Project Prius C – Week 1 of Drinking the Prius Kool-Aid!

I’m really enjoying this project so far! I’m learning a lot about driving more efficiently. I love trying to maximize my fuel efficiency. I met up with a friend last week on Friday night for dinner. My friend noted that it sounded like I was drinking the Prius Kool-Aid. Turns out she is right!

My average gas mileage in the mornings on the way to work was 67 miles per gallon last week. My average gas mileage on the way home from work last week was 80.25. I’m so happy with both of those numbers. The reason for the big difference in morning versus the evening is the temperature outside. Mornings tend to be cooler. The cooler it is outside, it seems like the less efficiently the battery powers the car. In the afternoons, since it’s summertime and hot, the battery seems more efficient, which means more time spent on the battery and less time using the gasoline engine.

Pete went out driving with me over the weekend when we went grocery shopping and here was his only tip to me—do not start drifting to stops (signs and lights) too soon because two things could happen:

1. Drivers behind me might become (possibly more) irritated with me.

2. Drivers who have gasoline-powered engines run inefficiently at lower gears and drifting into a stop causes them to burn more gas.

I will take his suggestion for the upcoming week as something to work on. Other than that, Pete said I was doing a great job and that he had nothing to complain about! Pete even told me I was exceeding his expectations on the project!

Positives of the project so far:

1. Great gas mileage. Haven’t had to fill up the tank yet!

2. I’m learning to allow myself more time to get places with this car, because it takes a few minutes longer to get places. I feel much calmer now in the car going at a slower pace but knowing I’ll get there on time.

3. I do not miss the rush and bustle of the highway and expressway. I really enjoy the slow, relaxing drive on the back roads.

Negatives on the project so far:

1. People tailgate, pass me in turn-only lanes on the right side and I even had one official honk!

2. The first week was mentally tough on me trying to figure out how to optimize my gas mileage. The combination of having a parade of cars behind you as you figure out how to efficiently drive up a hill and coast down another has been a bit of a challenge.

New discoveries:

1. Pete gets much better gas mileage in my Corolla than I ever have. This first week he got 40 miles per gallon and only used about 1/4 of a tank of gas. Pete drives double the miles I drive to and from work.

2. Interestingly I get much higher miles per gallon than Pete does.

3. I’ve tried different things like talking on the phone, having slow and fast music on in the car, or have a talking passenger with me and nothing seems to break my concentration on driving efficiently. I seem to get the same miles per gallon no matter what outside distractions are going on.

I’m off to a great start for my first week of the project! I can’t wait to see what week two brings!

Peace out!

Sara Sawochka


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