Monday, August 06, 2012

The Secret to Making Gas Prices Fall: Buy A Prius

This is a post a month in the making. I've been busy doing other things, but it's mostly because it took me this long to finally wash my car... You know, so I could take a picture of a clean car for this blog. :)

Actually, this post is a few months in the making. Some time in March my dad let me know he would be getting rid of their Prius because their driving situation changed (a company car for Mom - woohoo!). At the time I had been moaning about gas prices being at $3.55 and steadily climbing. Trust me, neither a Jeep or Truck are "fuel efficient".

I was literally to the point where my chest hurt each time I stopped to get gas. I'd never felt anxiety like that before, and I didn't like it. We were already looking at switching out the Truck for something smaller. I liked the Scion xB & we were trying to figure out a way to justify buying one. So, when the option of buying a Prius came up, we jumped on it.

Once we "bought it", we waited until my mom drove it up to visit us the end of June (hence, we've had it for a month now).

If you've been paying attention to gas prices, then you'll know what's about to happen:

We agreed to buy it in April.
On 4/22, I paid $4.01 per gallon

On 6/1, I paid $4.21

Just before my mom arrived, on 6/17, I paid $3.79

My very first fill up on 6/26, I paid $3.41

The lowest, on 7/14, I paid $3.28

Clearly, buying our Prius caused the price of gas to go down. I'm fairly certain this trend won't continue, but I'm still going to take credit.

I like to think of the Prius as a high-tech car instead of a hippie mobile. Yes, saving fuel is one of the benefits of a high tech car, but there are many other perks!

For example, there's a dongle you never need to take out of your pocket. Just touch the door handle and the car unlocks. Push a button, and it starts up. Other cool features include climate control and warning lights for everything (like tire pressure).

Though my absolute favorite high-tech feature is the center display screen. In addition to audio & climate information, when you put it in reverse, it displays a video of behind your car. That's pretty nice when backup late at night.

But my absolute favorite features is the consumption screen! Check this out:

While driving, it gives you real-time feedback on your MPG. In the picture above, I'm getting 100 MPG... Essentially the engine is off and it's 100% battery. It also shows your average in 5 minute intervals. I'm getting better milage every 5 minutes on this trip. It's like a game to try and maximize the green bars. Yes, I have managed to get a couple of the 5 minute intervals to be 100. It's not easy!

Also in the picture are little green leaf/car images. You earn those ("earn" - game language) by using a brake feature on the car instead of stepping on the petal. When you use that brake, it re-captures energy to charge up the battery. The best I've ever done was 3 leafs/cars by using the brake lever while going down a steep hill.

So now we have 2 very fun cars to drive, the Jeep & the Prius. Both are fun for completely different reasons, but still pretty fun.

We're pretty sure this'll be it for a while. We really like both cars and intend to drive them for a long time. As for my Truck, it's currently for sale (anybody want a truck!) and then we'll be out of the large vehicle lifestyle. This, by the way, is the reason why we got the Foldable Utility Trailer. Without the truck, we needed something for those few times we actually need to transport something large.

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