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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Prius sucks in cold temperatures

    Up in Thompson ,Manitoba , Cananda (Eh), they test vehicles from all types and brands. The temperature up here gets as low as -50 degress Celcius and averages -32 degress Celcius. A friend participated in a test program and drove a prius for a year (winter/summer). The car does very poorly in cold temperatures. Gas economy goes down as much as 50 % and the batteries need to be trickle charged or the car does not run on the electricity if there's not enough power-due to the cold. The tires don't grip and you feel like you're driving on ice all the time. He hit a few snowbanks simply slowing down at a stop light. The car performed better in the summer but the winter put a lot of wear and tear on the vehicle and required lots of maintnenance. Electrical parts were frequently replaced. If you get stuck, there's no horsepower to get you out!

    Overall, if you live in Canada, a hybrid is not a good investment-even in the name of the environment! A fuel efficient Honda or Toyota is still the best option right now. I think we are just beginning to develop alternative vehicles and like solar panels 30 year ago which were thought to be the way to go, there has been so much advancement in this technology to make it quite viable today. I'd rather spend my money on solar power to reduce carbon emmissions than waste it on "needs more work" car technology. So If you're Canadian, take that extra money saved in buying a fuel efficient vehicle and buy solar panels. You are still doing your part in saving the environment!

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  3. #2
    It sounds to me like you folks up north should be pushing even harder for hybrids and BEVs - for people in warm climates. You guys need oil very badly. It's a shame so much of it is being wasted in warm climates that could be using less oil with BEVs.
    I do suspect that battery heaters could be added in the future, just as engine block heaters are today. For now, however, people who can use hybrids and BEVs should.

  4. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    I totally understand your issue.

    I too happen to be a Manitoba resident and I've owned a 2007 Prius II during our winter months and verified similar results even though I'm further south in Winnipeg. In the end, I ended up selling it to my company and replaced it with a 2007 HCH. The 2007 joins an existing 2006 HCH I had purchased earlier.

    Now, to be fair I still think the Prius is one of the better cars even in the depts of winter with -40 to -50 temps. However, I now own 2 HCH-II's which are marginally better performers in extreme winter temps than the Prius was (mainly due to the smaller gas engine and less weight). Of course, when the summer arrives the soles reverse and the Prius will better the HCH-II as expected.

    Nevertheless, despite the lower mileage you get on the Prius during the winter, perhaps between 7.8 to 10 Liters/100Km, it is still MUCH better that what you would get with any other gas only vehicle.

    Cheers;

    MSantos

  5. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    So I take it I will be ok in TX lol. Gets cold here but just windy cold. Last winter lowest was bout 14 or so.

  6. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Prius in cold weather

    I have a 2006 version, purchased in May. I had a business trip, where the Prius was left in the airport garage for 7 days. During that time the temperature dropped below freezing. The car would not start, requiring a jump. I also am experiencing a decline in mileage efficiency in the colder weather. The mileage in the summer averages 50 to 55. The highways mileage is better than city; the opposite of what is suggested. Unfortunately, the batteries and electric motor are too underpowered to benefit the city driving. The hybrid really should be all electric, with a high-end electric generator, plug-in capability and solar panels.

    Jim K from NH

  7. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    0
    One of the things about the Prius is that the engine runs continously UNTIL the engine and catalytic converter come up to operating temperature.

    This is necessary to protect the engine. Cold engine starting and stopping will kill an internal combustion engine.

    Unfortunately, this also makes the Prius waste fuel until the engine warms up. And when you are running the heater in cold weather, you are cooling the engine down, causing it to run more often to maintain temperature.

    Regarding trickle charging, there are retrofit kits out there (very simple) to make the front power outlet a "battery hot" outlet instead of being on the ignition accessory circut. With the front outlet always "energized" on the battery, you CAN put a solar panel on the dashboard to trickle charge the battery. Such as when parking for extended period of time.

  8. #7
    Guest

    I've owned a 2007 Prius for

    I've owned a 2007 Prius for one year and can happily report no major issues in regards to winter driving. In fact with four studded snow tires the vehicle is exceptionally sure-footed on slick pavement. The mileage usually dips to the low 40s (mpg) from the customary low 50s (mpg) experienced in summer but even that far surpasses the gas guzzlers I'm on the road with. Last January I left my Prius at the Anchorage airport for ten days and it started easily upon my return.

  9. #8
    Guest

    Well, that doesn't apply to

    Well, that doesn't apply to ALL of Canada. Hybrids do extremely well here in Vancouver, where our climate is markedly more moderate than the rest of Canada.

  10. #9
    Guest

    PS - Nearly ten percent of

    PS - Nearly ten percent of Canadians live in the Vancouver-Victoria Area (over 3 million), and it continues to grow more rapidly than the rest of the country. This area will soon have as many people as Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the Maritimes combined (3.4 million).

    Now if only BC would do something sensible to make hybrids more affordable for its over-taxed residents, e.g., exempt hybrids, PHEVs, and EVs from the PST (now the HST).

  11. #10
    Guest

    Well, this post is quite

    Well, this post is quite dismissive... Most Canadians live in the Toronto area (5+ million inhabitants), and this part of Canada is, for instance, geographically south of many US states, and at the same latitude as New York state. I also used to live in the Poconos, Pennsylvania and I can tell winters over there are harsher than in Toronto, yet Pennsylvania is south of New York state. So to the author, Canada is a huge country which extends to the North pole, true, but most Canadians do not live in these cold areas.

    In Toronto, winters average dry -5 to -10C / 23F to 14F and my 2009 Camry Hybrid does just fine... It is not as fuel efficient as it is in the summer, as it goes from 6.2L/100km (46 MPG) in the summer to 6.7L/100 kms (35 MPG) --these are values I get on the dashboard screen-- yet overall the car it is by far way more fuel efficient than other non-hybrid sedans on the market.

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