Prius plug in

Electric cars, trucks, ATVs, NEVs - things bigger than a motorcycle.

Re: Prius plug in

Postby craneplaneguy » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:33 pm

I'm kicked back in the rear seat of the PIP, outside of Moab at a trailhead. The car is "on", but not running.... Heater set at 68 degrees, its 43 outside with light precipitation/ mist. Got the blackout shades up, (no traffic or anyone anyway), and the ICE auto kicks on every 30 min. or so for 1 minute then auto shuts down. Got the SAT radio on, plus have cell coverage, wow, pretty cool!. I plan to leave the car " on" all night, as I have just a light sleeping bag. Back seat way comfy with driver seat up all the way, plus I have lots of light, pretty much just like home, had a beer while reading the local paper (I know, old school....), dinner next. My three batteries (29 AH total) are all at 100% charge, and ready for first light. A good shake down cruise for the PIP mini motor home/ ebike hauler. Hot 51 mpg at a steady 70 mph, as slow as one dares drive going through the Salt Lake area, only got flipped off once.
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby whereswally606 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:52 am

Ha sounds nice, I tried to sleep in my Honda insight Mk1 in France on the way to the Swiss alps once. Was on my own and had to take a break from the driving (as I had driven down from Manchester UK) on my own. Fell asleep (on purpose) and woke up freezing cold (was middle of winter, deep snow everywhere) worst thing was that the water didn't have enough antifreeze and I was lucky to get the car started again. Would have been a way more comfortable journey in a Prius like you have described that can top up the batteries when they drop low.

Probably the riskiest journey I've ever made At one point I went over the Davos pass in a blizzard (which had me putting on my snow chains after getting stuck) hybrids are awesome in snow, the electric motor evens out the torque and makes it easier to gain traction. Plus they are able to regen all the way back down the mountains on the other side. I also had the worst sat nav ever (old tom tom on a 6.1 ms ce phone) this was years ago.

I've since bought an electric water preheater for the car (but will fit it next payday) this would be great for in conditions like this. I'm unlikely to ever make a journey like this again though since I've now a young lad to think about, but my husky would love it.

Anyway yeah wish my car could do some of those tricks but its a different system to the prius.
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby craneplaneguy » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:30 am

I ended up driving the PIP almost 3,000 miles in 4 days, averaging 51 mpg. Speeds were all the way from 25-30 mph (this morning for 60 miles, pitch black on glare ice in high wind, with NO services or anything else (people, ranches etc.)for over 100 miles, over two mountain passes, I figured better to go way slow then end up in the ditch, it was open range for cattle and also a deer migration route) to 75-80, mostly 70 or so. I slept in it twice, once near Donner Summit, waiting out a storm. I got woken up by a sheriff in the middle of the night and before he could say anything I said "I don't care if you arrest me, I ain't driving any more tonight." He laughed and said to sleep tight, cool. This was an unplanned stop, and the ready access to the heated bunk was super handy and a great safety feature! I ended up driving around this blocked route, as I didn't want to pay inflated prices for the required chains, when I have two AWD's at home. I tried twice to get through, but they were quite firm on not letting anyone through unless chained up or AWD. In these conditions, where one may have to hang out in the car for hours or even days (conceivably, though unlikely) it was nice knowing that I could do so for many days, in total comfort, amazing tech. On 3/4's of a fuel tank, I'd estimate 3 to 5 days, based on what I've seen so far. I never shut it off during my coffee stops or when getting fuel and food, another amazing trick feature of the hybrid tech. The ICE would be off of course, but everything would stay on , and nice and warm, and when I got back in a push of a button would wake it up and off I'd silently go. Turning a key and cranking a starter......it seems like ancient tech already, wow.

Today, I ran into more snow, in the last few miles from my home. I had a 1200' vert climb yet to make, in wet slushy snow, the kind that throws the car around and builds up in front of the tires, and is in general very tough going. As I started up the grade, the snow got deeper and the conditions worse, as expected. I've been driving this grade for 40 years now, in all conditions and all types of vehicles, and by now I know if I make it to point A, I can make it to point B, and so on. On the other hand, if I barely make A, I'm NOT making B.....but today I was amazed when after really struggling to make it to A, I was able to continue to B and eventually all the way up and into the shop! This was my first experience with the PIP in snow, and something is real different about the way it operates in it. I would have bet $100.00 I would NOT make it all the way up, but the built in traction control, and of course good snow tires (Michelin ICE-X's) made it possible, I was frigging amazed. I'm a believer now , whereswally606!

I had a great ride in Moab the first day, but due to rain and snow that was it for the riding, no big surprise this time of year. But I don't know why they call it "slick rock", as it has a nice 80 grit texture to it, traction was never a problem. All in all, this was a great shake down cruise for the PIP/eMontague combo, and I am looking forward to some other trips, when the weather is better. It's still hard to believe I have a super economical commuter car, and at the same time a very comfortable long distance cruiser (my ass or back never got sore at all) that can haul a big load AND I can sleep in, while keeping it heated or cooled!
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby cycleops612 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:18 pm

Wow. Thanks for sharing. Must be nice to have expectations so exceeded on a scary major purchase.

It sound you have discovered a big selling point for some that i doubt toyota was aware of as a selling point - sleeping in them in otherwise deadly weather.

To run an ice car for heating like that, risks no gas and freezing to death.

Can 2 people sleep in it?

Given many of us cannot buy a PIP (like here in Oz), may i ask how your remarks would differ were it a non plug in prius.

I imagine e.g. the battery is bigger on yours, so the ice would kick in more often in sleep mode?

FYI, after the japan tsunami, many rigged their priuses as home generators.

USA seems to get a lot of long duration blackouts to me.
Last edited by cycleops612 on Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total. View post history.
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby craneplaneguy » Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:07 pm

The bigger battery on the PIP allows more storage, so going down a mountain pass I get more oomph on the other side. But once cruising straight and level, I think it is identical performance to a regular Prius. And, I'd imagine it turns on the ICE less when camped, don't know for sure. I have yet to chat up another PIP driver, I turn my nose up at the regular Prius, HA! Where mine really shines, is like today, in a bit I'm driving into my crane yard and as the battery is full charged I'll get several hundred MPG, the only reason not more is because when it's cold the ICE kicks on regardless of SOC of the battery, so if needed it's warmed up. Coming back, I'll be a pure EV for 11 miles of straight and level, since the engine will still/already be warmed up, not until I hit the base of the mountain will the ICE turn on. What's amazing, you can't tell without looking at the gauges any of this is going on, it's all so smoothly integrated. Toyota engineers are pretty awesome.
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby cycleops612 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:20 pm

FYI OP, i THOUGHT THIS STORY MAY HAVE RESONANCE WITH YOUR EXPERIENCE OF PHEV (sorry 4 caps).

A biggish, 60 mile range truck with a 650cc 2 cylinder range extender.

https://www.trucks.com/2016/05/03/ups-p ... uck-order/
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby craneplaneguy » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:27 pm

I often get UPS packages that weigh less then 10 lbs, delivered by a full sized UPS van that had to pull the mountain I live on, it seems incredibly wasteful. The drone concept is problematic, I'll believe it when I see it, weather is a huge factor, not to mention low flying full size aircraft. I mean, my airstrip and hangar could conflict with the UPS drone (or vice versa), screw that, they better have a way to deal with that issue or they will get their ass sued off the first time one of their drones carrying some useless crap takes down a people carrying aircraft. We private pilots get a little excited when these large companies throw out the concept that the airspace will be filled with robotic drones soon, it's a huge airspace grab, potentially anyway. The "solution" is to force every small private aircraft to gear up with thousands of dollars worth of electronics to link up with all the drones to avoid collisions, is UPS going to pay for that?

I really like the hybrid truck concept, that makes perfect sense.
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby Hillhater » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:28 pm

UPS is paying Workhorse Group $49,900 apiece for the trucks, according to a Workhorse Security and Exchange Commission filing.

:shock: ...i know its a truck, but...... How do they make and sell a 60 mile PHEV, custom modified for $49,990 ? :shock:
That must have a 60+ kWh pack in addition to all the hybrid tech etc...all costly stuff in limited quantities.
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby whereswally606 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:58 am

So a couple of years back I bought a 2200w engine coolant preheater. Tried and failed a couple of times to install it in the car (kept introducing dangerous airlocks). Anyway it sat on the shelf in my garage gathering dust. This year I finally wanted to get the mpg I get in summer, in winter, so took the car and preheater to my favourite garage, MOT express near stepping hill hospital Stockport. They did the job for under a £100 which was fine with me, my car engine health is worth that easily. Anyway used the preheater for the first time this morning. coolant began at 13 degrees centigrade, after eating breakfast and a coffee it was up to 55 degrees C. Drove carefully to work 25miles this morning @ average 55mph, got 92mpg. Soooo happy. But after rereading your post on camping out in a storm in the PIP I realised as long a I could find a power socket I essentially can do the same now with the preheater a timer socket and the insight (not sure I ever will though).
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby craneplaneguy » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:03 am

I keep my car in a shop that stays in the 50's or 60's, so I'm not going with a coolant heater, the hassle of installing it plus the it's cost (not much, but still...) would never pay off. The PIP seems to again be different from other cars, in how fast it warms up. I think it may be somewhat old school thinking on my part to even consider getting one. I sure don't need it for starting in cold weather, and the very slight difference it would make in warm up times is immaterial it would seem. My first mile of driving when I leave home is level ground pretty much, and I drive it at 25 to 30 mph due to deer on the road, so it's a gentle warm up and easy on the car. Blocking the radiator inlets off for the winter is a better bang for the buck, and free. I'm getting a ScanGauge to be able to see the effect of that on coolant temps.

Yesterday, I noticed some neighbors down the road from me have already started parking their visitors 2 wheel drives at the bottom of their steep access roads. The people that live up there have AWD, but when relatives or whoever visit, it's simpler (and a real time saver, as they WILL get stuck) to just have them park on the county road and come fetch them and shuttle them up. On a whim, I turned up one of these lanes with the PIP, and again to my amazement, drove on up to the top without spinning a wheel! This thing is going places where almost all other 2 wheel drives don't, I'll be blowing some minds this winter showing off it's capability. Until I get stuck, then I'll start driving the AWD beater RAV4 :shock:
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby whereswally606 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:54 am

from somewhere that had this from Wikipedia about Prius 2004 models onwards

In the U.S. and Canada, a vacuum flask is used to store hot coolant when the vehicle is powered off for reuse so as to reduce warm-up time. The Prius engine makes use of the Atkinson cycle.

When the vehicle is turned on with the "Power" button, it is ready to drive immediately with the electric motor, while electric pumps warm the engine with previously saved hot engine coolant before the internal combustion engine is started. The delay between powering the car on and starting the internal combustion engine is approximately seven seconds.


This is why the prius heats up so quick which is awesome tech and I'm sad we don't have it in the Honda's. The was chat about a diy job but its not the kind of thing you can do easily, its very clever tech.
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby craneplaneguy » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:25 am

I found out the III generation Prius I have uses a different system, the insulated flask for keeping the coolant warm is no more. They have some kind of sensor controlled flapper valve that diverts the exhaust to pre warm the coolant, the coolant line I believe has some fins to help it scavenge heat off the exhaust stream. Once the coolant and the engine at at nominal operating temps, the exhaust diverts straight again. This is also part of the automatic system for varying how much back pressure the engine sees, apparently in some scenarios more back pressure is desirable, though I could have that wrong. I don't know of any other car that has this coolant/exhaust pre warming feature, it sure seems like a lot of things to go wrong but once again the Toyota engineers seem to have it figured out pretty well. They are some of the most reliable cars on the road, top ten I think, even with all the trick hybrid gear. This feature also explains how easily the cabin stays warm, with the engine only coming on for a few minutes an hour. Long ago, I remember hearing about an Alaskan homestead that ran off a diesel generator, and used the scavenged heat off the exhaust pipe to also heat their domestic hot water, so it's not a new concept by any means. Lots of wasted energy in that hot exhaust stream so why not put it to work? They use a similar system in boats I believe.

I also made some clear lexan covers to block off my grill intakes for the winter, they will also eliminate some drag by preventing air from coming in the engine compartment "cooling drag", it's called. My Scan Gauge II keeps me informed of the temps, and this will just be winter time use. The faster the ICE warms up in the winter, the sooner it shuts off, so using these grill blocks helps a couple different ways, especially with my 1200' descent down the mountain the first part of my commute. Recently, with the advent of very cold weather, even with the traction battery at 100% charge, when I pull out of my driveway, the engine will kick on if I call for cabin heat, then it stays on until the best engine temp is reached, this time the ICE is on will be greatly lessened using the grill blocks. Another trick to shorten or even eliminate the ICE coming on, is just use the seat heaters, it's just the cabin heater that needs the coolant warm.
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby cycleops612 » Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:09 pm

" is just use the seat heaters, it's just the cabin heater that needs the coolant warm."

I was wondering similar.

If you keep it to purely electrical matters (as opposed to heating via coolant e.g.), i wonder how often the ice comes on in the camping out scenario you logged for us.

A grey theoretical area which may reveal a lot is - what if the charger is connected during the night? - at a serviced campsite say. Its not usual for the car to be ~"in use" AND, on charge.

My stationary ebike eg. seems fine (better?) when I run the motor when on charge.

If you swapped a/c for heating in your example e.g., would a/c function off the charger w/o the engine intervening?

I dont think i already said that, fyi, after fukushima and terrible power shortages in japan, many used their priuses (PRII?:)) as home generators.
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby craneplaneguy » Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:12 pm

Seat heat is electric, so ICE stays off. Air con is electric, so I'd assume as long as the battery is up above the ICE cut in voltage, it would stay off. I will test that at some point, leaving it recharging, while turning it on along with the air, I think it would be ICE free all some hlt summer night, plugged ? Too cold out there to mess with now! They say you can pull 100 amps @12 vdc continuous off the small 12 v acc. battery, the big traction battery has that 100 amp conversion capacity. So, in a pinch, I could run about 7-800 watts 120 vac (guesstimate as to the inverter conversion losses) out continuous. It'd be interestering to see what that meant in ICE run time, but I read somewhere that it pencils out to be more efficient then the best little Honda gen sets, and they are damn efficient.
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby craneplaneguy » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:13 pm

Turns out ( just tried it, while parked in the shop, recharging), once plugged in, all the usual systems seem to shut down. This is good, as in no way can I drive off while still plugged in, its smarter then I am. But, no way can I ( short of a system hack) run heat or air con while plugged in and charging. Once again, the Toyota engineers seem to have a pretty good handle on things!
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Skipping the Inverter

Postby Alan B » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:58 pm

Nice setup there. I always thought the short battery range on the PIP was of little value, but clearly it works better than the low numbers would indicate.

We have a Prius V and it is a great "station wagon" with six feet of space in the back with the seats down. It is quite amazing how much it will carry.

One of our ES members here used his standard Prius to run AC loads. He wired the high voltage DC straight to a standard quad AC outlet box. I don't recall the traction voltage, but the usual 100-250V wide range voltage electronics gear generally works just fine directly on DC voltages up to at least 250*1.414V. No need to use an inverter. In this type of unit the DC goes through the bridge and charges the bulk caps in the power supply which feeds the switcher.

He would start the Prius and then hook up the load. The ICE would shut down after warmup and then only run briefly to top up the traction battery occasionally as it detected the charge state getting low.

Do at your own risk, of course. High voltage DC deserves a lot of respect. But it worked out quite well and he used it to charge his ebike at the bike races.
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby craneplaneguy » Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:16 am

For the second time in about 4 months, I found myself in a snowstorm, up on Donner Summit. This time the state road crews had just a few minutes earlier, like 3 or 4, (!) set up their big mobile digital sign saying FOUR WHEEL DRIVE OR TIRES CHAINS ONLY, or words to that effect. And again, having two AWD rigs at home, I'll be damned if I was going to buy a set of chains. Besides, unless you were a flat lander with bald tires and no winter driving experience, IT WASN"T THAT BAD! I know they have to cater to a worst case scenario, and the fact that I live on a mountain below a ski area and drive worst conditions then that day all the time in the PIP, and that I was on Michelin Ice X tires, wouldn't mean they that would just apologize for the delay and then wave me through, but I was hoping.

Didn't happen, I bagged the trip, an emergency crane job back home came up anyway (a collapsing potato cellar), so I turned it around. The one bright part of the trip was having 40 mph direct tail winds through Nevada, that was fun, even at 75 mph I was seeing a lot of triple digit MPG's, mostly 80 to 90. I also got to pass by OJ Simpson's new digs, the big prison outside of Lovelock NV. Seeing that desolate windswept location and the giant prison, cheered me up. My worst day day was ten times better then their best day in there!

High 40's to low 50's MPG on this trip, one tank at 42 mpg (headwinds and hills) I never cruised less then 75 as time was limited. Slept in it one night, comfortably. Never really got tired or sore, it's a great road trip car. I had my fat bike in the front, where the passenger seat usually is, I was having trouble with getting the correct info to Cycle Monkey so they could get my Rohloff hub for it ordered, and their shop in Richmond was where I was headed, with a couple other stops on the way to see friends. The excellent mileage of the PIP, comfort, and lastly the no doubt temporary low price of fuel made for a pretty cheap trip, less then $100.00 including food and coffee, lots of coffee.
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby craneplaneguy » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:57 am

gear 001.jpg
Solar delivery using a PIP and home made trailer
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craneplaneguy wrote:I have 300 miles now on the PIP, and I am real pleased with what I am seeing so far. I can easily get to my crane yard without any engine help, just on the traction battery. Except for a brief startup that I believe is so that IF needed the ICE is warm and ready to go. I'm driving 45 to 50 mph on the 2 lane 45 mph road, which parallels the Interstate. So, 13 miles, with a 1200' downhill stretch, pure EV, is no sweat. Speaking of sweat, one day was a bit warm, so for the first time I used the AC while in EV, it worked fine and I still got to the bottom of the mountain before the ICE fired up. BTW, that transition of ICE on or off, is seamless, you cannot feel or really hear any difference, the TOY engineers did a great job! One day I went quite a bit further, past the crane yard and across town to a window tinting shop a friend owns. The next day I picked it back up (after riding across town on my folding Montague e bike and putting it in the hatch) and drove back to the crane yard, all on EV power except for the brief ICE startup. About 20 or more miles.

Pulling up to a red light at the biggest intersection in town, a guy in a older Chevy pickup pulled up along side, and it for the first time occurred to me that the whole engine idling thing is so outdated. I'm sitting there in total silence and burning zero gas, what's not to like? Plug in BS aside, I'm liking a lot, the auto engine off feature, it really changes your attitude when the light turns yellow and you make that snap decision to either come to a full stop or maybe run it a bit. Now, it's more "oh good, a little re gen and then I'll just sit there engine off."

On a different note, I was negligent a bit while merging onto the Interstate the other day, and when I started paying full attention I realized I was going to merge with a semi's under carriage (he couldn't move over due to traffic on his left, and he was right at the bottom of a big hill so wanting to keep what speed he had maintained, I pull the same bitch of hill in the crane so I can relate), so it was my choice to either slow my merge and get behind him or romp on it. I for the first time "romped" it, hitting the "performance" button (conveniently placed, right handy) and also flooring it. I think the trucker got a surprise, ("oh great, a slow as hell Prius driver trying to max out his MPG"), I sure did, the thing hauls ass when needed! More then adequate, and a feature I may use more often if I sense someone is profiling me (ha!) as a prissy Prius owner driving like an old women (nothing against old woman), but I am on a mission to change the gen public's attitude a bit maybe about the Prius. Anyone who knows me knows that this thing will be WORKED, and worked hard, it has to earn it's keep. As an example, here's a pic of 4 280 watt solar panels I needed to deliver to a customer about 40 one way miles away. These big suckers are 65" by 39", and they slid into the back like they were made for it. This was great news as this size of PV module is one I deal with quite a bit, and I can't think of a more cost effective way to deliver them. I got a round trip total of 58 mpg on this 72 MPH with AC on highway run.Image



Another PV delivery, this time a rack of two 280 watt REC modules, going to a rancher about a 200 mile round trip away. Part of a remote cattle watering setup. I drove 65 mph on the interstate, into a headwind, on the way there (as slow as I dared, it's posted 80), and 60 mostly on a secondary road with no wind on the way back. Pulling the trailer killed my mileage, I only averaged 40.5 MPG! The trailer is light for it's size, but still draggy and around 500 lbs at least weight, plus the array at 175 lbs (all steel rack). I built this trailer to haul my just sold small Kubota tractor around, but it's too small for the larger tractor I've replaced it with. But, a bit larger then I need for the odd load using the Prius. So, I think I'll put it up for sale, for $650.00 including the ramps. NOT trying to sell it here! It would be perfect for some homeowner who could care less about weight, some guy with a big pickup who wants a easy way to haul his riding lawn mower or garden tractor. If I do sell it, I'll get one of the all aluminum ones: http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... _200660344 it would be much more Prius worthy, about as light as you can get. But still more then enough to haul what I hauled today. Sure I could have used the RAV4 (didn't need AWD, and it would have gotten around 22 MPG, has no sat radio, and not near as comfortable) or even the 1 ton Dodge Cummins beater (18 MPG, but a beast, way overkill for this little load) but I like doing more with less.
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby craneplaneguy » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:02 pm

rsz_img_20170715_121922525_hdr (1).jpg
Today I drove a total of 112 miles with the PluginPrius with the efattie on the rear rack. I used a total of .68 gallons of gas, I was not in a hurry so never exceeded 65 mph, mostly secondary roads at 35-45. Hilly terrain, up and down, and I started off with a full charge in the main battery plus my place is 1200' above the valley below, which helped account for this high MPG. Once parked in the shed, I plugged them both in, they make an awesome combination! The only thing better would be of course a pure electric car, but I do enjoy the unlimited range of the Prius, and can easily hit 60 MPG, and up, when driving it in pure ICE mode.

The combination, the hybridness of the car, seems to me to be kind of like an ebike, in that the two disparate energy sources, in the car's case gasoline and e power, and in the bike's case the battery and my physical input, add up to more then the separate components, which is the text book definition of synergy. And probably why Toyota coined the term Hybrid Synergy Drive."
"Synergy is the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts," and driving the car while hauling and sometimes at the same time recharging the bike while driving, is "real synergistic." These drives I take to get to bike rides would be a lot less synergistic if I was driving something else other then the PriusPlugin, they really compliment each other. At 68, this is the best damn car or vehicle I've ever owned, I love the thing. Bought used, it was cheap enough to be doable for me, just, at the time I had no idea how nicely it would dovetail with my ebike operations, frigging perfect. More to follow in a few weeks, I have an epic trip planned to the Gravelly Range in Montana, I just flew over it low level last week and the snow is mostly gone finally.http://www.bigskyfishing.com/scenic-dri ... -range.php
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Re: Prius plug in

Postby kiwiev » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:01 am

Nice work mate glad you are getting out there and putting miles on her.
Cheers Kiwi
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