Can You Really Mod a Prius to Improve Mileage?

That is the question I asked myself when I saw this video Thunder's Prius EV mod install guide and commentary.  This 15 minute video tutorial walks you through the process of mounting a Toyota Prius.

JuicedHybird.com

This step-by-step tutorial looks like something that your average person could probably do, but would your average person actually do it?

The actual device featured in the video cost somewhere between $70 and $90.  That's not a lot of money if you're trying to save big bucks at the pump.

Add to that cost, 15 to 20 minutes worth of work on your car, and it doesn't seem like a big deal. That is of course if you don't electrocute yourself first, void your warranty on the car, or somehow managed to short out and kill your car altogether.

That said, next to driving cars, working on cars and making them run better than they do off the factory floor is probably just as American as apple pie and drag racing.

This particular device is supposed to allow you to switch your car into electric only mode, which is supposed to increase the efficiency of a vehicle.  It's also supposed to be a common feature on the Toyota Prius when it is not sold in America .

That's right, this is one of those deals where the rest the world gets the benefit from a technology, plus Americans have to suck it up and deal with some governor like device it doesn't slow the car down,it does decrease its efficiency. 

So after you install this device, you're supposed to basically get the same benefit that people around the world get when they drive same car.

Toyota Prius EV Mode Features

  • Easy Installation - In a few minutes this OEM option replication will activate the electric only feature from Toyota to drive for short distances such as around town or in parking lots to save fuel.
  • Fuel Efficiency - By limiting the use of the gas motor your Prius will have improved MPG.
  • Performance - Operating the electric motor at low speeds you will notice a bit more torque under acceleration.
  • Environmentally Friendly - No gas engine means better for the environment while EVMODE is engaged.
  • Step By Step Instructions - The EV Mode kit is designed for ease of installation and includes the step by step instructions. No cutting of wires.
  • Runs Seamlessly - The electric only feature can be turned on and used up to a speed of around 34 mph at which time it will automatically turn off and the car will operate as usual. Quickly and easily activate and/or turn off the electric mode when desired.
  • Maintained battery Life - Battery is prevented from going below 3 Bars by Toyota software in the Prius.
  • Engine automatically restarts when the battery needs to be recharged or if you need to accelerate quickly
  • EVMODE will improve your fuel economy. Results will vary based on driving conditions, geography and how aggressive you drive.

 

I have to admit, I do not fully understand the caveat that states "up to 34 mph with increased efficiency"

I do not know if that means that this will help your car run in only electric mode up until it hits 34 mph and then it switches into engine moderare burning fossil fuels,or to mean something else.

Plus I don't fully understand how this is different than what the car does by itself.That said I am very curious as to how many people might actually be making these types of adjustments to their car.My brother has installed new chipsin his own cars in the past as he's worked on a troublesome Camero dozens of years ago.  Even my father, a very gifted mechanic, was looking at a couple of different devices that would and enable a person to reprogram the chip in their cars so that their car could burn gas more efficiently.Something akin to acarburetor tuneup in the old days I suppose.

In all truth, this doesn't look any more difficult than installing the power wire for the car stereo.  But our society is increasingly moving towards more and more specialization to the point that your average person doesn't seem to work on cars very much these days.

So what do you think, could you envision yourself paying $70 for little device that helps you save some gas at the pump?  Would you trust yourself to install this?  Or would you even trust a mechanic to install this if you paid for the part?

The days when people only had to worry about developing a lead foot are long past.  These days we are more likely to develop Plantar Fasciitis of the foot while sitting at a red light waiting for traffic, but that wait can burn a lot of gas, even in a prius without this type of mod.

1 Responses:

Anonymous said...

I did it and love it. Of course the item only cost $50 with shipping. Before this item I was averaging 50mpg. After installing the item I haven't fallen below 55mpg, and on the first day of filling was around 60mpg all day. Usually when I start the car I literally watch .4 mpg average tank become lost. With this device, each start loses .1 mpg tank average.

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