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Does anyone at DU have a Prius or other hybrid?

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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:27 AM
Original message
Does anyone at DU have a Prius or other hybrid?
Edited on Tue May-25-04 11:28 AM by BurtWorm
How much does it cost to fill one up, compared to any other car?

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RobertSeattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
1. Prius Gas tank is 11.9 gallons - do the math
My wife and I own a Prius (our only car) and drive it about 500 miles a month so we fill it up... about once a month. In Seattle, our MPG averages around 45 mpg (lots of short trips and the Seattle hills don't help the mpg). On the highway trips we usually get above 50 mpg. The way the EPA calculates mpg is somewhat bogus.

http://www.toyota.com/prius /
http://www.toyota.com/vehicles/2004/prius/specs.html
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. I thought the Prius got better mpg in stop&go driving
Isn't that when the electrical assist kicks in? When driving on highways, gas mileage isn't supposed to be quite as good, because it's just the gas-driven engine and not the electric motor.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Gas engine tuned to highway speeds - so miliage actually increases
:-)

It does not need the compromises that kill miliage over all speeds just so you can stop and start without going nuts!
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RobertSeattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. There were some articles recently on this
I think the EPA mpg is calculated based on a warmed up engine. When you start the Prius, the engine needs to "warm up" so it runs even though it might not be needed for movement, so that eats some of the gas. So if you do many short trips it can lower the mpg.

I always thought the stop-n-go argument was a little bogus since obviosly there isn't anywhere near 100% efficiency in regards to stopping (and loading energy into the batteries) and going (and pulling the energy out).

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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. It gets better mileage on level suburban-style driving
If you drive it mostly between 35 and 45, it can average very high. I can keep it over 50 without much trouble, and I've kept it over sixty for about a hundred miles. But that's driving carefully, and ignoring very irate streams of traffic on your bumper (or sticking to back streets). Basically you can accelerate very slowly, keeping the engine from coming on, and can run on battery for a long time.

Stop and go is worst. The worst mileage on this (or any) car is on acceleration, and you accelerate more in stop and go. The electric boost works until about 5 mph, then kicks off, usually. Also, if you are running AC or lights and stereo, you are draining the battery, so the engine has to kick in sometimes.

Hills are also bad.

The battery recharges when you are coasting or breaking, and drains when you are accelerating. At highway speeds, the gas engine maintains the speed without much work, and can also charge the battery while it is cruising, if you don't go over about 65.

You can outmaunever yourself, too. Because the car runs so well on battery power, you are tempted to try to use battery power all the time. You accelerate slowly, so that the engine doesn't kick in. You can drive it around 35 for a while with only battery, if you are careful. The problem comes in when you've drained the battery down to where the engine has to kick in. You tend to want to get back to all battery power, so you drive it slower and slower, and try to coast a lot. So what happens is the car can't charge the battery, since you won't accelerate fast enough. You wind up running more off the engine by trying to run off only battery power.

You have to get used to it, in other words, and notice the patterns. In general, for me, though, I get better in town than on the highways, but I don't have any true stop&go.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
2. Check out their specifications on the internet...
... and you'll find that their gas tanks are comparable to other, similarly-sized cars.

This means that they cost just about the same to fill up as other cars, because you're putting in the same volume of fuel. However, that fuel lasts longer, resulting in less frequent refills.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
3. The tank holds ten gallons
It gets between 45 and 50 mpg with realistic driving. I filled up a couple of weeks ago.

Gotta warn you, though, if you get a 2004 Prius, prepare to talk about it. I get stopped at the gas pump, at stores, in parking lots. i was looking at a house the other day and the real estate agent came out to look at my car instead. I was even pulled over by a cop who just wanted to talk about the car.

It's fun to watch the looks on the faces of people in H2s or Corvettes as they stare dreamily at you vehicle!
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. It is a head turner.
Real futuristic! I dig the fins! (Actually, that's just a line from a Frank Zappa record. ;) )

Seriously, it is a nice looking car. Not too outrageously expensive either, compared to, say, a Hummer.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
5. The Japanese...
... have taken a huge technological lead in this area and it is about to pay off big.
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truthspeaker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. meanwhile Detroit is coming out with the same old crap
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. It's a difference in priorities
Japanese car companies want to make cars, and American car companies want to make money.

Yes, I'm sure Japan wants to make money, too, but they have a pride in their product that transcends money. The Prius didn't make money its first three years. American car folk can't conceive of doing that.
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