I had to make a very quick trip into town a couple days ago, I had a customer coming up from some distance away to pick up a 1 KW off grid system and I did not want to keep him waiting. It was late Friday and the things I needed would not be available over the weekend. About 40 miles round trip. Unlike my usual leisurely drive using the 45 MPH secondary road, this time I got on the interstate and for once blended right in with other traffic by going the same speed almost all of them were, 80! That is the posted limit here.....all the better for the 65 MPH speed trap I-15 lowers to when passing through Pocatello. Usually, even if I take the interstate, I'm cruising at 62 or so, not this time. Besides actually being real short of time, I was also going to see what the worst case parameters were for the PIP: by driving like most people, too damn fast.
Once in town, I had 4 stops to make, so some typical town driving, stops lights/signs, etc. I made no special effort other then the usual common sense thing of not racing up to a light that was going to turn red. Then I hit the south bound on ramp to head home, and this on ramp is one that gets your attention in a slow vehicle as it is uphill, while the traffic you hope to merge with is going downhill, plus there is a curve. I could see both lanes pretty full, so I could either lollygag a bit and wait for the gaggle to proceed me, or just continue my acceleration a bit and smoothly enter before them. So, pedal to the metal, after hitting the POWER button(or maybe it says PEFORMANCE, same dif), and the PIP moved right on out, again up to my cruising speed of 80. Then, once off the highway after 8 miles and back on the secondary road, I had to pull my hill, with it's 1200 feet of vert, that'd be UP vert. Again, I went faster then normal up it, 50, as opposed to the more sane 35.
Once parked back at the charging station (what I now call the tin shed outbuilding I use for a garage), I shut it down and the dash board display told me my MPG for the trip was 61. I had NOT started with a full charge either, just 4 miles of EV range instead of the usual 11 to 14. Not bad, not bad at all! In contrast, a slower then normal drive into town yesterday, (40-45) yielded a round trip average of 109 MPG.
Now, the dash display I'm told is inaccurate, and I myself consider the gold standard of keeping track of your MPG is the old fashioned way of simply dividing the trip meter miles by the gallons needed to fill up. I also try and fill in the same fashion, same pump if possible, parked the same direction, consistency is the key. But, it is good for a rough idea, and it is looking GOOD! So while my little Yaris returned mid 40's in my typical mix of driving, the much roomier (as in more room to haul stuff, making it more practical, not talking passenger comfort here, it's almost always just me and the dog) the PIP is looking to be "better". It is super fun, and entirely reminiscent of how I ride my ebikes, to take advantage of the rolling hills, any slope at all, by speeding up smoothly before pulling them, and then gradually slow until you crest it and then start re gening on the other side. Except I don't ride a DD hub drive, just saying. I do this with an eagle eye on my rear view mirror BTW, with no one behind me in other words. It makes driving more of an intellectual excercise, instead of just mashing down on the throttle. I was down to about half a tank a few days ago, and eagerly went to fill up so I could get my first real MPG #'s, but I had accidentally reset the trip meter earlier by disconnecting the 12 volt battery while installing an inverter to enable me to recharge the bikes batteries while driving somewhere. So, it will be a while again before I get some real numbers. Today I'm installing the rear bumper/trailer hitch mount for the fatbike (which will only be installed when actually carrying the bike, one pin removes it), and I expect that it will be a pretty major drag hit, the bike itself not the mount. I already have been carrying the folding Montague in the car, it fits super good where the passenger front seat used to be, with no drag penalty of course.
More to follow on a thread I stumbled upon on the priuschat site, about how, when used as a camper, the PIP is unique in offering over night heat OR AC for the campers inside! You turn the car on (not start it, turn it on) and set the auto HVAC system to the desired temp, and every few hours the ICE engine kicks on for a few minutes to recharge the traction battery (the source of the heater and the AC) and then shuts down. Much experience has shown that carbon monoxide is not a problem, though many have a detector none have reported and elevated levels, the exhaust and the air intake are widely separated. The fuel burned is so little people have a hard time quantifying it, that big battery is real handy it turns out. Having a cool place to sleep in very hot conditions, or a warm one in frigid, means a weight savings in carrying less equipment: no tent, minimal sleeping gear, plus when camped in bear country, other advantages (like not getting mauled or eaten, it happens more then you may think around these parts). I understand that some leave their cars turned on, when making brief stops of an hour or so, with the HVAC system keeping interior temps where needed, without the ICE coming on at all. That seems a trifle decadent but is a good example of the technology involved.
I turned my computer back on and made a change in those numbers, I arrived at them by averaging out the MPG shown on the display after each stop, and dividing by the number of stops, anyway, THESE MPG numbers are accurate, or at least as accurate as the onboard display.