Prius Marathon Run

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by efusco, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    Four drivers will be taking turns behind the wheel of a 2004 Prius August 5-7 in an effort to achieve the best possible mpg and longest distance on a tank of gas recorded to date.

    Dan Kroushl has discovered a route near his home in Pittsburgh where
    he has been able to consistently achieve laps of 100+ mpg and two of
    the three drivers who will be assisting him have been able to
    duplicate his results on the same course. The third they're confident
    can do just as well, but he has not yet been there to try.

    They'll start out Friday evening after rush hour and go until they run
    out of gas, with each driver taking a four hour shift behind the
    wheel on a 23 mile there-and-back portion of four lane road near Pittsburg with 12 traffic lights and two moderate hills. Their technique will be pulse-
    and-glide going no faster than 40 mph and rarely slower than 30. Their
    goal is to achieve or approach 100 mpg for an entire tank and go 1100-
    1200 or more miles, running out sometime Sunday.

    The event has started to attract media attention. They just got word
    yesterday that HBO is sending a crew to cover the event as part of an
    upcoming climate change feature they're putting together, and earlier
    this week Dave Bassage was interviewed while driving a similar route by Jeff Young of the NPR syndicated show Living on Earth. You can hear or
    read the transcript of that interview at http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?prog...030&segmentID=8

    They will try to post updates as the event unfolds on all the various forums they frequent.

    If anyone is interested in stopping by for any or all of the
    event you'd be most welcome, and there's a good chance at any given
    time that there will be a driver available to offer pulse-and-glide
    hands on instruction who is not currently on a driving shift. Feel
    free to email Dave directly ([email protected]) for more information if you're interested.

    Their primary goal is to see just how much fuel efficiency can be eeked
    out of this already very efficient car. They'd also like to share their
    techniques with anyone interested and are just warped enough to think
    this is a fun way to spend a summer weekend.

    Dan Krousl routinely achives mpgs above 60 and 70mpg in his daily driving.

    Dave is an enthusiast who lives nearby and also achives mpgs in the 60mpg range.
     
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  2. dreichla

    dreichla New Member

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    Awsome audio transcript! I'd love to see a video of this event if one becomes available.
     
  3. fikescr

    fikescr New Member

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    Whatever video comes out of it will be courtesy of the HBO folks who are including our effort as part of a climate change piece they're working on. The HBO crew will be there all weekend, taping interviews and covering aspects of the effort including some in-car footage, we hope.

    You mentioned audio transcript - you should have been able to listen to it from the website as well, at http://tinyurl.com/dt5ul

    As posted on a different thread here, Dan just scored a personal best tank of 1007 miles at 86.6 mpg. He's got a pretty impressive photo that includes the sort of five minute bars we'll be experiencing during the marathon. I'm struggling to hang on to his coat tails with a personal best tank of 71.0 mpg, but Dan tells me using the blue screen background rather than my green screen makes all the difference....

    Dave Bassage
     
  4. dreichla

    dreichla New Member

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    I'm changing mine to blue right now!
     
  5. vande23

    vande23 New Member

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    Now I can breathe easy - at least I have been completely overtaken in the "Prius Nerd" category. yeah, my totally random license plate here in Minnesota even starts with PND !!

    100MPG? sheesh, you guys are going to TILT the MPG LCD screen. I wonder if your math will get you over 100MPM but the screen will not be able to handle it?

    Anyone else sense Y2K computer issues here? :)
     
  6. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    Dan's already had several runs in excess of 100mpg...what he usually does is go to a different road that he can drive on until the mileage drops below 100mpg and then back calculate what his mileage was for the distance that was above 100mpg
     
  7. CraigCSJ

    CraigCSJ Member

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    Will the Prius Marathon Run be done with a stock Prius, or will it be modified in some way? It seems to me that I saw way back that Dan Kroushl had added more batteries to his Prius. I hope the Prius is an unmodified version, as that would show most owners of Prius what their car is capable of doing, given optimal conditions.

    CraigCSJ 04 Driftwood #9BC
     
  8. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    Unmodified. He does run on some pretty worn OEM Integrity tires at about 60psi. He also uses 0W20 Mobil 1 oil.
     
  9. jtmhog

    jtmhog Member

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    A list of all his fuel saving tricks would be nice. And then there the person who put in cruise at 35 MPH and left it there for 1000 miles, for an average of 88MPG. And they let these people run around loose!!
     
  10. CraigCSJ

    CraigCSJ Member

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    Thanks for the reply. 60psi in the tires surely must compromise ride. I would think that pressure would be dangerous at normal speeds, given the 44 max stated on the tire. However, at the slow marathon speeds I doubt there will be trouble, and if there is, they can change a tire. I wish they were keeping the car within normal specifications, but 60psi will undoubtably get better mileage than 44.
     
  11. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    Dan is the guy who did the 800+ mile run at 35mph. This is his effort to improve on that result.

    His fuel saving techiques are pretty easy to list, much more difficult to explain, and even harder to replicate with his level of alacrity.

    I already mentioned the tire pressure and oil. They'll also be leaving the A/C off.

    But the majority of the technique involves a pulse/glide technique varying speed up to about 41mph and then gliding (no arrows at all on Energy screen) down to about 33mph. The devil in the details here is when to accelerate, for how long and how hard. As I understand it they're accelerating in the 'dead-band' (no arrows to/from the battery). AFAIK Cruise control won't be used. Although anyone can learn the technique I think it takes a focused and experienced hybrid driver to really master it as it takes a certain touch and sense of what's going on and what will occur with certain actions.
     
  12. krousdb

    krousdb NX-74205

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    I did have extra batteries installed last year, but I removed them because they did not improve fuel efficiency on longer commutes such as mine. The extra weight might actually have made my mileage worse. They were only beneficial for 2 ot 3 mile trips where I could avoid using the ICE altogether.

    I put 43k miles on my first set of tires, all at 50 PSI. I'm not recommending that anyone else do that because it exceeds the rating of the tire. I drove under all conditions up to 75MPH for up to 12 hours at a time. Never a problem. Tire wear was perfect.

    60 PSI does compromise ride, but we need the 2-3 MPG that it will give us as a cushion to make the 100 MPG mark.

    Dan
     
  13. fikescr

    fikescr New Member

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    Dan is certainly our guru and leader on this effort, but the pulse and glide technique really isn't that difficult to master. It just takes a stretch of road where you can vary your speed between 30-40 mph without being a hassle to others. He discovered this course, which actually has a number of stop lights as well, but Dan has still been able to achieve multiple laps at 100 mpg and Wayne and I both were able to duplicate that performance when we came for practice runs.

    I feel confident that most drivers could do the same given the same conditions, and we'll be offering driving lessons to any that show up during the event by drivers not currently on shift.

    So far we've found that anticipating terrain and traffic conditions and using glide as much as possible it more important than specific acceleration technique, at least within a range of mild to dead band acceleration options. We hope to refine that part of our technique during practice runs thursday night and friday while Dan's snoozing and off at work.

    We'll post progress reports throughout, and certainly a final report once it's all over.

    Stay tuned!

    Dave Bassage
     
  14. Ray Moore

    Ray Moore Member

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    I'm in heaven reading this and wish I could be there. I'm in complete agreement with everything that has been said here. I hope ya'll are able to get a full full tank to start with. Best of luck and I will be thinking about ya'll this weekend.

    GO PRIUS!!!
     
  15. fikescr

    fikescr New Member

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    Thanks for that strong vote of support!

    Here's the first pregame warmup report:

    Three of the four drivers are here on site with practice runs under our belt already. Wayne Gerdes, our fourth, will join us sometime this morning. Rick Reece and I arrived almost simultaneously last evening in time to hook up with Dan Kroushl, whose car we'll be using on the course he discovered. Dan took Rick and I for a run, then Rick took a run on his own, then me.

    The bad news, from a personal perspective, is that I'm indeed the lowest performing of the three so far, as I feared. The good news is that my lap on the 31 run mile course was still measured at 101 mpg. Rick scored a 103 mpg lap and Dan, despite the extra weight of Rick and I in the car, gave us something to shoot for with a lap at 104.5 mpg!

    Earlier this week Dan received some extra instrumentation from Japan that allows us to track percent of time the ICE is running and fuel economy above the 99.9 limit of the stock prius MFD display. It's in Km/l, so we have to convert, but that's not a big deal. This same instrument also tracks liters of fuel consumed, which will be a great help as we assess our progress. Both Dan and Rick were able to limit ICE use to 24% on their runs, while I registered 28%.

    I'm still up composing this message because I'll need to be up this late tomorrow during my first shift. Today we meet with the HBO crew who will be documenting our effort and get as many more practice runs in as we can.

    That's the news so far. Stay tuned!

    Dave Bassage
     
  16. myride

    myride Junior Member

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    I take a route to my sisters house from houston to abilene on route 36 that goes thru temple. i have driven it many times in both directions and have a good idea what to expect for miles on tank when i get their. i have noticed that when i have to carry more load weight (items family want me to take to them) that i increase mpg on that leg. i have checked the wind and normally i'm bucking head wind going and got a tail wing coming back but my numbers are better going into the wind. i'm also sure that the elevation in abilene is higher than houston. so i guess i'm wondering if more weight is better?????? or is my fresh air sucking FORD fumes!! :mrgreen:
    i have found out that the elevation at dyess afb is 1789ft on the flightline and im sure houston is really low 25-50ft
     
  17. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    Hey! You guys made the news!

    "Starting tonight, a four-man driving team will attempt to achieve the highest mileage-per-gallon ever recorded in the sporty Toyota Prius: 100 miles per gallon.

    The men -- Dave Bassage of Walton, W.Va., Dan Kroushl of Pittsburgh; Wayne Gerdes of Chicago; and Rick Reece of Greenville, S.C. -- met online in forums and discussion groups for Prius owners. Their shared interest in maximizing their gas mileage led them to devise the experiment that they will conduct this weekend, essentially comprising two steps:

    Step one: Fill up the gas tank of a Prius.

    Step two: Drive nonstop until the gas runs out."

    ""It'll be four middle-aged men spending a hot weekend in Pittsburgh going nowhere -- and calling it fun," said team spokesman Bassage."

    "Bassage, administrator of the office of innovation in West Virginia's Department of Environmental Protection, said that Prius enthusiasts tend to be either "enviros" like himself, whose primary interest in the vehicle arises from environmental concerns, or "techies" like his teammates, who delight in the car's mechanics.

    With oil prices topping $60 per barrel, and gas pumps consistently registering $2.25 a gallon or more, their ranks may soon be swelled by "cheapies" -- people who just want to save money."

    LOL! Cheapies!

    Too bad they didn't identify Priuschat.
     
  18. rflagg

    rflagg Member

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    Ray,

    I know you'll be there in spirit! I'll take as many pictures as I can and post them to Priuschat on Sunday evening when I get back.

    I'm going to get there on Saturday mid afternoon & hopefully be able to stay for the finish of the run on Sunday. I'm hoping to learn just enough to be able to be a little more competitive with you since I'm finally getting in 12.2+ gallons in the tank. Have a good weekend, and good luck for the first ~12 hours of the running for Dan, Dave, and the others!! I'll see you guys tomorrow!

    -m.
     
  19. krousdb

    krousdb NX-74205

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    I'm looking forward to seeing you this weekend rflagg. Do you look like your cat?

    Ray,
    It's not that far to PA from TX. If you start now you might be able to make it for one of the last driving shifts. I will reserve a spot for you in the rotation on Sunday. too bad you can't be here this evening. I need an expert tank filler!

    Dan
     
  20. Danny

    Danny Admin/Founder
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    Hey, Rick's from Greenville! That's my hometown - I should meet up with Rick sometime...
     
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