Today I had a Toyota Prius Engine Block Heater installed.
For those of you who have experience driving a normal Toyota Prius, you will notice that the gas engine will run when you first start the car. Even if you are trying to drive softly to keep the Prius in EV mode, the engine comes on for a few minutes. This is automatic to raise the operating temperature of the engine to a certain level.
After a few minutes of the engine running, the engine temperature reaches a certain level, then it is much easier for the Prius to slip into EV mode.
With a Prius that has the Hymotion battery, the most gasoline you consume all day is the gasoline during this early warm-up. If not for this warm-up phase, it is feasible for the Hymotion Prius to never use gasoline. So while the Hymotion system is amazing, it can even MORE amazing if this early gasoline consumption can be reduced or eliminated.
I have also put the Engine Block Heater on a programmable timer and scheduled it to preheat the engine from 6 am till 8:10 am. I typically leave the house at 8:10 am each morning to drop the kids off at school on my way to work. I have also placed an energy meter on this outlet to measure how much electricity is consumed during the preheat time.
I will attempt to make a rough estimate of the gasoline savings vs the electricity consumption.
So Tuesday 10/21/08 will start the testing to see how much this improves on the Hymotion system.