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2013-02-12. Why Prius Owners Drive Like That

posted Feb 21, 2013, 1:17 PM by Lisa Ou
| Dwight Silverman, Houston Chronicle. Relevant to GSS Energy Use chapter 9. Excerpt: ...I don't drive it too aggressively, but I do enjoy its ability to get moving quickly. ...I used to get irked with Toyota Prius owners... notorious for driving below posted speed limits, slowing to a stop far out from a stop sign or light, taking their sweet time when the light turns green or creeping through parking lots so silently that they startle pedestrians. Sure, with my Mustang averaging about 15 MPG in city driving, I envied Prius owners' claims of 50 MPG and better, but really... do they have to be so pokey while doing it? Well, now that we have a Toyota Prius in our household, I know that the answer is... Yes! Now, I'm one of those annoying Prius drivers. ...Not only do you want to conserve power, but you also want to make sure the batteries stay charged enough so the electric motor can be used. ...When you coast or brake, the wheels and the braking system turn into a generator, feeding current back into the batteries. Coasting or braking also takes the gasoline engine out of the equation, resulting in high fuel efficiency. ...Prius owners love to coast. On surface streets, this translate on coasting to stop signs and traffic lights from as far out as possible. Ideally, you'd love to come to a stop right at the intersection without tapping the brake. I haven't reached that skill level, but I'm getting there. You also don't want to do any jackrabbit starts when the light turns green. Toyota recommends slow-and-steady starts from standing stops, but there's another school of thought among advanced Prius drivers. Some argue you should get up to cruising speed as soon as possible, so the gasoline engine runs for as short a time as possible. ...On the freeway, Prius drivers try to "glide", a state in which they're still moving at highway speeds but using no gasoline engine at all. The Prius can achieve decent mileage at 55 mph, but as it goes faster, mileage drops precipitously. That's why Prius owners tend to be the ones in the right lane, letting everyone else pass them while speeding.  ...Of course, the way you drive in a Prius is actually the way you're supposed to drive, according to every defensive driving class I've been forced to attend…. Read the full article: http://www.chron.com/cars/article/Why-Prius-owners-drive-like-that-4270897.php#ixzz2KpQlFHD8