Hi Folks -
Was anyone else incensed by this Sunday's New York Times articles on hybrid cars, and in particular the information provided on Honda? The essential topic of the article was to point out that many hybrids are using the technology not to reduce overall fuel consumption, but to instead increase performance without using more fuel. This is certainly true in some cases (Accord, RX400h, others), but as an HCH owner I was really annoyed by some of the statistics included in this piece. For example, the article
states: "Performance in the Civic hybrid is slightly lower than the original model, Mr. Boyd said, and as a result it gets 36 miles per gallon instead of 29."
Excuse me? Who here is getting 36 mpg? Even when I drive in classic Massachusetts style... accelerating at maximum speed to gain a one car advantage or maintaining 85 mph
regardless of terrain, I still get 42-45 mpg in my HCH. Who are these drivers?
I find myself thinking of a quote I read somehere... I'll paraphrase: It's not just the technology that is allowing us hybrid owners to get better fuel economy. It's the information we are provided that make us better drivers. Even in my wife's Audi A4, I find that I get about 4 mpg better mileage now because I have been conditioned by the constant feedback I get in my HCH to drive differently.
Listen to this guy, quoted in the article: "I wasn't prepared to give up anything to 'go green' - not performance, amenities, or space."
I guess this is mainstream America at its most classic. How successful can hybrid technology be when Americans refuse to change their behavior in the slightest? Are the members of this forum (getting 46 mpg on average) so outside of the mainstream?