Saturday, October 09, 2010

The Great Prius Game

My roommate was recently bequeathed the family Prius, as his father had purchased a new Toyota Camry hybrid. This afternoon, as we traveled to Mountain View, we discussed the merits of different hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric vehicles, such as the new Nissan Leaf that will be coming out at the end of this year.

As we passed another blue Toyota Prius on the road, I asked if we should wave in a friendly manner. He replied that he used to do so, but now that Priuses were becoming so common, it wasn't really that special to acknowledge each other. I remembered from previous research on a paper that the San Francisco Bay Area apparently has the highest number of Prius/capita in the world.

We started counting the number of other Priuses on the street ... and boy, there were a lot of them. In fact, Toyota recognized that this place would be the most receptive market, and has sold more hybrids here than any other place in the country.

The results of our informal survey?

Distance traveled: 6.3 miles (10.1 km) from apartment to destination. Round-trip 12.6 miles (20.2 km)
Number of Priuses spotted: 59 white, silver, blue, dark blue, red and green vehicles
Total time spent on trip (including time spent at destinations): 65 minutes.
Estimated time driving: 45 minutes.

That's an average of 4.68 Priuses per mile (2.9 vehicles/km) traveled -- you'll spot one every 340 or so meters along the road. Or a Prius every 45 seconds.

Plus, we only started counting after we had driven for about 10 minutes, so we can safely say that we had a conservative estimate. We probably would have seen more than 60 of our Prius friends had we been counting for the first part of our journey. And that doesn't even include the Camry and Honda Insight hybrids also along the way.

Only in California ... Hooray!

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