Maui News

COUNTY’S PLUG-IN HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLE AVERAGES 64 MPG

June 9, 2009, 1:30 PM HST
* Updated June 9, 1:31 PM
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The County-owned Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) achieved an average performance of 64 miles per gallon (MPG), according to the first monthly report from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares plugs in the county's Hybrid electric-car collecting data on its usage and performance.  Photo courtesy, County of Maui.

Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares plugs in the county's Hybrid electric-car collecting data on its usage and performance. Photo courtesy, County of Maui.

The vehicle is currently being used by Mayor Charmaine Tavares after being converted from a standard Prius to a plug-in hybrid electric car.  For the 1,175 miles driven during the initial test period, Tavares reported spending a total of $86.86 with the car’s range per fill-up averaging 450 miles.

The report, which provides data for the North American PHEV Demonstration, also lists a high of 97 MPG for city driving and a low of 40 MPG for highway driving.

The first measured period ran from April 6 – 30, 2009.  During that time, the car took a total of 132 trips, and was charged 53 times.

The car was unveiled and put on the road April 6, 2009. Since then, it has served as a roving educational tool in the community and as a test subject in the Idaho National Laboratory and U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Vehicle Testing of converted PHEVs. Data on the usage of the County vehicle is transmitted wirelessly to INL and compiled monthly on an individual and national basis. This first report of 64 MPG average for the car driven by the Mayor compares to other averages of 59, 53, 49 and 44 that have been reported by other vehicles in the national study.

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The County’s PHEV contains an additional battery pack that can be recharged by plugging the car in to an ordinary electrical outlet, thus decreasing the use of gasoline and increasing the range of electric-powered trips. As with standard hybrid vehicles, battery power is also recharged during braking.

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“One of the goals of the study is to demonstrate that advanced technology can help us transition away from fossil fuels, and the high MPGs being reported are evidence that this can actually work,” said Mayor Charmaine Tavares. “As Maui increasingly generates electricity from renewable sources, and as PHEVs and electric vehicles become more widely available, we can make even more progress in decreasing our dependency on imported oil.”

(Posted by Wendy OSHER, information provided by the County of Maui, office of the Mayor)

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