We finally got a "new" car. We'll keep the 2000 Toyota Camry that Diana bought used in 2005 but it has just short of 400k miles. The engine runs strong, and I expect it to make it to 500k miles but it'll be doing it a bit slower than before.
This Prius is LOADED! Keyless ignition and entry, GPS nav, Bluetooth cell phone interface, JBL sound system, leatherseats and more . . . It has lots of pickup and, of course, gets fantastic gas mileage. It feels very much like the Camry, though it measures about 2" less inside at the shoulders. Doesn't feel it. Seems to have more rear leg room, too. The hatch area isn't as big as the trunk on the Camry. That may be a problem in traveling.
Noel flew to Orange County (John Wayne) airport on Thursday, May 17, 2012 and picked up the Prius from a Craig's List ad. Later that afternoon I, after completing paperwork, left for Colorado, stopping that night in Cedar City, UT for a few hours sleep and a shower. I got home again, with the Prius registering 52mpg, about 7p, about 40 hours after leaving home the morning before. At the Eisenhower tunnel, I reset the computer - all downhill from there! The mpg showed over 100 all the way to I25, about 80 miles, and was still over 80mpg by the time I got to Johnstown. The regenerative nature of the electric motor and battery makes it all posible.
Which brings me to the next step in this "experiment". In June we'll be adding a 10kw battery to the vehicle and a charging system and other associated upgrades. This should allow for 80+ miles of driving after each 8hr charge without using any gasoline! The savings over the Camry's gasoline use should be about $2,500 per year. I'm keeping intricate records so . . . I'll post here what I find.
May 27, 2012 - It's an ironic fact that gasoline engine driven automobiles have a "sweet spot" as to speed for maximum miles per gallon. It is usually around 45mph, with the biggest factor being areodynamics. The hybrid, however, derives its effeciency from two factors that makes its maximum efficentcy much lower; probably anout 15-25mph. This is from the attempt of the gasoline engine being, mostly, a constant speed engine and the electric assisting in propulsion. However, the electric motor demishes its power assist the faster the vehicle (or really the variable speed transmission) travels.
So, we are getting about 52mpg on our daily driving, which has an average speed of about 35mph but got only 42mpg on this weekend trip where the average speed was at least 65mph.