Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Time for Hybrid Vehicles

Last year I traded in a older Dodge Durango that I had really enjoyed for way too many miles. After an extensive search for a replacement, I settled on a new 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid. This vehicle didn't have the amount of interior space, but after really evaluating how often I used that space, I decided to downsize just a bit. The Escape is one of the few hybrids that is rated for towing. Ford doesn't have a factory tow package, but a quick trip to Leonard Building & Truck Accessories on the corner of RT1 and Cowan fixed it right up. I can now use our hitch mount bike rack, and also tow my utility trailer with no problems at all.

The real reason for this post is that this weekend I filled up with gas, and after going a number of miles down RT1 in traffic around 40mph, I was able to snap this picture at a stop light.
The 40mph speed is the sweet spot for the Escape Hybrid. My average tank of gas is getting 31+ mpg, and I expect that even though I started off very high on this tank, it will be back in the mid-30s by the time I'm done. The mileage killer for me is the daily commute to the VRE. It's only a little more than 3 miles, but Ford programmed the hybrid to run for 5 minutes at startup to warm up all of the pollution controls/catalytic converters. So it doesn't get to kick into full electric until I'm pulling into the parking lot. Then in the afternoon, it's a steady climb up a hill, so again, no electric. All-in-all, a very happy customer here.

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