What Will be the Highest Number at the MPG Challenge?

Discussion in 'Events and Gatherings' started by Chuck, Jul 13, 2007.


What Will be the Highest Number at the MPG Challenge? (non-PHEV)

  1. 155mpg

    4 vote(s)
  2. 160mpg

    1 vote(s)
  3. 165mpg

    3 vote(s)
  4. 170mpg

    0 vote(s)
  5. 175mpg

    2 vote(s)
  6. 180mpg

    0 vote(s)
  7. 185mpg

    0 vote(s)
  8. 190mpg

    0 vote(s)
  9. 195mpg

    2 vote(s)
  10. 200mpg or better

    0 vote(s)
  1. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    What Will be the Highest Number at the MPG Challenge?

    Plug-in hybrids, and EV not included in this prediction, although a PHEV will be in the MPG Challenge next Friday in Madison.
  2. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    highest number of what? :p
  3. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Last year Wayne got 150mpg at last year's MPG Challenge at HybridFest (although we believe it was probably around 180).

    What do you think it will be this year?
  4. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    On the Insight marathon, 1.2 liters/100km were the best runs. That's in the 192mpg range (I think).

    That's how I came up with my 195mpg prediction. Variables would be unfamilarity of the course, hills, traffic.......I see the winning range anywhere from 180 to 205mpg.
  5. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    I will also be very interested in the results if a PHEV makes the run and getting the equivalent mpg.
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Chuck:

    ___I think Randall and Billy will be in the solid 110 – 120 range given Eric and Linda have supposedly input 10 miles of raw highway into the course somewhere and are expecting us to hold down an average pf 35 mph on the back roads and 55 mph on the highways. Add in those higher speeds and it will knock out the excellent numbers many achieved last year imho :(

    ___If a PHEV runs, it will easily make it into the 125 – 135 (mpg only) range and maybe even higher because a topped off pack even at highways speeds assist like crazy and 110 at 55 appears to be quite doable.

    ___Good Luck

  7. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    That will definitely change the game plan for sure.

    Last year I got 83mpg and was shooting to get at least 140mpg with the same kind of run.
  8. locutus

    locutus MPG Centurion

    Those 10 highway miles are going to be painful. I'd almost be surprised to see a stock Prius crack 100, an Insight maybe 120-130. (If I can get 100 on a 1/3-highway course I'll be pretty happy.) A fully charged PHEV should be able to do the entire course on EV, no? Maybe except for the highway part given the Prius EV speed limit, but shouldn't a combined 150+ still be possible?

    Huh?? :confused: My average speed (including any stop signs/lights) when driving somewhere through town is almost always 20-23MPH. I hope these aren't 45MPH "back roads".

    It probably sounds like I'm complaining, but I guess I'm confused as to the purpose of the challenge. I consider trip rerouting/highway avoidance to be a highly effective tool in my hypermiler toolbox. As an example, 2 years ago I was taking a regular trip across town 15 miles, mostly highway, and getting maybe 65 in best summer conditions. I have since rerouted it through town, *shortening* it by 3.5 miles, and now I'm regularly getting 100-110.
  9. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    I don't get into minds easily, but would imagine the intent is to make the run more "real world". Whatever it is, I'm imagining it's still a run that would seem easy compared to places like LA, Boston, Chicago, Dallas.
  10. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    I don't follow baseball much, but you could say last year was like playing in a ballpark you could hit home runs, but this year will be a pitcher's park.
  11. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jerad:

    ___I hear you loud and clear and have made my feelings known to Eric early on to no avail.

    ___I remember speaking to both Eric and Linda after the event last year on how the course was so perfect for big numbers we strive for day in and day out. It is the big numbers that attract the media ya know ;) With this years constraints, it is becoming a Tour De Sol kind of thing and that event never received the notoriety it could have given they handcuffed the drivers to such an extent that 90’s in an Insight was about the best you cold hope for. 20% of the people here could do 90 in an Insight in mid-summer just driving back and forth to work let alone in a challenge. I am not sure what Eric and Linda have in store but the 10 miles of highway (I think?) and minimum time limits is not going to let the big numbers be revealed imho?

    ___IIRC, some of the reason for the time limit stuff came about from a Prius driver that took almost 2 hours to complete the 20 miles course last year. He received the 99.9 mpg but the 2 hours over 20 miles did not sit well with the FE Challenge team I guess :( I can certainly understand a reasonable time frame to complete a given course but there are rules and then there are flexible rules.

    ___Finally, you are dead on about alternate route planning. I have a ton of them on my work commute even with an almost 80% highway run that certainly help improve upon my own numbers let alone I am not in a race to get home from work in a given time frame either? Ranger P/U trucks cannot touch 84 mpg on the Interstate to say the least! Either way, I bet Eric and Linda have allowed for some decent numbers no matter what is driven but the blockbuster 150 + Insight and 100 + Prius will probably not be attainable this year?

    ___Good Luck

  12. Sledge

    Sledge I like owls with captions

    IMO time should be a part of the scoring. If someone averages 80 mpg in 30 minutes and another averages 80 MPG in 25 minutes, then the faster car should be scored higher.
  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Sledge:

    ___I care more about minimal fuel consumption at all costs then any times but you know me ;) If there were a tie, that would be great and Dan Kroushl would have taken the Prius II’s class by a long shot last year. However, I will take 150 + in a hundred Insight’s no matter the time then 80 mpg in a single one even if it takes 1/2 the time to finish. If it were a race, it would be called NASCAR :(

    ___Good Luck

  14. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    From the sound of things here, maybe it's better that I wasn't able to compete in the challenge. When I have to go somewhere, I find the most FE friendly route and take it. Avoiding highway travel is a major factor in determining my route. I think they should give a destination and let the driver decide the route. I will still probably try to go through the course unofficially when I get there Saturday morning. If time allows, it would be interesting to go through the course once observing the time limit and then doing it as I naturally would but I will do it my normal way first.;) Anybody want to navigate for me?:D
  15. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    I think that would make for a great FE challenge. What you do is make it a round trip from A to B and back to A by any route available and score on the fewest gallons. That's what I call fun :D .
  16. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    I sometimes even change routes depending on which direction I'm going. For instance, when I go to my bank I take a road that has a traffic light that is always green for me. When I come back, I turn a street early(doesn't have a traffic light) because the traffic light I came through on the way would be red and I would have to stop for it. If I would use this street going, I would have to stop for a stop sign. On other routes the placement of hills makes it better to be going a certain direction over the other. Route planning is more involved than what the average driver realizes.
  17. locutus

    locutus MPG Centurion

    I really like the "get from point A to point B and back with least amount of fuel using any route" idea. It does give an advantage to people who live near said points, but I think if we really did it right we'd have a huge map of not only streets, but speed limits, locations of lights/stop signs, and elevation and give everyone some amount of advance time to plan out their route. This would add route planning into the mix, which a lot of people have already agreed is a big part of achieving maximum FE.

    Some sensible time limit could still be a part of the challenge too... there's a compromise to be had between forcing people to average 40MPH and letting someone win by inching along at an average of 10MPH.
  18. hobbit

    hobbit He who posts articles

    Hmm, I didn't realize until just now this thread was going...
    Constructing an MPG challenge route has got to be one of those
    "can't please everybody" things, for sure. Tour de Sol did
    the "real world" attempt last year, and all the Prius drivers
    took one look at that [and the weather forecast] and just
    gave up. I was the only Prius that did the loop, came back
    with 65.something. The NJ Shore tour thing last month was
    over mostly 55mph "backroads" with large-stone type pavement,
    which was why I had to fight for 70 the whole way. By
    contrast, the gentle float through the Wisconsin countryside
    last year was pleasant, but not what most folks run into on
    a regular basis.
    So what do you do here? Maybe this year Eric et al want to
    lean more toward "real world", try it, and strike some balance
    between that and "perfect" where we can take as long as we
    want to coast through the loop. Opinions on what's "right"
    will be all over the place, and it seems to me that just as
    conditions we meet change all the time, we are best off
    trying to be adaptible, doing the best we can in the
    circumstances, and sucking up the difference. I welcome
    all kinds of driving, and have a reasonable set of expectations
    on what I'm going to see from each, and have some routes
    that take me off the interstate if I want to push a few
    numbers but I'll alternate between those two options as the
    mood strikes. Each will exercise different aspects of the
    overall set of driving skills.
    Maybe the real "challenge" would come by setting up runs
    over 55mph-PSL two-laners and sending out a big pickup
    truck right after each entrant to hound them the entire
    way and refuse to pass. There's real-world for ya.
    Now, with Wayne's coordination of the clinics, hopefully
    some people can indulge in a little of the "perfect" and
    come back with huge numbers, but for the core challenge,
    IMHO, Eric and Linda have possibly leveled the playing
    field a little. I can't fault them for that. The run is
    also longer this year, which is a plus; I still think you
    need a minimum of 50 miles for a true test except that it
    takes longer.
  19. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Hobbit:

    ___I do not really care if it’s all highway, all city, all country whatever, I will drive whatever but leveling the playing field for a challenge by tying our hands behind our backs is like making NASCAR drivers switch cars just before the green flag. A challenge on the same course with the same opportunities for numbers should not be created to appease “This is more real world” but to take the gloves off and push the envelope. As you and I know, 10 mph will never take the best overall FE (PHEV’s not included) but 18 - 23 mph certainly can. If it were not for the course Linda created, none of us would have learned just how kick @$$ the Insight really is. The Insight Marathon would never have happened afterwards either. I pleaded with Insight’ers from all over the world to try the techniques used at the Prius Marathon for over a year prior to Hybridfest 2006 only to be met with skepticism, disbelief and even anger from some in the Insight community. That issue has been laid to rest other then the occasional zealot saying the Marathons were to slow, took to long or were not real world. If anyone travels between 0 and 40 mph, they have driven in an area where hybrids can really sing. They just have to be taught how is all.

    ___A little history …

    ___The 2005 Prius Marathon proved without a doubt that 100 mpg travel from a real world - road worthy 5-passenger sedan was achievable thanks to Dan Kroushl. If we could do it all over again, day shift slots on only the warmest days, a little more aggressive posture so as to achieve the 115 - 130 mpg segments necessary and possibly in a locale like Tonkawa with little in the way of traffic impediments would be mandatory in order to compete with Tedi-Girl’s personal achievement. Why even bother setting up a challenge if the goal is set below what we know has already been achieved?

    ___The 2006 Tour De Sol tied our hands behind our back so severely that it was not real world driving by any stretch other then the fact we drove through Rush hour in Albany and it was raining cats and dogs for half the course. Climbing mountains when the valleys would have worked just fine, running 65 mph limited Interstates when the 45 and 55 mph limited State routes were just as accessible, 2 people in the car, RE92’s at just 44 #’s with no mods, no P&G’ing for anyone other then Prius drivers and no FAS’ing (for the non-Prius’) is not any of our real worlds and especially in an all-out, money is on the line FE challenge. The Prius was out of its element in New York but we all knew that up front. That was the sole reason Dan and I drove Bradlee’s Insight instead of Dan’s Prius-II as there was no way a Prius was going compete with lean-burn capable Insight’s running a course consisting of 75 or so miles of high speed Interstate.

    ___HF2006 … That course was as close to perfect for a Prius-II as one could possibly imagine yet the Insight proved to be in its element at HF2006 as well. The only difference is that none of us including myself knew an Insight was going to pull off a feat not even the most optimistic Insighter could have ever imagined.

    ___With regards to distance, all of us could have circled that course all day long and the outcome would have been the same other then running into that Tornado or whatever that thing was some of us drove through on that last leg? Again, it would not have mattered if it was 10 miles, 50 or a Thousand. Dan would have nailed down 115 + in his Prius-II and the Insight would have pulled 180 for as long as they had gas in them. The vehicles were warm (Jerad, you won’t forget that this year, will you ;)), any Prius’ that mattered had full packs to begin with and all it took was for Bradlee, Bobb or Linda to say hit it.

    ___Skills … I don’t know what else needs to be added here. Our daily grind threads show how we practice and the comps show it in action. When it comes down to a challenge course, you are either running close to 100% or you aren’t in the game. I am screwed if I extended a throttle blip a bit to long or missed a short shift and this is also why there is a spread from top to bottom in any event. This year is going to be the best event of all because the playing field has been leveled with improved skills from any number of the best hypermilers in the world, not because the best were hog tied so as to make the spread a bit less obvious. I only wish Dan could be here for The Hybridfest 2007 FE Challenge given all the great drivers who will be competing this year :(

    ___Final thoughts. What is real world about NASCAR, Formula 1, Indy or the 24 Hours of Le Mans? They are not the real world by any stretch but they certainly attract attention. Audi just surpassed 500,000 in world wide sales for the first half of any year ever last month. Do you think the TDI wins at the 12 hours of Sebring or 24 hours of LeMan’s had anything to do with that? If we are going to convince the public that Hybrids should be the vehicle of choice (we all know they should), then we had better darn well show them some numbers that make their jaws drop. Anything under 100 in a Prius or Insight at an FE challenge is not going to turn as many heads as 115 or 150 + respectively once they learn how a lowly Ranger P/U offered 84 mpg after 20 miles on a route I drive daily. I tried to get my hands on a TCH or 08 FEH for the challenge so as to attempt to achieve a great number in one of those just for the fact that if the public sees those two vehicles achieve over 75 mpg, they might say WTF! WTF draws sales. Mediocrity is at best an afterthought.

    ___Good Luck

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2007
  20. krousdb

    krousdb Defiant NX-74205

    Your history brought back great memories and makes it even more frustrating that I won't be able to attend HF2007.:mad:

    I am dissappointed to hear about the challenge course. I wonder if it is even worth it showing up in a Prius. Hopefully someone will prove me wrong about that.;)

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