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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

This is my first post here. Perhaps this should be in techincal, but thought General would be more appropriate. I am thinking of buying a hybrid. The wait times in my area of the country (NY area) are pretty long. The wait times where my parents live (SC) is almost non-existent. I would buy the car down there and drive it back.

My question is, how long/far can you drive a Prius at one time? Can you drive it for about 10 hours of highway driving without hurting the car? The highway driving won't allow for lots of regenerative braking. Are there any rules about this sort of thing? I don't want to buy it only to have my trip back damage the car.

Many thanks!
 

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There are no limits other than your physical ability to stay awake and stop for gas. The car can operate with the battery completely discharged. However normal highway driving will not discharge the battery.
 

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Fanny fatigue is the limiting factor, I think.
 

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Besides fanny fatigue, you might start seeing green and amber arrows all over the highway. Just focus straight.
 

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The bottom line is that you can drive this car just like any other car and never pay attention to the fact that it's a hybrid. You may not want to because it is the only car that is also a hobby and a video game, but you certainly can!

I took mine on a road trip just a week after I got it. Aside from getting it all dirty, no problems! You'd want to take it easy on the first bit as you don't want to stomp full on the brakes or gas for the first, check the manual, 200 miles. And since you can go 400+ miles on a tank, you do have to make yourself stop!

In typical highway driving the battery stays in a normal range of charge 5-7 "bars" on the display which I think is around 50-70% capacity based on another thread. If you have hilly or mountainous driving you may see more extremes, as you'll use more battery to "push" the ups and you'll regen on the downhill. Regenerative braking doesn't just happen when you come to a stop, it's almost any time you decrease speed even when your foot is off the gas and the brake (unless you are in neutral). And if the car thinks it needs to charge the battery, it will use the gas engine (which this acronym-hungry board will write ICE) to charge the battery.

Go for it!!!! I love mine!
 

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petteri said:
There are no limits other than your physical ability to stay awake and stop for gas. The car can operate with the battery completely discharged. However normal highway driving will not discharge the battery.
actually, the Prius will not operate with either a discharged 12v or a discharged hybrid battery. But, the only way to discharge your hybrid battery is to drive in electric after running out of gas, or leaving your Prius undriven for many many months...

Simple highway cruising doesn't take much horsepower to maintain speed. The gasoline engine will likely be producing more power than needed for cruising, and that power is diverted to charge the hybrid battery. Or, if needed, it'll just go into a higher RPM band and make the necessary energy. Highways are not entirely flat - there are some small up/downhills, and you can easily coast on the downhills and get energy that way, too. Over around 42mph your gasoline engine will be turning, but it may or may not be burning fuel. It is possible to be driving on electric only at those speeds, or no motor providing you with power at all (coasting).

Basically, you need not worry about the battery unless you plan on driving through the Rocky Mountains back and forth at higher than speed limits constantly... "Just Drive It" like any other car, and don't think about it. Your only limits are driver comfort sitting so long, human waste requirements, and finding your next gas station...

(Look into the Midnight Sun to Red Sea Prius rally car...)
 

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Spring Break: 1500 miles non stop.

Well, my family went on a Spring Break drive from Portland, Oregon to York, Nebraska. We had: four adults, one infant in a child seat, and a full trunk of cargo. (Probably at the weight limit of the car. I didn't even think about it until just now. We had the cargo area lid removed, the soft shade removed, and the only thing keeping the cargofrom coming into the passenger space was the headrests of the back seat.) We drove the 1500 miles non stop over 26 hours. We stopped every few hours for a short stretch and bathroom break, gas when needed (only four fillups,) and ate in the car. Our longest stop was half an hour. We then repeated this to come home the following weekend. No problems whatsoever.
 

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Re: Spring Break: 1500 miles non stop.

ehurtley said:
Well, my family went on a Spring Break drive from Portland, Oregon to York, Nebraska. We had: four adults, one infant in a child seat, and a full trunk of cargo. ...Our longest stop was half an hour. We then repeated this to come home the following weekend. No problems whatsoever.
Good grief!! And did all of you make it home ok? I know that if I did that, there would have been at LEAST one homicide, and likely more! HORRORS!!! I'd need a vacation after that. :shock: More like 15 to 20 with time off for good behavior!
 

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Re: Spring Break: 1500 miles non stop.

Sanny said:
ehurtley said:
Well, my family went on a Spring Break drive from Portland, Oregon to York, Nebraska. We had: four adults, one infant in a child seat, and a full trunk of cargo. ...Our longest stop was half an hour. We then repeated this to come home the following weekend. No problems whatsoever.
Good grief!! And did all of you make it home ok? I know that if I did that, there would have been at LEAST one homicide, and likely more! HORRORS!!! I'd need a vacation after that. :shock: More like 15 to 20 with time off for good behavior!
hehe... It wasn't that bad. Fitting two full-sized adults plus a child seat (infant, rear-racing) in the back seat was.... Interesting... (Child seat in the center, which meant the child seat was a forced armrest, since you didn't have room to put your arm anywhere else. Luckily it was nice and cushiony, so it made a good pillow for naps.) But all of us are experienced road-trippers, so we all knew how to not get on each other's nerves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks

I would like to thank everyone who replied to my question. It has put my mind at ease about damaging the car and/or battery on such a long voyage.
 
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