Monday, March 30

Free Miles

I am watching the fort while Karla is in Fresno getting our Plug-In Prius through its first service since we got it. I say “got it” rather than “bought it” because we are, for the first time, leasing a car. Why? Because evolution in the car industry these days is on steroids. A three-year-old car is like a forty-year-old horse—practically on its last legs when it comes to what’s new.
Just plug in for free miles

 We want to see what’s new in battery development for one thing. I keep reading about breakthrough technology being “just around the corner!!” and hold out hope for the corner being rounded by the time our lease is up. In another two years there may be a less-expensive Tesla that we can buy (I don’t think Tesla leases their stuff). A Tesla would be perfect for us since it would probably have all the range we need for our routine travels.

Our usual round trip from home is roughly 100 miles. The Prius takes us around ten miles on a three-hour plug-in charge before its gas engine comes on. Then we pick up a few extra free miles after some downhill driving and/or braking, enough to go a few more free miles. Overall, we’re very pleased with the car’s great mileage. From our house to Fresno, for instance, we almost always get over 70 MPG, then we get around 40-45 MPG coming back uphill to the house. Not too shabby. Plus the handling is outstanding, reminding me of my Porsche’s crisp responses. It weighs more than twice the Porsche, holding it to the road in strong crosswinds. The steering and braking are awesome. Accelerating is another story, but I expected that. I can merge onto a freeway with no problem, but I can hear the little gas engine howling and sucking up whole droplets of gasoline doing it.

A Tesla or other battery-only car would be ideal because we have gobs of electricity that doesn’t cost a thing as long as the sun keeps shining (we’re totally independent—“Off Grid,” it’s called). And the last I heard the sun is expected to keep going at least as long as me. I plan to take advantage of that.

1 comment:

Jeff (as in nephew) said...

Finally, somebody else that recognizes how well the Prius handles! I've been in love with my 2005 model (nowhere near as cool as yours!), and one of the things I love is how it handles. But I get a lot of sideways glances when I say it...