My Prius priority

January 29th, 2015

Saving gas while saving the planet

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It’s the end of January and looking back over the month, this Wanderer blog has been pretty bleak. I blame the cold and the grayness mostly. But I don’t want you to think that I haven’t accomplished anything. Apart from a super top-secret bit of long form fiction I’ve been writing, (my great American novel), I also made it through the month on just under $12.00 worth of gas!

Like others here at Read The Spirit, I drive a Prius. Unlike the others, mine plugs into the wall (but boy, do I need a mighty long extension cord when I go somewhere! — rim shot, please). My plug-in allows me to barely sip gas, filling up generally about once each month. Like The Chevy Volt and the Ford C-Max, the car runs on electricity, mostly, until it needs to be recharged. Then the gas engine takes over with some help from electricity generated whenever I brake. Residential electrical power is still much cheaper than gasoline — especially when I charge it overnight during off-peak hours — so I save even more.

People wonder if I’m bummed out about my purchase, in light of the currently low gas prices. Here’s the thing. Low gas prices are low gas prices. What helps you, helps me too. $12.00 a month is wonderful. We buy all our cars used so they’re typically a lot less expensive. And we buy them from local dealerships so we’re still contributing to the area economy.

More and more, people are doing the same thing. I parked in an Ann Arbor parking garage and found myself taking the last available spot of the dozen or so provided free of, ahem, charge.

Yes, I realize our electricity doesn’t always come from clean sources (cough, cough, coal). But the trend is moving in that direction. If I can get some solar shingles attached to my roof or maybe buy some wind power from those wonderful turbines in Michigan’s thumb area, I’d be all set. Until that time, I’ll cruise along at 60 miles per gallon (58 MPG, actually, during the dead of winter).

I don’t mean to come across as self-righteous or holier than thou. Making a conscious effort to help the environment just makes me happy, that’s all.

My Prius priority

I joined a dozen or so other cars charging in an Ann Arbor public parking garage.


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