Toyota Prius Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It would have been nice if Toyota had provided a way for the car to be pluged in the mains to charge the batteries, so precious gasoline did'nt have to be used to charge the batterries, and car could use more electrical power to boost, could result in even higher MPG.

Wonder if there is a mod to do it ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
There is but it is not a simple/standard installation kit. I believe the working group on this is called PriusPlus. If you are one of those that likes to tinker then it might be worth a try but if you are trying to save money I would not do it. There are many factors (new technology costs still high, reducing the battery life, blowing up your batteries, etc) involved but at the moment it has boiled down to being not cost effective.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,815 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,285 Posts
Unless you drastically increase the capacity of the HV battery, you won't save much by plugging it in.

You might think of that battery as a capacitor, not a battery. It's intended as a temporary reservior to store SMALL amounts of energy during stop/start cycles (or slow-n-go cycles). It only has one three-hundredth the useful energy capacity of the gas tank, so you just aren't doing much by topping it off overnight.

It's value is in repeatedly storing little bits of energy that would otherwise be lost. Normal driving, with it's ups and downs, braking and acceleration, provides many, many such cycles. They add up over time under these circumstances, but just one more cycle saved from an overnight charge won't even be detectable in your mileage.

The only case where this matters is with short trips (no more than a mile), and then you should use a bicycle!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
You can plug-in a Prius for gas consumption reduction (see 150mpg Prius below), but you need to add quite a hefty battery to make it worthwhile. The ~1.3 kWh NiMH pack fitted as standard in the Prius only allows ~40-80% SOC, so that's only 0.52 kWh available for use, or just enough for about 2 miles EV range - ie not much point trying to charge that one.



Stick some LiIon in the boot, however, and you've got an instant upgrade to 50+ miles EV range. You can read about the EnergyCS plug-in conversion here:

http://www.evworld.com/view.cfm?section=article&storyid=818

:wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
waiting

I am waiting for engineers to come up with a way to recharge using solar panels on the roof. Anyone living in the sun belt or desert will buy one because they would top off the battery while we are at work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
How much does the battery weigh? Is there enough cargo capacity left for the driver, much less a passenger or two?

Besides, how much are you really doing for the environment plugging you r Prius into a power outlet containing power from a coal-fired plant?

clett said:
You can plug-in a Prius for gas consumption reduction (see 150mpg Prius below), but you need to add quite a hefty battery to make it worthwhile. The ~1.3 kWh NiMH pack fitted as standard in the Prius only allows ~40-80% SOC, so that's only 0.52 kWh available for use, or just enough for about 2 miles EV range - ie not much point trying to charge that one.



Stick some LiIon in the boot, however, and you've got an instant upgrade to 50+ miles EV range. You can read about the EnergyCS plug-in conversion here:

http://www.evworld.com/view.cfm?section=article&storyid=818

:wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
stevewa said:
How much does the battery weigh? Is there enough cargo capacity left for the driver, much less a passenger or two?
I think the battery in this conversion weighs about 90kg, about the same as an extra passenger. It doesn't take up too much space - try pulling up the false-floor in the trunk and youll see a large void underneath that some people think Toyota left empty for exactly this purpse. So the amount of trunk space in the EnergyCS conversion (pic above) is pretty much (if not exactly) the same as the amount in the standard Prius if it fits snugly (looks like it might?) in the space provided by Toyota.

stevewa said:
Besides, how much are you really doing for the environment plugging you r Prius into a power outlet containing power from a coal-fired plant?
You're right - coal powered electricity makes little sense from an environmental point of view. However, the idea with EVs and PEVs is that once you have a number of them on the road, then you can make a shift in the future to renewable sources of electricity. Unlike a hydrogen economy, you wouldn't then also have to go back and change the entire vehicle fleet - it's all ready there and waiting and doesn't need to be scrapped and redone. The other benefit is that homeowners should be able to charge up using home-made (ie off-grid) electricity from solar panels and wind-turbines etc, taking the strain off oil and coal supplies.

Incidentally, there is also enough space on the surface of the Prius to allow about 20 miles daily range from sunlight alone if fitted with solar cells. This free energy otherwise goes to waste without a battery to store it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Problem is the grid won't handle the additional load if everyone is plugging in their car at night.

We're in a world of hurt with our outdated eletrical grid as it is. especially with the energy traders using it in ways it was never designed to support (See NE blackout).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
The grid has loads of spare capacity at night. Fortunately that's when most people would recharge, and estimates average that about 30% of the vehicles on the road could recharge at night on the back of the spare capacity. Would really help out the utilities too, who hate having to switch plants on and off to level demand.

However, thinking about it more laterally, simply increasing the efficiency of the dated electrical equipment in houses and buildings would have a huge effect (modern low-wattage fridges/freezers and air conditioners etc). This way you can cut electricity consumption by at least half, and in so doing would effectively allow you enough spare kWhs to run your car for "free" on the electricty you would otherwise have wasted. But I suspect in the future most people with plug-ins will probably be filling them up with home-made electricity when the cost of home-made gets down to several cents per kWh (as it looks set to in the near future).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
Re: waiting

leebek said:
I am waiting for engineers to come up with a way to recharge using solar panels on the roof. Anyone living in the sun belt or desert will buy one because they would top off the battery while we are at work.
Look at this company. Seems they can put them on thin metal sheets.
http://www.daystartech.com/product.htm
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top