The current escalation in fuel prices has been especially hard for mobile professionals. Our business continues to expand throughout So Cal involving greater distances traveled and greater fuel consumption. The replacement of my trusty 2004 Toyota Highlander with the latest in Hybrid technology: 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited with GPS and voice activated map and phone capabilities is ideal for mobile practice in a busy metropolitan area like LA.
I am learning the ropes of EV driving. The Highlander, as do other Hybrids, display the power consumption (and re-charging) on a screen above the GPS. The combustion engine kicks in during acceleration (it has great acceleration with the V6) and as you reach a cruising speed, I coast or barely maintain pressure on the pedal to go EV and stop burning fossil fuel. The EV is great for city driving under 20mph or cruising at 35mph. I cringe when the combustion kicks in. It's a great feedback mechanism to force you to slow down. Being on the go from Malibu to Long Beach, Sylmar to San Gabriel and all points in between I have had to rush and burn fuel getting an average of 15 MPG on the prior Highlander. Now I am in the 23 MPG range. I forcing myself to consider: Do I absolutely have to go so fast? I force myself to relax and cruise in green EV mode as much as possible and cut down on my CO2.
Even though the car is pricey, I feel I am doing what I can for the environment. Thanks to Carson Toyota for the great deal and excellent service!