Toyota Prius Forum banner
1 - 20 of 86 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like some of you to share your tips, if you don't mind. Occasionally, I get the car to run only on battery power (seems to happen at about 19 or 39 mpg), but when driving fast, I can't seem to figure out why it jumps from high to low numbers.

--Serious answers only, plz.... I know I could coast downhill (if there were any hills on the Jersey Shore, which there aren't).........

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,434 Posts
There isn't any one or two 'keys'. And getting the car into 'electric mode' most certainly is not one of them.

I have a long article that you should read on this subject so that you'll better understand the various factors involved and what you can do to alter your driving style and such to achive maximal mileage.

http://priuschat.com/forums/kb.php?mode ... 4f8686cab2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,560 Posts
I have a magnetic grapnel that I fire out of that little round hole in the front bumper. It attaches to the car in front of me, and I let them pull me to where I'm going..

Ok, not really.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,043 Posts
drtravel47 said:
I'd like some of you to share your tips, if you don't mind.
You will hear many many hints & tips to improve Prius mileage. IMHO most are nickel & dime; some dangerous; most are likely to lessen your enjoyment of a great car. I ignore them.

Instead, pay attention to your mpg/MFD screen. It will "teach" you how to best drive the Prius for mpg.

The single one worth paying attention to, primarily in highway driving, is speed. An example:

Test I did: Same exact trip, 3 times, in almost exact same weather conditions. Only variable was speed. 100% freeway trip.

Cruise set at 75 or 80 40mpg

Cruise set at 65 52mpg

Cruise set at 55 61mpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
MPG

Plz tell me why I should try to run on battery alone. Obviously I can only do this at slower speeds. I keep my eye on the MFD and never let the battery go below 1/2. My commute is very short and in NJ traffic, so I do average about 35 mph. Cruise control is out of the question.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,043 Posts
Well, THERE'S your problem, you live in NJ :lol:

I dont think you should "try" to run on battery alone. You should just drive the car smoothly as possible, no jack rabbit starts, no screeching halts, gradual acceleration/deceleration, and let the car decide (as it is designed to do) when to run on battery & when to run on gas.

Dont try to manipulate it. It is a fun car to drive. Just
stick in a Ray Charles CD (Genius Loves Company is a gas :wink: ), and enjoy the breeze from the the Atlantic Ocean as it wafts across the refineries :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,434 Posts
The "just drive it" is certainly a valid way to go about things. But many of us do enjoy trying to squeeze as much out of this amazing car as possible. Depending upon your personality you should do what feels right....not what someone else does.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
Never mind the battery ....

The computer will do a much better job at keeping the battery at whatever SOC it thinks it needs. In fact you would do yourself a favor if you switched the MFD from the ENERGY screen to the CONSUMPTION screen and drove the car for a while like that. For some oddball reason, the instantaneous mpg graph also seems more responsive than on the ENERGY screen (it probably isn't) and it would give you averages over 5 minute periods. I did that for a while and it helped me a lot. I now use the ENERGY screen only for guests. :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
928 Posts
If your commute is very short, then you've already taken care of the major factor in gasoline usage and emissions. You're not really going to be able to push the MPG number up much from 35, but you're still using a lot less gas and polluting less than someone with twice your commute who gets 50 MPG.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,043 Posts
efusco said:
The "just drive it" is certainly a valid way to go about things. But many of us do enjoy trying to squeeze as much out of this amazing car as possible. Depending upon your personality you should do what feels right....not what someone else does.
That is reasonable, I accept efusco's philosophy.

Except for the part about listening to Ray Charles in a Prius. That part is a requirement :arrow: Cool 8) deserves Cool 8)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
efusco said:
There isn't any one or two 'keys'. And getting the car into 'electric mode' most certainly is not one of them.

I have a long article that you should read on this subject so that you'll better understand the various factors involved and what you can do to alter your driving style and such to achive maximal mileage.

http://priuschat.com/forums/kb.php?mode ... 4f8686cab2
Very interesting article!

I have only one different observation: Auto A/C has no influence on the fuel consumption. At least in my Prius. I wonder why.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,161 Posts
dontcheff said:
efusco said:
I have only one different observation: Auto A/C has no influence on the fuel consumption. At least in my Prius. I wonder why.
Well, that really depends on your environment. If your outside ambient temps are a little below comfortable, then AC compressor won't be used much, and adding heat won't be a drain on your ICE, you'll only be using heat that's going to waste anyway.

However, if you are OVER outside ambient temps, then AC compressor will be needed to move that excess heat out of the cabin to the outside. That does require energy, even if it is less than a conventional car, and all energy comes from 2 sources: gasoline, or going downhill, where the latter usually can't be sustained very long, and eventually has to be compensated by the former, unless you plan to move to and live in the bottom of a valley, and then sell the Prius.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Combine your trips. Run your errands in the pleasant temp. time of day. Don't be in a hurry. Very important to use the brakes as little as possible. If you anticipate the lights ahead, you can coast much further and brake less. I use neutral below 62 mph when coasting to a light or down a gradual hill etc. Others have warned against this but I have heard nothing that convinced me not to use this method. Don't be in a hurry. Avoid speeds above 60 or 65 mph. Try not to run on battery alone except in rare occasions. It is much more efficient to accellerate with the ICE. Don't be in a hurry to get to the red light up ahead. No arrows are good arrows. Minimize use of the electric motor. Use slow starts in the morning until car is warmed up to minimize running down the battery because the ECU tries to run on electric when the car is cold even though the engine is running. 42/40 in the tires. Mobil1 in the crankcase, below the full mark. Don't be in a hurry. Listen to NPR. Don't vote republican. OOPS, I think I may have started to ramble. Enjoy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
mpg

I'm not sure why you say don't run off the battery or electric motor. I have a short commute and can rarely get the chance to go more than 40 mph. Since most of the time I'm in the 30-40 range, I feather the gas pedal and try to keep the bars above 50mpg.

I have only done 3 fill ups since I've had the car (39/43/41), but each time I made one long trip on a highway. This tank should be more interesting, since it should ONLY be highway driving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,285 Posts
"I use neutral below 62 mph when coasting to a light or down a gradual hill"

The battery does not charge in N, does it? Doesn't this lose the potential energy? If you feather the gas pedal but let it charge, isn't that more efficient?

I find I pay less and less attention. My mpg varies from 43 to 45, depending on weather. More would be nice, but since it's half the cost (even with the price increases) than I paid last year with my Regal, I'm just not concerned. I'm more worried I'll be looking at the Nav or energy screens too much and hit someone in my baby!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,161 Posts
KTPhil said:
"I use neutral below 62 mph when coasting to a light or down a gradual hill"

The battery does not charge in N, does it? Doesn't this lose the potential energy? If you feather the gas pedal but let it charge, isn't that more efficient?

I find I pay less and less attention. My mpg varies from 43 to 45, depending on weather. More would be nice, but since it's half the cost (even with the price increases) than I paid last year with my Regal, I'm just not concerned. I'm more worried I'll be looking at the Nav or energy screens too much and hit someone in my baby!
If you feather the pedal to where you get no energy lines, where do you suppose you are going to get the energy to charge? No energy flow means just that. You are coasting, with only drag being your enemy, the same drag that you would have even if you were adding regen drag (which has losses) or power gliding (useless if you have to stop anyway).

No energy flow is essentially the same as Neutral, except you don't have to fight to get it!

However, if you forget you are in neutral, and then hit your brake, then you are wasting your kinetic energy to the friction brakes. I have almost done that a few times. So if you do go to neutral to glide, be sure to go back to Drive when braking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
669 Posts
The thing is... conservation of energy. Unless the electric motor is more efficient than the gas engine, or charging the battery is "cheaper" by a lot than moving the car, the only way you "win" (aside from turning off stuff like the A/C) is to recapture as much energy as possible to the battery. If the battery charged itself off solar power, for example, it would be different, but trying to force use of the electric motor is just robbing Peter to pay Paul; you'll need to charge it later using the gas, and that appears from observation to be pretty expensive (Anyone have the numbers to compare? How many MPG is one bar on the battery on the flat at steady speed? How many miles can you go at steady speed of, say, 20mph on one bar of battery?).

Now if you can figure out how to get it to the top of a hill on battery only and then let it charge on the way down using only regenerative braking, you might have something....

Just like everyone else, I play the video game... I switch a lot between Energy and Comsumption... and the only secret I've discovered is that a slow steady pace wins (DUH) and I do better going to work (downhill) than coming home. It's really pretty slick, the car makes pretty good "decisions" on its own. Until the batteries hold a lot more potential energy and charge from additional non-gasoline sources I don't see doing much better.

Next time you are on a wide-open rather flat stretch of interstate try going for 20 minutes at 70 mph and then 20 at 50 mph. Now THAT is a measurable difference in consumption (not that one can necesssarily bring oneself to drive that slowly as a matter of course, but it IS educational). Also, the cold engine is clearly a lot less efficient. Even with it in the 80s outside that first 5 minutes costs.

But you know... 45 mpg really doesn't suck.
 
1 - 20 of 86 Posts
Top