Prius Plug-in Hybrid - Part Two - Public Charging

Tuesday 16th August, 2011
Pulling up next to the charging post at the office, I opened the boot to see a choice of 3 charging cables. Examining the plugs on each end, I grabbed the bag containing the fancy blue end and walked over to the charging post.

Waving the tag on the key-ring, the flap opened on the charging post to reveal a standard 13-Amp plug socket like that you might find in your home. So I went back and swapped out for the hi-viz curly yellow charging cable - I think these are a legal requirement in some areas when running a cable across the public pavement.
Once you've wasted time working out that the charging flap on the car doesn't open with a hidden lever/button inside the car, plug both ends of the cable in then close the flap on the charging post to start charging. The LED indicators on the charging post change from blue to green and the display changes to confirm that charging is taking place.

The specification sheet in the car provides me with every number I might need, except the battery capacity, so I had no idea how long charging might take. I figured I'd go back every hour to check the progress.  During this time, one has to hope that nobody comes along and pulls the plug out of the car. Whilst the plug is locked into the socket at the charging post end, only accessible to those who have a special key fob, the "gun" at the car end can be removed at any time. Handy if you're parked there all day and somebody comes along needing a charge, not so handy if some kids come along and fancy a laugh at your expense.
An hour or so later and we've got "2.620KWh" in our batteries and then, after around 2.5hrs of charging, the charging post was back in standby mode - all done. So what was the total charge and how much did it cost? Still no idea! Whilst it counted up the kWh as it went along, it didn't show the total at the end - there's also no indication of true charge level in the car, just a range in miles. We'll have to find out the full data when I home charge by using a plug-in electricity meter between the car and the wall socket.

But, before then, we need to go on our first real journey...

Prius Plug-in Hybrid - Part Three - First Drive

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