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Current mileage: 4,807km

Almost at the 5,000km mark and I’m still on the second tank (remember. The $40 one?).
This tank has seen some longer journeys that have allowed me to play with the various modes of running to see if I can figure out what’s best for different journeys. It’s also been my first where I’ve charged outside of home or work and leads me to this editions TOP TIP for driving a Prius Prime. FREE CHARGING STATIONS.

I didn’t know this but there is a network of free charging points out there that are available for use if you sign up on certain sites. I ended up in Burlington at rush hour after my little one’s dental appointment last week and we decided that rather than braving the traffic back to Beamsville, we would take a wander around the Mapleview Mall. It’s a nice little mall and we hadn’t been there for quite some time.

Well colour me pink but didn’t I spot a row of charging stations when I pulled into the parking lot only to discover that they were branded as FLO and looked like you needed a card to gain access. Luckily another driver pulled up to charge and we got chatting. Turns out there’s an App for that. Just go to www.flo.ca and go to the bottom of the page to follow the link for the App. Fill in your information but YOU DO NOT NEED to enter a payment option or enter credit to your account as it asks. That’s important. I was about to forget the whole thing as I won’t use them enough to bother. Then you can search areas for stations, and it will show if it costs anything to use (and how much per hour). Most that I’ve found are free which is great.

 

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That little charging session got me back to Grimsby and all while the car would have been sitting parked anyway. I had a long chat with a couple in a 2017 Prius Prime about their experiences and their results have been even better than my own. They live locally and do most of their driving around Burlington to the point that occasionally they force the car into normal hybrid mode so that the gas doesn’t go off. They’ve also driven to Newfoundland and to Calgary in the car.

Using the Flo App, I have discovered that there are even some free stations in the parking lot at the highway in Beamsville and a bunch in St. Catharines.

So down to the negatives. Well the only one for me right now is that, while Toyota allows a demo to go up to 18,000km and still apply for rates etc. The federal government has dictated that plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles can only be used up to 10,000km and still be valid for the $2,500 federal grant. What am I going to do????? I can’t go back to spending $80 a week on fuel. I wonder if I could roll this odometer back???

I’m kidding. Honest. Where’s that screwdriver???