Great article and I just knew mileage numbers would be different in real life.
Here's some key numbers and conditions highlighted in bold if you didn't catch them. The entire trips average fuel economy was obviously pulled down by Kelly's poor driving habits...
On day 1 in a completely non-setup SMART over a route including ~ 20% city and 80% highway, she retuned 52.7 mpg over 37 miles per the SG-II
. My non-hypermile trained journalist partner, Kelly Thomas
from the Pioneer Press pulled a 35.9 mpg run over 9.6 miles of 35% highway and 65% city.
On day 2, the Smart allowed a 54.6 mpg run with a 4 mile – 40 minute stop and crawl out of San Jose and an all-highway and unmolested run back into downtown San Francisco.
I was learning Kelly took over for 22.5 miles pulling a 35.6 mpg segment in and amongst the outskirts and into the inner portions of San Francisco
took the opportunity to drive a nightmarish segment taking the SMART through everything downtown San Francisco
had to offer including our final destination, Fisherman’s Wharf. That short segment yielded 43.8 mpg in strictly stop light to stop light, hill climb to descent to climb and repeat “Streets of San Francisco” nightmare while I threw the book at it.
The SMART offered up a respectable 45.5 mpg average over ~ 120 miles
with 1/3 of the driving performed by Kelly and 2/3 by me. This included ~ 1/3 harsh inner city and 2/3 somewhat open Interstate. Between 48 and 58 mph, she would allow 50 – 70 MPG and this is indeed a nice little spot to hold thus making me believe 60 MPG should be achievable by a trained hypermiler with an unmolested suburb/highway commute.
These are VERY encouraging mileage #'s to me and what I would consider *real life scenario* as I mentioned above. So glad to have read this article and thanks for posting it!
Side note: Having just recently visited San Francisco, I can appreciate what the test course held while driving around That steep, hilly city!!!! GREAT mileage for that test course..