Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

How much do you spend on gas?

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Posted by Garp2100 on March 14, 2008, 2:11 pm
Hello I'm considering purchasing a used prius (2004+) and was
wondering how often do heavy commuters (40+ mile) fill it up. I have
to fill my current car every 5 to 6 days and was wondering if I could
achieve something like filling a Prius every two weeks or every week
and a half something like that.

Posted by Chas Gill on March 14, 2008, 3:08 pm

Well, it would help to know how big the gas tank is on your current car, but
putting all of that aside, probably the best way to judge it is to know the
mileage you get from a gallon in your current car and compare that to the
mileage you might expect on the same journey from a Prius.  As I live in the
UK and I don't know where you live I'm unlikely to be able to help much
here, but I do know that; -

(a) the UK gallon is equal to about 1.2 US gallons, and I also know that

(b) the average mpg I get in my Prius from a UK gallon is about 52, so a US
citizen would get about 52/1.2 = 43mpg.  I also know that

(c) the Prius tank holds 11.9 US gallons, so the math suggests a US citizen
will get 11.9 x 43 = 512 (approx) miles per tankful.

(d) If you do 200 miles a week - regardless of where you live - you will be
filling up, on average, every 12 commuting days (2 weeks 3 days?).

Now for the "buts".

But it depends on how you drive.  The Prius performs most economically at
around 45 -55mph (from experience), so if you stick to these speeds you
could increase the mpg by as much as 6 - 8 US mpg.  If you have a heavy gas
pedal foot you will probably reduce your 43  US mpg to something closer to

But it also depends on how cold if gets where you live.  The Prius is a lot
more economical (by about 5 US mpg) in Summer than Winter in UK conditions.
If you live in a cold part of the World this could adversely affect your gas

There's loads of other factors that could affect gas mileage in the Prius,
like tyre pressures, etc., but overall I would guess that you would cut your
gas costs in half (or more) if you bought the Prius (and you would be doing
your bit to save the planet).

Go get one!


(two and a half years a Prius owner and I still love it!)

Posted by Tomes on March 15, 2008, 12:52 am
 Garp - I am augmenting Chas' fine post below with a bit of USA perspective
(nice job here Chas).  My responses imbedded within the text below.
"Chas Gill" ...

I get 50-56 MPG on mine in NJ.

We find ourselves filling up at about 450 miles or so.  We never get down to
the end of the tank either.

I use what I call PriusFoot.  While many say just go and drive it (which is
not inaccurate at all, it is fun to drive), there is a foot feathering
technique that is worth MPG.  I can average about 4 MPG higher while using
it, depending upon driving conditions.  Once you get good at that it becomes
a norm.

I found a trick in another forum that has actually increased my winter MPG
in NJ here from about 47 to 55 MPG: blocking off the grill to keep the heat
in the engine.  Google for that sort of thing to find out more if you wish.
It seems to have pretty much negated the effect of winter for me.

I keep my tires very hard, about 42 psi.

etc., but overall I would guess that you would cut your

Posted by Pete Granzeau on March 14, 2008, 6:27 pm

How big is your gas tank?  Is that commute mileage one way to work, or
is it the round trip?  When you say "5 or 6 days", are you including
weekends or not?

Posted by Mike Rosenberg on March 14, 2008, 6:31 pm

For planning purposes, assume you'll go about 400 miles between fillups.

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