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Old 07-24-2022, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Redwood Shores, CA
1,651 posts, read 1,300,735 times
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I am shopping for a car for my 16 year-old. Considering Corolla Cross Hybrid, Rav4, and Prius. They all have hybrid engine (Corolla coming in 2023), but the city-hwy combined MPGs are 37/40/56, respectively.

Why does Prius get such higher MPG rating than the other? For a driver that does mostly short city trip driving, presumably mostly using electricity, wouldn't the MPG be very similar for all 3 vehicles? My son's driving would be such a pattern as he mostly drives 10 miles to school.

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Old 07-24-2022, 02:55 PM
 
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The Prius is a smaller car, probably weighs less than the other two. You can compare the Prius to the Corolla Hybrid and then you will be closer. Both are rate around 50's. The Prius L Eco is rated better but probably because it has lighter tires, rims, etc.
We have a 2011 Prius that if I drive it carefully, gets a mix of 52 MPG in LA traffic commuting which is great at 125K Miles.
But the car is noisy compared to lets say a Camry. The noise is from the absence of sound insulation among other things.
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Old 07-24-2022, 03:22 PM
 
14,611 posts, read 17,532,401 times
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A regular Corolla hybrid (not the Corolla Cross) gets 53 mpg city and 52 mpg in highway
Prius 54 mpg in city and 50 mpg in highway
Prius ECO 57.8 pg in city and 53.3 mpg in highway
The Corolla hybrid is a little cheaper than the Prius, and is less of a magnet for evil kids who mock Prius drivers. But, of course it is the same engine as the Prius

Curb weight is a factor, but I think that the curb weight is overwhelmed by aerodynamic drag and engine power.
  • 2022 Toyota RAV4/Curb weight 3,370 to 3,655 lbs
  • 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross/Curb weight 3,115 to 3,325 lbs
  • 2022 Toyota Prius/Curb weight 3,010 to 3,220 lbs
  • Corolla Cross has a drag coefficient of 0.32 (194 hp)
  • RAV4 drag coefficient is 0.30 (203 hp)
  • The Prius drag coefficient is 0.24 (121 hp)

Of course, the best aerodynamic styling is not the roomiest configuration.

The Prius whose first model year was 2000 is a showpiece car. Everything about it is designed to produce the best possible fuel economy. The Prius hybrid technology was introduced in other Toyota vehicles (model year shown) and by 2025 hybrids should be an option for every Toyota model, but more consideration was given to passenger comfort at the expense of the best possible fuel economy.

Model year when hybrid introduced
  • 2000 Toyota Prius
  • 2005 Toyota Highlander hybrid
  • 2006 Toyota Camry hybrid
  • 2012 Toyota Avalon hybrid
  • 2015 Toyota RAV4 hybrid
  • 2019 Toyota Corolla hybrid
  • 2021 Toyota Venza
  • 2021 Toyota Sienna
  • 2022 Toyota Tundra hybrid
  • 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross hybrid
  • 2023 Toyota Sequoia
  • 2023 Toyota Crown
  • 2024? Toyota Tacoma
  • 2025? Toyota 4Runner

Toyota is trying to get from the current 26% rate of electrified models up to 40% by 2025.

Last edited by PacoMartin; 07-24-2022 at 04:14 PM..
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Old 07-25-2022, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Redwood Shores, CA
1,651 posts, read 1,300,735 times
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Consider this hypothetical (and extreme just to explore the concept) scenario --

Owners of these 3 hybrid vehicles all drive in a way that DOES NOT BURN ANY GASOLINE; in another word all driving are short trips and on electricity. How would we calculate the MPG when there will be no gallon of gas? And would the 3 vehicles now have same MPG under this extreme scenario?
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Old 07-25-2022, 11:09 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
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In my experience the Prius driver tends to go slower, as if trying to meet the manufacturer's claims for mpg.
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Old 07-25-2022, 10:07 PM
 
14,611 posts, read 17,532,401 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFisher View Post
Consider this hypothetical (and extreme just to explore the concept) scenario --

Owners of these 3 hybrid vehicles all drive in a way that DOES NOT BURN ANY GASOLINE; in another word all driving are short trips and on electricity. How would we calculate the MPG when there will be no gallon of gas? And would the 3 vehicles now have same MPG under this extreme scenario?
You are talking about plug-in hybrid vehicles which is a special category of hybrids. A plug-in hybrid must be plugged in to get a charge, and then it runs on without burning any gasoline for a specified range (estimated by the EPA). A regular hybrid does not have to be plugged in but generates electricity from regenerative braking and from the motion initiated by the internal combustion engine. The electricity generated powers an electric motor which helps propel the vehicle.

For the first 6 months of 2022 Toyota sold 1,049,213 vehicles in America of which 266,413 were electrified. But only 17,221 were plug-in hybrids and 1,358 were hydrogen fuel cell vehicles which can only be driven in California.

Personally I think most plug-in hybrids are too expensive for what you get. The only really affordable plug-in is the Prius. Kelly Blue Book expects the price of the 2023 Toyota Prius hybrid to start at approximately $26,000. The cost of the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid should start at around $29,000. The battery on a Prius Prime is small enough that you can charge it on a regular extension cord from a standard outlet, so you don't have to install a 240V connection like you probably have for your dryer.

Toyota Motors North America only offers three plug in hybrid models. Also because your original post mentioned the 2023 Corolla Cross hybrid which does not have a plug-in version, I thought you were considering all regular hybrids.

For the first 6 months of 2022 sales figures from Toyota Motors North America are:
14,861 regular hybrids; 5,353 plug-in hybrids; zero gasoline only --- Prius
86,803 regular hybrids; 10,153 plug-in hybrids; 103,929 gasoline only -- RAV4
4,905 regular hybrids; 1,716 plug-in hybrids; 12,994 gasoline only -- Lexus NX

The term "miles per gallon" does not make any sense when no gasoline is being burned. You can use "miles per kWh" or you can use "milles per gallon equivalent" where you measure next to an equivalent amount of electrical energy equal to the energy in a gallon of gasoline (1 gallon of gasoline=33.7 kWh) .

Frankly most people are simply interested in the electric only range.
EPA range: 25 miles on Elec + Gas and 640 miles total : 2022 Toyota Prius Prime
EPA range: 42 miles on Elec + Gas and 600 miles total : 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime
EPA range: 37 miles on Elec + Gas and 550 miles total : 2022 Lexus NX 450h Plus AWD

2022 Toyota Prius Prime 1.8 L, 4 cyl, Automatic (variable gear ratios) Combined MPG on Electricity:133 MPGe | Combined MPG on Gas Only:54MPG
2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime 4WD 2.5 L, 4 cyl, Automatic (AV-S6) Combined MPG on Electricity:94 MPGe | Combined MPG on Gas Only:38 MPG
2022 Lexus NX 450h Plus AWD 2.5 L, 4 cyl, Automatic (AV-S6) Combined MPG on Electricity:84 MPGe | Combined MPG on Gas Only:36 MPG

The RAV4 Prime which starts at $39,800 was very popular, but is very close in price to the $42,000 for the XLE trim (252 miles) with front-wheel drive, of the all-new 2023 bZ4X battery electric SUV.

Last edited by PacoMartin; 07-25-2022 at 10:31 PM..
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Old 07-26-2022, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Redwood Shores, CA
1,651 posts, read 1,300,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
A regular hybrid does not have to be plugged in but generates electricity from regenerative braking and from the motion initiated by the internal combustion engine. The electricity generated powers an electric motor which helps propel the vehicle.
This reminds me of a question I always have in my mind but have not researched.

My wife has a Audi Q5 hybrid with which she uses a 240v plug. When she was driving, she would often brake when no braking is needed, and doing so more forcefully than necessary, to a point of passengers feeling uncomfortable. I asked her why she does that, and her answer was the car uses braking to generate electricity.

I thought she was kidding. I majored in physics in college, and intuitively to me, using gasoline to generate kinetic energy then convert into electricity for the car seems to defeat the purpose of electric motor, and may even be worse than using gasoline directly due to inefficiency in the conversion process. Is my thinking wrong?
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Old 07-26-2022, 07:53 AM
Status: "Nothin' to lose" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Concord, CA
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The mileage of any car can be predicted by its weight, frontal area, drag coefficient, and drivetrain efficiency.

All those cars mentioned have variations of all of the factors.
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Old 07-27-2022, 03:25 AM
 
14,611 posts, read 17,532,401 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFisher View Post
I thought she was kidding.
No she wasn't, but this is the first time I have heard of anyone hard braking deliberately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFisher View Post
I majored in physics in college, and intuitively to me, using gasoline to generate kinetic energy then convert into electricity for the car seems to defeat the purpose of electric motor, and may even be worse than using gasoline directly due to inefficiency in the conversion process. Is my thinking wrong?
You are correct in that conversion of energy from one form to another alway involves some loss.

The four-stroke cycle was patented in 1862 by the French engineer Alphonse Beau de Rochas. In 1894 Emile Levassor and Louis-Rene Panhard are credited with developing the first manual transmission. But if you think about it reduction gears are very inefficient use of energy, but they are the only way to get the torque you need at low speeds. Ferdnand Porsche realized immediately that it would be more efficient to build a hybrid vehicle with an electric motor for low speeds and only use the internal combustion engine for higher speeds. He built the first hybrid in 1900 (Lohner Mixste), but as we all know manual transmissions were far less costly and became the standard.

I think what you are missing is that hybrids use very low power internal combustion energy engines comparatively. The ICE engine in a Toyota Prius is only 96 hp.



My compact SUV Subaru has
37 teeth ring
9 teeth pinion
for a final gear ratio of 37/9=4.11

A Toyota Prius has
49 teeth ring
15 teeth pinion
for a final gear ratio of 49/15=3.27

Also there is also no intermediate gears like a conventional transmission. The Prius just uses a CVT.

Once the electric motor takes care of all the high torque operations, the ICE drive train is free to work at high efficiency without the need to gear down it's power as much.

A 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage which uses the smallest conventional engine sold in America today. It is a 78 hp 1.2 L, 3 cylinder engine with CVT (MSRP: $14,645 - $17,895) achieves City MPG:36 Highway MPG:43

A 2022 Toyota Prius Eco has 1.8L, 4 cylinder engine with CVT (MSRP: $25,075) achieves City MPG:58 Highway MPG:53. Note that the improvement in fuel economy over the Mirage is much better for City mileage than Highway because that is where the electric motor becomes the most useful. Also note that unlike a conventional gasoline vehicle the City mileage is better than the highway mileage.
The internal combustion engine produces 96 horsepower on its own, but the combined horsepower with the electric motor is 121 hp. The system runs on gas, electricity, or a combination. The Prius ECO has a 0.75-kwh 207V lithium ion battery. A Prius ECO is expected to use 22.5 gallons of gasoline per month.

A Prius Prime has an 8.8 kWh battery and costs $28,770 an extra $3695. But it can drive for 25 miles on pure electricity. The battery is still small enough that you can use a conventional 110V outlet and recharge overnight. You don't need to install a 240V charger. Also if you are at work sometimes it ispossible to string a heavy duty extension cord from an outlet whereas a regular EV charger is expensive or unavailable.

It is quite possible that your 16 year old can operate a Prius Prime for an entire year using very little gasoline only on long trips.

Last edited by PacoMartin; 07-27-2022 at 04:06 AM..
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Old 07-29-2022, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Lahaina, Hi.
6,384 posts, read 4,823,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFisher View Post
I am shopping for a car for my 16 year-old. Considering Corolla Cross Hybrid, Rav4, and Prius. They all have hybrid engine (Corolla coming in 2023), but the city-hwy combined MPGs are 37/40/56, respectively.

Why does Prius get such higher MPG rating than the other? For a driver that does mostly short city trip driving, presumably mostly using electricity, wouldn't the MPG be very similar for all 3 vehicles? My son's driving would be such a pattern as he mostly drives 10 miles to school.

Attachment 238214
A 16-year-old boy is not going to want a Prius. Mostly, an old-people car.

Rav-4 is Toyota's top seller and popular with young people. Do him a favor here.
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