Welcome to PriusChat

We'd love to have you join our community and participate in the conversation! Sign up for FREE today.

Sign Up

North Carolina MPG

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Fuel Economy' started by froSTed, Jun 10, 2010.

Social Buttons

  1. froSTed

    froSTed Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2004
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Raleigh NC
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Unlike much of the USA, North Carolina seems to be a big drain on my new Prius. I believe it's because of hills, absolutely everywhere you go, you are going up or down a hill. Going down a hill does not seem to charge the battery well because you must always go up a hill shortly after, and into the red.
    Looks like I am getting about 35-40 MPG average so far.
    Does anyone have any experience maximizing your mileage on hill after hill?
  2. JasonPro

    JasonPro Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Rockville MD
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Unless there is a light at the bottom of the hill, I usually try to get a bit of speed up on the way down to use on the way up. I think the biggest thing though is not push the car far into the pwr range if at all on the way back up.

    One trick I've learned since getting my prius is that I get much better gas mileage when I plan on where to use up the battery power ahead of time. For example, my commute consists of side street driving, then highway, and then more side streets. I usually try to squeeze everything out of the battery just by the time I'm getting on the highway. I do this because I know the battery will charge back up on the highway anyways.

    Also, if it isn't too hot, turn off the A/C. It kills the battery fast. If I'm driving about 40 or below, I just put the windows down a quarter of the way. I know that putting the windows down all the way is supposed to be just as bad as running the A/C at around 30 MPH, but I think that only a quarter of the way down isn't as bad. I've been getting higher numbers anyways.
  3. SlowTurd

    SlowTurd I LIKE PRIUS'S

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,124
    Likes Received:
    309
    Location:
    nj
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    it's all relative.


    if you had a car that got 20 mpg on the straights you would be getting 15 mpg giong up and down
  4. hsiaolc

    hsiaolc New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    617
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    UK
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    N/A


    I avoid the hills. You will use a lot more energy going up where as you wont gain all you've lost when you come down the hill.

    I've noticed that and so I avoide the hills all I can but if you can't then you still have a much more eco car than others.
  5. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Messages:
    4,474
    Likes Received:
    934
    Location:
    Wilmington, NC
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III


    I have driven around Raleigh many times and average around 50 mpg. I do not do much of anything but drive the car and try to drive like the car has no brakes.

    What kind of speeds are you running? Are most of your driving short trips with a lot of stop and go? Short trips with a lot of stop and go are the tough on any car, Prius included. Do you accelerate hard in to the Power zone on starts?

    I can assure you that NC or Raleigh has nothing to do with your low mpg. It has to be something with your particular routes or your driving style.
  6. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    Messages:
    5,413
    Likes Received:
    427
    Location:
    South Jersey
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    What's your tp? Harder tires=higher mpg.
  7. adamace1

    adamace1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,391
    Likes Received:
    169
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I have no problems, even when i have gone to Ashville or to the blue ridge parkway.

    You must be driving short trips? Please tell us more
  8. franko

    franko Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Here in the Piedmont I have no problem maintaining 50 mpg average. But we don't have a 'Beltline' (where the traffic ranges between 0 and 80 mph) and the I-40 traffic is not as heavy here either.

    I have found that in climbing up to the parkway my mileage drops closer to 40 but on descending back to the Piedmont the average for the whole trip goes right back to 50. I would not have expected that much recovery. (Admittedly, I try to avoid accelerating heavily while going uphill--Of course I am going to take care not to be a pain to other drivers).

    The one thing I notice that really drops the mileage are the 'mis-timed' traffic lights about 1/4 mile apart in traffic where everyone is compelled to hit 50-60 mph before stopping for the next light.

    But why sweat the small stuff? If you can average 40 mpg you are beating out just about every other 4 wheel vehicle on the road and you don't even have to do anything special to accomplish that.
  9. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,331
    Likes Received:
    1,932
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    please fill out the questionnaire



    It's hilly here in the Seattle area and wasn't flat everywhere in the SF Bay Area where I lived last.

    Please fill out the questions at http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii...-answer-these-questions-esp-if-youre-new.html, otherwise we're all asking the same questions over and over and taking guesses.
    1 person likes this.
  10. froSTed

    froSTed Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2004
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Raleigh NC
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II


    Great idea, so, how do I avoid hills in NC? Fly?
  11. adamace1

    adamace1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,391
    Likes Received:
    169
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II


    No just drive down them. Stop driving up them....
  12. rctech

    rctech Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Chicago
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III


    Sometimes there are routes that go around the higher (and lower) points which are within a direct path. These alternate routes may be longer, but don't do as much elevation change (which appear to affect mpg more).

    I am sortof blessed by living in flat Chicago, but once a year I make a trek to Brevard, NC to visit the in-laws. There aren't always viable alternatives, but in some towns, I can take some alternate roads to avoid some really steep slopes, and minimize vertical travel over the entire route.

    However, it is almost impossible without experience and knowledge of a particular area's topography (and gps is no help either).
    Good Luck

    rich
  13. froSTed

    froSTed Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2004
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Raleigh NC
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I get into the power zone allot, almost every hill requires the power zone to keep up with traffic.
  14. homersparkey

    homersparkey Older but not Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II


    I drive all around Raleigh. Yes it is hilly, but I average between 45 and 55 mpg- depending on whether I'm running the AC or not. I don't try to keep up with the fastest traffic (75+) just the traffic that's going just fast enough to not get caught :).
  15. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Messages:
    4,474
    Likes Received:
    934
    Location:
    Wilmington, NC
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Speed has a direct impact on Prius mpg, or any car for that matter. If you search for a link on here, Bob Wilson has a chart showing speed versus mpg.

    Once you get above 60 to 65 mph, your mpg will start dropping below 50 mpg. When I run 75 to 80 mph on I-40 around Raleigh my mpg will drop to about 45 mpg.

    With the Inner Beltline and the I-40 Outer Beltline, it would be easy to run in the 75 to 80+ mph speed range. Expect your mpg to be impacted, though.

    I have learned to try to stay at the 70 mph or less range in the Raleigh area to help improve mpg.
  16. froSTed

    froSTed Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2004
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Raleigh NC
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    When I start out going anywhere I end up in the power zone because the acceleration must be so as to not offend other drivers in back of me. Otherwise I would take the time to get up to speed slowly in the green. Also, to leave my house, I go up and down hills, to go down the street in any direction, I am going up or down a hill, and it's mostly residential, so I stick to the speed limit of 35mph. So far, I am going through about 1/2 a tank a week and I don't drive it that much. Maybe there is something wrong with my prius or perhaps I just don't get it. My Scion XB got about 35 to 38 MPG and I spent the same on gas.
  17. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Messages:
    4,474
    Likes Received:
    934
    Location:
    Wilmington, NC
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III


    Are most of your trips short trips with a lot of stop and go? If so, try taking a 50 to 100 mile trip on the highway and see what your mileage does.

    Short trips with a lot of stop and go will lower the Prius mpg, like any car.

    As for acceleration, I do the same thing when accelerating and go to the right hand side of the Power zone in order to keep up with traffic. But once I get up to speed, I can let off the accelerator and coast as much as possible when traffic will allow.

    With hills and the Raleigh traffic, I understand the need to keep up with traffic but you should be able to coast as much as possible when going down the hills.
  18. Ophbalance

    Ophbalance Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A


    I'd guess this is the most prevalent reason for sure. Are you mostly just driving in downtown Raleigh? Crapital Blvd? Beltline?
  19. snead_c

    snead_c Jam Ma's Car

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    660
    Likes Received:
    57
    Location:
    Hendersonville
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    I live in the mountains of NC and spend time in Raleigh visiting family. When I drive instead of my wife, who pays no attention to fuel econ and drives just above posted speed limits, I average 5 MPG higher than her. I get around 50 MPG daily driving at home. She just drove to Raleigh and returned driving 578 mostly highway miles...the display showed 45.8 MPG and ac ran a lot due to near 100 temps.
    One of my worst MPGs was during an extended stay in Raleigh when the temps were also very hot...38 MPG. I kept up with traffic and kept the air on high to survive.
    I guess I'd suggest you make sure you:
    Drive as "conservatively" as possible. Note numerous driving suggestions on PC.
    Keep the air up in your tires (42,40).
    Use 0w-20 synthetic oil.
    Reduce use of ac when possible.
    Experiment with MPGs when out of town and in less conjested areas for comparison's sake..
    Make yourself feel better by keeping a log of all seasons driving averages. They will go higher and you should "average" in the 45+ range per yearly numbers...if you use winter mpg strategies as well.
  20. froSTed

    froSTed Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2004
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Raleigh NC
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I drive around the glenwood area mostly from crabtree mall up to brier creek, also I do drive the beltline where ever possible.



Similar Threads: North Carolina
Forum Title Date
Toyota Prius Plug-in 2014 North Carolina Plug In Tax Dec 31, 2013
Gen II Prius Main Forum Help me find a Gen II to buy in North Carolina! Aug 26, 2012
Generation 1 Prius Discussion 2002 Prius with P3000 P3009 in North Carolina Jul 24, 2012
Dealers & Pricing Virginia/North Carolina Dealer Recommendations Jun 27, 2012
Newbie Forum Hello, Western North Carolina here...new C owner today Jun 18, 2012