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Prius Prime Life

It's been three months and I thought it would be nice to post an update on my plug-in Prius Prime life. Still enjoying the ride and the thrill of charging up.

Many have been driving electric vehicles (EVs) for awhile and I'm late to the party. Plus, my vehicle is a plug-in. When I run out of charge, the vehicle switches to hybrid mode. Prius Prime allows you to go 25 miles when fully charged, so I have to charge up often, depending on my week.

For the first two months of ownership, I had to find and use public chargers at 2.5 times the kWh rate SDG&E typically charges home owners.  The reason - my condo was in the process of installing and getting chargers ready for use. It was a lesson in patience.

Still, it's fun to discover available chargers. The ones available for use are typically in malls and at work places. Some malls allow an hour of free charging. At Sea World they are located in prime spaces and free of charge.

I've noticed design and placement issues. For the chargers that still are keypad activated, often the placement of the chargers means that in the bright sunlight, you have to hunt and peck and guess where to press to enter the alpha numeric code. Sometimes the keypad is plain unusable.

If the chargers are in a covered parking structure, the cell service may be poor. In this case, it makes it difficult to use the phone app to activate charging.

Though the Prius Prime looks relatively sporty compared to some other EVs, the reason is due to the charge port placement on the rear side of the car. That means, however that I have to reverse park in order to charge. The things one is willing to do for a little more style!

It's sad when you're at a public place, such as a state university, where there's a whole bank of unused chargers. Even though it's a paid lot, only those with parking permits are allowed to use.

Below is a photo of the happy day that I was cleared to use my home charger. The condo association is working on the set rules for use, as the charger parking spaces are shared with guest parking. Till then, EVs are fortunate to be able use under waiver. So far, I haven't noticed supply and demand issues.

The benefits for EV drivers are nice, too - a $100 charge credit from Toyota, a rebate from SDG&E, a rebate from the state, a federal tax credit. It's great that I've only had to fill up a couple times for road trips. Though I was able to charge twice while on travel, on campus at Cal Poly SLO.

I'm part of a club by virtue of driving a Prius Prime - strangers get my attention and motion for me to roll down my window and talk about the vehicle. How unexpected is that?