Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

New Prius Owner

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Posted by D&LBusch on May 11, 2008, 11:13 am
 
Hi Everyone,
I've been lurking for awhile and just placed my order for a new Prius
Package #2.  I have a few question

1. I paid $3,900 - sticker here in the Northeast. Is this typical in
today's market?  I believe so.
2. Should I take the extended Toyota warranty?  $300 to bring the 36,000 to
50,000 for 5 years?
3. Any driving tips for a newbie?  I'm pretty aware of my habits and I want
to maximize MPG.
4. Is the EV switch a good idea?
5. Is it possible to simply charge the batteries with a battery charger
thereby - using the ICE less?


Thanks in advance for any replies.  This is a very helpful group.
David



Posted by Tomes on May 11, 2008, 12:50 pm
 
"D&LBusch" ...

Dunno about pricing these days.  I have a package #2 and I love it.


My opinion is no - this is just more money that the dealer can make off of
you.  This is a reliable car.


You can just get in it and drive it like a normal car and get very good
mileage, no problem there.  However, there is a trick with your foot that
you can learn that will give you about 8 or 5 more MPG depending on a lot of
stuff.  The thing is to train the foot so that it rests on the pedal just a
bit so it uses the electrics and not the gas motor at the right times.  If
you push too hard it will use the gas.  It takes a while to get good at
this.  Depending upon terrain, you can use the electrics moreso than if you
'just drove it', and thus increase your MPG.  This works on flat or
decending road portions and you can at least maintain your speed, and
increase it on downhills even.  Just make sure that you do not hold up
traffic when doing this.  We can discuss this further if you wish.


You can get this now?  (Perhaps you are not in the USA?)  Absolutely get it.
There are many times that I want it to run EV when it just decides to use
gas.  It will have the overrides to ensure that the car is not hurt.


When the car starts up it will use the gas engine for a while anyway to heat
up the emissions stuff as Toyota views the Prius' status as a non-polluter
as more important than a high MPG vehicle.  So for the first few minutes the
battery is charging up anyway.  I try to use up as much of the electrons as
possible before I turn it off because of this.  I also find that I wish that
it would use the electrics more than it does as I have almost never had the
batery run down into the 'purple' zone where the engine comes on by itself
to recharge.  (Thus my wish to have that EV switch.)  My normal driving in
the hilly western NJ is such that the engine comes on plenty to get up hills
and start from stops that the battery is well tended.  The only times I run
out the battery is when I sit in traffic and use the AC (which runs off the
electrice, not the engine directly).  YMMV.

So, in the USA anyway, I do not believe it is possible on a stock Prius to
charge the batteries from house current, and I do not see the advantage it
would provide.



Posted by Michelle Steiner on May 11, 2008, 1:43 pm
 

Furthermore, if someone wants to buy an extended warranty, you can get
the max warranty (7 years, 100,000) miles for $95.  I forget which
dealer offers it, but I'm sure that someone else here can supply that
information.


It's still a third-party add on in the USA.

--
Support the troops:  Bring them home ASAP.

Posted by Elmo P. Shagnasty on May 11, 2008, 2:11 pm
 

Drive it like normal, and be amazed.


Posted by Bob & Holly Wilson on May 11, 2008, 2:43 pm
 

I would recommend visiting these sites for Prius driving and maintenance
tips:

http://www.greenhybrid.com/
http://www.priuschat.com/

There are others but for hybrid and Prius specific information, these
are the top of my lists.

GOOD LUCK!
Bob Wilson

ps. I maintain: http://www.greenhybrid.com/discuss/55101-post1.html

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