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A Year of Driving

July 14, 2009 Car Sharing, Economy, Environment, Scooters 2 Comments

A year ago today I bought my first post-stroke tank of gas. The 9 months prior to my stroke I did not have a car — my motorized transportation was a 49cc Honda Metropolitan scooter that got around 90 miles per gallon.  A year ago I felt guilty about going back to driving a car. I’m over the guilt although I want to, someday, go back to not having a car.

So the day I buy gas for the first time in nearly six months just happens to have been the day gas prices peaked in St. Louis.  I paid $3.979/gallon for basic unleaded. By December 30th I paid a low of $1.339/gallon – a 66% drop. I tracked each fuel purchase and my mpg on an application on my iPhone:

Cold winters and recent a/c use took a toll on my average MPG.  My last fill-up was on a return trip from Chicago – 70mph with a/c.  Pretty good numbers.

During the year I drove 7,200 miles which included a trip to Oklahoma and the recent one to Chicago.  Take out those two road trips and I drove about 5,500 miles around town.  Admittedly I have a big advantage of working from home.  But I also have a compact life shopping locally as well as combining trips. Even as the price of gas dropped I continued to conserve.

The above chart shows the price per gallon that I paid over the last year.  Yes, I’m a nerd by charting this but I’m a visual person.  As we seen the price per gallon has steadily increased in 2009.  It is still a long way from where it was a year ago – the climb up is much slower than the drop off.  But the prices from last summer will return at some point.  There will be a point in a year or two where $4/gallon seems low.

By the end of 2010 I hope to have another scooter — perhaps a hybrid or all-electric scooter.  Like before, I’ll go a couple of years having a car and a scooter before going to scooter-only.  This time I will be able to join Enterprise’s WeCar car-sharing program for those times when I need/want a car.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Chris says:

    What iphone app is that?

    [slp – AccuFuel]

  2. bryan says:

    Unless you spend a ton of money, you’ll likely be disappointed in acceleration and your ability to get out of the way of “cagers” with an electric scooter. If you go that route, I’d consider an electric bicycle instead. Your metropolitan with a four-cycle engine was a fantastic choice, and its environmental foot print is relatively tiny.


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