Green Transportation

March 14, 2015

We owned a 2009 Toyota Prius for the last six years. We loved it. It was wonderful to drive, had a phenomenal amount of cargo space and our average mileage was 5.2 litres/100 kilometers (54 mpg). In the summer the mileage was better, and in the winter it was higher as the heater also needs to run. However, even the winter mileage did not often exceed 5.8 l/100 km (48 mpg). As we were travelling back and forth to the Ponderosa almost every weekend (about 300 km each way), that’s a lot gas consumption. Now that I am retired, we are able to drive a lot less. However, it has long been our dream to further reduce our gas consumption and we have been considering a Prius Plug In for some time.

Last December, I had an unfortunate encounter with a tree while driving to the Ponderosa in freezing rain. Luckily, neither I or anyone else was injured in the accident but the Prius did not fare so well. It was a write-off. Although we had hoped our 2009 Prius would last another couple of years, we found ourselves looking for another vehicle. After considering many options, we finally found a lightly used 2013 Prius Plug In online from a dealership in London, Ontario.

After our Mexican vacation, we flew to Toronto to drive it home. We had read several reviews on the vehicle and most were not all that flattering, dissing the economical look and feel of the interior. And I agree, the interior does not look luxurious; however, that suits us just fine. We were willing to pay for fuel economy but not a plush interior. It drives just like our 2009 although the dash control panel is slightly different. All the data on trip fuel consumption appeals to the nerd in me. It has a back up camera and a GPS. While the GPS is not something we would ordinarily need, it sure did come in handy driving through Chicago. It also has heated seats, a feature we quickly turned off as it reduces the fuel efficiency.

On the drive home, we did not have any opportunity to drive in electric EV mode as we had nowhere to plug the vehicle in. However, since getting home we have been using it almost exclusively. It is capable of traveling about 15 km in EV mode. Less if you need to have the lights or heat on. While that’s not a lot (I believe the 2015’s get 30 km), it pretty much can get us to back and forth to town. So if the sun is shining, we charge up the Prius. It takes about 2 hours to fully charge (it takes about 12 amps of power). Then we can drive back and forth to town using minimal gas, if any. And if we need to make a longer trip, the mileage in hybrid function is great. My last trip at night, with the lights on, averaged 2.9 l/100 km (97 mpg). Not too shabby.

Mar 14 2015_2013 Toyota Prius

We never had any issues or problems with our 2009 Prius. Over the six years,we put over 200,000 km on it, and only did regular maintenance on the vehicle. I hope this car serves us just as well.

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About Darlene & Ken

Experiencing life off the grid, building a home, and trying to live sustainably.
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