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Old 06-21-2010, 08:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
EV test pilot
bennelson's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oconomowoc, WI, USA
Posts: 4,435

Electric Cycle - '81 Kawasaki KZ440
90 day: 334.6 mpg (US)

S10 - '95 Chevy S10
90 day: 30.48 mpg (US)

Electro-Metro - '96 Ben Nelson's "Electro-Metro"
90 day: 129.81 mpg (US)

The Wife's Car - Plug-in Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
90 day: 78.16 mpg (US)
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Need a big truck to tow? Nope!

This weekend, I attended the MREA Energy Fair.

I drove up there in my Chevy S-10 pickup truck. It's the absolute, no-frills, base model: two-wheel drive, regular cab, short bed, 4-cylinder engine.

I used the truck to tow my Electric Geo Metro, and had my electric motorcycle and camping gear in the bed of the truck. Both electric vehicles run on lead-acid batteries, and neither is a feather-weight.

The thing is, I CAN tow the car AND carry the cycle behind my beater econo-truck. The engine is big enough, the suspension is good enough. Granted, it didn't have great acceleration, and there were hills that I couldn't break 55 while going up, but under normal use, I get better than 30mpg!

While I was at the energy fair, I joked with someone that in my truck, even towing and with all the additional weight, it still got better fuel economy than a Hummer.

But that got me thinking. Did I really? What DID I get for fuel economy?

My truck is a '95, so I can't use a ScanGauge on it. I just have to fill the tank up all the way and divide by the miles on the trip odometer. I seldom actually fill the tank all the way up, because I have a small leak in the tank at the very top of it. Since I knew I was going to have a long out-of-town trip tomorrow anyways, filling the tank all the way up seemed to have merit.

I looked up on Fuel Economy what the EPA rating is on the current Hummer. Turns out that a 2010 H3 is rated at 18 MPG/HWY.
I also looked at a couple of other vehicles that people commonly think are required for towing. The Suburban (two-wheel drive version, let's be fair here) gets 21 MPG/HWY. The most fuel efficient version of "The Truck", the Chevy Silverado, is the 2-wheel drive Silverado Hybrid, which gets 22 MPG/HWY.

So what was my fuel economy with my little truck pulling two extra vehicles?
24.52 MPG.

All jokes aside, I REALLY DID get better gas mileage than a Hummer does all by itself!

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Last edited by bennelson; 06-21-2010 at 08:40 PM.. Reason: typo
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