I hate Priuses. They are ugly, they are slow, and even in the category in which they’re supposed to shine—fuel efficiency—they come up short. They get worse gas mileage than a VW Golf even at the best of times, and if you drive them hard (like in the mountains), it can be as bad as 13 mpg. That’s Suburban territory.
Worse than Priuses, though, are Prius drivers. They have that giant screen in the center console that tells them what kind of gas mileage they’re getting at that exact moment, and no matter who they are when they get in the car, that number seems to mesmerize them. It turns them into hypermilers, trying to squeeze every last mile out of their tank. In order to do that, you have to keep the revs low, which means accelerating slowly, and when that is taken to extremes, it is the most annoying thing that has ever happened. I have personally been stuck behind a Prius at a red light that took over two minutes to accelerate to 60. The other thing that hypermiling requires is to brake as little as possible, in order to maintain momentum. I live in Boulder. I bike a lot. Sometimes, I have to cross at a crosswalk, and the person who tries to jump the yield light and avoid stopping for me is always in a fucking Prius.
For a long time, hybrids have been getting special privileges, like parking places and HOV passes for free, even when they’re not occupied. This only serves to make the average Prius driver even more sanctimonious and douchey, since they’re now being rewarded for being more efficient (theoretically) by being allowed to pass everyone else in traffic. Fuck them and the lithium ion batteries they rode in on.
Well no longer. As of January 1st of next year, hybrid vehicles in California lose their privileges as HOV-exempt. Honestly, they should be happy about this. Priuses are more efficient at lower speeds, so being stuck in traffic is better for them. In fact, the slower they go, the more they rely on battery power, so they should be forced to drive in the slowest lane possible. Like behind a truck or something.
Suck on that, assholes.