Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My $8,000 Hybrid(or reasonable facsimilie)

Ok, so I tricked you into reading this posting. I don’t have an $8,000 hybrid but I did purchase a 2003 Honda Civic LX last year for that amount and I’m getting excellent mileage by using various hypermiling techniques and filling up with summer blend gas. My 1998 Plymouth Voyager was getting pretty high on the ODO anyway so we started looking for a more economical auto. Also, I have been carpooling with a co-worker whom drives a Toyota Prius and she has been getting about 42mpg. At this point I’m at 90% of the hybrid mileage benefit for a third of the car price. Since I purchased my civic, I have recorded 90%+ of all my trips and mileage and keep a regular pulse on my mpg.

Here’s a sample of my MPG readings since January 2008:

1/2/08 34.7 mpg
1/11/08 35.3 mpg
1/21/08 30.79 mpg
2/10/08 33 mpg
4/20/08 36 mpg
5/19/08 41.4 mpg
5/28/08 40.5 mpg

I believe that that there are reasons for the mpg improvement:

1) Switch from winter to summer blend gasoline
2) Improved hypermiling techniques
(You can learn more than what you ever wanted about hypermiling at

So far, I’m spending about $25 a week for gas with my civic and absorbing the fuel price hike(so far). Last fall when gas was lower, I spent about $25 a week with my minivan that got about 22mpg. This is certainly an improvement and just in time as petrol soars. I am still looking for ways to improve the feul economy on the civic and I’ll blog more about that soon. Our family have an active project migrating to better fuel economy cars and this is the fruit of these moves. Changing your behavior, your car, and improving your driving habits can make a huge difference in your fuel economy. This kaizen definitely has saved me some cash. Thank God for that.

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