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Old 03-06-2015, 08:38 AM   #41
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Toyota Prius Atkinson cycle gas motor has a really difficult time with long up hill roads in the mountains and MPG suffers until you go downhill. The Toyota Prius low ground clearance makes driving in the snow difficult and driving over rough roads dangerous. The Prius is not designed to provide another car with an electric jump start. The Prius is not designed to tow a heavy trailer or carry over 800 pounds of both passenger and cargo. The Prius 100 watt rated 12 vdc accessory power adapter cannot pull more than 80 watts without blowing a fuse this makes running a normal portable 12 vdc tire air compressor to inflate a tire impossible - I have a portable hand pump and a 120vac air pump for the tires now.
The Atkinson cycle produces less power, but the electric motor's troque more than makes up for it. My 2005 Prius had no problems going up the steep hills on my commute. The car may sound like it is struggling because of the eCVT though. The low clearance can be a problem in snow, but I found the traction control to be the real hinderance. It is there to protect the drive components, so was too touchy, and lacked a way for the driver to turn off.

The Prius can't jump start a normal car because its 12 volt battery isn't a starter battery. All it has to do is boot up the computer and flip the switch to the traction battery. It just doesn't have the capacity to turn over an ICE without damaging itself. Hooking a running Prius up to a car with a dead battery may allow that battery to charge up enough to start the car on its own.

Few cars sold in the US actually have any official tow rating. Even ones that have it in other markets. Toyota may just be over protective of the hybrid drive train, because AWD versions of it do have a tow rating, and plenty of people have towed with their Prius for extended miles. 800lbs sounds low for payload, but that is around average for cars of the Prius' size.

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Last month in snow storm, when the driving temperatures started dropping below 20 F degrees, my windshield started fogging up despite the having been cleared up by the defroster before starting the trip home. The outside temperature was dropping as a snow storm approached and caused ice to form along the windshield wiper blades making them less effective and the windshield started fogging up even with the defroster running at 100% percent. To defog the windshield and melt the ice forming on the wipers I had turn off the cabin heat and divert all the Prius' efforts to running the defroster to keep the windshield clear from ice formation
Has your AC ever been serviced?Or was the compressor turned off during that time(you could do that on the gen2)? Cars use the AC compressor to dry the air for the defroster. Without dry air, it won't fight fogging as well. As for heat to melt the ice on the wipers, the downside of an efficient engine is less waste heat for the cabin and defroster. Those temps were well below freezing. I recommend spraying down the windshield with winter fluid to soak the ice on the wipers to help thaw it if it happens again.
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:48 PM   #42
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I don't think I will be moving any closer to a nuclear bomb target than I already do. The mountain seems to be a good line to keep away from DC.

So we are talking about cars or planes here? ... cause I don't think it really matters if you are in the mountains or in DC in case of a nuclear attack...

Just my 2 cents...
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:05 PM   #43
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As long as you're at least as far west as Loudoun county, you'll be alright. The prevailing winds travel west to east, so no fallout should travel any significant distance west.
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Old 03-08-2015, 02:46 PM   #44
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Anyway... sticking to the topic, I must say that everyday since I have I hybrid my fealing is that this was a much better deal than all the other options, car now consumes less and less everyday, and runs better and better every single day so no regrets at all.

I just wish that my next hybrid could have a little better performance in electric mode such as speed and mileage, don't need to be much more but maybe 20k/h more and at least 8 km to 10km of autonomy would be perfect.

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Old 03-11-2015, 12:56 AM   #45
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Most people are still super sceptical about hybrids. They have become quite popular in the big cities, London etc as a way of dodging the congestion charge. But on paper, a hybrid still only offers similar economy to a modern diesel overall, and the C02 emissions (which we are of course taxed on) are very similar, sometimes lower for diesels. So overall "average" for most people, it will be cheaper to buy/run a diesel in the long run, especially when a hybrid can be 50% to 100% more to buy in the first place.
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Old 03-11-2015, 05:58 AM   #46
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I've heard Toyota's hybrid pricing is ridiculous in the UK, and the others aren't much better. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHV is flying off the lots though.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:09 AM   #47
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Sorry but that is not really true, my hybrid costs less than some concurrency petrol and diesel ones in Europe. And in most European country you can find then around 16K till 25K euros
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:19 AM   #48
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It depends, a small hybrid like a Yaris, when compared to another small car, seems quite expensive. At the bottom end of the market you can get a car that size for between 5995 and 10,995, making the Yaris about 50 - 100% more expensive. One of the main problems is the over the top fuel economy estimates too, as pointed out various times.
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:32 PM   #49
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I had posted something earlier about this idea. A person can find a 2 year old Chev Volt with approx 90k miles for around $12000 a third of the price of a new one. Is it worth it with the loss of the warranty in 10 k miles when there doesn't seem to be anyplace that a person can find a source for replacement batteries? I have looked. I have also seen some news that some of the hybrids have and are changing the battery pack to a higher voltage. this could mean in a short time there will be obsolete. Any remarks on this ?
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:30 AM   #50
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The makers of hybrids aren't using a standard voltage or battery chemistry to begin with, so any new systems coming out aren't going to affect their value or ease to find replacement batteries.

Toyota, the Ford Escape and 1st gen Fusion use NiMH, and early Honda hybrids. It is a robust battery chemistry, but lithium ion will soon beat it on price. It also couldn't be used until recently in packs large enough for a plugin due to patents. Toyota is sticking with it because they married to it. They secured much of the sources for it back when the Prius got popular to lower their costs.

Everybody else is using Li-ion in some form. In part, they were worried about losing supply sources to Toyota for NiMH. The other was that Li-ion was really the only thing legally available for plugins. Even the Prius plugin uses it.

A 48 volt mild hybrid system might be coming to market soon. One is made by Continental(yes, the tire company). IIRC, it uses Li-ion, and will likely first appear in a Chrysler product. FCA seems to be the only major company without their own hybrid or EV program. Note that this is a mild, or weak, hybrid system. In terms of cost, complexity, and fuel economy improvements, a mild hybrid is a step up from a start/stop system, which are sometimes called microhybrids. All the currently available systems that I took a look at are full, or strong, hybrids. They have bigger motors, bigger batteries, and a bigger increase in fuel economy. They can also drive the car on pure EV for much longer periods than a mild could, if it can at all.

One of the big reasons the values on used plugins have been dropping is because of the rapid improvements Li-ion batteries have made since plugins first came out. The third year Volt got a different Li-ion chemistry that improved range and EV efficiency. There was another change in the battery between then and now. GM didn't bother to recertify it for EPA, but reports are it also improved range. The new 2016 is reported to have a 50 mile range with a battery pack that is smaller than the current one. Tesla offers a new pack for the Roadster that increases its range by 50 to 100 miles.

As to a Volt with 90k miles going for a third of its original price, I think many cars with that many miles have nearly the same amount of depreciation. As for the cost to replace the battery. If it does fail, GM will likely eat much of the new pack's cost in order to get a hold of the old one to study. GM parts catalogues are just listing the battery casing for about $3000.
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