Personal Log  #1

November 4, 1988  -  September 30, 2000

Last Updated: Tues. 1/03/2006

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Answered the bike-rack question!  For the last several months, many people asked whether or not a bike-rack would fit on a Prius but never got an answer.  So I borrowed my friend Dan's trunk-mounting bike-rack and tried it on my Prius.  It worked great.  Check out the pictures I took:  photo album 1


Stop & Slow traffic was great today!  In a Prius, lengthy delays caused by an accident aren't so bad (no engine making noise, causing vibration, or wasting gasoline).  I did about 2 miles on nothing but battery power.


Drove 110 miles at 65 MPH.  The resulting MPG (in calm wind conditions) was 42.  Slowing down to 55 MPH increased the MPG to 55.  Then when I got off the highway and entered the cities, the MPG went into the 60's.  So performance is much better at slower speeds and stop & go conditions.  But let's not forget, 42 MPG is very impressive for a car that weighs 2,765 pounds.


Visited a remote dealership (in southern Minnesota, far from the metro area where there are many Toyota dealers).  I was immediately greeted by friendly salespeople that had noticed I drove up in a Prius.  Some hadn't ever seen a green Prius before, others had lots of "what do you think" type questions.  To make a long story short, I had a lot of fun sharing information with them.


Stopped at the dealer to inquire about adding a CD player, and I ended up showing my Prius to prospective customers.  When looking at other vehicles, they noticed the green Prius with vanity plates ("1701-A") parked in the customer area.  Curiosity probably got the best of them because they had lots of questions.  I hope getting to talk an actual owner helped convince them to buy one.


Refilled the gas tank again.  This gave me the first real data about my Prius.  Since I was past the break-in period, I could drive the car without any limitations.  So I did.  49.1 MPG is what I ended up getting after filling the tank and manually calculating the results.  That was very close to the 49.4 MPG value shown on the multi-display. personal data  (NOTE: I am very pleased with the performance so far.  The car handles exactly the way I need it.)


I showed my Prius to over 300 people!  The School of Environmental Studies had their open house and my brother is a member of the board.  He (thank you very much Kurt) arranged for me to park my Prius ON THE SIDEWALK BY THE FRONT DOORS so I could teach others about the technology.  I ended up talking 2.5 hours and had a blast doing it.


Refilled the gas tank for the first time.  When I picked up the car, it had 5 miles on it and near empty tank.  So I filled it up completely (and the dealer paid for it).  After driving 500 miles, it needed to be refilled. 9.916 gallons is what was needed.  That calculates to 50.4 MPG!  personal data


Drove 98 miles.  This included a dangerous morning commute in very heavy fog (which brought back a bad memory of a nasty fog related 20-car pileup I was in near that very intersection).  Sure enough, there was a accident.  A large dump truck pulled over to yield for a railroad crossing, misjudged the distance, hit the warning lights, rolled the truck, and spilled its load of dirt all over the highway.  Well, while everyone else was upset by the very slow traffic, I was rejoicing because I was moving exclusively on battery power!  It was great!!  No sound or vibration.  The lifetime reading increased to 47.5 MPG.


Created the SUMMER website card.  It does a great job of showing the "glimmer effect" of the Electric Green Mica paint.  The background is filled with lots of green trees.  The text information mentions both how green (environmentally friendly) the car is and the fact that it will save you some green (money) by getting much better than average gas mileage.  Check it out:  website cards


Drove 192 miles to show more family & friends the car.  They were all excited to finally see the Prius.  And while on a 30 minute stretch of highway driving, the consumption display showed a consistent reading of slightly above 50 MPG.  That ultimately made the lifetime reading go up to 46.9 MPG.


Drove 131 miles in my new Prius!  I visited family & friends showing off the car they heard me go on and on and on about for the last 8 months.  They were quite impressed... but not as much as the guy at the stoplight.  He screamed over to me, "That's such a cool car!"  It was obviously the first Prius he had ever seen on the road.  Because when the light turned green for him, he didn't go.  Instead, he ignored the honking behind him and continue to talk with me.  (It was great!)  Also, as I drove I could see the lifetime MPG value continue to rise.  When I finally pulled into my garage, it said 41.2 MPG.


I GOT MY PRIUS !!!   The purchase went perfectly.  No problems at the dealer (Jason and everyone else there were friendly & helpful), the day was beautiful (perfect driving weather), and my dad took quite a few digital photos.  And as an added bonus, I just happened to be there at the exact moment a couple were considering a Prius.  Well, after looking at the car I was picking up and taking a test drive, they were pretty impressed.


Got a call from Jason.  He said there was a Green Prius in their back lot.  It wasn't checked in yet, but the odds of it being mine were quite good.  Sure enough, when I stopped by later I found out it was mine.  (The note said, "Delivery Date: SOON".  That gave us a good laugh.)  So I provided a check and setup a "sign all the papers so I can get my keys" time... Sat. 9/9 at 11:30 AM


Saw a white Prius on the road, and there was a temporary license on the windshield indicating that it was a real purchase, not a demo model.  So, my car packed with family & friends, I altered plans and followed the Prius... into the guy's driveway.  Fortunately when I introduced myself, he (Eric) was quite understanding of the situation.  It was really fun getting to chat with an owner of a week-old Prius.


Got a call from Jason with good news & bad news.  The good news was they now have a specific Prius assigned to me, an "Electric Green Mica" one.  The bad news is delivery will take about 3 weeks.  To me, that news isn't so bad.  That means my order wasn't forgotten about in Toyota's in the endless pile of requests.  It will be here before I know it.  Finally!


Asked the manager at the dealer for a status update.  He said the possibility of actually getting my Prius this week was pretty good.  Will it really happen?  Your guess is as good as mine.


Saw another Honda Insight unexpectedly, this one was red.  It was right there outside the doors at work, waiting for the stoplight to turn green.  I wish more hybrid vehicles were on the road.


Stopped at the dealer and asked the manager directly if he had any idea when the 3 Prius (1 of which is mine) he ordered before the purchase-program began would arrive.  He didn't have any idea, but he said I would be notified as soon as he found out anything.  The delay is starting to make me crazy!  Thank goodness it's worth the wait.


Test drove yet another Prius.  This time it was with my brother.  The car is fantastic.  I'm going to have a lot of fun once I finally get mine!


Test drove another Prius.  This time it was with two other friends and we got the car for 15 minutes, enough to really test its worth.  We were all left in awe.  I can't wait much longer for my own Prius!


Test drove a Prius for the first time. I drove only a mile and it lasted just a few minutes, but that was still enough to really impress me and the very good friend I was with.


Saw a Prius ("Classic" model) for the first time in person.  I got to open up everything and even start it up, but a test drive wasn't possible since they hadn't actually checked the car in yet. photo album 1


Toyota made its Prius website available to the general public.  Check it out at


Contacted by Jason (my salesperson) saying there was a Prius at the dealership for a short time.  He got to test drive it, but I missed out.  Oh well.  Next week, there should be one permanently.  (That means a test drive for me and photos for the website.  Yeah!)


Contacted Prius-Support via email with an inquiry about having went directly to a dealer.  They responded by thanking me for my interest and stating that 60 to 90 days from the time I provided the deposit I should receive a Prius.


Received an email notification from Toyota Headquarters telling me the purchase-program had begun.  Too late, I already ordered my Prius directly from a well informed dealer.


Confirmed my deposit check had been cashed.


Ordered my 2001 Toyota Prius from Wilkins in Minnesota by signing a purchase-agreement and providing a $1000 deposit.  But first, to get the salesperson's attention and show that I was serious, I showed him my matchbox-size Prius.  He was quite impressed and wondered where the heck I had got it from.


Received my matchbox-size Prius from my brother's friend in the Philippines.  (It's the Japanese version; so yes, the steering wheel is on the right.)  photo album 1


Signed up online to be notified when the purchase-program begins.


Saw the 2000 Prius ("Original" model) at the Car Show in Minneapolis and took several pictures of it:  photo album 1


Printed everything I could find online.  I attacked the internet search engines.  Anything related to Prius was fair game.  It was fantastic!  There's a wealth of new information saved on my computer's hard-drive now too.


The excitement started when I got to see a Prius in action.  While watching a TLC (The Learning Channel) special on future cars, they showed the first production hybrid in the world: the Toyota Prius.  It was driving through the streets of Tokyo just like any other car, except it had a multi-display showing that some of the propulsion was provided by an electric motor.


Realized that the Prius was a realistic choice for a new vehicle purchase.  So I began planning to actually get one.


Saw a Honda Insight for the first time (it was greenish-yellow).  It drove right past me.  So (on foot) I chased it.  When the driver stopped and parked, I got my first close-up glance at hybrid technology.  Cool!


Discovered the Toyota Prius.  All it took was just one sentence in a newspaper article that mentioned hybrid, electric, and fuel-cell vehicles.


Searched the Internet for information about electric vehicles.  Printed webpages I found on the 1997 Saturn EV1 and the upcoming 1998 Ford Ranger EV.


Touched a Ford Ecostar.  That odd looking vehicle parked outside a bar & grill in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota caught my attention.  Upon closer inspection, I noticed the "electric" logo on the front and a large collection of batteries in the back.  I couldn't believe there was an electric vehicle right there in front of me, so I reached out and touched it.  (Too bad I didn't have a camera with me.)


Saw a photo of the Saturn EV1, GM's first pure electric vehicle, in the newspaper.  That sparked my interest in new automotive technologies.


Race in the Sun.  Refer to the 12-09-2005 personal log entry.


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