In order to travel for a meeting in Capitola (near Santa Cruz) I was forced to rent a car. For the first hour and a half, I was ensnared in a ‘we’ll pick you up’ runaround fiasco (before you loose the legal pit-bulls, Enterprise Rent-A-car, let me sure you it worked out for the best) whereupon I finally ended up at the airport location, under the customer care of Kristopher Boudreau. Earlier, upon booking, I had been told they had no hybrid vehicles available. But as luck (and my considerable delay) would have it, a sleek charcoal grey Prius had just been dropped off. Kris was almost as excited about the Sustainable Road Trip as I was.

Let the Sustainable Road Trip continue… at 57.2 mpg.
The first thing I had to do was consult the owners manual for starting instructions. (Hold brake, insert square plastic ‘key’ and press power button) From there it was a bit like driving an electric golf cart with a gas motor that would randomly fire up. As soon as I figured out the big central touch screen, (which features a selectable readout of everything from climate control to climate-saving mileage) I was hooked on exacting as much economy as I could out of this sleek future-mobile. Numerous pick-up trucks and BMW’s cursed me as I drifted along at 55mph, one eye glued to the mileage readout. I averaged 57.2 miles-per-US-gallon over an 82-mile, mostly highway trip.

SUV’s for sale cheap.
In Capitola, one of my associates told me that dealerships were only offering $2500 – $3000 for gas-guzzling SUV’s on trade-in. A harsh wake-up for those who paid $30 – $40K and still owe $15,000.


One in a series of articles on Lorne’s Sustainable Journey to the Sustainable Brands 08 Conference in Monterey CA. Click here for the full list of sessions, or here for the ‘Fear & Loathing’ road trip journals.

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