Prius Personal Log  #8

April 27, 2001  -  May 19, 2001

Last Updated: Sat. 9/13/2008

    page #7         page #9         BOOK         INDEX         go to bottom

 

5-19-2001

At the barber shop.  Each hair cut bares a surprising experience.  This time, I mentioned my hybrid right away.  A couple of guys jumped into conversion without hesitation.  Two of them ended up outside checking the Prius afterward.  That was really fun!

5-19-2001

Poor Woodchuck.  Silently cruising at 30 MPH, I approached a woodchuck on the side of the road.  I could see his back.  He obviously didn't hear anything.  When I started to pass him, he finally saw the Prius.  His reaction was a very startled jump into the air so high that he actually flipped over before landing.  Sorry!

5-19-2001

Pulse-Driving.  This is another popular discussion topic.  Using the Consumption-Screen, many Prius owners discover that quick acceleration to cruising speed saves gas.  It uses the engine more efficiently than slow acceleration.  Then when you stop pressing and hold the pedal to remain at that speed, the MPG indicator goes way up.  (The benefits of this are especially noticeable when you're going 40 MPH or less.)  That's one type of pulse.  The other is when you are cruising along and you encounter a minor decline.  Reducing pressure on the pedal causes the MPG to increase (sometimes all the way to the 100 MPG mark) with only a negligible loss of speed.  Then when you reach the bottom, you increase pressure on the pedal back to where it was before.  Doing that for every decline results in a pulsing action (one that becomes so easy to do after awhile, it's almost instinctive).

5-18-2001

How much is Stealth-Mode worth?  That's a question people comparing Prius to conventional cars have to ask themselves.  For me, the pleasure it provides is definitely worth several thousand dollars.  I use it every single day.  It's great!  Today I unexpectedly snuck up on a couple walking through the parking ramp.  I was rolling just a few feet behind patiently waiting for them to cross the thru-way.  Honestly, I don't think they had a clue they were being followed by a 2,765 pound vehicle.  I suppose I could've flashed my lights, honked, or even cranked the radio, but what's the fun in that?

5-18-2001

Sharp turns are great.  On a number of occasions now, I've been able to do a 180-degree turn into a parking spot adjacent to the road without having to worry about not making it.  Most everyone else would have to put their vehicle into reverse to straighten out.  But not the Prius, the turning radius is tight and the hood is short.  That comes in really handy sometimes.

5-17-2001

The subtle approach.  It was really fun.  A car full of teenage girls pulled up next to me.  They all started making small gestures trying to get my attention.  I finally looked over.  With an emotionless expression (good poker-face), I just stared back at them.  I opened the window.  Silently (both me and the Prius), we waited until they opened their window.  Then I said, "So. What do you think of my electric car?"  All their jaws dropped!  Then one girl screamed, "Oh my god! It's one of those cars!! Ah!!!"  That was the very reaction I was hoping for.

5-17-2001

On the local news tonight.  They showed a 52-second video-clip of an owner with his Prius.  Although brief, it was informative.

5-17-2001

At the Gas Station.  Wouldn't you know it.  The only pump being used was the one I prefer.  So I pulled up in stealth-mode, got out, and told the guy there wasn't any need to rush since no gas was being wasted.  That got his attention.  We ended up talking there for over 10 minutes about the Prius.  He was definitely impressed.

5-17-2001

Stealth at 66 F degrees.  Whoa! It's amazing how much easier it is to use just electricity now that it's warm.  Winter sure was different.

5-16-2001

Acceleration.  This topic gets discussed in the online Prius groups a lot.  The smoothness of the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) in the THS (Toyota Hybrid System) is quite misleading.  There's no gears to feel and the RPM of the engine remains nearly constant sometimes.  To accurately determine how fast you're accelerating, you have to look at the speedometer.  Once you see how quickly the numbers increase, you'll be surprised by the amount of spunk the car has since it doesn't feel like you're actually going that fast.  Smoooooth!  And don't forget, the 2001 Prius is second-generation.  It has a more power engine and battery-pack than the original Prius.

5-16-2001

Tried out the A/C.  It had been 6 months since it was last needed.  But now being 86 F degrees out, that cool breeze coming from the vents felt very refreshing.  Ahh!  Of course, now I suppose I'll soon have to start answering those "how well does the heater work in the winter" questions.  Oh well.

5-13-2001

At the Drive-Thru.  Ever wonder how much gas is getting wasted and how many harmful emissions are being created when people are waiting in line with their vehicle?  Well, I do.  Because when I'm sitting there, my car is dead: NO gas and NO emissions.  Then when I have to move forward a few feet, only electricity is needed.

5-12-2001

Cruise-Control for the 2001 Prius.  There are several options available now.  The first was http://www.ozonehouse.com/prius from John, Kelly & Mark.  Their detailed and well illustrated website provides step-by-step instructions for installing cruise-control yourself.  Next came an easy-to-install kit from http://www.coastaletech.com.  This allows owners to add cruise-control (invoked using a wireless remote, cool!) even if they aren't too technically inclined.  Today was the announcement that a kit (08501-47801) would soon be available from Toyota which owners could either install themselves or have the dealer do it.

5-10-2001

My About page.  Now there's a little bit more information about me available, stuff that you won't find within the log entries: about john

5-09-2001

Sighted an Insight.  Two hybrids in one day, cool!  I was on a highway divided by a large grass field going the opposite direction.  The driver didn't see me.  But I saw him in his little bright red hybrid with skirts over the back tires.

5-09-2001

Played with a White Prius.  I saw it in the distance merging on to the highway.  So I worked my way over there, then honked "shave and a haircut".  The driver looked over and got really excited to see another Prius with the owner wildly waving to get her attention.  So she waved then got behind me.  After following me for awhile, she got in the other lane, passed me (slowing for a moment to exchange waves again, of course) then pulled in front so I could follow her.  And I did!  It was really fun!

5-06-2001

Prius stubby front end.  It sure comes in handy sometimes.  Today I was able to sneak into a tight spot by a post that other vehicles couldn't maneuver into.  Sweet!

5-05-2001

Whoa! Another Prius!  I was walking up the stairs in the parking ramp, looked over, and noticed a familiar shape.  I wasn't seeing things.  There was a Electric Green Mica Prius!  So I ran down to get mine (which was filthy) and parked it next to the sparkling clean Prius that was just a few days old.  Then I left one of my cards with "Hi!" written on the back.  When I returned, there was a card from the owner, Barb.  She was excited by what I had done.  Cool!

5-05-2001

Checked the oil.  It has 6,000 miles on it now.  It's a dark syrup color.  The fact that oil doesn't break down as quickly as traditional cars is really nice.  Great!  That reduces both maintenance and waste.

5-04-2001

Stopping for coffee in stealth-mode.  It's really fun.  I approach the off-ramp going 70 MPH.  The moment I leave the highway, I lift my foot from the accelerator.  As the Prius roll up the long, straight ramp, the regenerator (along with the hill) gradually slows to almost a stop.  (So I only have to use the brakes for the last few feet.)  The wait at the light is in dead silence.  Then when I make the right turn, only electricity is used to get to the next light.  And even with vehicles following, the engine isn't needed for acceleration since that light is so close (and almost always red).  Again, I wait without noise or vibration.  When the light turns green, both lanes turn left and only go another short distance before people slow down to turn either left or right.  So that entire distance can be driven using just electricity too.  At that point, I enter the parking lot (quietly, smoothly, and emission-less) and head for the far end.  Why park close when stealth is so much fun (especially when I can walk and enjoy the air I'm helping to keep clean)?

5-03-2001

Echo Recognition.  While driving in stealth-mode, I quietly rolled by a man getting out of his Echo.  He immediately smiled and started waving at me.  Having a car that resembles a Prius probably causes him to look routinely for them.  I'm glad I could be there.  And that makes me excited to think about the new design of the 2002 Corolla.  It is rumored to look very similar to a Prius.

5-03-2001

Still showing over 50 MPG!  The temperature is now what it's suppose to be for this time of year.  The high is in the upper 60's.  But my MPG is still great.  After driving 191 miles, the multi-display is showing 50.3 MPG.  That means I'm getting around 48 MPG (since it usually reads about 2 MPG high).  The price of gas is expected to reach an all time high within the next few months.  I wonder what others will think when they know I'm getting such great mileage?

5-03-2001

Oh, you have a Prius. Go ahead, I'll yield.  Merging onto a highway produced an interesting experience today.  I was slowing down so I could get behind the guy already on the road.  He slowed down even more to allow me to get in front.  I thought that was odd until he suddenly sped up to get along side me then slow down to match my speed.  When I looked over, I saw him smiling and giving me a great big THUMBS UP waiting for me to return the gesture.  Cool!

5-01-2001

Pointers.  The entertainment at stoplights is increasing.  Now when I stop, I immediately stare into the rear-view mirror.  It's rarely disappointing.  First, I see a hand pointing at the HYBRID ELECTRIC stickers.  Then, I see another hand pointing at the MPG message.  That's followed by lips moving to recite it: "This hybrid-electric car gets 45 MPG".  I think the time has come to update that message.  How about: "42.9 MPG average after 13,251 Miles".  That's even more informative.  Of course, I'll have to update it again later this summer since the average will be even higher then.

4-29-2001

13,251 mile Website Card.  Lifetime MPG is finally starting to go up now that it's warm out, and I've driven over 4,000 miles since the previous card.  It was time for an update.  The photo I chose is quite a contrast from before.  That winter shot was just as the sun was setting, when the sky was starting to turn everything a soft yellow.  I intentionally positioned myself so that light would illuminate the side of the Prius.  The color came out very green.  In this new photo, the sun was at its highest & brightest and I shot to emphasize the trees and partially melted lake in the background.  I tried to keep the Prius from reflecting much.  The end result was an over saturation of color making the Prius look a little on the blue side.  I like the effect.  Do you?  website cards 2

4-28-2001

50 MPG tank !!  Here in the North, achieving that magic 50 mark was like trying to find the Holy Grail.  The colder temperatures kept the engine from shutting off.  So it just plain wasn't possible to get mileage better than the mid-40's.  Until now!  I drove 427 miles in the warmer weather before deciding to fill up.  It took 8.540 gallons.  When I got back in the Prius and entered those numbers into the calculator, I was shocked!!  The MPG was exactly 50!!!  I finally did it. But that's kind of amazing!  Had it needed 0.001 more of a gallon, I would have missed it!!!  The odds of hitting that mark so precisely is almost unbelievable.  I wonder what will happen the next time I fill up?

4-28-2001

New Consumption-Screen Photo.  When I was out for a warm, pleasant drive, I ended up generating some really exciting statistics on the Consumption-Screen.  The temperature was 75 F degrees, the total miles were 402, the overall MPG was a wonderful 51.7, the 5-minute intervals were all hovering around the 50 mark, and I got 4.5 of the "E" (electricity regeneration) symbols.  So I took a photo.  It's at the bottom of this page: photo album 16

4-27-2001

Hi! Great day out, eh?  That was the start of the conversion I had with 2 people riding bicycles AS I WAS DRIVING IN STEALTH-MODE!  I pulled up along side them using just electricity.  They were very impressed.  It was really fun.

 

back to home page       go to top