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Plug-in Prius results at 10,000 miles

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Rebound · · 3 years ago

It seems to me that this board provides mostly negative information about the Prius Plug-in, so I wanted to inject my real-world experience, which has been fantastic.

My Plug-in Prius just hit 10,000 miles. I commute about 85 freeway miles per day along the San Francisco East Bay corridor. With the commute I face, EV-only is out of the question. I have three children, so the Volt is not an option. I charge the car once per day (at home). I cannot charge at work. On weekends, I often charge twice per day and drive fewer miles.

Most of this data came from the Prius display. Because it closely matches the mileage results I've logged with, I believe the data are accurate. Your MPG will vary dramatically depending upon how far you drive each day and how often you recharge.

This car has been defect-free and very pleasant to own and drive. It gets a lot of positive attention, and I love passing Porsches during commute hour.

As of 8 October 2012:
Date of purchase: 15 April 2012
Energy Consumption:
Miles Driven: 10,175 miles
Gallons of Gas Consumed: 155 gallons
kWh of Electricity Consumed: 413 kWh
Overall Miles per Gallon: 65.65
Electric Miles Driven: 1,595
MPGe (electric only): 131.4 (1,595 miles / (413 kWh/34.02 gas equivalence))
Gas Miles Driven: 8,579
MPG (gas only): 55.35 (8,579/155 gallons)

133 = Recharges (based on capacity replenished)

assumption: one full recharge, including charging losses = 3.1 kWh

Total Maintenance cost: $20
Replace cabin air filter (myself): $20
Oil Changes: 1, no charge
Tire Rotations: 2, no charge
Repairs/Defects: Absolutely none
The cabin filter is supposed to be replaced every 30,000 miles, but I like clean air.


· · 3 years ago

Thanks for confirming what I've been recommending to my friends with very long commutes and no workplace charging. I've suspected that the PiP would be very useful and cost effective for exactly the reasons you've documented.
I suspect that the Volt would yield about the same gasoline and electricity usage but the extra vehicle cost probably offsets the benefit when you have to burn some gas any way.
Its always great to hear when reality supports the theory.
I'm curious if you drove a gas-only Prius before the PiP and what kind of fuel consumption you achieved then?

· · 3 years ago

Yes, my last car was a nearly-identical 2010 Prius. I logged about 40,000 miles on the very same commute, with a cumulative average of 47 MPG.

One of the PiP's strongest points is reliability: This car is the sane as the highly-reliable, multi-million selling Generation III Prius, only with a larger, lithium battery and the charging connector. If you want this technology but you're nervous about the risk of low reliability, then this is the car to buy. They use these cars (in non-Plug-in trim) as taxis, with excellent reliability records.

If only it has twice/thrice/four times more EV range! But that's what the future's for, eh?

· · 3 years ago

I figured you had replaced another Prius. Thanks, that 47 mpg sort of helps calibrate what the 65 mpg for the PiP means.
Good point about taxis. I know a Prius taxi driver who had over 300,000 miles on his last taxi and still going strong before it was destroyed in an accident. Safe car though. He was fine!

· Chuck McCarty (not verified) · 2 years ago

I recently traded in my 2010 Prius for a 2012 Plug In Prius, and at the same time retired to occasional use (once a month or so) an all-electric 2005 GEM NEV, which had been upgraded with a 7.5 hp motor, legal in our island-only WA state county. My purpose was to get back to needing only one vehicle for both short commutes and longer range off-island driving. My commute is only 8 miles round-trip, and I take a ferry to the mainland an average of once a month. Most round trips there are less than 250 miles, with one yearly 2,000 mile trip to CA and back, and one or two trips to western Washington or Portland.
At this point I have only owned the Plug-In for a little less than 2 months. My average real mileage is about 55 mpg, not as good as the monitor displays suggest, but pretty good. I have found that the chilly (high 30's to mid 40's temps we have been having cause the engine to run a considerable part of the time, if I have the heater on at all. The recharges display an EV distance of from 8.9 to 10.5, very seldom the 12.3 EV range that was displayed when I picked the car up from the dealer. (It had been recharged indoors, my recharges are in an open carport, so the chill may make a difference.) When the vehicle engine runs, due to hills and/or draw from using the heater, the number will bump back up, so I seldom kick over to HV mode when I am driving on the island. When I go to the mainland (we call it America) or another island and exceed the charge it changes over seamlessly.
It is too early for me to fully evaluate the vehicle, and I suspect that in the late Spring thru early Fall it will need to use the engine a whole lot less, and my mileage should improve accordingly. Air conditioning is hardly ever needed in our climate, so that should have no effect. On my occasional long trip it will be handy. Whether my gas savings will ever be enough to offset the additional cost of the vehicle, I doubt, but that is not really the point for me, and I am saving money by not needing to keep full insurance on 2 cars (the NEV is maintained in garaged status, except when pulled out for a dump run).
I will attempt to update this report periodically, and would like to hear from others with similar experiences, perhaps longer than mine, but comparable in driving habits and climate. Additionally we have gone 100% LED lighting, S facing sunroom, on-demand hot water,drip irrigation, electric mower and other yard equipment, load-levelling capacitor, and most recently a 3.9 kw solar system. I'm not sure if we are carbon-neutral yet, but we are trying.
My overall feeling at this point is that the Plug-In Prius has not fully met my expectations, but perhaps my expectations were unrealistic. I am keeping an open mind, and at this time have no regrets.
Chuck McCarty
San Juan Island, WA

· · 2 years ago

Took delivery of my plugin prius back in October. At this point I am averaging ~80 mpg combined & 133 MPGe. After doing a bit of research I decided a plugin prius would work. My commute is <10 miles rt and most errands are no more than 12 mile rt. Including incentives and the tax rebate my plugin cost less than the standard prius I was considering.
At this point I am very pleased with my purchase.

· · 1 year ago

You can buy a used Volt cheaper than a new PIP..

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