Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fuel for Thought

The proof is in the Prius.

A friend recently asked her teenage son what he thought about her buying a Prius for the family car. "Don't do that, Mom," he protested. "Prius drivers are so smug."

I admit he's on to something there. But who wouldn't be smug about getting more than 50 miles a gallon instead of 15 as I once did in our premium-gas-guzzling Audi Quattro? Who wouldn't be self satisfied about driving nearly 500 miles on one 9.5 gallon tank of gas? Who wouldn't crow a little about saving more than $200 a month at the pump? (That's enough for a few dinners at Mozza Osteria or 25 bowls of ramen at Daikokuya.) And who could resist a little strutting around at the thought of reducing carbon emissions by nearly four tons per year?

I have to admit that I'm even insufferably smug around other Prius drivers, who are averaging (as I once did) less than 45 miles per gallon. Thanks to a great article about maximizing mileage on the Rattling the Kettle blog, I've learned how to break the 50 mpg barrier week after week.

I've also learned that it's better to burn calories than fossil fuel. If my destination is less than 1.5 miles away, I leave the Prius in our driveway and hoof it to the post office, pharmacy, grocery store or coffe shop. I'm even trying to institute a "no driving day" once a week.

Prius drivers smug? Can ya' blame us?

Recipe for Maximizing Mileage
  • Coast whenever possible
  • Cruise along at 55 mph or less on the freeway
  • Cut the AC
  • Start slow and stop slow


Yaniv said...

Good for you!

What did you do in the second 5 minutes on that graph? Tow a trailer uphill? ;-)

Glad you've found the how-to useful! You'll be breaking 60 before you know it!

Susan C said...

"Tow a trailer uphill? ;-)"

That's funny. I was hoping nobody would notice my little nose dive.

I left the car idling for a few minutes, and, apparently, the gas motor kicked in instead of the battery.

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