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New Prius Owners - Give Us Your Report

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  • wow...very low electric rate you have. Lucky you. I think some of us, under peak conditions, would be paying 3 to 4 times that amount per Kw.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    edited August 2012
    I'm still wondering on the true cost/mile for an electric car. I know that with a Prius, if I'm getting 50mpg for 10,000 miles at $3.5 per gal that equals $0.07 per mile.

    From what I've read, if you can go 40 miles on a charge, then a full charge will cost about $1.50 depending on the price of electricity. So if a person fully charges a Volt 5 days a week for a year they'd pay $390 for 10,400 miles driven, or $0.0375 per mile.

    So if I drove purely electric in the Volt, I'd pay $0.0325 less per mile as compared to a regular Prius. That would equal $325 for a 10,000 mile commute per year where I could drive the Volt purely in electric mode. A regular Prius will cost at least $5,000 less than a Volt, so it would take about 15 years for the Volt's increased price to be matched by the reduced price per mile driven. Another downside to the Volt is that it only has 10CuFt of cargo space as compared to 21CuFt in the Prius, and the Prius can carry 5 people as compared to 4 in the Volt.

    Another factor to consider is the after the battery runs out, the Volt gets about 35MPG, so if you drive a few thousand miles a year on the gas engine for road trips, vacations, etc., you'll probably save $100 per year with the Prius, so this reduces the $325 saved in the above example down to $225 for the Volt, which also means the payback to the Volt over the Prius is about 22 years (and that's with the smaller trunk and less passenger capability).

    Nothing against the Volt, but when it comes to comparing a regular to plug-in hybrid, if the plug-in is going to cost more than a few thousand as compared to a regular Prius, then it's probably not worth getting the plug-in unless gas gets above $5.00 per gallon, or you have really cheap electricity where you live and you don't drive too much between charges.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    To Dmathews3...what was your previous vehicle before the Volt that was costing you $200 per month in gas? If you're now putting zero in gas that makes me think you're only driving 40 miles per day, so in a month that would be about 1200 miles. If you were paying $200 per month in gas previously, than means your previous vehicle was only getting about 22mpg (at $3.8/gal).

    Now you're paying $30 per month in electricity as compared to $200, which is great; however, if you bought a regular Prius, at 50mpg $3.8/gal it would cost you $91 per month in gas, so you're saving $732 per year with the Volt over the Prius. I wonder how much you paid for the Volt as compared to a regular Prius...maybe $5,000? And what vehicle do you use for long road trips?

    I think when regular hybrids and plug-ins become equal in price, then I'll buy one.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    The big plus to me is I'm almost no longer giving my money to foreign oil. We also have a Fusion Hybrid. I leased this time do to the new technology and the rebate was figured into my lease payment as to buy I don't have the tax lability to get the $7500 credit. I had a Equinox I sold. Like I said its not for all and just doing math and buying isn't my cup of tea. Also the plug in Pruis in my understanding costs as much as the Volt and if so in my book the Volt wins. Also the Prius plug in wasn't out to even look at then. And lastly I like a high end car.
  • We looked at the Volt also and it is a very nice car! The wife had an 07 Prius that was rear- ended and she wanted another one. The base Plug in is about 30K after figuring the $2500 rebate for this. It has a fair amount of equipment and was ok for us- there is another trim level- Advanced with Leather etc and would likely compare to the Volt in the nice factor and cost once the Gov't rebates are figured in. We leased also due to the whole thing being new. I think both these vehicles are great and I'll post again when we get some more miles under our belt!
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Good points. It does really make a difference what you're looking for in a car...space, value, reliability, luxury features, resale, etc...Any hybrid buyer out there is a winner in my book! The less gas we use in this country the better. It's more then just saving money at the pumps.
  • It has not been more than a few weeks and we can see the Average MPG for this based on how we
    drive it will be 70 plus. The wife drove to work and back 9 miles all on electric. And SHE plugged it
    back in when she got home!! The MPG on the tank we are working on shows 73. I'll post again
    later but thought I'd add some real world experience on this "new" hybrid!
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    edited September 2012
    It's going to be a little tricky trying to compare mpg with plug-ins, since you have to add in the cost of electricity. So your MPG of 73 on 50 miles driven for example include 9 miles that were powered by plugging it into your house. 73MPG for 50 miles driven really means that the computer has calculated 0.685 gallons of gas were used to drive the 50 miles; however, in reality 0.685 gallons of gas were used to drive only 41 miles, since 9 miles were from the charge from your house), so 0.685 gallons for 41 miles = 56MPG, not 73MPG.

    Of course it's hard to say how much of a charge you got from home. Was your battery totally drained, or only a little bit? It sounds like you drove 9 miles on electricity only, then plugged it in at home, so if your car was totally charged before the 9 miles driven, then you can estimate that the 9 miles was from the house charge.

    Another way to calculate would be a cost per mile estimate, which will probably soon replace MPG as the standard as more electric and plug-in vehicles are on the roads. In this example, if you used 0.685 gallons of gas at $4/gal that would be $2.74/gal, plus let's say $0.50 in electricity, so that would be $3.24 for the 50 miles driven. If a person with a regular Prius getting 50mpg drove the 50 miles at $4/gallon they'd pay $4.00 for the 50 miles driven, thus you just saved $0.76 on the 50 miles driven or $0.0152 savings per mile.

    Of course if you only paid $.025 for the electricity, tha would be $2.99 for the 50 miles or $1.01 savings for the 50 miles or $0.202 savings per mile.

    The main thing for people to understand is that you can't just compare the computer MPG readout from a plug-in to a non-plug-in. And because with plug-ins when you actually "plug it in" the amount of house-electricity as compared with gas powered generated electricty from the car will vary depending on the amout of remaining charge in the battery when you plug it in your house, so that will add to the complexity of trying to calculate a cost per mile.
  • michaelcozensmichaelcozens Posts: 23
    edited September 2012
    We just got our electric bill, to my suprise it went down slightly from same time last Year. I am sure it has been a little less hot so our home AC is running a little less- but this is telling me this plug in is not using an extraordinary amount of electric. I really expected the KWH to go up some amount but not seeing it..as yet. I'd say we plug it in to recharge 5 days a week. I'm sure the usage will "show" somewhere along the line on the bill.
    You make a good point about the MPG readout- the "MPG" gain from adding in the electric is not "free" there is some cost for sure. Also, real pleased with how the engine/hybrid/batteries seem to run in a seamless manner. The transition on our old Prius 2007 was much more noticeable than this one.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    It would be nice if the charging unit would keep track of the Kwh used in charging the battery, so at the end of the month you could take that Kwh of usage as a percent of your electric bill to add in the electricity cost to the gasoline usage.
  • I recently purchased a 2011 year-end close-out Prius to replace a 2006 Prius that I purchased new and handed down to my son. I am not using my new car any differently, but I am seeing new scratches show up on a regular basis. I didn't have this problem with the 2006 Prius; the paint job on it looks practically new. I just asked the service rep at the dealer about this, and he was incredibly dismissive about it, saying it is the same as the 2006 paint job and nothing has changed. I worked in the automotive industry for 12 years and know that things change all the time. And something has definitely changed between the paint job on my old Prius and this one. If I had it to do over again, I would not buy this car. I will probably not buy another Toyota if this one continues to scratch up and turn into a rust bucket.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Is the new Prius a different color? Sometimes scratches show up differently with different colors.
  • Darker colors for instance.

    Also, how the car is washed and who is washing it (are they trained and what materials do they use) can make a huge difference.
  • 32193219 Posts: 1
    MPG suddenly dropped on a trip. Toyota checked car computer and found no problems
    Local dealer says he can not fix it without help from SE Toyota
    SE Toyota refuses to help
    Problem has lasted for 3 months and have made 4 trips to the dealer
    Car, bought new now has 20,000 miles, has had only one driver and has used many different gasoline brands Before this problem, car always got 50+mpg
  • Were you traveling at higher speeds than you normally do? With a Prius, the best MPG is often city driving.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,195
    The best mpg in my prius is creeping along in a 15 minute traffic jam. The dash pegs at 100 mpg. 46 isn't that bad. Short trips and cool weather take a toll. I leave my trip meter alone and after 2-3000 miles I average 51. I've been in the 40's when I was always checking but no more. 27k total miles and probably in the high 40's overall.
  • Factors affecting fuel economy:
    cold temperatures, new tire tread, low tire pressure, vertical, hard acceleration and braking, speed.

    When I first got my Prius, I was patient and slow on all of my trips, had original small factory tires, and drove in summer with fuel economy 50 MPG. After the first winter, the cold temperatures gave me an average of 48 MPG. Purchase of heavy, all-season tires cut fuel economy five percent. Over-inflating tires is a trick used to increase fuel economy, operating in the light of day leads to warmer temperatures, and getting the luggage and excess junk out of the vehicle potentially offers higher fuel economy. Kick your spouse out of the car for higher fuel efficiency.
  • I have two friends and I'm always bugging them about MPG, and over the course of a few years, they both seem to average right around 46-48 mpg.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,931
    edited January 6

    If you are a parent of young children (at least one under 12 years old) who owns a 2012-14 Toyota Prius, a reporter would like for you to fill out a survey for use in a print publication. Please email PR@edmunds.com no later than Wednesday, January 8, 2014, for a copy of the survey.

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