PLUG OK license plate
Possible World PHEV Fueling Record: 1307 Miles on One Tank
Aug 1, 2007 (From the CalCars-News archive)
CalCars-News
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
Want more? Become a subscriber to CalCars-News:


A Prius owner in Seattle, Dave had his car converted by Hybrids-Plus in Boulder, Colorado two months ago. (He's car #45 on our list at http://www.calcars.org/­where-phevs-are.html, and, while he loves his PHEV, he's not seeking the media spotlight.

He has maintained a video journal, linked from the Hybrids-Plus car list at http://hybrids-plus.com/­pmwiki/­index.php?n=Ext.Vehicles to http://hybrids-plus.com/­pmwiki/­index.php?n=Ext.Conversion3. His latest is a one-minute video http://www.youtube.com/­watch?v=poKzDZ1-Qx0.

HERE'S HIS COMMENT ON YOUTUBE:
It has been over two months since I got my PHEV Prius. I drive most weekdays over 60 miles round trip to work. A month ago I filled the gas tank and today I had to fill up for the first time since then. Total miles on this tank of gas was 1,307 miles. The tank took 9.578 gals to fill. This works out to 136.45mpg.

HIS MESSAGE TO FRIENDS:
I had to fill up the tank this morning. This time I went 1,307 miles on one tank of gas. It took 9.578 gallons to fill up. This works out to 136.45mpg. I did not do anything special to get these numbers. I am still doing my 60 mile round trip daily commute and an additional 5-20 miles a day local driving in the evening and on the weekend. I find that my mileage goes up dramatically when I encounter frequent backups on the freeway.

HIS EXPLANATION TO US WHILE DRIVING HIS FIRST TANKFUL:
My commute is perfect for this kind of high mileage experience. I drive 60 miles in my commute. 20 miles of that is under 35mph and I am able to do much of that in electric mode. The remaining 40 miles is on the freeway during Seattle rush hour and I am usually able to do about half of that in electric mode as well. Since I have the large battery and my one way commute is 30 miles I never have seen my battery go below 50% on the charge. Charging up at work really makes it all work out great to get the real high mileage. If I was only doing short drives at speeds over 42mph I would be seeing a lot lower number for my overall mpg.

OUR OBSERVATIONS:

  • He filled up when he got the low fuel warning message. The Prius's official capacity is 11.9 gallons (inside the metal tank is a "bladder" that reduces evaporative emissions, preventing the tank from being filled entirely). But at his rate at that point, if he'd held out and put in 11.5 gallons, he could have gotten over 1,500 miles.
  • Dave's drive cycle is typical of many urban commuters in congested areas. (Since Toyota announced its pilot project for a PHEV with under nine miles of electric-only range, we've seen online comments both from many people who say that's enough for them to be gasoline-free, and from others who say they need more. Dave's Prius has a 9kWh pack (batteries from A123Systems) giving up to 30-miles in electric-only mode.)
  • Dave makes the other main point: he charges up twice daily on weekdays. When we have a society with hundreds of thousands or millions of cars, during the summer months, we'll need price signals that provide a strong disincentive to do this until we have have such a large solar and other renewable energy portfolio that cars won't increase peak demand problems.

WHAT ARE CURRENT RECORDS?

  • As far as we know, the most miles per tank record for any Prius was set in August 2005 by a dedicated group of self-described "middle-aged hypermilers," Dan Kroushl of McCandless, PA Bassage of Walton, W.Va.,, Wayne Gerdes of Chicago, Rick Reece of Greenville, S.C., and Bob Barlow from Fredericksburg, Va., who drove 1,397 miles at around 110MPG in a continuous 47-hour "rally" (see http://www.post-gazette.com/­pg/­05220/­550484.stm. While amazing, impressive and inspiring, this is not comparable. It was not "real-world" driving: they used "pulse-and-glide" techniques over a 15-mile rural route, using a stock Prius.
  • My own humble record is 1,034 miles with 9.667 gallons for a calculated 107MPG.
  • We haven't asked the owners/drivers of the 57 cars on our list for their experiences. But we'll let you know when anyone exceeds the 1,397 mile record!

  • Copyright 2003-09 California Cars Initiative, an activity of the International Humanities Center | Site Map