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The Prius that is.......I drove a demo on saturday and was most impressed...to the point of (considering) buying one...... It even had automatic parking ability for those less accomplished in this area (not me).
This particular car had a thousand miles on it and was showing a current average of 58.4 mpg imperial which is reasonable considering all and sundry are using it with no attempt at economy.

Thinking about the Prius how does it act with a depleted battery ? does anyone here know ? Does it have a conventional starter ? Is it even possible to deplete the battery since the ICE drives a generator and how does the power split system work if the electric side is down ?

The Insight is pretty simple to comprehend in these situations when compared to the Prius.

DGate
 

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I haven't heard of anyone dealing with a depleted battery with thePrius. The hybrid system Toyota developed is rather advanced and does a very good job of managing everything so you just drive it and go. If you're looking for more in depth info check out this site: http://prius.ecrostech.com/original/PriusFrames.htm It sounds like you're mainly interested in the workings of the Power Split Device. That's the planetary gearset that serves the two electric generators, the ICE, and works as a CVT.

As for waiting on an 09, All the talk about extended EV range and improved MPG were counting on the switch to Li-ion batteries, which is now expected to happen sometime AFTER the introduction of the next gen Prius. Toyota is shooting for a 5-10% improvement in economy over the current Prius so it's not like the Prius is suddenly going to be an Insight killer or EV alternative. IMO waiting on the next Prius is similar to waiting no Honda's Insight replacement, or the Chevy Volt. If you can justify the immediate benefit, it doesn't make sense to wait for an indeterminant benefit in the future.
 

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I've owned both a 2006 Prius and a 2007 Prius Touring neither of which ever had battery depletion issues. There is an auxillary 12v battery in the trunk similar to the Insight for starting when the traction battery is low, but so long as you drive it regularly you don't have anything to worry about. My friend who works at a high tech body/mechanic shop has had many Prius go dead after sitting for a week or so without being turned on due to the quick discharge nature of NiMH batteries as well as the host of computer systems that never really turn off in the Prius. Lots more info at http://priuschat.com/ regarding proper battery disengagement procedures for long term Prius storage that will prevent your Prius from ever going dead. The Prius is a great car, and I can't wait to see the new one. It will never replace my Insight though...
 

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I am no expert on the Prius... and other people know allot more than I do about it ...

But from how I understand it...

It does have a 12V battery for the 12V system... but no 12V starter motor, so if the HV is down the car will not run at all.

As I understand the power split Synergy drive... if the HV electrical system is down the Gas engine will not deliver any torque to the wheels even if it is running as it needs the smaller electrical motor which is still HV to operate in order to produce drive torque.

In short if the HV Electrical side of the Prius goes down... the car can use the 12V system for head lights and such but can not drive any distance... not even 1 mile without HV power.

The synergy drive power split system offers several nice features... including the EV mode... and also it allows the Prius to keep the gasoline engine operating closer to it happy place for efficiency ...

Due to greater numbers of Prius on the road... you can just buy a predesigned, pretested, prebuilt and pay for it to be professionally installed for you to make your Prius a PHEV...

The HV side of the prius can get depleated... just like any battery... the most likely thing I can think of ... is parking the car when the HV battery is low... it sits for a few weeks and the batteries get cold... this causes their capacity to go down and the BCM in the Prius to treat them carefully... if the HV battery is too low... I would imagine you would just get an error code and the car won't even try to start.... but this would have to be pretty cold.... I would think bellow / colder and the point where the Insight is so cold it switches back to the 12V starter.... If this happens... you can't get a jump start as you can in the Insight as the Prius depends on the HV side to function.

Also the Prius Synergy Drive system depends on the HV motor for reverse gear and if you do not have HV electrical you can't go in reverse either.

Thankfully the Prius dose not drain the HV battery bellow 40% SoC so even at the bottom of 40% and then left in the cold... it would take a while and have to be very cold to have any issues....

The Prius is an excellent car... I still prefer my Insight... but I would gladly put the Prius #2 ...
 
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