Since that wicked storm, Sandy ripped through here last Fall, I’ve been car-less. Two out of our three family cars were pinned under one tree — both were totaled. So, I decided to start researching cars and as fortune would have it, a few smart car companies decided it was a good idea to let me do week-long test drives to review their cars. I’m convinced I want either an EV (all Electric Vehicle) or a plugin hybrid. I get a cheap (literally) thrill from avoiding the gas pump. I want to hasten the demise of my dependence on fossil fuels. A Green Diva can dream, right?
So, being invited to drive this awesome Toyota MPG Challenge in the Prius Plug-in Hybrid was perfectly timed for my selfish reasons, but I can feel good about it because, while I’m getting a chance to thoroughly check out this car, I can hide my self-serving intentions behind the truly awesome charity I am hoping to win money for — and I’m more motivated to win because my charity is Eleventh Hour rescue, where I found my beloved Gracie woof. They rescued her and continue to tirelessly rescue so many animals. Most of them are volunteer and I want to repay them in any way I can for their important work.
Honesty and nobility aside, I’m loving this car and growing attached to it by the day. My boiled brain (yes, it has been a bit hot and I’m stubbornly trying to drive sans AC to save MPGe’s) keeps wondering if Toyota might take pity on a car-less victim of Sandy and just give me the car. Maybe if I promise to haul rescue animals weekly? But my purple peace sign looks so RIGHT on this car!?!
We are halfway through and I’m stuck in the middle of the pack — lost my 3rd place standing and now have to claw my way back to 3rd place. I’m not a fierce competitor by any means, and I really admire my colleagues, but I just HAVE to win something for Eleventh Hour! Gotta try and catch up to EcoKaren, Green-4-U, Earth Day NY; and stay ahead of these awesome folks (sorry) Green Living Guy, InHabitat, NY Green Advocate.
I may not be winning, but maybe I’m learning . . .
Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- Even in the name of a good and worthy cause, I don’t want to crack open a manual
- I would rather be drenched in sweat than burn ANY extra MPGe’s!
- There are no public charging stations within my 11-mile driving range
- The ONLY charging stations (according to PlugShare, ChargePoint & CarStations) are at 3 not-so-close Nissan dealerships!?
- Gracie looks like a car-model dog
- I LOVE not buying gas (so far anyway)
- My purple peace sign belongs on this car
- It feels harmonious to charge this car next to my herb garden
- I feel pretty darned cool driving this Toyota Prius Plugin
- As John Voelcker (Sr. Editor GreenCarReports.com) put it when I reached out for advice on how to win, “you have to accelerate like there is a raw egg between your foot and the gas pedal and you DON’T want to break it.
- Driving like there is an egg between my foot and gas pedal means I irritate other drivers frequently and get lots of frustrated honks and gestures
- Braking can be exhilarating!
- I love going down hills
- I loathe going up hills
- This car charges the battery even when I’m on a highway NOT braking (?)
- I love AC on a hot summer day
- I hate having the windows down when I forget to tie my hair up and it macrome’s itself into cute little dreads
- I want an EV or Plugin Hybrid
- I want my town to get a public plug!
- If I owned this car, I would name her White Lightening (oh the irony on so many levels for those that know me)