Prius Fuel Reports No.19 and 20

Last couple of fill-ups have been rather disappointing.  After a spectacular 4.5l/100km performance, I’m back down to 4.8-4.9.  To make matters worse, on Friday night (#19) I had to pay 155.9¢ for RON 91, which was about 10¢ more per litre than everywhere else.  Not a fun drive with the wind, debris on the road and veering from one edge of the lane to another. I had almost 8 litres left, so I could have driven into Sydney and found much cheaper petrol, but I played it very safe.  The Prius has a 45 litre fuel tank, but it is monitored by a very conservative Distance to Empty (DTE) readout.  I once drove 35km after the DTE read 0km and I still had more then 5L left.

(My previous cars had very accurate DTE; I once put 54.75L into a 55L tank when the DTE read 3km!)

I passed through Bankstown at after 22:00 and was briefly caught between jubilant Bulldogs supporters waving flags out their windows and hooning about a bit.  Far less threatening than the mayhem I had driven through to get to that point.

# Date km Litres L/100km Price City % Notes
20 9/09/12 737.1 35.19 4.8 1.497 10% Canberra, Sydney, Newcastle return. Very windy conditions. Difficult to keep a straight line. A tailwind would have been nice!
19 7/09/12 764.9 37.19 4.9 1.559 10% Very windy conditions. Car tossed about and difficult to maintain steady speed.
18 19/08/12 824.0 37.34 4.5 1.439 30% Mostly a Canberra to Sydney return trip with an extra lap of Sydney driving in heavy traffic. Generally warm weather, but a very strong cross wind.Finally cracked 4.5l/100km on a tank.

Tank #20 was from Sutton Forest, Sydney, Newcastle, Sydney and back to Canberra.  The F3 Sydney to Newcastle is very mountainous.   IMO there are more steep hills on the F3 than the Hume/Federal Highways from Sydney to Canberra, despite being 1/3 of the distance.  You ultimately do more climbing to reach Canberra at 600m ASL, but it is more gradual and only 3-4 hills require digging deep. On the F3 abundant flat sections are punctuated by steep hills; especially around the Hawkesbury River.  I was braking lightly and still accelerating on downhill sections; the charge I gained was quickly used climbing back up again. As mentioned in my comments, it was very windy from Friday until late Sunday.  It was hard to keep the car within the lane and this no doubt affected fuel consumption.  And the fact that I was in somewhat of a hurry… maybe that had something to do with it.



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