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Prius Test Drive - Page 2

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Posted by richard schumacher on August 16, 2005, 2:13 am

Betcha a nickel those tests were not done on a Prius.  Prius A/C is very

Sadly, yes :_>  All of the energy ultimately comes from the gas engine.  
If you do anything to make Prius less efficient, like rolling down the
windows at highway speeds, you will burn more gas.

Another consideration is that the Prius traction battery (the big one)
draws its cooling air from the passenger compartment, not from the
outside air.  (The inlet is visible at one end of the rear seats and
must never be blocked.)  The designers probably did this for a good
reason, probably something to do with optimal operating temperature of
the battery (for efficiency and operating life) and reduced dust in the
cooling air.

Posted by richard schumacher on August 16, 2005, 1:44 pm

To clarify: the A/C compressor is not turned by a belt or a shaft from
an external motor or the engine; it has it's own internal electric motor.

Posted by mrv@kluge.net on August 17, 2005, 2:56 pm
 To clarify further:

The electric AC compressor on the 2004-? Prius is not run off of the
gasoline engine nor the electric motors.  It is an electrically-driven
AC pump, which draws its power from the hybrid traction battery.  After
enough AC use, the gasoline engine will come on to recharge the hybrid

The AC compressor on the 2001-2003 Prius is run from a belt off of the
gasoline engine.  The gasoline engine will come on to power the AC

Posted by richard schumacher on August 18, 2005, 2:12 am

I bow to the Master (or do you prefer Mistress?) :_>

Posted by B. Peg on August 16, 2005, 1:38 am
Sounds like you drive like I do.  Seems people always want to race me to see
what kind of acceleration it has.  I'm sitting around 41-42 mpg, not great,
but still better than what I had.  Your 38 seems normal.  You need to learn
the car.

That's not hot.  Try Central Valley of Calif at 107 degrees.  The AC runs
full bore and will take maybe 30 minutes to cool down the car if it sits in
the sun and it is a dark model.  The owner's manual says to drive with the
windows down for a while to remove built up heat and then close them.  Seems

I'm an audiophile and the system 6 isn't bad for a stock car.  Personally,
the NAV package is worth it if you drive out of town often and use a cell
phone in the car (mutes audio, etc).  Beats looking at a map or the Energy
Screen all day.  If you do get the one with the cell phone, you may need to
switch to a Prius friendly cell phone for the Bluetooth to fully work and
transfer the phonebook and such.  Dealer has a list.

I was almost taken aback by the $000 overage charge above the sticker which
showed up on the four-square paper game they play.  Took some arguing, okay
a lot of arguing and threatening to leave (and I would have), but we agreed
on a $00 overage since gas out here in some Northern California areas is
well over $.30 a gallon and the cars seem to move every time the gas jumps
20 cents or so.  When the gas prices fall in autumn (if they do), you may be
able to dicker them down to sticker price or lower.

Agree.  My only niggles so far is the blind spot to the 5 and 7 o'clock
positions.  You need to rely more on the mirrors on the car.  I wish the
thing would automatically lock itself when I walk away (i.e. the Smart Key),
sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't (?).  May need to take a class to
learn all the thing will do (i.e. Package 6).

Haven't found a nice tire pressure yet either as raising it to around 40 psi
causes the thing to "wander" on the freeway, for lack of a better word.  May
try lowering it a tad.

Enjoy the dang thing!


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