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Recharge Prius at Home on AC power?



  • roland3roland3 Posts: 431
    ... acdii, the NOX is created by heat and pressure in the combustion chamber. The temp of the fuel preinjection is almost a nonfactor, other than if it is too cold it does not combust as well. Actually I would like to see some studies done on the fuel starting at 300 F. but ALL the manus seem to fear their fuel system components. The NOX is one of God's cruel little jokes, as heat, pressure, compression gives us efficiency and power especially in Diesel.
    ... NOX, might not be the worse thing to breath, as compared to CO, HC and particulate but creates the BROWN haze and receives the most attention. I am for clean air but I think exhasut gas recirculation is not the way to obtain it. For one thing in a big truck it takes fifteen more horsepower to drive the fan with an EGR system. This is a big problem for thirty years because CARB and EPA measure exhaust gas quality and NOT quantity. Not to mention that many of these EGR systems are failure prone a few years down the road. I believe that air quality will follow fuel efficiency.
  • chadxchadx Posts: 153
    I just got back from our annual trip to Germany (we have family there) and rented a BMW 1 series for a 300 mile one-way trip up north. It had the small diesel engine. With the manual tranny, the acceleration was nice and zippy, though it took some adjustment to get used to the redline being so low for a small car. Maybe 5k rpm.

    On our drive, I averaged between 90 - 110 mph with plenty of runs up to 120mph (and I was getting passed liked crazy) and still pulled over 40 miles to the gallon (I had to convert from metric, etc). That car is rated at 50mpg highway, and I'm sure it would get it at legal U.S. speeds. They have an even smaller diesel that is rated at 60mpg. BMW is also making changes this year to improve the hp rating 10 - 15% but still increase mileage 15%, so the 1 series will be even better. All this without any hybrid technology. Oh, and they meet all tier 2 emission requirements quite handely. It's definitely a "consumer perception" issue, in this country, regarding diesel power and it's performance, cleanlyness, etc.
  • I am looking at purhasing a 2001 Prius with 142k miles. The guy I am going to buy this car from said:

    The car had some kind of failure, so he towed it to the dealer.

    This is what he told me:

    The lights do come on the computers
    > are all energized. It gives an error code that the Toyota
    > mechanic says indicates the main battery. It is a different
    > code than what it gave when the inverter was bad. It will
    > not start since the electric motor is the starter also. Yes
    > I am sure that you can replace the main battery(which is
    > called the traction battery by Toyota) and it should be
    > fine. The mechanic at Toyota said that he thought that the
    > battery that is in it would be ok if it were charged. I am
    > just relating what I have been told. I really do not know
    > anything about these cars. You are welcome to look at it for
    > yourself. I am sure if you know about these cars you can fix
    > it but I do not know how. The mechanic who did some of the
    > work on it was going to buy it but he has lost his job and
    > moved out of state.

    Let me know what you guys think about this car. I think it has been sitting for about a year.

    ANY advice would be wonderful and helpful!


    PS I really want one of these I just can't afford a new one!
  • Stay away from that car. The 2001-2003 were no good to start with. Poor performance, poor milage, lousy cabin. If it was a 2004 or newer, I might take a shot.
  • I guess one of the first things I would do is to find out the cost to replace the battery. I have heard several figures but not from Toyota.

    When I think of these Hybrids I immediately think of the childrens game where there are 11 kids and 10 chairs. Ring around the ROSEY is what we called it. Whoever is left holding the car when the battery needs replacing is in trouble.
  • Does anyone have anything helpful to say? I know how much the batterys cost at the dealer, I can also buy them off ebay for $1500. I am wondering if anyone else has had this problem and is it possible to repair this battery at home using parts purchased off ebay or getting a battery from a junkyard or is it possible to charge the battery or is it possible to recharge the battery using the onboard generator rolling it down a long hill? I dunno I am just thinking out loud.
  • Forget about Plug In Hybrids for a few years unless your driving is limited to 5-10 mile round trips. The present Prius traction battery will get you 1 mile if you're lucky. A $10,000 retrofit will get you maybe 10-15 miles before the ICE takes over or you have to recharge. My 2004 Prius, with EV, goes about 1/2 mile. Jim Woolsey, former CIA Director, has a specially modified Prius that gets him 40 miles to work where he recharges to get home. He would not estimate what the conversion cost. It was done at government expense and takes up the entire trunk and back seat. For very short trips get an golf cart or an electric car. A natural gas/ICE would be a logical replacement for a gasoline/ICE.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Just curious, you say you can go about a 1/2 mile on just the electric at what speed? Also Ford says up to 47 on theirs in which I can get about 44 or so for about close to a mile but trying to watch the road and the fancy dash makes it hard to tell for sure also that is using the ice to get to 50 and let it coast down to 44 where the ice shuts off and electric takes over. One thing I have never got it up to 47 from a dead stop as I just haven't had the time to find a lonely flat road nor the time plus we got it for our family car and mpg wasn't our first priority.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    >> Does anyone have anything helpful to say?

    I owned one for 3 years before upgrading, then recently upgrading again.

    The 2001 was really nice. Not sure what the "poor" judgement was in comparison to. Performance was fine (never any trouble merging) and mileage was too (45.4 MPG average for 59,827 miles).
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    >> Just curious, you say you can go about a 1/2 mile on just the electric at what speed?

    42 MPH is the threshold for the models thru 2009.

    46 MPH for the 2010.

    62.1 MPH (100 km/h) for the plug-in.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..8000# truck.."

    When all you really need, seem to need, is a horse trailer and the ability to tow it.

    Most any 3000# vehicle can do that quite handily.

    "...If more....were diesels.."

    Exactly where gasoline engine technology is "taking" us, gasoline engines that run in diesel, compression ignition, mode part of the time.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    " in trouble.."

    That depends on the level of investment, purchase price, and the miles already driven.

    Not really much different, "investment wise" from having to refill the gas tank once it has been drained, or overhauling the engine once the need arises, or even needing a new set of tires.
  • The EV circuit is programmed to turn itself off above 32 mph or if you floor the gas pedal. That would of course be modified upward with a Li-on or other better traction battery but it will take while for a really better Plug in System to make sense.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Actually the thing that makes little sense about home charging is the inability to put more than ~1/2 gallon, 20 miles, in the "tank".
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    I am finding out one thing about my Fusion Hybrid now that winter is fast approching and the temps at night are down in the teens is that my factory installed block heater is making a real difference for me. Even though mine is in a garage plugging it in on a timer for about 3 or so hours before I leave for work has made a huge difference. Without it I'd back out and drive the less than 3 miles to work and the electric would never kick in and I'd get about 18 mpg would show on my display. Just by plugging in the block heater the electric would kick in about 2 miles or less and I'd go up to about 29 mpg and accorss town I can get about 48 depending on traffic. I know it isn't as much as the Prius but hey it weighs about 1K more and has more HP on both engines so I expect worse.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    And in the process you may be slowly destroying your catalytic converter.

    "...block heater.." "..electric would kick in.."

    Not so much as the electric kicking in as the ICE more quickly shutting down. Quick ICE shutdown due to the ECU thinking the short ICE operation was sufficient to have raised the calatyst to operational temperature, ~800F.

    More likely than otherwise, It wasn't.

    Use of the block heater to preheat the engine, ONLY the engine, FOOLS the control ECU into thinking the catalyst has been raised to operational temperature when in reality it isn't.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    So why is it an option on most vehicles? I find it hard to believe that auto manufacturers would sell it if they in turn are going to have to replace a bunch of cataliystic convertors.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Factory option, ACTUAL factory option, or dealer installed..?

    Thoughtlessness on the part of the dealer if so.

    The TRADITIONAL, historical, use of a block heaters was/is RARE and for use ONLY on extremely COLD nights such as one might encounter in MT, ND, or AK.

    If the HSD block heater were to be used as above the manufacturer's thinking might be all well and good. It might have never occurred to the factory engineers that a block heater might be "abused" in the manner many now seem to be doing.

    I have been in AK at times when even a block heater wasn't sufficient to allow you to start the car and simply drive away. The power stearing fluid was often frozen/congealed so I would go out and start the car for pre-warming and then go back in and have breakfast.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    All I can do is go by the seat of my pants. It improves my fuel economy, some of the other Prius forums speak highly of them, the Ford Escape ordered in the far northern states and Canada according to posters on other forems claim they come with the heater, I got it as an option. My last question is what are your qualifications that you can say they aren't good and I need facts to back up your claims.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Why do I need qualification..??

    Do your own qualifying.

    With the block heater NOT being used to preheat the ICE the ICE will run for an extended period before allowing electric only mode.

    When the block heater is used to preheat the ICE it shuts off much earlier.

    Absent the need for the ICE to run to recharge the battery, which is clearly not always the case, what other reason is there for running the ICE for an extended period...??

    Passenger heat/comfort...?? Then it wouldn't do that on a hot day and it clearly does,


    Known FACT, WELL known fact. Most new cars will not shift into OD until you drive 3-5 miles and the catalyst is heated to operational temperature.

    You do the "math".
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Kind of what I thought.
  • lew74lew74 Posts: 8
    I bought a 2005 Prius 12 months ago with 12,000 miles on it. I like the car but have had and interesting electrical experience. When my battery is fully charged and turns green my Prius will run in stealth mode (electric mode) way above 42 mph (52mph)and will continue to run at that speed until the the battery runs down about 1 mile. But if the battery is not fully charged and is blue it will not run above 41 mph in electric mode.

    Has anyone else had that experience?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706

    Contact the previous owner and ask what modifications were made.
  • lew74lew74 Posts: 8
    The previous owner was a Canadian who only came to Florida 4 months in the winter.
    He stored the car with the Toyota dealer and they stored the car for him for 8 months. I asked the dealer and he said no modifications were made. This change in the speed it would go into stealth when the battery shows green just started started happening the past couple of weeks.
  • pat85pat85 Posts: 92
    A few facts
    1) No traction batteries have ever failed, according to Toyota. There is a 12 Volt
    battery that is used just like any other car has. That may eventually fail.
    2) I have a Camry Hybrid, on long trips the traction battery generally charges
    above 70%
    3) Depending on going down hills at over 40 MpH, the traction battery will be
    charged and the ICE will not be needed. Generally, on flat level ground, the ICE
    will engage at over 40MpH.
    4) Occasiuonally, when stopped at stop lights, etc. the ICE will rev up to charge
    the traction battery. It doesn't happen often, mostly in Winter.
    5) There is no provision to plug in a normal Prius. Both the Prius and Camry have
    the same sytsem. The Camry weighs more and has a full time capable A/C
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    Don't waste your time worrying about the traction battery. It can provide necessary boosts for about 5 minutes tops and similarly takes about 5 minutes to fully recharge.
    Most of your propulsion comes from the smallish ICE which, when augmented by the electric motor, provides great, but short term performance. That battery is recharged from the regenerative brakes, the ICE or just coasting downhill, whichever comes first.
    It is truly a great system but you can forget about "plug-in-hybrids" until the capacity of the traction battery is increased 10-30X. I can only go about a mile in my 2004 with the EC feature enabled. Reprogramming would help a little but a lot more electricity storage will be required for anything longer than 5-10 mile trips. Of course, you always have the pretty efficient ICE with a 600+/- mile per tankful range.
  • pat85pat85 Posts: 92
    If my traction battery is increased 10-30 times ,two things would happen.
    First, I would have zero trunk space,as I have all ready lost 1/3 of it.
    Second, those batteries are heavy. I believe increased weight will be unmanageable.
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    That's my point. Forget about Plug-In-Hybrids until huge improvements in battery technology (Lion) are economical. 10+ years.
  • imscfimscf Posts: 34
    Also, Toyota will have to provide those of us who live in high-rise buildings long, very long, extention cords to reach from the car to the apartment.
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    Former CIA Director Jim Woolsey comes to Aspen every July to advocate Plug-In-Hybrids. His Prius was modified, at someone else's expense, with more and different batteries in the trunk and back seat area so that he can drive 40 miles from home to work using little or no gasoline. When he gets to work, he plugs it in to be recharged for the trip home. That is a successful P-I-H application if you ignore the cost of the modification and the lost payload space doesn't matter.
    I will be listening for his update this year.
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