Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Where does extra electricity go?

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Posted by Chris Shearer Cooper on December 31, 2005, 1:37 am
I was driving home from skiing, down a very long hill, and had the Prius in
its 'B' gear.  The battery reached "full" charge (according to the dashboard
console), but I was still going downhill and still in 'B'.

So if 'B' slows the car down by converting excess speed into electricity,
where did that electricity go once the batteries were full?

Posted by Michelle Steiner on December 31, 2005, 2:02 am

They all turn green at 80% charge.

B doesn't convert excess energy to electricity; it applies engine

Stop Mad Cowboy Disease:  Impeach the son of a Bush.

Posted by Richard Blood on December 31, 2005, 3:35 pm
 I have noticed that initially when you put the selector into B that the
added braking force seems to charge the battery. When the battery indicator
shows full charge, you will notice that the engine speeds up significantly.
I believe the control computer manages the flow of energy, and the energy
flow changes depending on the conditions.

Posted by PriusGeek on December 31, 2005, 4:23 pm
 "B" mode just tells the computers to engage the generators.  If the
batteries can use the charge, then the extra load the generators
provide will absorb energy from the wheels and give a similar effect to
"downshifting" a "regular" car.  When the batteries are fully charged,
the generators will no longer attempt to charge them and the load will
be greatly reduced.  I found this out the hard way when I took my  '02
to Pikes Peak a couple of years ago.  Thinking my regenerative braking
was saving my disk pads, I came down with that superior feeling until I
had to go to car "time-out" when my brakes overheated! But my batteries
were really charged.....

Posted by richard schumacher on December 31, 2005, 6:46 pm
 The owner's manual says "B" applies engine braking.  It still charges
the batteries if they will take a charge.  Driving down Pike's Peak is
an extreme case.

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