Monday, August 16, 2010

Prius Gets Schooled on Efficiency



When I pulled into the Quick Chek parking lot this morning that I sometime stop at to get a cup of coffee I parked next to a brand new Toyota Prius. When I came out a few minutes later the owner of the Prius was looking at my MINI-E. As I walked over I said "It's probably not often you're parked next to a car that uses less gasoline than you do". He quickly said "I get 50mpg, I doubt this does" He then said he's never even heard of a MINI hybrid. I told him that MINI doesn't make a hybrid. Now he was really puzzled and asked "What is it then?" When I explained to him what the car was and that I'm in a pilot program to test the cars out and gain real world data to be used on future electric cars he seemed disappointed. Not disappointed about the car, but disappointed he didn't have one or even know about it. He asked me how much it costs in electricity to run the car and when I told him it cost me about $3.50 to go 100 miles(I pay .11 per kwh) but others pay between $3.00 and $6.00 (depending on their electricity rates). He did some quick math and realized he wasn't the most efficient car on the road as he thought he was. Sorry to ruin your day buddy...

6 comments:

  1. Even the best hybrid can't compete with a pure electric car in terms of efficiency. Gasoline is a great supplier of energy, but too much of it is lost through heat in an combustion engine.
    The only advantage is the rate of refueling and the range the car can transverse before needing to be recharged. Once those two issues are improved, the scales will tip in the favour of battery powered e-cars. We anxiously await them!

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  2. The prius is an good example of how people want independence from oil. The gets 10-20% better fuel economy that comparable cars priced thousands less but people are waiting on lines to buy them. They will never even realise the extra cost in fuel savings but they want the car anyway. there will be a similar ground-swell for electric cars once they are on market and people see that they are reliable. We need our governments to continue to help subsidize this technology until economies of scale allow for affordable electric cars. it will not take long. It is for the benefit of the entire planet

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  3. I always get a kick out of telling Prius owners how bad their car is for the environment. I usually say something like "How could you drive that gas guzzler? Don't you care about the air we breathe?"

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  4. I guess after about a year surfing around the EV and PV+EV world (the latter of which is pretty small right now :-), I lose perspective. I'm surprised at how many hybrid owners have no idea about EVs, or PHEVs. Thanks for educating one them, Tom!

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  5. This is a good story Tom. The Toyota is also a very good car however I would prefer one that is all electric like your mini is. I enjoy the blog a lot.

    Andreas

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  6. What, a "holier than thou" Prius driver? You sure you're not living in Berkeley or Marin County?

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