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Toyota Prius, Ford Escape Hybrid, Lexus GS 450h, Fuel System, Engine, Hybrid Cars, Future Vehicle, Hatchback, Sedan, SUV
#1 of 75 Hybrid Prius that gets over 100 Miles per Gallon
Jun 27, 2006 (2:03 pm)
There are a couple companies that are actually making modifications to the Prius so it gets over 100 mpg for the average commuter or errand runner.
The Prius+ drives just like a normal hybrid, except that you have the optional ability to plug it in at night at your own house. You don't have to plug it in, but if you want to, you can get up to a 50 mile boost without EVER having to use the gasoline engine.
If you just run around the city doing errands at speeds up to 34 miles per hour, you could potentially get unlimited gas mileages. It costs 60 to 90 cents to charge overnight (much less than a gallon of fuel) and as the electricity grids become cleaner (ie, windpower, water, and solar verus coal) our Prius' become extremely more effective against pollution and global warming. At the same time, we minimize our support for Middle Eastern oil companies with 'petro' dollars that we spend at the pump. As a whole, our country becomes not only cleaner, but safer too.
I and many other customers would love for Toyota to make available now a plug in optional Hybrid Prius (PHEV), so please call Toyota and ask them to start making them. They don't think there will be a demand due to the failure with plug in electric cars in the past, but with gas at over $3.00 a gallon, I sure would love to average over 100 per gallon. And then when the battery runs out, the Prius keeps running as a normal hybrid.
The technologies exist, they are already on the road (just not mass produced -- see www.calcars.org), Toyota and other companies just need to know that us consumers will actually buy them. So please call Toyota at 800-331-4331. Tell them that for a few more thousand more, we'd like to plug in our hybrids at night to get over 100 miles per gallon.
Toyota really needs to do a complete customer survey to really gauge the demand for this new type of vehicle that not many people know about.
#2 of 75 Re: Hybrid Prius that gets over 100 Miles per Gallon [timinalaska]
Jun 27, 2006 (3:11 pm)
Tell them that for a few more thousand more, we'd like to plug in our hybrids at night to get over 100 miles per gallon
I would like to have a car I could plug in over night and use to run my errands. The modified Prius you are referring to is about a $12,000 add-on to an already over priced car. Even if gas was $5 per gallon you would never make up the difference you paid for the additional batteries. Then you add all that weight to a car that is marginal handling and you could have some serious problems. I am not saying that Toyota will not come up with a PHEV, it is highly unlikely until a better battery is invented. Good luck, I don't think Toyota pays any attention to us little people.
#3 of 75 Re: Hybrid Prius that gets over 100 Miles per Gallon [gagrice]
Jun 27, 2006 (5:20 pm)
Yes, you are exactly right. It's about $12,000 more for the add-on, but that's because the batteries, as you said, are still very expensive and only a few Prius' are currently being modifed.
However, the reason it's so great if Toyota took this on is because the extra cost might only be $3,000 to $4,000 (instead of $12,000) due to Toyota being able to manufacture PHEVs in economies of scale.
The initial battery technology has already came a long way since the first Prius was introduced a few years go. The batteries have also became less expensive. What we need is for Toyota to get on this and research and produce PHEVs so they actually are affordable. This also helps decrease our dependence on foreign oil.
I believe there is enough demand that not only it will be profitable for Toyota, but also will cause the battery technology to become much more affordable. Batteries are becoming lighter as they get more advanced. The batteries are still heavy, and to the best of my knowledge, the extra gain in weight currently causes a decrease of about 5 mpg. This figure might actually be less now, as the companies are putting a lot of research bringing this figure down as much as possible. But the lower mpg is compensated by being able to plug in your Prius overnight and get 100 mpg if you're commuting to work or doing errands.
As has been said, a couple companies have been able to modify the Prius into an optional plug in hybrid...imagine what Toyota can do with their engineers and their financial standing. I'm sure they could do so much more and make this technology much less expensive.
p.s. It's us little people that buy the Prius' though, and Toyota will listen to us if they know more and more people would want to buy a PHEV =)
#4 of 75 Re: Hybrid Prius that gets over 100 Miles per Gallon [timinalaska]
Jun 27, 2006 (5:58 pm)
The initial battery technology has already came a long way since the first Prius was introduced a few years go.
I don't think it has. They are still using the same NiMH battery technology developed by GM for the EV-1 in 1997. The only reason I can see for the lighter batteries is less capacity. There may have been some subtle advances. Toyota also has to pay royalties for using the NiMH battery technology. I have not seen any credible evidence that the price of batteries for the hybrids have come down at all since their introduction. Hybrid car prices have only gone up, up, up.
CalCars is using Li-ion batteries for their plug-in hybrid modifications. They are very expensive and have some serious problems to overcome concerning heat if over charged.
Don't get me wrong I like the whole concept of an electric vehicle. I was sad that CARB pulled the carpet out from under the automaker's. I believe they would have solved most of the issues by now. I'm not sold on current hybrids, but for those that like them, it is good.
#5 of 75 Toyota Prius
Jun 27, 2006 (9:18 pm)
I am going to buy one soon> 100 miles per gallon ? How long is the batteries warranty & what would the total cost be to be replaced? This needs to be calculated in hybrid v gas or diesel
#6 of 75 Re: Toyota Prius [icediablo]
Jun 28, 2006 (6:25 am)
That is a good question. If you live in CA they may have something to say about the warranty. Because it is an add-on to an existing car it will void your regular warranty. I would imagine it is less than 1 year warranty by the vendor. If the Li-ion conversion is $12k. That is mostly for the batteries. If the system allows the batteries to charge fully and discharge fully, the lifespan will not be very long. That is how Toyota protects the batteries in their hybrids. They only use about 60% of the capacity in the middle of the range. Never over charging or total discharging.
#7 of 75 Re: Toyota Prius [gagrice]
Jun 28, 2006 (10:39 am)
Thx gagrice, Two more things you may know,what would it take for me to add the plugin, can i jumper asis a 2500 or 5000 watt inverter to power a small home ? I did read somewhere someone did this ? ps what in your opinion is the best vehicle to own hybrid.. straight gas or diesel & what model? Thx again from bama ROLL TIDE!
#8 of 75 Re: Toyota Prius [icediablo]
Jun 28, 2006 (12:47 pm)
I am assuming you want to use the batteries in the Hybrid to power your home in an emergency. I know that is one of the things I thought of when I bought the GMC Hybrid PU truck. It has four 20 amp 120 volt outlets. I have only used it to run a saw out in the field. I would be real cautious about adding an invertor to a hybrid car. Maybe a small one for laptops and cameras.
If I was in need of a commuter car I would consider the Civic hybrid. The Prius is a good commuter also. I just cannot get past the looks. The Prius has lots of room when you fold the back seats. The Camry Hybrid is very popular also. I just do not like that low slung look that so many cars are copying. It hinders visibility that is important to me. Good luck with your search.
#9 of 75 Re: Toyota Prius [gagrice]
Jul 02, 2006 (8:57 am)
Always keeping in mind the "stock" Prius battery only has a few amp-hrs of capacity, so I doubt you could use it for much. It only carries the car a few km on its' own. The primary design goal of the battery was to store the recovered regenerative brake energy (about 20% of the mileage gain) and to give a torque boost to the gasoline engine under acceleration. The gas engine is run in a different mode than usually used, and this gives it higher efficiency (another 10-15% mileage gain) but in this mode it develops a lot less power than the "normal" cycle engines).
The aftermarket guys add a much larger battery (something I have often wondered about). The NiMh battery was never developed by GM! It's a design done by a separate company (who have been trying to get the car manufacturerers to listen for a few years now). The NiMh battery has been improving rapidly. Just look at the capacity increase of AA batteries over the last two years. Almost doubled!
As for adding an inverter, not a good idea. Most aftermarket inverters run on 12VDC. The Prius 12V battery is tiny and you'd run the risk of discharging it rapidly - and damaging it (because it's a lead acid battery it can be damaged if discharged too much).
As for heat under charge, all battery technologies heat up, but both the LiI (lithium ion) and NiMh (nickle metal hydride) seem to suffer from this a little more. An easy solution is to use coolant passed though small pipes between the battery cells. There are up to 400 cells in the Prius (500 V battery), though I suspect it's closer to 333. Lots of places for improvement. There isn't actually a lot of heat energy, so a simple free air radiator would suffice with a charger that throttles back when the temp gets too high.
Oh, and there are rumours that Toyota will add "plugin" capability to the Prius in 2008. We shall see.
#10 of 75 Re: Toyota Prius [pathstar1]
Jul 02, 2006 (11:00 am)
Oh yeah, I forgot one thing. There is a new movie out which is going to major metropilitan areas in July and August. It's called "Who Killed the Electric Car?" (www.whokilledtheelectriccar.com).
I just saw this at the opening in Los Angeles last week. It's very interesting, and it also discusses to an extent the improvement over battery technology over the last few years, and also how the Automakers have not used the best battery technology available to them.
The movie's been distributed by Sony Classics, and it's well worth seeing.