Archive for 17th November 2012

A New Dr. Chuck-Mobile – Toyota Prius

My new Dr. Chuck-Mobile is a Toyota Prius. My 2001 Buick LeSabre has 227,000 miles on it and I wanted a vehicle that gets 50 miles per gallon given how much I drive (about 30,000 miles per year).

A Prius is quite a departure for me. My last *new* car was in 1980 – I don’t even remember what it looked like – it was beige. I have been driving effectively the same “family” of car since 1995. The cars were all some variation of a General Motor’s full-size vehicle with a 3.8 Liter engine. There was a Pontiac Bonneville, several Oldsmobile 88’s, and most recently, a Buick LeSabre. Since I drive so many miles, I would purchase these cars with about 100,000 miles on them and drive them until they would have about 220,000 miles on them and sell them. I have driven well over a half-million miles in these cars.

I have been thinking about a Prius for years now. Perter Knoop has a Prius, Michael Korkusa has a Prius, and Joseph Hardin has a Prius. I had been looking at Prius used prices and found that their resale value was very high. I never saw what seemed to be a bargain price. A Prius with 100,000 miles is worth $12,000 – it looked like the new Prius was the best value.

A few months back, my car was in the shop so I rented a Prius for three days and fell in love with the car. I was amazed that the intelligence of the power management system and was able to verify the gas mileage in real-world driving conditions.

I am saving $0.10 every mile I drive the car. That should save me $250.00 per month in real in-my-pocket savings. The fuel saving almost makes the car payment. If I drive the car 200,000 miles – it will save me $20,000 – pretty impressive. My motorcycle also gets 50 miles per gallon so with the Prius all my vehicles get 50 miles per gallon. Pretty cool.

Some asked my why I did not purchase a Chevy Volt. The Volt is really pretty and I love the notion of a plug-in vehicle. But since I drive 120 miles every day and the Volt runs out of a charge at about 30 miles. So for me the key factor in the Volt is the mileage it gets when the gas engine is running. The savings you gain while you are running battery-only are quickly lost when you are running in hybrid mode. Since most of my travel is long distances the nod goes to the Prius.