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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Plug-in Hybrid

The first time I saw a PT cruiser on the freeway, I fell in love with it. It was cute and the size is just right for someone short like me. The seat was high enough for me to see over the hood and to reach the gas and brake pedal. We went to the dealership; test drove the car and took it home the same day. I have spent a great ten years driving my red little cruiser we fondly called “The Bonsai Cruiser”.

This week, we had to make a decision to let go of my first love—The Bonsai Cruiser. High gas prices and repair cost for my aging cruiser were becoming to much for our budget. My husband and I searched online for an electric car. We thought this was the best way to “go green” and be environmental-friendly and cut gasoline expenses in half. With the prices of environmental-friendly automobiles we assumed a monthly car payment would become part of our budget, but the gas savings would balance the car payment budget increase.

There are a couple of electric cars on the market, but we did not feel comfortable driving in an electric car knowing there are a limited number of charging stations around our driving pathways where we live and work. One of the electric cars on the market is advertising 100 miles of drive time on a single charge (which is 24 hours in duration for a 100% charge), but customer reviews mentioned a drive time reduction to approximately 60 total single charge miles if you are using A/C or the Heater. I drive 65 miles a day round trip there are no charging stations close to where I work. Plus, as a professional climate control is very important to me to maintain my appearance. So the idea of a 100% electric car after a lot of analysis and research was ruled out..

One night my husband was searching online and found the Toyota Prius Hybrid Plug-In. What caught his eye first and foremost was the Federal gas mileage sticker on the car shows 95 Miles Per Gallon (MPG). It is equipped with 4.4 kilowatt-hour battery pack that will provide up to 12 all-electric miles after a full charge. What he really liked with the plug-in hybrids is that after the first 12 100% electric miles are used the car seamlessly switches to ECO mode and becomes a conventional hybrid with a 50 MPG both city/highway which is better than most gas cars. The full charge time at 120 volts is 3.5 hours and on a 220 volt outlet it is 1.5 hours. It was important we did not need to recharge or chase power outlets before any return trip. My husband is very particular on car performance, especially when it comes to his wife and kids. As he was test driving the car he gunned the engine to enter the freeway at around 65 Miles Per Hour. Once on the freeway he asked the salesman in the back seat, “How would this car perform if I entered the highway under full electric power?” The salesman calmly replied, “You have been under 100% electric not using a drop of gasoline since you left the dealership lot.” I had this woman’s intuition I would own this car after that comment.

Meet my new friend ... SAM !


  1. hi there Sam! aahhhh this makes me really want to finally re-learn how to drive haha, pretty pretty you as always Chay! :-)

  2. you look so good with Sam, Chay. thanks for sharing your experience with the plug-in hybrid, about the advantage of a hybrid over a 1005 electric car. we travel a lot and one of our concerns about electric car is we may not be able to drive it on our road trips because of lack of places for charging. if we would be limited to city driving, it would kind of defeat the purpose. hopefully there would be a suv electric hybrid with excellent mileage as this one, right now, the suv hybrid specs don't meet our criteria for their mileage is still not very impressive.

    1. ooopsie, sorry, i mean 100% not 1005 :)

  3. hahaha! i echo kulasa. i miss driving! i used to drive my papa's extinct owner-type jeep.
    hi sam! you look as pretty as your boss! :)

  4. Congrats to your new car Chay! :) cute just like the owner ;) i'm sure it will take you in so many places, @ Cher and Kulasa, if you miss driving i have to learn how! so i could drive our car "Kimchi"! hahaha!!! ;)




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