New Record: 92.8 miles per gallon!
Now I am as competetive as the next guy-and the fact that I sold my race car for a hybrid didn't change that fact. Now, however, instead of trying to break a 12 sec qtr mile I am shooting for a more lofty goal... 100 miles per gallon. Much as the turn of the century auto enthusiasts strived and innovated for the 100 mph mark-just alot more ecologically friendly.
A month ago I achieved 90.1 mpg on a seperate commute-shorter (only 11 miles) and much flatter than my typical drive-but my usual commute I was still at 79mpg due to the hills. The trick to any record mileage commute is 1) prewarming the car with another errand to get the ECU out of 'warm up mode' and reduce the viscosity of the engine/tranny oil 2) full battery pack to reduce drain thru charging 3) no wind. Yesterday I had hit 80.6 mpg going IN to work-typically 10% worse than coming home when the car is warmer so I figured the stars might be aligning in my favor or that the new uber low friction synthetic oil I just put in was working. Tonight I had to stop at the grocery store a mile the other way from work-this is a perfect record run scenario as when I leave the store for my run the car is warm. Pushing the envelope of 'acceptable' driving on a county road and driving 45-55mph I achieved a mindnumbing 97.5mpg at my half way mark!! Despite being crowded by some Full Ton pickups with "Redneck and Proud" stickers on them, ahem, encouraging me to go faster than 55mph over my last 3 miles which are hillier, I still ecked out 92.8 by the time I pulled into my drive-that's 50% better than the EPA estimates and tantalizingly close to my goal!
My trip included 2 main highlights. The first consisted of smiling wryly while listening to a radio commercial touting the new Dodge Caliber as 'incredibly fuel effecient' at 32mpg while looking down at my real time mpg gauge reading 130mpg. The second was giving my wife a play by play over the cell phone of my last 2 miles as I tried, in vain, to keep the trip over 94mpg despite coming thru town. Thanks for putting up with a dorky husband Mia! Stumble It!