So there I was, riding my bike down the narrow sidewalk to my local post office. No I was not on my way to mail off a letter, but rather, I was on my way to get some funds for the month of December, as the post office functions as a financial institution in Japan. I could have stopped in at the post office on my way home (when I was in my car) as I pass it everyday, but I didn't want to have to make the stop since it would hurt my FE. That and my company (or the insurance company that my company uses) has a strict policy of no deviating from your defined route to work. That includes any pee-breaks. Kinda harsh, but when in Rome do as the Romans is the way that I look at it.
A---nyways... To my surprise a Prius goes driving past me on the other side of the road. Well it wasn't really that it was a Prius that surprised me, as they are a dime a dozen over here. Rather, it was the shiny iridescent flowers on it that got my attention. Keep in mind, I am on a bike. It is already dark. I stop my bike where the Prius is stuck in traffic. The guy driving notices me, and looks at me. I do stand out here as I am a white dude living in rural Japan. Well, after some hand gestures, I was able to get him to roll down his window. I asked him, of course in Japanese, what he was currently getting for his km/l. He replied that since it was stopped that he was getting really good FE. I decided to try to throw another question at him in between having huge semis blow by me just inches in front of my face, blowing dirty black diesel exhaust all over the place. I then asked the guy what his best FE has been so far, and he replied "99.99." I decided to end the conversation there, as he was probably quite shocked at the whole scenario. I wish I would have asked him what his best fill-up had been in km/l, but I was too giddy and I blew my chance.
Anyways, it was just sweet to actually see one being driven, and I wish that I could have actually had a face to face conversation with the guy. I have been getting more involved with FE-conscious driving over here, and just recently registered with Toyota-city that I pay attention to my driving and do my best to get good economy out of my car. Hopefully I will attend some event in the future where I can pick the brain of a driver of one of the plug-in Priuses.
Probably some errors in the above, but I am still shaking a bit from the excitement of actually seeing one of those babies being driven. Either that or my room is frigid. Probably a bit of both.
I know I'm sounding a bit cynical, but there is a very good chance he was referring to the best instantaneous FE that he'd gotten, in which I can say that my Thunderbird had done 250+MPG, because that's the highest I'd seen the FE gauge go.
Biffmeistro: You are absolutely correct. In a normal Prius, 99.99 would be displayed most of the time that you are not pressing the gas pedal, and in his case, would be displayed the entire time that he was driving under battery power alone. He claimed that he could drive 10km under pure battery power. Since he would be using no gas, and the Prius doesn't report in the 100s, it would continually show all 9s. There would really be no guage that could tell you your FE when running under pure battery power though, short of saying that you are getting infinite mpg or km/l.
Hockey4mnhs: I am not talking about the average Prius that you can see filling up (less frequently) at your local gas station. I am talking the one that has plug-in capability, and is being researched in Japan in very small numbers. In other words, a car that isn't for sale. THAT is why I posted this. Prius are really common in Japan. The official plug-in one that is being tested by Toyota is on the other hand, rare as all get out.
theclencher: I will re-iterate... I am NOT talking about your average Prius. I am talking about the one with the iridescent flowers on it, and the big plug. As in, the one that you can charge from an electrical socket.
Guys.. this is the reason why I started this thread!
Still ridiculous how many Prius drivers there are that have no idea how to drive them.
I know what you're talking about. I ran into a guy that had a plug in conversion on his prius. He said he goes 60 miles on just battery power before the gasoline engine turns on. The conversation was brief but he said he paid $9000 for the conversion, which was new software and battery with the plug in outlet. It was very interesting but I think I'll wait for the conversion from toyota in a few years.
Right. The one I saw was the OFFICIAL Toyota car, that is being proto-type tested right now. It is more or less the car that we will see Toyota start selling in mass quantities in the next few years. That is, if it performs well during the tests that it is undergoing right now.
theclencher: Where exactly do you live? The frozen north could refer to quiet a few places... I also saw quite a few camoflaged (black tarp thingies) cars back when I lived in Michigan. There was a testing ground for either Ford or GM close to where I lived. The course was blocked off with trees, so that you couldn't see in. They still had to drive the cars on public roads to get to the track though.
I actually had a buddy who tested cars for Shelby I think it was. He said that there was an "oh ****" button for emergencies. It would basically cut off everything that was being powered instantaneously... you know, like when your hood flies off with flames bellowing out?