Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hybrids, Plug-in Hybrids, and Electric Vehicles!

While this blog is about my learning experiences with my 2004 Prius - it is also about the pathway of moving from Gas (100%) to Electric (100%) and the steps in between! As this vehicle was bought with the intent to do a personal update and move it from just a Gasoline Fueled Hybrid, to an Electric and Gasoline fueled Hybrid - or - in other words - a "Plug-in Hybrid", it will be undergoing changes along the way, as we move to the Personal Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle state (PPHV)!

Along the way - just a while before I bought this car - Toyota themselves - finally were happy to bring out to the market a Plug in Prius of their own (after a lengthy Test Series across Canada, and a new battery pack)! - and have a Prius Facebook page that covers many of it's points! (July 17, 2012 Announcement!)
2012 Toyota Prius PHV (Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle)
Prius PHV (Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle)

While I am not yet up to the stage of buying yet another new vehicle - The Prius Family in Toyota's Yard is definitely growing! I think the Prius PHV - drive train ideas, could be well received if adapted to the new Prius V! (And Maybe even the new Baby - the Prius C!

Of course - a New OEM purchase would likely be better than an aftermarket Plug-in Hybrid Add-In to my car - but I saved about $30.000 buying this used one - so there is a bit of room to convert it to a PHEV of my own.

Also - as today is the last day of the Canadian International Auto Show - I should mention the Eco Drive Showcase on display there (Click the link - click Features, and scroll down to it for an explanation) - in the South building - 800 Level this year!  - CIAS Facebook Page.

One thing I was particularly looking at was the All Electric Vehicles - following my first interest - began about 6 years ago, with the acquisition of the Electric Firefly - My Electricfly!

Currently - the best pick for me in the new EV's is starting to look like the Mercedes Smart ED! (ED=Electric Drive) The Display at the Eco Drive Showcase shows a range of 138 Kms. for it, and my longest local drive loop is generally about 85 Kms! It fits me in size, I don't have to concern myself with low height back seats, the range is about right, and the price seems spot on!
2013 Mercedes Smart ED - Electric Drive

Listed in terms of the posted EV Range - were the Mitsubishi iMiEV at 100 Kms, the Nissan LEAF at 117 Kms, the Smart ED at 138 Kms Range, and finally the Ford Focus EV at 153 Kms Range!

In the Plug In hybrids - I did not get pictures of their marketed numbers - but from memory - They go about like this: The Prius PHV has about an 11 mile EV Mode Range, the Fords (Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi) are in at about 21 Miles EV Range, the Chevy Volt at about 38 Miles EV Range, and the Fisker Karma at about 40 Miles EV Range! After these distances - they become Gasoline Engine Driven Hybrids, in one way or another (Series, Parallel, and mixed modes).

The Smart ED now seems to be a much better vehicle - suited well for City Drives, and while not 'Cheap' (Lists at $26,900 Basic Hard-Top Model) - in Ontario - with the current Incentives - comes in as what I call - an 'Almost Cheap Electric Car!" I have more research to do yet, but it is looking like a strong contender for the class - mostly because I am not in the budget territory for the new Tesla Model S! (Which can now be seen in person at Yorkdale Mall - if you can beat back the crowds!)

As a Summary - I expect the Toyota PHV, a Tesla Roadster and a Model S, among the cars at Electric Avenue 2013! Come on out and support the May 26th, 2013 Event!

Have Fun, Drive Safe, and Keep Learning!
(Can't Go Electric Yet? Get a ScanGaugeII Trip Computer and see how well your are driving Efficiently today!)

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