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Old 03-06-2019, 12:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Bought a 2007 Camry Hybrid

Now that we have a baby, we decided it would be best to be a 2 car family again (I would have liked to try to get by using bikes and/or ebikes, but "happy wife, happy life" and that...). Didn't want to spend too much, preferably no loan (ended up paying with cash ), newish/safe/reliable, and of course, decent mileage.

The result is a 2007 Camry Hybrid with 202k miles for $3600 out the door. Battery was just replaced with a refurbished one, crossing my fingers that I won't have to go digging in it any time soon. Exterior is in kinda sad shape, but the interior and mechanicals are pretty good, especially for the miles. Only immediate need is rear tires.

MPGs from the drive home are promising. Got 46.4MPG according to the MFD over the ~100 miles to home doing 70ish most of the way. For comparison, our Prius showed 50MPG for the tank when we started for home and was 54MPG when we arrived, so it got probably 56 for that trip (Prius' MFD usually reads 2MPG higher than the calculating at fill up). Not a bad trade off when you consider the extra room, power, and comfort the Camry offers.

So far, I would highly recommend the Camry Hybrid for those looking for a cheap car with close to Prius efficiency, but without the meh looks.

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Old 03-06-2019, 05:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vskid3 View Post

So far, I would highly recommend the Camry Hybrid for those looking for a cheap car with close to Prius efficiency, but without the meh looks.
How dare you.

That is a steal, I was always curious about how the Camry Hybrid and the Prius compared.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think I've seen nail polish in that shade.

Good to hear the battery was replaced. Based on stuff Keith has been sharing, it seems like now is about the time 2007 batteries are biting the dust.
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Managed to get its emissions tested, registered at the DMV, and new rear tires all before noon today. Don't ask me how everything went so smooth. Still need to get the tires pumped up, they're probably at the recommended 32PSI.

I have a major complaint against the Camry versus the Prius: no way to add an EV mode button (that I've found yet). With the way the warm up stages work (the Camry seems to act similar to the Gen2 Prius), it's easy to get stuck with the ICE running way more than it needs to. I use the EV button in my Prius as a kill switch until it gets warmed up/to full hybrid mode, but I can't do that in the Camry. That's going to keep my city mileage low unless I can figure out a way to kill the ICE. Maybe I'll add a coolant temp spoofer.
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Old 03-07-2019, 02:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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EV mode is a great way to kill a battery or at least shorten it's life. Consider this... the usable capacity of the hybrid battery is about the same as the total capacity of the 12V battery in the trunk.

HV battery: 244.8V * 6.5Ah * 40% = 636Wh
12V battery: 12V * 57Ah = 684Wh

How far would you plan to get running solely on the energy stored in the 12V battery? Probably not far.

Have you ever run an actual comparison in similar conditions? The EV mode range is a couple of miles at low speed, and since you never plug the car into the wall, ALL kinetic energy ultimately comes from gas.

Here's a pro-con list:

Pros:
1) a mostly placebo mileage effect.

Cons:
1) EV mode runs the battery to lower voltage.
2) Lower voltage means higher amperage.
3) Higher amperage is harder on the cell chemistry accelerating wear.
4) deeper depth of discharge is harder on the cell chemistry accelerating wear.
5) More battery use during cold weather is harder on the cell chemistry accelerating wear.
6) More battery use means more engine running to recharge the battery.
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I am going a little off topic here, but I think S Keith is absolutely right about the mileage effect of EV mode in a not-plug-in hybrid being a placebo.

Shortly after I bought my 2010 Insight (which also has a limited EV mode) I read someone on IC saying that one should AVOID using the Insight's EV mode in order to save on gas.

Actually, if you think about it, the 2nd law of thermodynamics intuitively tells us that EV mode is LESS efficient than the gas engine in a "soft" hybrid which doesn't plug into the wall.

It's not a simple thing where there is only 1 step:
- Car uses electricity to move (some energy lost as heat)

There's 3 steps, each with a loss of energy to heat//friction
- Car burns gas to move (much energy lost as heat)
- Car reabsorbs SOME kinetic energy during braking and regen coast
- Car uses electricity to move (some energy lost as heat)

It's usually more efficient to stay at step 1. Regen and regenerative braking, for hypermiling purposes, should be limited to situations where you HAVE to stop. EV mode should be used sparingly in order to avoid wasting gas to recharge the battery.
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Old 03-07-2019, 03:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm not using EV mode to cruise around on the battery until it's dead, just as a kill switch. The warm up stages can keep the ICE running when it doesn't need to be if you don't get to S4. I use it to P&G and coast to stops when it would normally have the ICE running.
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Old 03-07-2019, 06:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vskid3 View Post
I'm not using EV mode to cruise around on the battery until it's dead, just as a kill switch. The warm up stages can keep the ICE running when it doesn't need to be if you don't get to S4. I use it to P&G and coast to stops when it would normally have the ICE running.
You are still subject to pro #1 and cons 1-6 with your described use and likely saving almost no gas.
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I use the EV button in my Prius in almost exactly the same way someone with a manual trans would use a kill switch. I'm not using it to drain the battery. If it doesn't help mileage the way I use it, then everyone who sees gains from engine off coasting must be full of crap. I don't see how this could possibly add a significant amount of wear to the battery the way that I use it.

I pumped all the tires up to 40PSI. They were already in the mid 30s, so not really expecting to see much difference. Plugged in my laptop with Techstream and found out that 3 of the 4 TPMS sensors work great, but one isn't working, so the light will always be on. It'll get the electrical tape treatment. I discovered that the radio/nav display is motorized and hides the CD changer, wasn't expecting that.
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Old 03-08-2019, 11:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I see gains from engine off coasting because my engine is off AND I'm not using my battery. In fairness, it's a lot easier to EOC in a G1 Insight because it's got a manual transmission.

Having the Camry do the EV thing while coasting down to a stop where you're only regenerating charge instead of using any obviously isn't going to hurt your mileage, keep doing that. But try running with the ICE to maintain speed, or find a way to have both the engine and electric motors deactivated for a true EOC.

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