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In a post replying to a question about what 50 Wh gets you in electric regeneration someone in the UK mentioned having an EV button. Is this a UK special? We here in the US can add a retrofit to use the cruise control wand (http://www.costaltech.com) for EV mode but I was wondering if Toyota had created this button for other markets. We already know that their roof rack as sold in Germany is sleek looking but not marketed in the USA. Go figure...

Brian, Maryland USA
Silver #9 (soon to be #6 :) after a 7 month, 2 day wait.
 

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The 2004 Prius sold in Europe and Japan has the EV button installed from the factory. The North American Prius does not.

At first I speculated that Toyota wanted to assess performance with and without, and randomly chose which markets to leave it out.

But I've changed my opinion. I now think that Toyota judged the North American market to be less interested in technology, and more easily confused by anything that looks or acts differently than a conventional car.

Others have speculated that the EPA was the reason: since improper EV-button usage can adversely affect mileage, the EPA mileage figures might not be valid ( :shock: HA!!!!!!! :shock: ) on a car with the button.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
USA consumers

Hmmm, given that STIHL chainsaws survived a lawsuit from a guy who tried to stop the chain with his hand because the US version of their manual said not to do that, one can only wonder what companies from other countries think about US consumers. STIHL said their native Swiss manual did not have that warning because no one would be stupid enough to try it and then sue.

So, perhaps their legal department said "No!"...

But is it a separate button or is it on the wand like the Costal mod?
 

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EV button...

The 'other' Prius in the world have an EV button next to the dimmer switch. Either here or on Priuschat.com someone has a pic of it. I've done the headlight flasher version and it works great. Directions are here or at Priuschat, I forget which, maybe both places have them. Coastaletech.com sells the cruise control version, meaning you would pull back on the cruise lever to engage. Either one is cool and 'hidden', so it's not an issue at a dealer. I LOVE being able to force EV mode, under the proper conditions. The system is very 'protective' of the battery pack and so under the wrong conditions it will not allow EV mode. I highly recommend it, it's just another option that may be used once in awhile, but fun nonetheless. I have not noticed any MPG gains or losses, but while in EV mode my emissions are zero. Nothing's for free as the gas engine has to charge the battery back up.
 

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Re: USA consumers

bjchrist said:
Hmmm, given that STIHL chainsaws survived a lawsuit from a guy who tried to stop the chain with his hand because the US version of their manual said not to do that, one can only wonder what companies from other countries think about US consumers. STIHL said their native Swiss manual did not have that warning because no one would be stupid enough to try it and then sue.

So, perhaps their legal department said "No!"...
Hmmm. The first part of your post could be read two different ways: They survived the lawsuit because the manual contained the warning; or the guy tried to do it because he read the warning and wanted to defy it. People being what they are, I could believe the second interpretation.

But since pressing the EV button cannot hurt anything, I am confident that the button was not nixed by the legal department.

EV mode will not even deprive you of adequate power for an emergency, because if you step too hard on the accelerator while in EV mode, the ICE will start and you'll have immediate power, just the same as if you step on the pedal while the car is in non-EV electric-only mode. The only difference is that when it takes itself out of EV mode you hear three rapid beeps.

It's a fun mod to have, but I don't think it's for everyone. Strange as it may seem, some folks just bought this car because it's clean and economical and reliable and comfortable and it's a Toyota, and all they want to do is drive it like a regular car.
 

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forced EV mode?

How do you force this EV mode with the headlight switch?

Todd


The 'other' Prius in the world have an EV button next to the dimmer switch. Either here or on Priuschat.com someone has a pic of it. I've done the headlight flasher version and it works great. Directions are here or at Priuschat, I forget which, maybe both places have them. Coastaletech.com sells the cruise control version, meaning you would pull back on the cruise lever to engage. Either one is cool and 'hidden', so it's not an issue at a dealer. I LOVE being able to force EV mode, under the proper conditions. The system is very 'protective' of the battery pack and so under the wrong conditions it will not allow EV mode. I highly recommend it, it's just another option that may be used once in awhile, but fun nonetheless. I have not noticed any MPG gains or losses, but while in EV mode my emissions are zero. Nothing's for free as the gas engine has to charge the battery back up.
 

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headlite EV...

Basically, you pull the headlite lever towards you. It is just a momentary action, meaning the lever will return to it's resting place (just like the Prius shifter). It's a spring loaded lever when you pull it toward you, as opposed to pushing the lever away from you to engage highbeams (lever stays in the highbeam position). So with your headlights off, when you pull the lever toward you, the highbeams flash, then you release the lever , it goes back to it's reasting position, and they go out. With your headlights on, it does the same thing, the highbeams flash when you pull lever toward you. When pushed away, the lever stays in that position. I hope this helps. It's the flash your highbeams when lights are off that you lose in doing this mod. Not a big deal to me.
Now the when does EV mode engage is a little more involved. After the car has been sitting awhile (overnight, for example), I'll start the car normally, wait for the screen to come on, then pull the headlite lever toward me. The car beeps once and flips to the Energy screen if it was succesful in engaging EV mode. So far it's been flawless in this way. After the battery reaches 2 bars or if I accelerate too fast or exceed 34 MPH, the gas engine kicks in and you're off EV mode. After the car has been running awhile, engaging EV is possible while moving, but, again certain restrictions apply: engine has to be warm (no real way to tell this...yet!), battery has to be above 3 bars, and you have to be moving less than 34 MPH and not accelerating. If these conditions are not met, all you get is 3 beeps. That just tells you that you did not enter EV mode. It's really fun to do in parking lots or the driveway or even under low speed, low traffic areas! Just cool, love this car!
 

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I did the Flasher EV button mod and love it. It is a great thing to have. It took my about 15 minutes to do. All I needed was a regular wire from the garage (found a speaker wire, worked great) and just take 2 of those pins from the flasher box and plug one into hole #27 and another into the purple wire in the flasher. Instant EV button. It works great and the best part, it is hidden and totally reversable. I have mine out right now, so the wire from the flasher all the way to hole #27 is out, for my 5,000 miles service coming up. Took me 5 minutes to remove it.
 

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huh?

Hey Brian,

Can you go through this with a bit more detail please? and where is this flasher box you mention and where is "hole #27"??

Thanks,

Todd
 

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Full instructions for installing a DIY EV switch are available here and there on various chat boards. The most complicated lets you install an actual button. Costal Tech sells a very simple kit for $45 that turns your CC stalk into an EV switch. Cheapest is a DIY version that turns the light stalk into an EV switch. In all cases, all you are doing is triggering the software that's already in the car's computer. The latter two are essentially invisible. Nobody looking at the dashboard would know you have the switch.

The light-stalk version leaves you unable to flash your bright lights when your headlights are off. I don't know about other possible odd interactions between the flasher and EV functions, since they are on the same control.

The CC version from Costal has a controller chip in it. If you hold the stalk for a moment, it engages the CC cancel function, which is the normal function for that switch. If you hold it for 2 seconds, it triggers the EV mode. The disadvantage is you have to hold it for 2 seconds, and since the CC stalk rotates with the steering wheel, it's hard to do while turning.

An actual button is clearly the most elegant, but is also the most difficult, and requires the physical installation of the button itself.
 

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Assuming the engine is warm, the battery has a good charge, and you are driving at slower speeds:

Can you accurate faster with an EV button than without in electric only mode before the ICE kicks in? i.e. is is harder to go into ICE mode with the EV button?

I know you can drive in electric only mode below about 42 but the acceleration is very slow and it is very easy to start up the ICE by accident.

Thanks

Ryan
 

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rfrance said:
Assuming the engine is warm, the battery has a good charge, and you are driving at slower speeds:

Can you accurate faster with an EV button than without in electric only mode before the ICE kicks in? i.e. is is harder to go into ICE mode with the EV button?

I know you can drive in electric only mode below about 42 but the acceleration is very slow and it is very easy to start up the ICE by accident.

Thanks

Ryan
I assume you mean "accelerate."

I will use the term EV mode to mean the mode entered with the EV switch; and electric mode to mean when the car has shut off the ICE because you are being very gentle with the pedal.

You can accelerate significantly harder in EV mode without starting the ICE than you can in electric mode. In electric mode the ICE will start up with a very light touch of the pedal. In EV mode it requires much more pedal pressure for the ICE to engage.

HOWEVER, even in EV mode you have to drive very gently to avoid engaging the ICE. The EV switch does give you more leeway, but you still have to drive like a cautious old man. EV mode really is not intended for normal driving. But you can use it if you are going a short enough distance and you have enough battery charge. Around here I can drive with the flow of traffic in EV mode.

But the upper limit is different. I have no idea why. In electric mode you can go as fast as 42 mph before the ICE must spin, and even then it is possible for the car to run entirely from power provided via the battery and MG2.

In EV mode the ICE will start if you exceed 34 mph.
 

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Just this weekend we installed the Coastaletech EV mode. Now if I hold the cruise control stalk in for more than two seconds it activates the EV mode, the screen switches to the Energy output. It works really great. I've been very pleased with the products purchased from Coastaletech. The DVD add on to my 03 Prius has performed perfectly over the past 1 1/2 years.

Geno
03 prius
04 prius
 

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When ever you activate any EV mode, via any button, it will always switch over to the Energy Mode. Here is a link to where you can install your own, and it says it in there.
 

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I haven't been doing my "Prius reading" for several days-- and I now feel as if I have been left behind in the dust. What, pray tell, is the EV mode? Explain the function and why I would want to install the "thing" on my light stem. I feel lost-- and it has only been a few days that I haven't "kept up." HELP!
 

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The term 'EV mode' can mean one of two things. First, the term 'EV' means 'Electric Vehicle', implying a car that can ride only on electric power, no gas. (Such as the discontinued GM EV-1, which needed to be plugged in at night.)

So when talking about the Prius, it means running in electric only mode. The two ways this relates is either the built-in 'stealth' mode, where you drive very carefully and slowly, accelerating like an old grandma, and it only uses the battery. But it is hard to stay in electric-only mode, because the car really wants to use the gas engine in most cases. It is possible to go up to 42 miles an hour this way, but good luck, about the fastest I can regularly go this way is 20 on level ground. If you hit the accelerator even a little too hard, the gas engine will kick in. And if the battery gets too low, the gas engine will kick in. If you try to go uphill at all, the gas engine will probably kick in. This is rarely called 'EV mode', because of:

The second method is to engage the Prius' native 'EV mode', where it specifically prefers the battery. In this mode, you can accelerate a little harder before the gas engine kicks in, and drive more normally. The catch is that the battery really doesn't last very long this way, and you can get at most about 2 miles on 'straight and level' ground. This 'EV mode' is engaged with a button on the dash on non-US models, but the button was removed from the US model. The only way to engage this on a US Prius is to add an aftermarket button. One way is by actually adding an 'EV button', but the more common way is to modify either the light stalk or the cruise control stalk so that they double as an 'EV mode button'. This way, you can accelerate a little harder than the above 'non-EV-mode-electric-mode', but if you floor it, the gas engine will still kick in (for safety reasons. If you floor it, you must really need the power.) And in this mode, you can only go up to 34 miles an hour before the gas engine kicks in. But, you can easily go up to 34. Maybe not uphill, but you can at least go uphill at SOME speed on only the electric motor. (And watch that battery meter drop like a stone.)
 

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Just to add a bit to what ehurtly said, there are instructions available on the net for converting the momentary-brights switch to engage the EV mode, and for installing an actual button. And Costal Tech sells a kit for doing the same thing with the cc-cancel switch. All three involve removing a few dashboard panels, pulling a plug out of the ECU, and inserting a pin into the proper socket. Grounding that pin momentarily engages or disengages the EV mode, and the three methods just use different means of grounding that pin.

Brian's earlier post in this thread has a link to instructions.

As to why you might want to have the EV switch, it's mainly a techno-geek thing. You can move the car short distances without starting the engine. You can impress pedestrians with how quiet it is. You can play Spaceman X-1 in his Golfcartmobile.
 

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I plan on getting the Coastal Tech kit installed in a week or so. Are the descriptions about the limitations and side effects still accurate?

Not that it matters to much, I wouldn't normally use CC at < 30 MPH but I am curious to know if these have been corrected.
 
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