Hybrid Vehicle Rally
Here are the fuel economy results from our changed route (95 miles down through Sage and Aguanga then up the 15 and 215 back via the Ramona Expw.) The route was modified due to icy conditions in Garner Valley.
- W A Ainsworth (Chilli), 2000 Honda Insight, 76.6mpg
- Kenny Walden, 2010 Honda Insight, 66.5mpg
- Steve Maldonado, 2004 Toyota Prius, 60.5mpg
- Ray Lowerison, 2008 Toyota Prius, 60.5mpg (91 miles)
- Phil Fournier, 2002 Toyota Prius, 59.4mpg
- Joe Heagerty, 2010 Prius, 57.2mpg
- Don Kovac, 2004 Prius, 55.6mpg (drove 115 miles due to a wrong turn)
- Richard Vidlak, 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid, 51.4mpg
- Karen Fournier, 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid, 35.9mpg
- Gail Wesson (Press Enterprise), 2005 Honda Accord non-hybrid 4cyl, 31.5mpg
As anticipated, Chilli’s lightweight, three-cylinder, two-seater Insight did the best. Rather surprising was the outstanding performance of Kenny Walden’s 2010 Insight, achieving over 20mpg better fuel economy than the EPA rating of 45mpg. This was no doubt due to Kenny’s experience in driving for good fuel economy. It would be interesting to see how well Kenny could have done had he drove Joe’s 2010 Prius which is rated at 50mpg EPA.
Of most interest to me is how much difference there is between hybrid and non-hybrid vehicles, with the V6 hybrid Accord doing significantly better than the 4cyl non-hybrid Accord.
Our special thanks to Strawberry Creek Inn and Cafe Aroma, both of Idyllwild, that donated $200 and $50 respectively as rewards to the rally participants. The Cafe Aroma award was won by Steve and Carol Maldonado and the Strawberry Creek Inn award was won by Joe Heagerty.
Link to Press Enterprise article (may expire):
Hybrid Fuel Economy Rally, January 23rd, 2010
Wanted: 2010 Prius and 2010 Honda Insight for our January 23rd hybrid fuel economy Rally!
Due to popular demand, Phil’s Auto Clinic is planning another hybrid vehicle fuel economy rally for 2010. We are planning a slightly longer route this time and may well have a couple of Plug-In Hybrid participants as two have already expressed interest in participating.
Vehicle driving route will be as follows:
- Start point: Phil’s Auto Clinic, check in and staging, 9:45am. Donuts and coffee plus impromtu information on plug-in hybrid technology.
- Rally start: 10:30am, cars released on three minute intervals.
- Follow Florida Ave/Hwy 74 east up mountain through Garner valley and down to Desert Center (48 miles).
- Soup and cookies at Desert Center (corn chowder and pumpkin soup made by Karen Fournier; this is really good stuff. Also gaufrette cookies, my grandmother’s recipe.)
- Continue out Monterey Ave back to Highway 10.
- Take Hwy 10 west to Beaumont, exit Hwy 79.
- Take Hwy 79 (Lamb Canyon) to exit for Gilman Springs Rd at base of hill.
- Follow Gilman Springs Road past Golden Era golf course. Turn left before the bridge by Jewish synagogue on Soboba Rd.
- Follow Soboba Rd. to Main St, turn right, cross bridge to Ramona Expressway, turn left on Ramona Expressway.
- Follow Ramona Expressway to Soboba St. Turn right and follow Soboba St. back to Phil’s Auto Clinic. (112 mile route)
Feel free to call 927-2102 and speak with Phil about any other details. Fuel economy results this time will be based on the fuel economy display panel of each car. Fuel tanks should contain enough fuel to complete route without refueling but need not be full. Odometers and fuel economy displays will be zeroed at the start of the trip. Time for trip will be limited to 3 hours and 45 minutes including lunch stop. $50 gift cards will be awarded to the winners in each category. Other rules remain the same as last time. See list farther down this page.
December 13th, 2008
Many thanks to all our participants! The weather was not very good (cold, raining, foggy plus a headwind) and the route was not conducive to good fuel economy (1,600 feet up to 6,200 feet and back down again on a curving mountain road). All participants were cooperative and kind in spite of the inhospitable driving conditions. We had a fun time and learned a few things in the process.
Results of fuel economy rally:
- 2008 Toyota Prius 32,000 miles; 47.5 mpg (Driven by Steve Maldonado)
- 2007 Honda Civic 12,000 miles; 46 mpg (Driven by Ed Arstill)
- 2003 Honda Civic 125,000 miles; 43.1 mpg (Driven by Richard Vidlak)
- 2002 Toyota Prius, 179,000 miles; 42.8 mpg (Driven by Dan Fournier)
- 2007 Saturn Vue, 43,000 miles; 38.3 mpg (Driven by Jimmy Fox)
- 2008 Toyota Prius, 11,000 miles; 34.5 mpg (Driven by Ray Lowerison)
- 2005 Honda Accord 39,000 miles; 32.8 mpg (Driven by Karen Fournier)
- Non-hybrid control car, 2000 Honda Accord 4 cyl, 90,000; 24.5 mpg (Driven by Phil Fournier)
Note: The number 6 car was probably an anomaly. The fuel mileage display on the car said 47 mpg and the suspicion is that the car was not completely filled before the rally started. The number 5 car, 2007 Saturn Vue, seems also too good to be true. Nevertheless, the improved fuel economy numbers over the non-hybrid control car, a very well maintained Honda Accord 4 cylinder driven conservatively demonstrate the benefits of the hybrid system. Of all the cars, only the 2007 Civic fuel economy meter accurately reflected the actual fuel economy. All of the rest had slight exaggerations of about 5-10% which seems fairly consistent. Below is the invitation we used before the rally.
Own a hybrid of any make? You are invited!
The purpose of this rally is to have fun and learn a bit about the capabilities of the hybrid vehicle. It is recognized that the methodology of measuring the fuel economy cannot be absolutely accurate. Route has been measured at 69 miles and is described below.
Rules for hybrid vehicle rally:
- Vehicle owners should be residents of Hemet, San Jacinto, or Idyllwild.
- ANY hybrid vehicle will qualify. If other vehicles beside the Toyota Prius participate, other vehicles will be in their own class for the competition.
- Vehicle owner must have insurance to cover vehicle and driver.
- Owner must be willing to sign a waiver to hold Phil’s Auto Clinic harmless in event of any automobile accident.
- Vehicle owner may take one passenger if desired.
- Planned timing for the run is donuts and coffee at 7:30am, staging and checking of vehicles, with rally hopefully beginning at 8:00am. Vehicles will be sent on their way at five minute intervals to allow drivers flexibility of choosing their driving speed.
- All vehicles must follow the same route to Pine Cove, Banning, down Lamb Canyon, along hill route and Ramona Expressway back to Philâs.
- All owners must fill their gas tanks before coming, preferably at the nearest gas station, either the Spirit, Chevron at Ramona Expressway or the Shell at Stanford and Florida.
- All tires will be filled at Philâs and computer systems scanned for codes and battery state of charge prior to run.
- Odometers and fuel economy meters will be zeroed. However, due to variations in the displays and speedometers, the gps calculated mileage for the route will be used as a benchmark for mileage calculations.
- All vehicles will check in at the Pine Cove market by Dan. Bottled water and cookies will be available along with a five minute break that will not go against allowed driving time.
- Vehicles returning to Philâs will be taken to the Spirit gas station (hopefully all together) to be refilled at Phil’s expense.
- Vehicles will be refilled to the third automatic shutoff using the same pump for all vehicles.
- Vehicles that use the least fuel will receive the awards.
- All participants will get a coffee mug as thanks for their participation. Two portable DVD players will be awarded to those who receive the best fuel economy in their class.