Oldster's View

Fight Against Maturity

Hybrid mileage

The subject of hybrid vehicle mileage came up recently in another context and I got to thinking a real world experience might be of interest.

I have had a 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid for just over a year and it has just under 11,000 miles on the odometer. Much of that mileage has been in small town driving in an area of gentle hills directly beside the Columbia River with altitudes varying from 600 feet to about 1200 feet. There have also been two relatively long trips of 1600 and 2500 miles respectively. Additionally there have been three or four trips of 350 to 400 miles.

In town mileage averages right at 28 mpg and highway mileage runs between 32 and 38 mpg. These figures are reversed from the published estimates. Watching the power distribution display reveals the reason why.

In town the Escape runs on fully electric mode only about a quarter of the time and only up to speeds of around 25 mph. This is partially due to the small town and limited length of trips. There is usually not time to fully charge the system to run on electric mode only and any speed above about 23 mph will cause the gasoline engine to start as will any up gradient at all.

The topography is another consideration. A mild to moderate upgrade will cause the gasoline motor to start. The computer then distributes the load between the gasoline and electric motors trying to achieve the optimum balance of power and economy. This is also true with acceleration. Anything more than the gentlest acceleration will start the gasoline engine.

Most of the time both the electric and gasoline motors are working, even at highway speed. The computer continuously monitors power load and adjusts the ratio of electric to gas accordingly. Watching the tachometer is a strange experience at first. At 65 mph the tachometer goes up and down from around 1200 rpm to 1800 rpm, sometimes as low as 1000 rpm on a long downgrade. There is no necessary relationship between vehicle speed and gasoline engine rpm. The tachometer, in fact, will reveal the beginning of a grade change, either up or down, before it can be detected visually as the computer adjusts the power input distribution to maintain the set speed.

I’d be interested in the experiences of others with hybrids, especially the Ford Escape Hybrid.

August 11, 2007 Posted by | Cars | Comments Off on Hybrid mileage

Crunch Time


A steel silo weighing about 15 tons rolled off a flatbed truck in the Vancouver area and landed on top of a parked car.

The incident happened around 2:30 p.m. Friday along the Interstate 205 off-ramp from eastbound SR 14. The steel silo somehow got loose from the semi, rolled down an embankment and then landed on a parked car, crushing it. No one was inside the car, a white Subaru that was sitting on a side street. As it turned out, the owner had parked there to go on a bike ride and when she returned, she could not believe what had happened.

“I was pretty upset when I first saw it,” said Cindy Werner. “I lost another Subaru about six months ago. Somebody stole it and set it on fire. So it’s not been a good year for me and Subarus.”

August 11, 2007 Posted by | accident messes, Cars | Comments Off on Crunch Time

Robbery with style

More at Yahoo! News
A Connecticut woman who traveled in a limousine to a botched bank robbery attempt probably won’t get such swank transportation to her next destination: prison.

Evonne D. Maurice, 22, was sentenced to more than three years in prison Friday for trying to rob a bank at a drive-up window while using a hired limousine as her getaway car.

August 11, 2007 Posted by | Dumb Crook | Comments Off on Robbery with style

Today’s dumb crook

Practice can make perfect. Playing piano, for example. Sometimes it doesn’t. Example: Writing [practice] holdup notes. As a Nassau County woman found out Thursday, it’s not the best thing to have in your purse when professing innocence to a bank heist.

It resulted in Barbara S. Joyner, 59, of Callahan being charged with robbery. She was being held Friday in the Nassau County jail in lieu of $250,000 bail…

Detectives zeroed in on Joyner after some of those at the bank during the holdup identified her from a photo lineup…

A search of the family’s vehicles revealed a notepad with marking similar to those on the note given to the bank teller and inside Joyner’s purse were practice notes written on the same notepad, according to a statement by Sheriff Tommy Seagraves Jr.

August 11, 2007 Posted by | Dumb Crook | Comments Off on Today’s dumb crook