SanDust wrote:The Prius battery is considerably smaller which will limit the amount of regen it can handle.
Does this mean that the Prius uses the friction brake more often than the Leaf?
Yes, unless one learns to brake gently and gradually, the Prius will generally end up using the friction brakes more than the LEAF. With the Prius, regen maxes out at about 20 kW, compared to 30 kW with the LEAF.
Volusiano wrote:Also, I can understand the Prius battery can't handle the last amount of regen from going down hill for a long time
That is correct. However, the Prius does have one sort of advantage over the LEAF on long descents. The ICE (internal combustion engine) can provide compression braking, thereby eliminating or reducing the need for friction braking when going down mountains. With no ICE, the LEAF is forced to rely on friction braking if the battery is too full. So, in the LEAF, one should avoid higher states of charge prior to big descents; then you come out way ahead of the Prius in terms of being able to recapture energy.
Volusiano wrote:I have to believe that the Prius battery is designed to be large enough to recapture most of the energy from a typical stop from 45 miles to 0, no?
Yes, the Prius battery is more than large enough for that. But you need to brake gently and gradually to recapture that energy.
Volusiano wrote:But then again, if the switching point from battery to ICE is 15 miles...
If one accelerates very gently, it is possible to go as fast as 45 mph in the third-generation Prius (2010/2011) without using the ICE. The only problem is, if you drain the battery too far, the Prius will be forced to run the ICE as a generator to recharge the battery, which will reduce overall efficiency.