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Discussion Starter #1
Now I want to be absolutely sure on this but I've been hearing people say that the Prius is an electric motor assisted by a gas engine while some other people say it's the other way round: gas engine assisted by an electric.

Which is correct?

Thanks!

Frost
 

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Both and neither.

The ICE turns one of the electric motors to generate electricity, The other electric motor works with or independent of the ICE to power the wheels, or the ICE can work alone to power the wheels. The computer controls them all.
--evan
 

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Actually, both can work independent of each other or they can complement eachother. That is the great thing about the HSD. The Honda hybrid system uses the electric motor to assist the small gas engine - it is not capable of powering the vehicle by itself. Toyota HSD has enough battery power that you can operate the vehicle under the right conditions with the electric motor only- generally low speeds at low acceleration. The gas engine will kick in when needed to provide acceleration or for operation at higher speeds. At points requiring fast acceleration, as in passing, both units work together to give maximun power. The Toyota HSD is definitely the more flexible system.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nice!

Thanks for clearing up the fog on that issue. Good to know!

Frost
 

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efusco said:
The ICE turns one of the electric motors to generate electricity, The other electric motor works with or independent of the ICE to power the wheels, or the ICE can work alone to power the wheels. The computer controls them all.
--evan
SAY WHAT??? I was told that there was only ONE electric motor and that it could help power the car or be used for regenerative braking (as a generator) or to charge the battery while the ICE was powering the car.

So guys, how many DC motors and generators are there?

Pat
 

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So guys, how many DC motors and generators are there?
No DC motor/generator. Two AC motors/generators, referred to as "MG1" (small one) and "MG2" (big one, directly connected to the front wheels) by the Prius geeks.
 

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Hybrid Hybrids

So there are two gas+electric hybrid modes - series and parallel. Series is when a engine powers a generator which, in turn, carges a battery and/or powers a motor connected to the driveshaft. It is my understanding that almost all diesel trains are this type of hybrid. Years ago there used to be a GM EV1 that was a series hybrid (just like GM to "go high tech" with a diesel train powerplant).
Parallel is when a motor powers both a generator and the driveshaft directly, and at the same time a motor (powered by the generator and/or battery obviously) also feeds directly into the driveshaft. This allows for more drivetrain power because the engine can be used more directly. The Insight is an example of a primative parallel hybrid.
The Prius is said to be a hybrid hybrid because it is multi-modal, constantly deciding how much power to send where by which. This constant switching is what you see on the display when you visit the "Energy" display. The 2004 "Energy" display is a little more useful but both show the multi-modal operation of the Prius.
 
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