Rare sighting of (Original) Plug-in Prius.

PiP charging at Whole Foods.

Toyota’s Prius is a popular Hybrid vehicle. In March 2012 Toyota started selling the Plug-in Prius, affectionately called the PiP. After April 2014, (much to the frustration of potential buyers) Toyota began restricting manufacturing volume of the vehicle and the last PiP was sold in September 2016. In total 42,344 PiP’s were sold in the US.

This is the first time I have seen the PiP in the wild. Here it is charging at the Whole Foods Market in Franklin TN.

PiP from the rear

Toyota now make another plug-in Prius they call the Prius Prime. Sales began in November 2016 and in just over two years the sales have eclipsed the original PiP and currently stand at 56,500 as of April 2019. The PiP must have been a limited pilot program and the Prime is being sold at  an average rate of 2,000 units per month.

The all electric range of the PiP and Prime are very meager. The PiP can only manage about 11 miles on a full charge. The Prime can travel about 25 miles on a charge, which is not quite enough to cover the average commute distance of 32 miles return in the US.

The Prime also charges at the rear passenger side of the vehicle just like the PiP. I have never been comfortable with a rear charging port. This is one of things that I dislike about my Model 3, straight parking spaces are easy enough to back into, but space that are at a slanted angle are setup for pull in not reverse in and its very awkward reversing into a slanted space.

Prius Prime rear charge port is awkward.




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Whole Foods offer $100 in compensation for Parking Lot Ding

Whole Foods Gift Card issued in compensation for parking lot ding

I am pleased that Whole Foods have decided to compensate me for the parking lot ding I received a several weeks ago.  Sentry Mode on my Tesla recorded how my car was hit by a rogue shopping cart. I reached out to Whole Foods via their website to report the incident and provide them with the video evidence of the shopping cart hitting my car.

It was a Hail-Mary attempt at compensation. In truth I expected a “Cars are left at owners risk” response. I received a phone call within two hours of reporting the incident by a manager at the store and was promised follow-up by Gallagher Bassett a 3rd party administrator who handle Whole Foods damage claims. I was contacted on Monday, the first business day following my report by a “Resolution Associate” at Gallagher Bassett and the process took a few weeks of emailing back and forth. The outcome was to my satisfaction, I was offered $100 in Whole Foods gift cards to cover the cost of the $55 Tesla Paint Repair Kit I purchased to repair the ding. Not once did I feel that Whole Foods were trying to dodge their responsibility and the whole process was virtually friction free. I get free lunch for the next few weeks 🙂

I frequent Whole Foods at lunchtime to get lunch and utilize their free EV charging and free WiFi while I eat and shop. I wish more merchants would offer free EV charging, its the main reason I choose Whole Foods as the place to get lunch. We both win thanks to this arrangement and I am especially pleased they take good care of their customers should an incident occur. I will continue to eat at Whole Foods at lunch and recommend to others Whole Foods as a great place to get lunch and groceries. As an Amazon Prime customer I frequently get discounts on sandwiches I buy there.

Posted in Accident, Amazon, Bizarre, ChargePoint, Electric Car, Level 2 EV Charger, Sentry Mode, Tesla Model 3 | Tagged | 2 Comments

Warm weather has brought amazing efficiency

Over the winter the efficiency of the Model 3 was nothing to write home about. The resistance heater while effective uses a lot of electricity. Now the weather has warmed up the more efficient air conditioner is being used and the efficiency of the Model 3 is way better than I ever got from our LEAF.

Incredible efficiency on commute home

The best summer efficiency in the LEAF I achieved was about 4.5 miles/kWh or 222 Wh/mile. By comparison today the Model 3 achieved 5.8 miles/kWh or 173 Wh/mile. What makes this more remarkable is that I drive the Model 3 about 5-10 miles per hour faster than the LEAF, speed reduces efficiency. The Model 3 is rated for 245 Wh/Mile so I should be able to exceed the rated range of 310 miles per charge by a wide margin, it works out to be about 440 miles.

The cars lifetime efficiency is 281 Wh/mile or 3.6 miles/kWh. I think this will improve as the year goes on. I imagine efficiency will drop slightly in mid summer as the amount of air conditioning required will increase.


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Outcome of Tesla Paint Repair Kit

Damage to passenger door due to shopping cart impact.

Following a ding in a parking lot I purchased Tesla’s paint repair kit to touch up rather than go through a body repair for what was a small ding. I am pleased with the results, the ding is much less noticeable and the metal is no longer exposed and subject to corrosion.

The kit provides a simple two step process to restore your paint finish. I ended up putting two coats of paint on the damaged area, after the first coat their were lighter shades of blue visible due to the paint being too thinly applied.

Final paint repair

The process is simple. First you clean the car normally and then clean the damaged area with alcohol to be sure it is really clean and any wax or coatings are removed. Then you apply the paint using the brush provided. After the paint gets tacky you use a blending solution provided to remove excess paint. Due to the nature of the damage I ended up with almost no excess paint so skipped the second step altogether. The final step is to rub the repair with the supplied microfiber cloth and you are finished.

If you look carefully the surface of the paint is not smooth, this is due to the metal being rough due to the damage. This is a paint repair kit, not a body repair kit. A smooth finish can only be achieved by sanding the area perfectly smooth which would result in a body repair process. The ding is markedly less noticeable and the metal is now protected against the elements.

It wasn’t clear how to clean the brush, so I used the blending solution to clean the brush.

Everything laid out. It is advisable to have something on the ground to put the paint repair components on

I have a small chip on the hood, so will tackle that next time I wash the car. The kit is overpriced at $55, however the paint match was very good.

Tesla Paint Repair Kit.

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Trio of Volts

I spot the Chevy Volt several times a week in the Nashville area.

Never before have I seen three Volts lined up charging at the same time. Shame GM have cancelled this car, it has a very loyal following and is by all accounts an excellent vehicle.

Trio of Volts lined up charging.

The astute observer will notice that in this line up are Gen 1 and Gen 2 Volts. Can you tell which is which? If you know identity the Gen 1 and 2 vehicles put a comment in the comments section below.

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Bizarre Parking Lot Ding at Whole Foods Parking lot

Parking lot dings are a hazard when we park in public. The ding I picked up on Thursday 11th April 2019 was rather bizarre and actually quite funny. You have to laugh or you’d cry.

View from Front of Car at 11:50 am as a cart gets blown free from the cart parking spot.

Here is the view from the right hand side of the vehicle as the cart makes impact.

Here is the result of the impact. Paint stripped down to bare metal unfortunately.

Damage to passenger door due to shopping cart impact.

If it wasn’t for bad luck I suppose I’d have no luck. The videos were captured by Sentry Mode, a new feature my vehicle got just a few months ago.

I have some touch-up paint coming. Doesn’t seem worth body work and re-application of ceramic coat. If the touch-up doesn’t work well I suppose I may have to get it painted.

Here’s how the Cart got into it’s precarious perch.

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Tax refund is on its way

My Tax Refund is on its way!!

The IRS have approved our tax filing for 2018 and we have $6,160 coming back thanks to the $7,500 EV tax credit on the Model 3 we bought last year.

The Tax credit was halved as on January 1st 2019. In response Tesla reduced prices. So did I pay more or less than I would today if I purchased the exact same car today?

I paid $55,000, subtracting the $7,500 that comes down to $47,500.

For the same configuration today it would cost me $50,500, subtract $3,750 makes the final price $46,750.

So the difference is $750 more than waiting. I’ve done over 10,000 miles since October 2018. I feel comfortable that it was worth the extra $750 for the opportunity to drive this awesome car for the 6 months I’ve had it.

When we purchased our 2011 LEAF we benefited from the $7,500 federal tax credit back then as well as a $2,500 Tennessee incentive. We’ve benefited to the tune of $17,500 over the last 8 years from EV incentives.

Many feel this is wrong for someone to benefit on the back someone else’s taxes. To get these credits you have to have adequate tax liability in the first place, in other words we’ve paid plenty of taxes anyway. It’s some of our tax money coming back to us. If we had not been due to pay the tax in the first place we would not have been eligible for the full tax credit.

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