16 July 2008

Personal Finance and Prius MPG

Prius miles per gallon. When you fill up your Prius (or anytime, really) you have opportunity to start anew in measuring your miles per gallon. Tom Bold does his own calculation and tells me that I'm not really getting 48 to 50 mpg—more like 44 or 45. I prefer the car's report, of course, and aim for that magical 50.

Blissful beginning. Anyway, in those first few miles of re-setting, you can report extremely high values. It's not unusual for a Prius owner to claim 80 mpg before sheepishly admitting that the figure was achieved on the drive home from the gas station. My own recent record (OK, today) is 61.7, and that's almost 100 miles into the drive.

Hypermiling, Ecodriving, and Nempimania: Real words with the meaning being to maximize gas mileage through driving technique. The last term (from Japanese for craze for fuel economy) takes maximizing to the level of obsession. On American streets we're pretty much protected from the extremes: do too much to protect your MPG and you'll find yourself honked at or, worse, rear-ended. So, aside from the occasional stubborn coasting to a stoplight that is clearly not going to turn green in the next 10 seconds, the smart hybrid owner aims for low-traffic times of day and, of course, chooses the least hilly route to anywhere.

Competitive urges: Hybrid drivers fall in love with bettering their gas mileage. If everyone drove a hybrid, traffic would slow in a new kind of competition. That competitive urge would still be mixed with ecological and personal finance concerns. But it would also be about capturing your latest MPG on your cell phone camera. YMMV.

On a personal note: I rarely make political jokes (classroom etiquette) but I do find humor in a tactic I used Monday night when driving across North Dallas. I was determined to protect that MPG, so I exited the President George Bush Turnpike and drove at a slower speed on a city boulevard. It took me about 20 hours to realize the irony. ~ Lida

© 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

1 comment:

Lillian Chenoweth said...

It's really a good thing that I like you or I'd absolutely hate you. Let's swap cars for a week and see if you achieve that mileage with my car. I can understand abandoning Bush...to preserve many values.