Wednesday, June 8, 2011

First Hybrid Drive

My salesman, Oscar, let me know my accessories* were in and this morning I went to Culver City to get them. I missed the cutover from the 101 to the 405 due to traffic, so I took the next exit and ended up on the scenic route back to the 405. But I missed the traffic jam, which was good. I used up a lot of range going up hills on the way to the freeway, but once I was coasting down the Sepluvenda Pass, it was funny to watch the range increase again, putting about 15 more miles back in the battery. Oscar was not at the dealership but I got the goodies from Juan and I proceeded home. Traffic was slow but steady coming home and I thought I would quickly see the range drop going back up the Pass, but it wasn't until I got back on the 101 between Van Nuys and Woodman that the green battery on my instrument panel was replaced by the blue gas tank and the gas engine started up.

It was interesting because I couldn't really hear or feel any difference. And when I came to a stop sign after exiting at Vineland, the engine was off. I realized it shuts off after you go below a few miles an hour and doesn't start again until you are going something like 5 or 10 miles an hour. Did that at each stop so it never uses gas at an idle, apparently. Idling wastes a lot of gas so this is a good thing. But strange when you aren't used to it.

*[The car was supposed to have a cargo net, a barrier between the rear seat backs and the cargo area, and a sunshade as "dealer installed" accessories. They were listed on the invoice but were not with the car at the time of delivery. Oscar followed through and made sure they were on order.]

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