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  1. #1
    Guest

    Hybrid's and air conditioning

    I happily read the discussion started by Asian Brad re: hybrid batteries. I had been told that buying a hybrid in an area that requires a lot of air conditioning, say south Florida for example, is not a good idea because of the near year round need to run the air conditioner. If the electric motor on hybrids is basically being run by a dedicated battery, and all other electrical components are being run by a separate 12v battery, it seems to me that the "don't buy a hybrid because of air conditioning issues" is totally bogus.

    Thanks to Asian Brad for bringing up the topic of hybrid batteries

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  3. #2
    Guest

    Hybrid's and air conditioning

    Yes, it is bogus.
    Many people (If not most) in the Northern areas also use their defroster most of the winter (Uses the same compressor) and also AC in the summer.

    If it were not bogus the only region that would benefit would be very, very small.

  4. #3
    Guest

    Hybrid's and air conditioning

    Larry, I live in South Florida and see alot of happy Prius owners. One of my thoughts is that the FEH loves it here also. The A/C does hurt the FEH if you compare what it can get without the A/C. Ford did something to help by giving a Max A/C (recirculation) that would shut off for EV use and a Max. A/C that would not shut off which keeps the engine running to kept the compressor working. The A/C compressor is not electric on the FEH.

    BTW, A/C is not needed all year round here along the coast. The ocean cools down to 72-73 degrees so we are in perfect weather for about six months of the year.

    Gary G

  5. #4
    Guest

    Hybrid's and air conditioning

    I definitely agree that the actual size of the "beneficial" area (geographically speaking) for hybrids would very definitely be SMALL if the use of A/C was that detrimental to a hybrid's efficiency.

    However, one needs to realize that the efficiency lost by a hybrid when using the A/C or Defroster is simply a normal occurrence in ANY vehicle, non-hybrid OR hybrid. I have an 03 HCH and I ONLY use my A/C when it is too hot to lower any windows. Also, if you use lower fan settings and avoid the use of the AUTO feature it is possible to use the A/C or Defroster without sacrificing quite as much efficiency. I hope this helps!


  6. #5
    Guest

    Hybrid's and air conditioning

    I am thinking of selling my 03 HCH and upgrading to the 06 HCH. I wonder if anyone knows if the use of A/C in the 06 HCH will cause less efficiency loss??? I know that the vehicle is capable of producing cold air even while the vehicle is in auto-stop mode, and I wonder if this feature allows the vehicle to be more efficient overall- while the A/C is on and the engine is running. Any thoughts, anyone?

  7. #6
    Guest

    Hybrid's and air conditioning

    We have a 2001 Prius. It has more than 110k miles on it. We have found that running the air conditioning drops the fuel efficiency from 45 mpg to 42 mpg here in the central valley in California. We have also noticed that driving it between CA and Nebraska (sometimes going 95mph without even realizing it) we got about the same efficiency.

    We are now looking at replacing the 12v battery since we can't let it sit even a day without jumping it. I have read that it is not just the smart key that drains the battery (since we don't have the smart key model) it is the security system that does it. We have left it sitting for as much as 10 days before and not had a problem.

    I would buy another Prius in a heartbeat.

  8. #7
    Guest

    Hybrid's and air conditioning

    J Seif writes that "I have an 03 HCH and I ONLY use my A/C when it is too hot to lower any windows. Also, if you use lower fan settings and avoid the use of the AUTO feature it is possible to use the A/C or Defroster without sacrificing quite as much efficiency."

    Not trying to be critical here, but the reason that Honda includes automatic temperature control (AUTO) in a cheap car is to increase fuel economy. When set on AUTO, the system engages/disengages the a/c compressor to control temperature. As a result, it is only operating (using energy) when necessary. If you leave the a/c on manual, the compressor is going to be running full time.

    With respect to the neat feature of a/c systems run by an electric motor during auto-stop, that SHOULD be more efficient, if only because generating 3 horsepower to run a compressor with an 80-some horsepower ICE is like using a flamethrower to light a candle. The electric motor that drives the compressor should be much more closely matched to the power requirement, and therefor more a more efficient user of energy. I do wish that my 03 and 05 HCH's had this feature.

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