Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The most Prii per capita - Vermont :-)

It just so happens I'm in Vermont for the summer for work, and it just so happens I see a Prius anytime I'm within a stone's throw of any street at all. What typically happens at this point is that I attempt to conceal a hybrid squeal/cry of delight.

For every 159 Vermonters, there exists one Prius in this state, the highest per capita concentration of Prii in the country. Heavenly.

Three Prii - none of which are even mine!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Drive through the mountains to Vermont

Got the car all packed, left just a little past 5 in the morning. Had a huge bag, my bike, a fan, a lamp, loose clothes on hangers, a bag of shoes, another bag of stuff, my computer, my work bag, and other shtuff. I wish car reviewers would stop calling the Prius a compact :-)

Now the trip. Oh là là.

Everything was going smoothly. MPG starting out was a little lower than usual with all the extra weight in the car, but I was hanging right around 70 mpg for the first couple hours. Roads were also wet in some places creating some unwanted friction, and I did get some rain, but not nearly as much as I thought, which was great. Pulse and glide, pulse and glide.

A big percentage of the trip was at 50-55 mph. Surprisingly, even with mountains, this returned very nice results. Holding steady on somewhat flat or rolling parts of the mountains (ignition timing 13/14, throttle position 17/18) at 55 mph would show an incredible 80-90 mpg instant when battery was around 61% state of charge. The technology is really just staggering when you sit back for a second and think about it.

There were some very steep and high RPM mountain climbs, but everything seemed to sort of even out. My Scangauge mpg had fluctuated some, but was back between 68 and 69 about 150 miles into the trip. I really thought Andy was gonna win the Facebook contest for guessing my mileage (he guessed 67 mpg).

And then disaster (was that dramatic enough?). On Route 103, the Vermont DOT had closed various bridges, completely blocking the entire route - WITHOUT PUTTING UP ANY WARNINGS OR DETOUR SIGNS. You can guess I was swearing profusely as I had to throw away all my momentum, turn around through a little neighborhood, and drive back the other way. Keep in mind this was on a 50 mph road, so it's not like I could just pulse and glide for 100 mpg the whole time.

I then had to stop and ask directions, and luckily the locals knew of the crazy backroads to get around it. Problem solved...

...or not really. I had to spend three miles on a dirt road for the detour. Since it was wet outside, it was really a mud road. In just three out of the 150 miles I had travelled so far, my mileage dropped 6%. There was no traction and the engine really had to work to push the car along. Gliding was almost useless since the mud would slow the car 5-10 mph in mere seconds.

Muddy Wentworth


Anyway, I was able to get a little bit back over the rest of the trip, but I was quite (and later downgraded from quite to a little) ticked that Vermont DOT's lack of consideration (or competence?) caused me to drive about 22 miles extra, wasting a third of a gallon of fuel.

End result:

65.7 mpg over 245.5 miles. In reality this would be around 67 mpg or so. Tank down to about 68 or 69 mpg from 74 the other day.

In other news, to clean up, Wentworth just had his first carwash, and looks sparklin' clean right now. Here's the before:

I was told the construction blocking route 103 would be complete by the time I come home. I wonder if 70 mpg is possible back through the mountains...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mid-tank checkup, 75 mpg

No more driving (I think!) until the big 223 mile trip on Thursday. There will be lots of 50 and 55 zones, even though I'm avoiding highways, so methinks these numbers will not stay, but let's post them here for comparison after the trip:

75 mpg displayed over 108 miles

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fill-up, Sunday, June 19, 2011

511.4 miles
7.392 gallons

69.18 mpg
3.40 L/100km

Wentworth's complete fueling history

June 2011 average officially at 70.00 mpg! OK, 69.995... :-)

I filled up at the same BP station. MFD read 70.5, actual was only 1.8% off at 69.2 mpg, so I'll continue to fill up with this magic gas that nearly eliminates the overestimation of the computer. Scangauge said 67.2 for the tank. I'll keep it down there, actually, I prefer to have conservative readings to keep me motivated.

Of course, in my writing down of figures from different devices, resetting trip meters and consumption displays, texting Fuelly to get instant mpg, I forgot (again!) to take a goshdarn picture.

So as soon as I remembered, I caught one of the gas station to work. This was my tank mpg this morning over...a whopping 2 miles :-)

I did actually take a picture a couple days back (just remembered it) cause I finally got the MFD back up to 70 and wanted to record that magic moment.

I sadly had to put 70 miles on the new tank today, and some more coming this week, but then just 230-240 miles to my summer job where I stay fairly automotively stationary, so I likely won't fill up until July or August. New one sitting at 75 mpg on the display, but we'll see how the mountains of Vermont affect that number.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

With Wentworth and the Wind Turbine

Wentworth seeks out like-minded machines.

Friday, June 10, 2011

64.5 mpg + 105 mpg = 80 mpg roundtrip

I had to do a devilishly short trip of about 6.5 miles for Chinese food (don't ask) that typically involves driving uphill on the highway. Ordinarily you'd get in the mid 40 mpgs even with careful driving. Luckily my engine was warm, I got into S4 within maybe 20-30 seconds of the engine turning on. I was in no rush, so I took the little backroads to cut down on highway driving, and only had to take it a little ways. Primarily uphill, but managed 64.5 mpg on the way there over about 6.5 miles.

But, oh, the way back...

105 mpg over about 6.7 miles of net downhill. I was at 120-130 mpg most of the time near the end, but had to get back up some hills to get home.

80 mpg or so roundtrip.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fill-up, Sunday, June 5, 2011

Holy crap.

523.9 miles
7.399 gallons

70.81 mpg
3.32 L/100km

Wentworth's complete fueling history

I think this pretty much puts to rest claims of any other sort of car matching hybrid mileage, but I digress... :-)

I paid $28.85 to drive 524 miles. Insane!

The weather was getting warmer, and I specifically went for a record tank. I almost would have thought it's a bladder fluke, but for several reasons:

1. The last couple tanks I modified pulse and glide style, and all of them have shown much better results.

2. The average of my last three tanks is now standing right at 68 mpg hand-calculated, and 70 mpg fits right in there.

3. I've now calibrated Scangauge hopefully once and for all around the numbers for the last several tanks (I didn't reset it the entire time), so I was expecting numbers slightly higher than what I'd been seeing. I estimated around 68 for tank on the "low" numbers, so 70 again is quite realistic.

4. I did have some awesome longer drives (to and from Boston, seen here and here), so that brought up the mpgs some, but also some short trips that averaged those nice figures down a little. May not be reproduceable in my normal commute, we'll see.

What this means for me is that I'll continue to pulse somewhat gradually, dealing almost exclusively with terrain instead of RPMs, kW, whatever. I aim for the speed I want at the top of the hill, that's it. I use RPM sometime for accelerations from low to higher speeds, that's it. Longer pulse means better battery charging, and I watch SOC to make sure it's not too low, and it makes a good difference. Besides that, the cool thing is that I barely need the Scangauge for my driving. 71 mpg just driving. I actually use the engine much more these days than a few months back, and also feel myself more with the flow of traffic.

Of course, when no one else is on the road, I pull out the crazy hypermiling.

Second big conclusion is that I now am a fan of BP Invigorate gas. Whether it's really something special or just the summer gas mix is in effect I don't know, but it's irrelevant. I've been filling up at a BP station and getting this mileage, so that's going to continue. I filled up at a different BP station than normal today to compare to my usual one.

EDIT: I hadn't reset my mileage consumption screen in three tanks. It showed 68.8 mpg I believe (had a camera in the glovebox for the occasion, forgot to take picture amid all the math I was doing at the pump) over the 1500 or so miles, and actual calculated was 67.98 mpg. This is scarily accurate, I believe the quality of the gas has something to do with it, since Tom explained very nicely on PriusChat how computer mileage calculations would be exactly the same even if you threw water in your tank.