Nov. 15, 2006: The San Jose Mercury News—Hybrid Owner Obsesses Over Every Last Bit of Mileage

Summary: "I woke up grumpy in the pre-dawn darkness Thursday, and not because the puppy bolted up at 2:30 a.m. to play. No, I was upset over something dogging me for months — the poor mileage I’ve been getting in my 7-month-old Prius.

Since summer, despite all my driving tricks and countless tips from other hybrid owners, mileage has fallen to under 50 miles per gallon, usually in the 43 to 47 range. A few times, as low as 41 mpg.

I WANT 50-PLUS MPG! EVERY TRIP!"

So the efficiency-obsessed Prius owner took a trip to a hybrid mileage seminar run by AAA—a group infamous for its resistance to environmentally sound public policy such as smart growth, the clean air act, and limiting road expansion.

Is the message—in this case, how to improve mileage, apparently quite a bit—worth consorting with the messenger?

Or should we be cautiously optimistic that the smog-monger is moving toward reform?


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