Prius-II OEM PHEV-6 caught in the wild

Discussion in 'PHEV or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle' started by xcel, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    NiMH equipped Prius-II OEM PHEV-6 is a winner. Prius-III w/ NiMH by late 08/early 09 and Li-Ion later.

    [xfloat=right][/xfloat]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Jan. 16, 2008

    Detroit, MI. -- With the advent of GM’s Chevrolet Volt concept at last year's 2007 Detroit Autoshow, the Prius faithful held their collective breath waiting to see what Toyota would offer to counter the uber-capable but paper launched GM PHEV. Toyota did come through -- though with some twists.

    Just seven short months after the appearance of what is perceived to be direct competition, Toyota reversed a multi-years long anti-PHEV stance and revealed some of its cards in this high stake automotive poker game.

    The Prius nation was introduced to an inspiring current generation Prius-II augmented by an additional NiMH pack, charging port and new SW programming yielding modest AER capabilities. Most in the hybrid community now wonder why this OEM PHEV was not released earlier.

    This is Toyota’s first real world PHEV, and it ushers in a new era of clean transportation from the most successful of hybrid manufacturers.

    Minor tweaks yield large improvements

    Toyota has created a game changing vehicle by adding a second NiMH pack (identical in every way to one currently housed in the standard Prius) to the space normally reserved for the spare tire. New SW/HW programming allows EV mode up to 62 mph (21mph faster than the stock Prius!) and a smart charger can be used for plug-in capability. Although the smallish 1.3kWh pack may not seem like a large addition, two packs connected in parallel reduce current draw and inrush by half, allowing a deeper discharge without harming pack longevity. With more current and a slightly deeper discharge available, more power can be applied to the EV power plant commonly known as MG2.

    What these minor additions provide is not only much improved performance in any number of driving scenarios; it adds the ability to travel 6 + miles on electricity from a household outlet. With more current available to MG2, faster accelerations and higher speeds are achievable in EV mode.

    While the benefits of a plug-in are numerous, primary among them is the compelling fact that electricity to drive the Prius-II PHEV requires just ¼ the cost of traveling the same 6 + miles using gasoline!

    Look and Feel

    Energy Screen--------------------------------------------Consumption Screen-------------------------------------------PHEV Screen​

    The first screen on the left is the standard Energy screen. What is added is the bar graph and EV remaining text. As long as you keep the blue bar from rising into the red, you can stay in EV running off the pack. EV remaining is self explanatory.

    The center screenshot is the standard Consumption screen although 1 minute bars like the TCH are included vs. 5-minute bars in the standard Prius. The 33.1 mpg does not make any sense but I suspect Toyota was charging this PHEV off the ICE between driver schedules.

    The left screenshot is a new Plug-In screen showing power input into the pack on the last charge and cumulative over the last month. No explanation as to the meaning of the EV/HV bar graph at the bottom was available.

    46 mph EV​

    The screenshot above included both the speedometer and Energy screen showing > 41 mph EV mode in real time. Besides an up to 62 mph EV mode, you have available to you a pure glide below 63 mph as well. I do not know if there is a warp-stealth capability above 62 given we did not travel above 52 mph during the segment.

    All in all, with temperatures in the lower 30’s and 5.4 miles of EV capability per the Energy screen when first driving off, we drove 5.x miles with .5 miles of ICE-On time. Arriving back at the initial start point showed a spare 1.8 miles of EV left in an OEM setup vehicle. For a hypermiler in a well setup PHEV, I suspect the OEM PHEV-6 (PHEV-8 on the Japan 10/15) could be taken out beyond 10 miles from a topped off pack to a completely depleted one without much effort other than knowing how to handle a Prius in various traffic conditions with the various standard modes available.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2008
  2. Ron3KL

    Ron3KL Member

    The subheading for this thread is:
    Any details on the second half of that, or is it just a teaser? :)

    Thanks for the detailed description of the PHEV. That's great!
  3. Skwyre7

    Skwyre7 Well-Known Member

  4. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation


    When will they be available and will they retrofit existing cars.
  5. Skwyre7

    Skwyre7 Well-Known Member

    If they can retrofit, double my previous post. :D
  6. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

    Forgive my ignorance, but what is the "6" in PHEV-6?

    Any hint of a price tage?
  7. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    My commute would be all EV round trip instead of just getting the engine warm twice a day! And it is off the charts running errands. What sort of highway improvement might one expect? I'm thinking not much highway improvement, since carrying more weight and still getting all the energy from gas. Also, they'll have to beef it up a bit to maintain a reasonable cargo capacity, yes?

    Great news!
  8. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Jim, the "6" is for 6mi AER. A good hypermiler should get around 10mi out of the pack according to Wayne. Based on prices, we are guessing maybe a $2.5K upcharge for this? WAY WAY WAY cheaper than any conversion currently out there and though the range will be less than other offerings with the NiMH, as soon as they switch to LiON the benefits are multiplied by a large margin. :D

    Wayne and Blake actually drove it at lower highway speeds -- no issues! I expect you'd use the pack a bit faster at high speeds but you have full EV at higher speeds with more tolerance for heavier acceleration rates. VERY nice improvements all the way around!
  9. sup'd

    sup'd Well-Known Member

    Anyone have an idea what happens when the AER is gone in terms of the SoC range the computer operates in? Or what percent charge it tries to maintain?
  10. mparrish

    mparrish Rosie the Riveter Redux

    Great article guys, thank you!

    I have a question.

    Are the glide capabilities extended to 62mph? This may have been mentioned before, but I missed it. Can I take her on the highway and "IGN18" up to 62, then GLIDE down to 55, for example? If the answer is yes, then insert my own Skwyre7 Homer photo here. :)

    So let's see. My 23 mile RT commute means ~5750 miles a year. If I average 75mpg, that's ~77 gallons a year commuting. @$3.50/gallon, that's about $268/year.

    Let's say I can avoid gas on my commute (11.5 each way......pretty close to 10.....we'll see). At 1/4th the cost of gas, I'll be paying ~$67/year in kWh for commuting. That's a net savings of $201/year. I'll recoup the full $2500 in year 12. And commuting is only about 1/3rd of my annual driving.

    Sign me up. :)
  11. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Marc, according to Wayne the standard capabilities available on the stock Prius for gliding under 41mph are all available up to 62mph in this implementation. Plus, you can accelerate harder without pulling the gas engine online. :D

    I guess you are getting signed up, huh? ;)
  12. Robert Lastick

    Robert Lastick Well-Known Member

  13. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    I really like the EV bar graph and EV remaining display. They should put that in all their hybrids. I have tried driving my parents' Highlander Hybrid and it is much harder to stay in EV than I ever imagined it would be. That display would be incredibly helpful.
  14. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    I want one too! Hopefully existing vehicles can be upgraded.
  15. GrendelKhan

    GrendelKhan Well-Known Member

    oh man, I want one so bad... anyone want to by an only slightly used Altima?

  16. bear15

    bear15 Well-Known Member


    Can you setup a group buy for us???????????
  17. bomber991

    bomber991 Well-Known Member

    If they ever release those that's when I trade in my car.
  18. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    I don't even need the battery. Just give me the 100kph glide.
  19. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    Interesting perspective. I need the battery for in-town driving. Would highway mileage be better if some or all of the extra battery could be removed for longer and/or higher speed freeway trips? There is still conversion loss to get power in the pack...

    Curious if anyone cares to guess what the city and highway EPA ratings for this -6 configuration might be. EPA won't be hypermiling or plugging in to re-charge, so won't the highway mileage be slightly less than Prius-II due to weight, but maybe they get a little more out of the city tests? Steady-state freeway mileage has to go down, right?

    Also, what sort of hypermiled city and highway mileage might this setup allow? 100+ in town? 80+ highway at 62mph and below?
  20. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    That would be great also. Maybe some of us could be a test bed for the new screen. We could give them feedback.

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