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  1. #1

    Hybrids and Aggressive Driving

    A study from the DOE showed that hybrid fuel economy suffers under more demanding driving conditions, including high speeds and/or fast acceleration:


    Is the study correct? Does it match with your experience? Does it matter?

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  3. #2

    Hybrids and Aggressive Driving

    Well.... yeah. That applies to any vehicle.

    The gist of the story basically says that under these driving conditions, the advantages of hybrids are lessened. This is true and logical since under these conditions, the hybrid componentry is only minimally utilized.

    At high speeds it's mainly the ICE fighting wind resistance - same as a conventional vehicle. In aggressive driving, you may get a boost from the electric motor in initial acceleration, but once you use up that juice (which would happen very quickly), you're not recapturing it during aggressive braking - which uses mainly friction rather than regenerative braking.

  4. #3

    Hybrids and Aggressive Driving

    Our 2001 Grand Caravan went from averaging 16-17MPG up to 21-22 (With my wife driving) simply by dumping an agressive driving style. I've managed a few 27-28MPG tanks in that vehicle.

    Some people have reported the HCH-I MPG as low as the 30's, and last summer I averaged 65-68MPG.

    In my experience the hybrid holds the potential for very high MPG, but driving style combined with conditions can cause a very large MPG variation...much larger than conventional vehicles.

  5. #4

    Hybrids and Aggressive Driving

    good thing i got that accordhybrid

  6. #5

    Hybrids and Aggressive Driving

    The article says "Toyota made a deliberate decision to size the Prius's hybrid components for the low-speed, stop-and-go driving of the EPA urban driving cycle." That's part of the reason I bought a Honda Civic Hybrid instead of a Prius - I have a 49-mile one-way mostly freeway commute. As I have documented in my blog here (http://www.hybridcars.com/blogs/hybrid-commuter) at 55 MPH I get 56 MPG; at 60 MPH I get 54 MPG. At 80 MPH I get 40 MPG - not a surprise. Unfortunately, I spend most of my commute at 75 MPH in the carpool lane - this morning I got 42 MPG. (Driving in the carpool lane has actually decreased my MPG numbers, because I can go faster. But I get to work sooner.)

  7. #6

    Hybrids and Aggressive Driving

    I don't think Toyota was thinking of EPA
    developing THSD;
    My commuting in my last car (1994 VW Golf Station
    1.8 ltr gasoline)
    was 28 MPG and at the highway 37 MPG(good!)

    In 2006 my Prius figures are:
    49 MPG commuting
    46 MPG highway

    Toyota is just showing how the old gearbox
    should be replaced ASAP by more intelligent

  8. #7

    Hybrids and Aggressive Driving

    With the instrumentation that the Toyota Prius provides it is easy to experiment with your own "agressive driving" techniques to vary your "mpg" (litres per 100 km in Australia). I follow a 92km drive to work, 95% on a freeway (motorway), and by keeping my speed down to 98km/hr (in a 110km/hr speed zone) I manage 4.2l/100km, (56 mpg.US). In a more agressive driving style along the same route where I average around 120km/hr with bursts up to 130 - 140 km/hr the fuel consumption rises to 5.1l/100km (46 mpg US), just with 1 person aboard and air con and radio working.
    But I would hate to think what my fuel consumption would be in a popular traditional 6 cylinder car under the same conditions.
    So by curtailing our agressive tendencies we can certainly make a difference to the total amount of fuel consumed, this is also true for the popular cars, it's just easier to quantify with the Prius.
    Incidently our fuel costs $US 3.40 per US Gallon

  9. #8

    Hybrids and Aggressive Driving

    In addition to the regenerative deceleration systems, it is the CVT which optimizes engine efficiency on both the Prius and the Civic. The authors should have addressed that.

    At speeds over 40 mph for all the cars, it is simple physics - hp required to overcome resistance. On my ‘03 Prius and my buddy’s ‘05 Prius, highway driving yields 110 mpg minus speed. 50 mpg at 60 mph, 55 at 55, etc. A 5 knot headwind or tailwind is readily seen on the mpg scale. It is essentially the same as increasing or decreasing your speed by that amount. Dave R.

  10. #9

    Hybrids and Aggressive Driving

    This article helps explain why hybrids have the unjustified public stereotype of being "slow." Most people who buy hybrids do so in order to maximize fuel economy. Therefore, hybrid drivers are not usually those driving fast or aggressively on the roads. However, I believe the public typically thinks that the reason for this driving is the "limitations" of the car, while it is instead a choice on the part of the driver. I drive within 5 mph of the speed limit and avoid jack rabbit starts in my 5 speed Honda Insight in order to obtain a 60 mpg average and am constantly being passed by those driving 15-20 mph over the speed limit on the interstate. The Insight can hold its own against any car if it has to, but I hardly ever feel the need to. Now, I am not saying a 1.0 liter 3 cylinder engine can outperform a Porsche or Corvette, but I can stay with the flow of traffic with no problems and have never felt the car was unsafe to have in 70 mph rush hour Indianapolis traffic.

  11. #10

    Hybrids and Aggressive Driving

    I drive my Prius very fast on my over the mountain commute. I get 32 mpg doing this. All my other cars got 12 - 20 mpg doing this same commute. As soon as I take a trip on normal hiways and get off this commute loop the MPG goes up into the 40s MPG. When I'm driving hot I still brake for corners and go downhill after climbing uphill so the regen is in effect and the battery charge is going from empty to full constantly. When the battery is full I have noticeably more acceleration. I have Michelin tires -- that helps.

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