Real Life Hybrid Feedback

Chris Mahon, Director of Cheshire Wildlife Trust, decided to buy a Toyota Prius hybrid in November 2005 in order to demonstrate the charity’s responsible attitude towards the environment. Having now lived with the car for well over six months on, he is delighted with it.

Here’s what Chris has to say:

“I’m getting about 54mpg out of the Prius at the moment. This is short of the 65.7mpg potential but that’s because much of my driving is out of urban areas where slower speeds would increase the use of battery power. Nevertheless I’m very pleased with this fuel consumption – its saving me and the environment about a full tank of petrol every month so about £480 a year and 12 fewer filling station visits.

It’s a great car. It’s quiet and comfortable with plenty of internal space and boot capacity despite the storage of the batteries there. It’s quite quick off the mark too, so I can get away at traffic lights respectably and long distance driving is a pleasure.

I’ve had a few people stop and ask me about it in car parks. I tell them about the miles per gallon and the savings and that it’s the car of the future and they go away quite impressed. Some of them ask about the price, which is generally received as being out of range, but I try and emphasise the cost savings over time and the environmental benefits of reduced CO2 emissions to compensate.

I would absolutely recommend it to others who need a car of this size and performance. I hope this technology will soon be available in smaller cars which would be better in an urban setting where congestion, pollution and parking are big local issues.

There is some fun gadgetry inside which shows you graphically how you are doing on your fuel consumption and when you are re-charging your batteries – all clever stuff.”

Chris even used the Prius to help with a recent house move – something a Smart Car would not be very good at!

If you have a hybrid then let us know what you think!