Of Prius and Hacking

June 2, 2008

EV_Button After receiving a letter from my local Toyota dealership offering a Starbucks card for giving them the opportunity to appraise my Prius for over-market buyback, I decided to do some digging.  Apparently they’re holding their value extremely well (e.g. nearly 2x residual) and the local dealership is going to take months to get inventory.  NBC News and a family member report similar waiting lists in CA and ATL where they can’t even get a test drive. due to demand. 

So… I’m planning to buy out the Prius at the end of my lease and will be adding some new mods.  My first was an aftermarket adapter for my Sirius Radio, Zune and iPod from www.vaistech.com.  It plugs directly into the MiniDisc adapter on the back and includes hands-free control among other features.

Next up: An EV – Electric Vehicle button.  Available in pretty much every country except the US, the Prius is capable of running in battery-only mode, switching to gas only when the battery needs charging or if you go over ~34mph.  More MPG for in-town running to the store.  Sure, it’s no Honda S2000, but it gets me to work and back. Perhaps someday I’ll hack the touchscreen to run MCE. ;)

If you own a Prius, you can find great hack ideas at www.priuschat.com.

Hack: Prius Convertible

2 responses to Of Prius and Hacking

  1. 

    I thought about doing the EV mode on my ’08, and decided against it. My reasoning was that since the batteries must be charged from the engine, that running in "EV Mode" just defers the charging to a later point in your trip. I guess if you knew you had a short trip to the highway, and a reasonable drive at highway speeds, that EV mode might save a bit of mileage, but for my short (10 minute) commute, its hard to justify…

    Now, if Toyota had a plug-in option, then every mile driven in EV mode would directly offset fuel consumed, which would be *awesome*!

  2. 

    Yea, with my commute I regularly use regen braking and top off the batteries which makes this feature great for flat commutes around town. I figure for my first 2 of 14 mile commute per day, I can at least go electric :)