While looking for a delicious place to eat dinner last week, I stumbled upon this “100+ MPG” Prius with an “OILFREE” license plate. I immediately thought to myself “no and no”, and quickly snapped a picture. Now for the last few days this car has been haunting my brain. I just can’t wrap my brain around how they add 50 more miles per gallon because it is now able to be plugged-in. I feel like it is false advertising. Maybe I just don’t understand hybrid technology or maybe it’s the hybrid language that I don’t speak. The one thing I do know is that I have many more questions now than I did before I saw this thing. Here are a few of the questions that I can’t stop thinking about:
- Did that car really get 100+ mpg? Really?
- Do electric/gas hybrid owners count fully electric-powered miles as “miles per gallon“? Is that fair?
- If the above statement is true, can I build a fully electric vehicle, and put a sticker on my car that says “infinite MPG” ?
- The kits to convert these cars to be a PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) are about $3000 on eBay not including labor for installation. To keep things simple, we’ll just assume that owners install it themselves. At $3.85 per gallon for regular unleaded gas, you could buy yourself 779 gallons of gas with that money instead and drive yourself about 38,950 miles. This also means that at 12K miles per year on average, it will take 3 years for the PHEV to pay for itself, and that is assuming that you get free electricity at your house to plug the car in to. Car math is fun.
- I bet I could find oil inside that car.