Prius Personal Log  #34

July 18, 2002  -  July 31, 2002

Last Updated: Sun. 8/05/2007

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7-31-2002

2 sighting per day now.  For the last 3 days in a row I've spotted 2 other Prius on the road daily.  Plus, there's another I park by at work.  Are other places seeing that kind of growth or is metro area around Minnesota becoming one of the popular hybrid hotspots?  Whatever the case, all the promotion is paying off!  Sweet!!  I love routinely seeing hybrids.  Imagine what things will be like a year from now...

7-31-2002

Cards from the new printer.  I silently rolled by 2 people in the grocery store parking lot, then stopped close by.  Sure enough, when I got out they were already checking out the Prius.  I whipped out a card for each.  They were surprised by what I had provided.  I answered a few questions and provided a few facts, then walked away.  Before going inside, I turned around.  They were both examining the cards still.  Sweet!

7-30-2002

WOW!  Prius website card printing.  As you know by now, I thoroughly enjoy new technology.  So when the next generation of photo printer from HP was introduced 2 days ago, I already had one at home waiting for me to give it a workout.  Last night, I finally did.  website card print is what I chose for the first printout.  It's the card I pass out to everyone I encounter that's even remotely intrigued when I mention I own a hybrid.  Seeing 12 months of personal data (numbers & graph) on the back and an impressive large color photo on front, they're blown away.  Most people haven't ever seen a "business" card with any type of color photo on it.  But with this new printer, the quality is so much better it's shocking! It actually looks better than a regular photo!!  The teeny tiny "GOODYEAR" label on the tires and the "1701-A" on the license-plate can actually be clearly read.  Wow!  And the amount of detail you can see on the Multi-Display is amazing!  This new printer invokes a paradigm shift.  New thinking is needed.  (Hmmm? That sounds just like Prius!)  The cost is only $180 for the model with the automatic paper-sensor (HP 7150).  The model without that is only $150 (HP 5550).  The days of needing to spend a minimum of $399 for a nice printer are gone.  Cool!  Then when you factor in the amazing quality (better than 35mm photos if the digital photo is 1200x1200 dpi) and the fact that the printouts on premium paper last twice as long as film photos (giving you up to 65 years before fading), how can you go wrong?  The ink is even reasonably priced.  So if you've been looking for a method of really impressing people with your hybrid, consider the card idea and a printer like this.

7-29-2002

50.1 MPG calculated this tank!  The condition of my Prius and the skill I've naturally developed (after watching the Multi-Display for over 36,000 miles) have proven quite fruitful.  The fact that I don't have LRR tires anymore doesn't even seem to matter.  I'm getting fantastic mileage anyway.  48.0 MPG was the overall calculated average for the month of July.  I drove 2,761 miles.  Well over 90 percent of that was on the highway (which doesn't bare as good results as in the city).  Gotta love this hybrid!

7-28-2002

Brilliant Marketing?  Did Toyota refrain from offering certain features on the 2001 Prius to create a supply used models?  A number of owners have traded in their just-barely-broken-in 2001 models for a new 2002 with the navigation system and side-airbags.  Most people would never dream of parting with a vehicle so soon.  But by doing that, people looking for a lower cost Prius (in other words, a used one) are now available.  Hmm?

7-27-2002

Multi-Display Animations!  Photo-Quality shots of the Multi-Display with moving components are now available.  You can see the arrows in motion similar to what's displayed while driving.  There's 30 animations you can download, which can be used afterward in things like presentations.  If you have Active Desktop enabled in Windows, you'll find they make a really slick animated background.  Take a look at them, then let me know what you think.  I'd eventually like to build a single animation that glues together all the various sequences.  Tell me about which to use and what the durations should be.  (Thanks!)  Here's a link to the new page containing all the new files:  animations

7-27-2002

Non-LRR tires caused my MPG to increase!  Theory me this...  Switching from LRR tires to Non-LRR caused an immediate 3 MPG drop in performance.  After driving hard on the +1,200 mile Hybrid Road Rally, performance has increased to 2 MPG more than what I expected to get with the LRR tires.  In fact, I'm now getting the best MPG I've maintained in the past 2 years.  This tank shows 52.4 MPG on the Multi-Display after 336 miles.  That's a solid 50 MPG when calculated at the pump.  Did the Non-LRR contribute to the increase?  To me, it seems plausible that the strain on the drive-components from those tires in combination with all that highway driving during the rally caused this.  Ya think?

7-27-2002

A sign of trust.  Speaking with money tends to be more powerful than just words.  The odometer showed 36,000 miles today.  That meant my opportunity to purchase an extended-warranty had ended.  I saw no need for basic coverage.  So I didn't buy more.  The car is obviously very well put together.  And anyway, the powertrain is still covered for 5 years/60,000 miles and the hybrid system is still covered for 8 years/100,000 miles.  What is there to worry about?

7-26-2002

Car Wash.  I noticed 8 beautiful, lightly clothed women.  The Prius was really dirty on the outside (squished bugs & dirt).  I pulled up and immediately told them how clean the Prius was on the inside (extremely low emissions).  They hadn't washed a hybrid for their fund-raiser (softball team) yet, so I left it "running" the whole time.  The electric silence really impressed.  A couple of them asked questions afterward.  I provided Cards & Info-Sheets (along with a rather generous tip).  Everyone, including 1701-A, found the experience quite exciting!  No photos though.  Sorry.

7-26-2002

Daily Sightings.  I'm still seeing a Prius a day.  It's quite fulfilling.  Civic-Hybrid owners won't get noticed much; I wonder if they'll end up using a decal to make them easier to spot?  Owners that are reading this (hint hint) are welcome to use the hybrid symbol we created for Prius.  You may even substitute the outline of the vehicle for your own, if you'd like.

7-26-2002

"On Electricity"  I was telling my coffee story to someone at work.  When I mentioned the "on electricity" comment, I heard an excited exclamation from behind.  She said, "that explains a lot, we always figured you were on something".  I obviously stick out in a crowd.  That provides lots of opportunity for humor at my expense.  Sometimes it's a bit irritating.  This time, I actually found it rather humorous.  I'll have to add this one to the hybrid joke book.

7-26-2002

I got to indulge.  Sometimes fate deals me a nice set of cards.  This morning provided just such as occasion.  While attempting to park to get some coffee, a SUV pulled out causing all traffic to halt.  I got stopped just 4 feet from 3 women sipping coffee at a sidewalk table.  The Prius was in stealth with the windows open.  All I needed to do was make eye-contact with 1 of the women.  So I did.  When I got her attention, I stated I was on electricity, hence the silence.  She smiled.  I pulled away to park.  Moments later I walked back that way to get my coffee.  All 3 looked straight at me very inquisitively.  That was a non-verbal invitation to provide a 30-second presentation.  I whipped out cards for each of them.  Little did they know how prepared I was for the opportunity.  They happily responded with questions.  I thanked them, then finally went in to make my purchase.  Later, I walked out to the Prius.  Started it up.  Waited for the engine to shut off.  Then silently rolled passed those 3 women again as I departed.  Their heads all turned in unison as I drove by.  It was pretty sweet!  I had obviously made quite an impression.

7-25-2002

New magazine advertisement from Toyota.  "Only Prius was built from the ground up to help the planet from the sky down" is the message on this one.  It also states that is Hybrid Fact #1.  I hope that implies that there will be newer advertisements with lots of other facts on the way.

7-25-2002

Hybrid Road Rally  -  Photos

All 70 photos from the 15 different cities we stopped at along our +1,200 mile journey with an Insight, Civic-Hybrid, and 2 Prius are now available.  There's quite a variety of things to see.  The entire collection spans 5 webpages and totals 12 MB of space.  So set aside a bit of time to look through all of them:   photo album 33    photo album 34    photo album 35    photo album 36    photo album 37

7-25-2002

Surprise sighting.  I was watching "Eye Drops" today on TechTV.  (It features computer animation video clips.)  The next one started.  Just as clear as ever, proudly displayed on the center of the screen, was a Prius.  Cool!

7-24-2002

Tonight Show.  Out of the blue, Jay Leno suddenly switched topics and asked David Hyde Pierce about the new car he had just purchased.  That caught my attention.  And sure enough, I wasn't disappointed.  He was now the proud owner of a Prius.  Hearing that was sweet!  More and more celebrities are choosing Prius.  It's clean, efficient, has a very unique look inside & out, plus it offers stealth.  That gives it an appeal-factor than unlike the much more expensive sport & luxury vehicles.  Cool!

7-24-2002

Lower Temperature affects on MPG.  Last week, the temps were in the upper 80's.  One day, they were in the mid 90's with a horrible humidity, forcing me to use the A/C.  For the last 3 days, temps have only been in the low 70's and dry.  MPG only went down by 1.  That's it.  Getting a little higher than 51 MPG was quite pleasing.  It appears as though the recent improvements really are permanent.  I wonder Winter MPG will be like now?

7-22-2002

It's hard to believe the automakers are actually serious.  The Bush administration said "No!" to an effort to reduce emissions by increasing the minimum MPG standard.  (That really troubled me, by the way.)  So the governor of California (Gray Davis) signed a bill today authorizing that state to create a minimum MPG standard of their own.  The law would be established by January 1, 2005 and would take effect beginning in 2006 with completion by 2009.  Quite a number of hybrids will be on the road by 2005.  So proof about being able to meet the new measures should be rather obvious.  The state is trying to be realistic about the whole situation.  Smog is a very serious problem there.  Working with the automakers should be a "let's find a way to make everyone happy" effort.  Instead, the automakers said they will legally fight this.  Are they serious?  It's like they don't even care about the environment.  That could result in a negative backlash from the public.  If you are going to continue to produce monster-sized vehicles, why can't they be hybrids?  We already have proof that you don't have to sacrifice power or speed.  The only hindrance is initial cost, but mass-production volumes take care of that.  In fact, Toyota has already announced that they plan to build 300,000 hybrid systems per year by 2005.  Why can't the other automakers do the same?  Duh!

7-21-2002

Flashbacks!  Reading messages posted on the Civic-Hybrid group reminds me a lot of what the Prius people went through 2 years ago.  In fact, some of the very same questions are coming up again.  But with Honda's system, the answers are sometimes not similar.  That's actually a benefit.  Being designed fundamentally different, yet still delivering increased MPG and reduced emissions close to Prius provides proof that hybrids will thrive.  There's a variety of way to improve available.  The other manufacturers will have no choice but to produce hybrids of their own.  I can't imagine them having nothing to compete with for too long.

7-21-2002

MPG after filling up.  It came to 49.3 MPG.  No complaints.  I wonder what this next week of driving will bring?

7-20-2002

A/C affect on MPG.  Both the temperature and humidity climbed to the unbearable level.  That made it a terrible time to run errands.  Lots of stop & slow driving without the engine shutting off.  Oh well, sometimes you gotta do it.  My average dropped to 51.1 MPG.

7-20-2002

Road Rally Effect.  That's the term I'm officially coining to describe a sudden permanent increase in MPG.  My Multi-Display is currently showing 52.5 MPG after 327 miles of routine driving.  That wasn't even possible back when I still had the LRR tires (though I did get fairly close on a few rare occasions).  It appears as though I really am getting great performance, the fuel-gauge dropped below the midway mark at 310 miles.  Friction on the drive-components must have been relieved as a result of the stress from the Road Rally driving.  I didn't realize a performance improvement was possible after the break-in around 10,000 miles was complete.  Cool !!

7-18-2002

Kick Butt!  (Is that ok to say on my website?  The term does seem rather appropriate in this case.)  52.6 MPG is what's showing now after 219 miles!  And the fuel-gauge appears to be confirming the well-above-average performance.  I'll know for certain when it drops below the midway mark.  I usually see that happen just before reaching 300 miles.  This time, it should be at a decent distance further.

7-18-2002

LMPG based on MPG shown.  More and more people are reporting their LMPG (Lifetime MPG) based on what the computer shows them, not the less convenient (but more accurate) value that can only be determined by manually documenting each gas fill up.  So out of curiosity, I crunched the numbers on my Lifetime Spreadsheet to find out what my "shown" value would be.  The hypothesis was that it's 2 MPG more than the manually measured 44.6 MPG value.  And sure enough, the calculations for 35,261 miles of driving (refer to the new data column on the far right) came to 46.7 MPG.

 

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