the terrain. You let off and she shut down!!! Halleluiah :D

    Finally, the HSI turns back into the standard HSI we know from the 2010 Prius with the EV threshold sitting in the middle of Charge and Power and the car acts just as it does in today’s Prius. Other than the stronger EV, the two-bar indicator vs. Full range.

    2010 Toyota Prius - ScanGauge X-Gauges

    Unfortunately the CAN Bus traffic has been rewritten again so it will be some time before we will have SoC, Battery Current and Pack Voltage we have in the current Prius. There is still the goofy .02 GPH still being consumed when shut down but given the PHEV works like a PHEV is supposed to work, this is the best of the bunch today. 50 mpg capability on gas and 13-miles of true AER (All-Electric range) is apparently in the cards for just about anybody.

    Tonight, Toyota is allowing me to take a Prius PHEV at full charge out on the highway for some of that testing but most here know what we are really after… That 62 mph glide after the sub-packs are depleted (other Journalists have seen as high as 64 mph on a highway loop) and if it can be exploited under charge sustaining mode for higher Highway FE than the ~ 70 MPG peak we can pull today? My fingers are crossed. Even if it cannot, I wish the PHEV logic was flashed to the regular Prius’ for all the reasons above.

    Tomorrow’s Agenda

    I will hopefully have more after tonight’s including colors choices, trim and equipment levels for the fleet but what I am supposed to be here for is a number of scientists discussing our global climate change, Economics of Climate Change, Urban planning and transportation after Peak Oil, Water Scarcity, Low Caron fuels, Rare earth metals and their use in batteries and finally Biofuels including Algae. Each topic has its own esteemed professor giving the presentation and I will do my best to keep up with all of that as well.

    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  2. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Hot diggity!! That sounds like a promising bit of tech from Toyota with some things finally done "right!" :D

    Please sir, may I have some more?? :D
  3. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    It looks like Toyota again has set the bar pretty high for the competition to match.
  4. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    Sounds great Wayne! How much more can ya really ask for ;)
  5. chibougamoo

    chibougamoo Well-Known Member

    (Think sponge, Wayne ... think BIG sponge ... soak it all up for us, and dribble the goods back to the rest of the reef, here!)
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Good and the bad

    A few of the Prius’ sitting in the parking area.


    2011 Prius PHEV – EV Mode

    12.6 miles of AER EV range in hotel parking lot to 16.2 miles out with a mix of ~ 2 miles city, ~ 6-miles suburban and ~ 8-miles Interstate.​

    ___When the 1.1 mile AER appeared, I was climbing on I-5 w/ ~ 60% of the range being used. The current threshold bar literally jumped into power mode with the ICE immediately starting. About .5 miles of climb later, I tried to get the ICE to shut down and it took two oscillations of the pedal to shut down the ICE. The AER was sitting at .6 miles, ICE shut down and it climbed back up to .8 miles as I regened down the back side of the long hill. Over the next mile, the ICE started one more time and after I got it to shut down, I drove to what you see above: .1 miles AER, 16.2 miles out and 32 mph average speed.

    ___All said, ~ 15 miles of EV in a mixed environment.

    ___I still had 62 mph glides available with power in the sub pack and the big EV mode available…

    Moment of truth

    ___As soon as the EV mode ran out, the HSI reverted to the std. screen and on my next drop at 56 mph, let off and…

    ___Warp Stealth only :ccry: I tried a number of times at varying slower speeds and only until she was below 45 mph would the ICE shut down :(

    ___So after PHEV mode is complete, the 62 mph glide is finished as well.

    ___Round trip all-highway drive. I pulled off the Interstate, reset everything to see what she was worth on a low speed highway. With a 10 + mph headwind and highway speeds averaging 50 mph, she was not doing well at all. 63.7 mpg with 48 mph showing and an off-ramp ahead. I turned around and headed back for the RT numbers. And of course the now tail wind... I was using IGN 21 whenever it was available and Warp Stealth whenever that was.


    ___I have no idea if this is a 6 mpg over report, 3 mpg over report or a dead on FCD display so take the above for what it’s worth.

    ___With the extra 220 pounds of pack, it feels heavy but it really shouldn’t… So it appears as if the PHEV-13 loses maybe 3 mpg vs. the non-PHEV Prius although this was a 100 to maybe 400 + foot climb/falls again and again on I-5 heading towards LA from San Diego and back again.

    ___The big news, no 62 mph glide when the subpacks have run down.

    ___Tomorrow is another day and I will try some more things. And of course we have all the scientists here giving any number of presentations :)

    ___Good Luck

    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  7. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Dig in and enjoy! Bring one back to Illinois when you come!
  8. w4wfm

    w4wfm Well-Known Member

    ALL RIGHT!!!

    I almost bought a new one last month, but talked myself into waiting. I was not sure why, but now I know. I am glad I did!

  9. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Well that no glide at highway speeds bit is disappointing. :(

    Can you force the engine on with a fully charged battery if you are heavy enough on the pedal? If not, how much AER does it use getting up to 62mph? If we can't force the engine on when we want it HS P&G isn't going to work very well even with electric range remaining if 62mph is an on/off switch. :p
  10. hobbit

    hobbit He who posts articles

    What's the battery layout? Is it extra NiMH or did they finally
    go with a lithium-chem pack?
    Sounds a little disappointing that you don't have more control
    over it for predicted terrain. I can think of plenty of places
    where I think "hmm, way more than 600 ft of descent coming" ...
  11. Jough96Accord

    Jough96Accord 1996 Honda Accord 2.2l 5spd

    What about tires? Anything new? What about psi?
  12. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    These will give the Volt lots of grief.
    The Leaf has zero chance to be a volume seller, but this Prius might put a stake in the Volt.
    I'm pulling for GM, but if this Prius costs only $30,000 or so, why buy a Volt?
    I just can't see anyone choosing a Leaf over this Prius.
    I hope Nissan got deposits with those Leaf orders. 13 miles might look pretty good to many potential leaf buyers. Probably won't have to buy one of those fast recharge stations since recharge might be just 4-6 hours on 110v extension cord-plug it in at work-drive home.

    Will there be any tax credit associated with it?
  13. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    It's a question of EV range.

    At 15 miles the PHEVrius EV range is insufficient for me. My and my wife's commutes are between 40 and 45 miles round trip and we wouldn't expect to be able to charge at work and nor would I want to (peak electricity). The difference that the longer range would make could be up to 10,000 miles per year EV.

    For us the Leaf would be cheaper to run and maintain and not cost much more. For anyone who can make effective use of EV range of a full BEV is a better deal than a plug-in. The PHEVrius' slightly lower fuel economy compared to a regular Prius further favors a BEV although I haven't compared it to a regular Prius yet.

    An expensive Volt would be hit by the PHEVrius, but even then there's is a market of people who simply don't like driving the Prius or want to buy American. Temporarily the price gap would be narrowed by the Volt have a larger tax credit due to battery size plus , you can expect the release of the PHEVrius to affect the price of the Volt just as the Insight made the Prius a little cheaper.
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Could someone in-the-know please spell out PHEV? I assume it means plug-in something something, but just curious.

    Addendum: Ok, clicked on the acronym link, doh. All sorted ;)
  15. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney- slightly lower FE-?? This plug in will lose a bit a city FE due to the extra weight- is that it?? I'm guessing about 250 lbs or so, is that about right?

    I winder if Toyota had this in mind when they decided on the bigger 1.8 liter ICE?

    Still, paying maybe 3-5 cents cents per mile for 10 mile(I assume it is pretty cold in Maine and you won't get claimed range), and then 30 more miles at 10 cents/mile (50mpg $5/gal-I'm fairly pessimistic on gas prices-I expect we will be paying Euro type prices in 5 years or so)
    You'll be paying about $3.30 per 40 miles for fuel- $6,600 per 80,000 miles
    All electric- at 3 cents per mile just $2400 or $4800 at 6 cents/per mile
    Yes, you'll save about $4000.I can see your point.
    For many folks it would be worth $4000 for the unlimited range/versatility, and extra size/road trip/Home Depot ability of the Prius.

    I just don't see anyone who can afford a $28000 car actually choosing it as an only car.I see it being the city car for folks affluent enough to afford a second more versatile vehicle.I just don't see them selling more than 12,000/yr in the USA after the first year.

    Now the second vehicle might be a much cheaper used vehicle-like my cheapo FSP- paired with the Prius we average 35mpg(despite my wife getting just 35 mpg with the Prius and 10 mpg with the FSP).

  16. Ophbalance

    Ophbalance Administrator Staff Member

    Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle.
  17. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    Wayne suggested a 3mpg drop with the extra weight, but I don't know if that's a Wayne number or an ordinary mortal number. I've done some crunching using 47mpg and the 15 mile AER Wayne got.

    My crunching rules:
    EV: 90% charging efficiency, $0.1473/kWh
    Gas: $2.849
    Leaf: 80 mile AER, 16kWh
    Volt: 32 AER, 38 mpg, 8.8kWh
    PHEVrius: 15 AER, 47 mpg, 3kWh
    Prius: 50mpg
    Trips: based on our commutes and other frequent journeys. Commutes are 45.2 and 40 round trip with no charging. We're pretty exceptional with our other trips since outside of local errands, they are also mostly 40 to 45 mile round trips.

    Crunch, crunch, crunch:

    Leaf - $347.04 per year doing 14308.6 miles (all EV, obviously)
    PHEVrius - $95.03 per year doing 16930.2 miles (5615.0 EV mode)
    Volt - $68.31 per year doing 13518.2 miles (10393.4 EV mode)

    And a few more what-ifs:
    What if the Volt got 40 AER?

    $256.59 per year 13518.2 miles (12824.3 EV mode)

    What if electricity were half the price ($0.07365/kWh)?

    Leaf: $581.17
    PHEVrius: $187.86 18493.6 miles (5765.0 EV mode)
    Volt: $302.25 14027.8 miles (10570.2 EV)

    What if gas were $5/gallon?

    Leaf: $962.60
    PHEVrius: $306.67 17962.0 miles (5720.0 EV mode)
    Volt: $472.98 13518.2 miles (10393.4 EV)

    We're BEV-suitable: no public transportation alternative, lots of 40-80 round trips, 2 car.
    The Volt might suit suburban commuters more and the Prius will suit everybody. The key really is buying a car with range that suits your driving.

    With the Volt being poor at HEV mileage it seems that it's value will rest on the AER. I'll be very interested to see the real-world values.

    (Aside: my wife just came home reporting 52.8 on the MFD. She heard me typing and just said in a mocking voice "My wife just came in and she said 52.8". I showed her my laptop screen and what I'd just typed. "Dork". I think she's now trying to beat my mileage. She even slowed down to 67 on I95. :D )
  18. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    ___While I do not have much more to report on the Prius PHEV-13 (I did see a fully charged PHEV with 14.4 miles on the EV range indicator while booted up for some period of time already... Do the math ;)), the Volt's OEM production price is $625.00/kWh.

    ___This may be public already and maybe not but one of the scientists just passed it on.

    ___Regarding the "Sustainability Conference, talk about heavy hitters and the topics will fill CleanMPG pages over the next year. So much detail from those that perform the research and pass it along in a readable and condensed format to Policy makers. You would not belive some of the issues we face! Hold onto your hats because the next 6 to 8-years is going to be one wild ride!!!

    ___Good Luck

  19. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    The big cost benefit of a pure BEV isn't just on the energy consumption (although that can be a huge savings, especially if you consider gas prices will almost CERTAINLY rise -- and especially for those of us who pay only 8.7c/kWh for top-of-the-line carbon-free power).

    The big savings is in maintenance. There's no way a Leaf will cost anywhere near what a Prius does (let alone any GM product) to maintain. A BEV doesn't have anything a PHEV doesn't ... but it lacks a fuel system, a cooling system, an ignition system, an emissions system, an exhaust system, an ICE and a transmission -- all of which can cost considerable amounts of money to maintain.

    No question the Prius PHEV-13 will probably sell more than the Leaf due to much greater versatility. But I still think the Leaf and the Focus BEV will have considerable appeal as second vehicles, due to their lower ownership costs.
  20. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    Sounds good to me. About the time they are selling them, I will be in the market for a new Prius.

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