Hundreds of hybrid owners joined together in Madison, Wis., on Sunday to set the Guinness world record for the longest hybrid parade ever staged. The previous record was set last year in Belgium, and totaled 140 hybrids. Sunday’s procession consisted of 208 vehicles, which completed a 2.1-mile loop in about 20 minutes. Organizers had hoped for as many as 500 hybrids, but nevertheless had no problem beating the Belgium record.
The event, sponsored by an area Toyota dealership called Smart Motors, was dubbed the “quietest parade ever,” and for good reason. Traveling at steady speeds of about 5 mph, most of the participating vehicles were able to remain in electric-only mode for much of the drive. Organizers say that between the more than 200 cars in attendance, only about 4 gallons of gas were consumed.
According to Smart Motors, hybrid drivers from as far away as Florida, Texas and Quebec participated in the record-setting feat. Many of the hybrid owners were in town to participate in Madison’s sixth annual Green Drive Expo, which took place over the weekend and included an MPG challenge, allowing hybrid owners to test their hypermiling skills against one another before coming together in the spirit of green comradery to set the record.
The parade consisted largely of Toyota Prii, but other vehicles on-hand included Camry, Lexus, Honda Insight and Ford Escape hybrids. Madison has long been a hub of environmentalism and green driving, but with the San Francisco Bay Area Green Drive Expo just months away, one wonders how many hybrids show up if such an event were to be staged there.