General Question

gondwanalon's avatar

How do you manage the climate control (warm & cool) inside your electric vehicle?

Asked by gondwanalon (22391points) 2 months ago

I suffer in silence (learned to keep my mouth shut) while riding as a passenger in my wife’s 2018 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in car. Always too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. She’s all about saving energy by driving about 5 mph under the speed limit, braking very slowly (to “generate electricity”) and minuscule use of the car’s inside climate controls. She’s even slow to use the defrost. She brags about getting around 100 mpg.

When I’m in my 2017 Ford F-150 pickup I get about 19.5 mpg while enjoying powerful heater and AC.

How about you? Do you sacrifice comfort to save energy in your electric vehicle?

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17 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

I drive a hybrid. It does run the engine when it is cold. But I also use electric seat warmers.

Your complaint isn’t about the temperature in the car, but rather about your wife’s hypermiling. And driving an F150 gas guzzler is a rather aggressive response.

kritiper's avatar

Trying to save energy in an electric vehicle serves no purpose since no gasoline is being used to recharge the battery. And she probably doesn’t drive to maximize the total range of the battery, so she isn’t saving anything.

raum's avatar

I manage the climate control about the same whether I’m driving an electric car or gas.

Is that bad?

Zaku's avatar

Sounds like the vehicle commander is the issue, not the power system of the vehicle.

gorillapaws's avatar

It’s even better than a gas car. Sometime I have to be in another town that’s over an hour away and deliver some wine for a morning appointment. Instead of waking up super-early so I can drive to the warehouse to load up, then come home, shower, get dressed and then drive to my appointment, I’ll load up my EV the night before and set my car to “camping mode” that maintains a temperature all night while the car is plugged in and then I can leave at a normal time in the AM. Camping mode isn’t possible in gas cars unless you willing to idle the engine all night.

As for the temp driving around, I just set it to what I want and it maintains a nice 68 or sometimes 72 if it’s chilly outside. I wake up every morning with 60% charge (which is plenty for my needs in a day), unless I’m going to a neighboring city for the day, so I never have to worry about running out of juice.

Zaku's avatar

On some, you can tell it via wi fi, before you go out, to heat up the cabin, or even set a scheduled time when you want it to heat up. A gas car without enough computers/wifi could do that, but it would fill a garage with carbon monoxide if it did . . .

raum's avatar

@gorillapaws I did recently have a conversation about climate control though.

I think most people are similar to you. Maintain a certain temperature. Or slightly warmer than that on colder days.

Didn’t realize I’m kind of the minority on this one. I have the temperature lower on chillier days. Because I just want it to be warmer than outside temp. But not blasting hot air at me. Otherwise my body has a harder time adjusting when I leave the car.

gondwanalon's avatar

Interesting answers. Thanks!
I get pretty cold (shivering bone cold) from canoe paddling in the winter races and workouts in the PNW (rivers, lakes and ocean from Oregon to Canada).
Three times a week my wife and I use her Prius to go to and from canoe practice at out canoe club. I generally get soaked from freezing rain and cold Puget Sound water. The ride home with the heater turned off is the hardest part (so cold). My wife is a power of strength. She doesn’t seem to ever get cold. At least she doesn’t show it. I try to be strong like her.

@zenvelo I use my F-150 gas guzzler mainly to transport my canoes and not for any kind of aggressive response. Love it!

Lightlyseared's avatar

Seems like the issue is between the wheel and the seat and not with the car.

To answer your question I have no issue with the climate control in my eclectic car with the added advantage I can leave the AC running when I’m parked (for hours or if its charging all day – excellent if you have a dog for example) and come back to a nice cool car in the summer or set the heating to come on before I get up in the morning and defrost the car and have it comfortable before I get in.

Dig_Dug's avatar

I think the driver may be the problem. The heat & cool features are to be used and figured in with everything else in the car. A 100 MPGe is pretty good anyway so maybe she could spare a couple of those for comfort. You should see if she will compromise a little. Why ride miserable?

Forever_Free's avatar

Perhaps some good hugs for the driver before your get in the car and after you get out will do wonders.

kritiper's avatar

The 100 mpg idea in conjunction with an electric car is ridiculous!

gondwanalon's avatar

@kritiper It’s a Toyota Prius Prime that has about a 10 gallon gas tank. It can also run exclusively on electricity or only on gas or on a combination of electricity and gas.

kritiper's avatar

@gondwanalon OH! I thought it was all electric. You didn’t specify in the question what kind of vehicle it was… (AKA, all electric, electric/gas combination, etc.) And I don’t always know what kind of vehicles are hybrid, or all electric, or WERE hybrid and now all electric…

RocketGuy's avatar

I had a 2006 Prius for a while. The climate control system was the best of any car I’ve ever had. Your problem is she is setting the temp too low, then not putting the system on Auto. Just push the button! Hypermiling just gets on people’s nerves. You guys paid $$ for that car, so enjoy it.

gondwanalon's avatar

@RocketGuy Thanks for the advice.
Yesterday afternoon I was chilled to the bone again after canoe paddling. We turned on the heater (72*F) for about 5 miles (half the way home). That helped.

RocketGuy's avatar

Mine was set to 73F and I was comfortable the whole year.

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