Tuesday, December 04, 2007

My Thoughts on the Prius Part 2 - Exhaust, Traffic Jams, Parking in My Garage

This is Part 2 of my experience with my Prius after driving it for seven months.

Thought about the Toyota Prius Hybrid – Traffic Jams.

I discovered the Prius is a great car to have in during traffic jams. I only have a 4 ½ mile commute to work on surface streets. I rarely get stuck in traffics jams. Once in a while I do need to drive on the freeways. The first time I drove a freeway with the Prius was during a rush hour. I got caught in about a 3 mile backup. Overall, I was in the traffic jam for about 20 minutes before I reached my exit.

I was creeping along at 15 to 20 mph with an occasional stop. At such low speeds, sometime on a downgrade, the gasoline engine rarely runs. In fact, during this particular traffic jam, the gasoline engine did not run at all. The miles per gallon indicator on the Prius’ display was maxed out at 100 mpg the whole time. While the other cars around me were experiencing their worst gas mileage, my Prius was getting its best. Also, I was not putting noxious air polluting exhaust fumes into the air. At that time, I wished all cars could be like the Prius. The air in our cities would me much cleaner.

In general, my experience is that the Prius gets its best gas mileage in slow heavy freeway traffic. It takes a little of the frustration way from being stuck in traffic.

Thought about the Toyota Prius Hybrid – Exhaust in Garage.

One of the best things about the Prius is that it never leaves exhaust fumes in the garage. When the car is turned on it is powered by battery. There is generally plenty of time to back the car out of the garage before the gasoline engine kicks in. Thus no exhaust in the garage. On the return home, as I drive slowly down the alley, the gasoline engine turns off. So when I get to garage the car is running only on battery power.

I never paid much attention to exhaust fumes in the garage until I got the Prius. The first time I parked my Chevy Astro Van in the garage after getting the Prius, I began to notice the exhaust fumes. No exhaust fume in garage is a good thing since I have an attached garage and the fumes can get into the house.

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