The Prius is definitely a popular vehicle boasting a fuel efficient 65 mpg according to Toyota but really the average consumer does not get that sort of efficiency out of their vehicles. In fact, the MPG system that rates cars isn’t very efficient at all.
The MPG system subjects vehicles to unrealistic testing that doesn’t even relate to ‘normal’ driving experience. The MPG system is generally held not even on a road but on boards and a series of tests that accelerate and decelerate vehicles. One test even takes a car and puts it at an incline and then accelerates the vehicle to figure out its consumption while on an incline.
Keep in mind it is entirely possible to take a vehicle and just simply put a consumption meter on it and just DRIVE around and see what it has. That would be more scientific, more based on your average driving, and also cheaper on the budget of these associations. It is also important to mention the fact that everybody drives differently and that is what the next part of this article will talk about.
The Prius in Latin means before or ahead which suggests that it is ahead of its time. When Toyota first designed the Prius they began one day courses for new car owners which was hosted by mechanics who were specially trained in the dynamics of the Prius to inform new car buyers about their new cars and how to effectively drive them.
They were after all designed on a different layout than most vehicles and did require some special maintenance. After these vehicles came out rumors (which were mostly untrue) circulated claiming that after 50,000 miles you had to recharge or replace the batteries. This is not true because the breaking power of these vehicles (especially when you drive downhill) will run the alternator effectively recharging battery power.
So how does all this information apply? Well first of all if you just bought a Prius (especially recent 3rd generation owners) go to one of these new car ownership events. They will train you all about the dynamics of these vehicles. They will teach you how to properly accelerate your vehicle, your electric engine will only stay on when you keep your pedal at about 25% acceleration if you accelerate past that your gas motor will kick in therefore using up your gas.
I personally know a Toyota Master Diagnostic Technician who specializes in Prius’ and can drive down residential streets at 25 mph and still stay on the electric motor. Next piece of advice would be to avoid freeways. Although they are efficient they are not good on freeways, infact most vehicles are more efficient on the freeway than the Prius. The Prius was designed to be a town vehicle you will see the saved money when you stick to city roads.
When you are on the freeway you will never see your electric engine kick in therefore will be using your gas engine. With these tips you will see an increase in your fuel efficiency and will be using the Prius for its true design.