Today Show: Real-world impacts of driving a hybrid
HybridBlog followed the Today Show's "Great American Gas Challenge": The idea was to have three families take a vacation across the US with the same budget but each in a different type of vehicle (one of them being a Civic hybrid) to see the real-world effects on their vacation. All of this started because of a survey which showed that 60% of US families are changing their vacation plans because of "high gas prices" (good thing they're not driving in Europe). They approached the hybrid's characteristics from pretty much only the monetary angle, but if the mainstream is going to be convinced it's probably going to take at least that.The results are not surprising, but they have the advantage of being more tangible than mpg figures and estimated dollar amounts over a long period of time. This is all over the course of a 6 day vacation, starting in Los Angeles and ending in New-York.
Total amount spent on gas
Rileys (SUV): $459.27
Fowlers (Midsize): $277.98
Pletchers (Hybrid): $172.67
Riley Family (SUV): 17 mpg (estimate was 15 mpg)
Fowler Family (Midsize): 26 mpg (estimate was 25 mpg)
Pletcher Family (Hybrid): 42 mpg (estimate was 40 mpg)
Since they were all on the same budget, the gas-money difference had an impact on the type of vacation they had. It's a bit sad that in this case the savings were used to do very un-treehugger things, like take a helicopter tour instead of a jeep tour at the Grand Canyon (why not walk and really take the time to see things?), but that money could very well have been spent more wisely, like on organic food and quality hiking equipment, or just not spent at all.