Making 100 Mpg A Reality

by : Gary Ruplinger

Getting 100mpg can seem like a pipe dream to many, but this is no longer one of those mythical numbers. It's already being done, right now, in vehicles you see on the road today.

For some people, getting 100mpg is as simple as getting a Moped. Sure, there's nothing really magical about a 50cc gasoline engine, but the very lightweight Moped can be great if you live in a city with heavy traffic and a lot of bike lanes (usually a Moped can drive in lanes for bicycles). I have a friend who lives in Boston, and he tells me that his little scooter is the best way to get around town since it can drive on the road like a regular car, and then take bike lanes to get through traffic backups quickly.

But for the rest of us who need an actual car to get somewhere, 100mpg is in a car that can drive on the highway is possible. While they aren't rolling of production lines, a person with a little know-how and some ingenuity can achieve the mythical 100mpg by starting with a car you can get from your dealer right now - a Toyota Prius.

For those who like to tinker, and if you live in an area with a lot of sunlight, you might consider installing a solar panels on your rooftop so that while your car is parked while you're out and about, the electric battery is being recharged. While this isn't the most efficient way to use solar panels (the roof of your house is a much better place for them), on some trips you may be able to hit 100mpg.

Then there's what many would consider the more sensible conversion - taking your current Prius Hybrid and converting it into a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. The conversion will run you in the neighborhood of $5,000-$6,000 if you like to do things yourself or you can have a conversion company do it for you for about $10,000-$12,000.

Converting your Prius to a PHEV can help you hit the 100mpg mark when taking your daily commute since you'll be relying mostly on the electric motors to do all the work. And if you're taking short trips, the gasoline engine may not need to fire at all, which means you've used no gasoline for that trip.

And if you're feeling flush with cash, you live in Southern California, and you want to say goodbye to gasoline forever, you can get yourself a Tesla Roadster ($95,000). This vehicle is 100% electric, requires no gasoline, can do 0-60mpg in 4 seconds (about what a Porsche 911 Turbo can do), and has a range of over 200 miles. This vehicle gets the equivalent of 135 miles per gallon and costs only 2 cents/mile to drive (even the most fuel efficient non hybrid cars cost at least 8 cents/mile to drive)