My PIP Experience So Far

Discussion in 'PHEV or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle' started by wick1ert, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. wick1ert

    wick1ert Well-Known Member

    We hit a really cold spell the last couple days here (20s/40s) which typically knocks the PIP range down to 7ish mile range on a cold pack for me. The PIP automatically kicks the ICE on for heat/defrost, so I try my best not to use them within reason. I had the ICE kick on a lot last year due to a cold pack, even with timed charging use as best I could. Once it slows the charge down for the final 15-20%, that temp drops pretty quickly apparently.

    It also hurts my commute that there's faster speeds in the beginning and end, so I can't mosey along helping warm up the pack. My commute: .3 mi PSL 35, .7 mi PSL 55, 1 mi PSL 45, 1.25 mile PSL 40, 1.25 mile PSL 45. With a cold pack, you really need about 1 mile before you try to get over 35 MPH in the PIP. They really need the ability to let you pre-warm the pack with the PIP when it's plugged in. That's my #1 gripe for winter with the PIP. I can get to/from work without a full charge, but having to constantly adjust the starting charge time is really annoying to me. Makes me wish someone had an EV with the 150ish mile range, so I wouldn't need a 2nd vehicle to make the longer local trips.
  2. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    On a typical tank, what is the overall gas mileage, and how many miles do you typically drive in EV only during a tank?
  3. wick1ert

    wick1ert Well-Known Member

    Typically for me, it was 200-250MPG on a tank overall. In EV only, that would be roughly 1400 miles per tank.

    I just traded in today, though, on a Nissan Leaf lease. I realized I really had no need for an ICE, and for those rare instances I did, I could either borrow or rent a car or ride the motorcycle.
  4. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    Thanks. Coincidentally, we have a Leaf S and are considering the PiP as our only other car.
  5. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Neil, at the other extreme, our pip's 2-year tank average is 62 without any
    consideration of the energy from the charging. I'd estimage 15%-20% EV
    and the rest on gasoline. The charging energy is miniscule, maybe 50 gallons
    equivalent. Spread that over 29000 miles and you can see it won't impact
    fuel cost much.

    For those who need larger battery packs, think of the pip as a hybrid+, less
    so a plug-in. 50mpg is a gimme since short trips, the mpg killer, can be
    buried within the small battery pack's capability. Everything else is a bonus.
    Regen coming off the highway often amounts to an extra 1/2 to 1 mile range
    in the pack. When saving the pack for later or with no battery juice left, the
    pip's good for 60mpg highway pretty easily.

    Good luck with your many choices! It's a great time for hybrids, plug-ins and

  6. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    Thanks Bill, that is quite helpful. I think the EV mode on the Prius is similar to many other EV's - 100-150MPGe, but having to measure this - by itself is difficult. On the other hand, only counting the gas but driving most of the time in EV mode is not an accurate measure.

    What is the charger capacity in the PiP? Is it 3.3kW? If so, have either of you used an L2 charger instead of the L1?
  7. wick1ert

    wick1ert Well-Known Member

    I agree with how Bill described the PIP. It was a great fit for me over the past 18 months, given my commute type. EV range anywhere from 8-12 miles depending upon weather.

    It's a 3.3kw charger in the PIP. I installed a 16A L2 charger (3.84kw according to Leviton) last year. I plan to relocate that to my brothers house, and install a 7kw EVSE for the Leaf's 6.6kw charger at my house.

    1.5ish hours on L2 vs 3.5ish hours on L1 charging. Makes a big difference with such a limited range for lots of short drives.
  8. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I've only observed 1.9 kW max charge rate on L2 charging, though I've only used
    L2 a couple of times, and not to 100%. I'm not that patient. :) While the Leaf
    gets roughly 30 miles of added range per hour on L2, the pip's charge rate is much
    slower in comparison. It's not good for a lunch time quick turn around bit of
    charge boost, but I suppose every bit helps if the charger is available. We've been
    happy with the fast enough charging on L1 at home at end-of-day.

    I only drive the Leaf about 10 miles a day for my whole commute, so it doesn't take
    much L1 charging either to top that off. 80% charging is all I do in warmer weather,
    and 90+% in colder weather. When I do 50-60 mile trips, then I stop by the Nissan
    dealer and get a CHAdeMO boost. 20-30 minutes is sufficient to get most of the
    charging done, and helps to keep the battery temperature from spiking. In cold
    weather, though, that battery temperature rise is a welcome bonus.

    The C-MAX Energi is giving me a whole new set of characteristics to learn. We just
    did a couple of 90-mile trips in cold, windy weather (20s) and it seems good for mid
    to upper 40s mpg in steady state. The myfordmobile web site stats seems to show
    "true" mpg info with EV battery energy consumed combined with gasoline consumed
    in a single gallon-equivent number. The %EV number isn't that useful to me. It's
    a function of how the car automatically pulses (uses a LOT of gasoline) then glides
    (on EV). When only battery power is used, then of course the 100% EV number is
    meaningful. :) This car (C-MAX) takes much longer than the pip to charge on L1
    from flat, so I may have to force myself to install that L2 charger.


    p.s. C-MAX -- While I managed 45.5 MPGe yesterday in 99.3 miles of
    driving, I only got 39.7 today in 97.8 miles. Differences: different
    routes, but also started the trip yesterday from our 40 degrees F garage
    without running much heat, returned after parking outside overnight
    (20 deg F) and ran heat most of the time. No chance to charge last
    night; had maybe 5 EV miles available today.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
  9. wick1ert

    wick1ert Well-Known Member

    Bill, what's your miles/kw in the Leaf? I'm not a hypermiler and I know it can vary depending upon commute type/requirements, but would 50 miles be easily doable in winter with the heater set in the mid 60s? I've only had this for a couple days now, but it's hovering in the 3.5mi/kw range at the moment. It drops if I turn on the heater, but it's been in the 20s and I haven't located my hat and gloves yet lol
  10. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Sorry folks, I didn't mean to hijack this thread...

    Hi Matt,

    I have a mileage log of sorts using 33.7 kWh/gallon equivalent conversion factor.


    The worst I ever got was around 3.6 miles/kWh. I now use 4 miles/kWh for estimating range and whether I have enough in the battery. I used to try my best, but the car's just so efficient that I don't really have to and easily double (or triple) the efficiency of regular (gasoline) cars, so I don't work as hard any more.

    Find your hat and gloves! Barring that, use the steering wheel heater and seat heater. Those are very low wattage. Precondition if you can. Sounds mighty cold in Delaware. That must feel like the ice age for you "southerners." :)

  11. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    Excellent info - thanks Matt and Bill.

    My spouse and I are driving a Leaf S with the charging package. We are averaging 4.5 miles / kWh indicated on the dash meter, and I have measured most of the charges with a Kill-A-Watt and are averaging ~123MPGe. We are getting a JuiceBox (up to 15kW) EVSE, and we have used a public 32A Level 2 and the RR gauge goes from ~12 miles up to 91-91 miles in barely over 2 hours. That's 1 bar up to 10 bars in ~2:15. The last 2 bars take another 1-2 hours, according to my nephew, who also drive the Leaf S.

    I still think the Prius Plugin is a strong candidate for our second car. The Volt won't work, and the C-Max Energi splits the difference between the PiP and the Volt.
  12. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Matt>> ...would 50 miles be easily doable in winter with the heater set in the mid 60s?

    Sorry, I forgot to answer this specific question. Non-answer... that depends on how
    full you start your battery and how low you're willing to go. I "think" you should be
    able to do that easily with 90%-100% starting SOC and not going past the early low
    battery warning. I almost never hit the low battery warning before I recharge.

    The heat-pump works well and once your car's warmed up, it doesn't take much to
    maintain. Just take a look at the energy usage gauges. It may consume 3 kW initially
    then drop below 1 kW. Recirculate air if you're able to, without fogging up the windows.
    Take a look at how the system works when preheating. The setting is for recirculated
    air and quickly reaches the comfort zone. If you preheat on battery, it'll shut off after
    15 minutes. It's a good limit in case you forget to turn it off or are delayed, and I find
    it only costs me perhaps a mile of EV range at 40 degrees (garage temp unplugged).

  13. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    If you dress for winter, and use the heated seat(s) and the heated steering wheel, the main power hog of the defroster will be the only thing that forces you below ~80 miles.

    Here's hoping that all EV's get direct heating windshield defrosters! These would be much quicker and much more efficient than anything else.
  14. wick1ert

    wick1ert Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I think as it continues to break in and I adapt to the driving characteristics that I'll do better. It's hovering at 3.6mi/kwh right now, but my commute is a lot of stop and go.

    I found my hat and gloves, and mostly use the seat heater and steering wheel heater so far. I have mostly kept plugged in at work on the 120v and gave it an hour at 3.3kwh charge this morning.

    It got to 20L/30H a couple times this week. Wasn't expecting it yet. 70s apparently around the corner again.

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