It’s My Car-iversary!

One year ago today, I picked up my beautiful baby Smart carSmart car from the dealership!

In that time I have:

  • driven 22,000+ km
  • spent $1699.77 on gas

This is pretty close to what I estimated for the one year mark when I hit the 10,000 km mark back in October.

It works out to about 7.5 cents per km – and that’s buying the 91 octane gas, as opposed to the cheap stuff.  I know all this because I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet to track my driving & fuel costs1.  I wanted to see if my car actually gets the advertised mileage of 5.4 L/100km2.  I’m getting a mileage of 6.2 L/100 km3, which is quite different from the 5.9 L /100 km I was getting at the 10,000 km mark4

Happy Birthday, Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car!

  1. I heart spreadsheets []
  2. or 43.6 mpg for Americans and Kalev []
  3. or 37.3 mpg []
  4. I have no idea why this is.  Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? []

2 Replies to “It’s My Car-iversary!”

  1. “for Americans and Kalev”: yeah, because measuring how much fuel per HUNDRED km makes so much sense. Why not per 50? Per 10? Per, oh I don’t know, 1? Oh right, because DECIMALS are SCAWY!!! It makes far more sense (barring the use of Imperial units) to talk in terms of bigger being better, so the higher your MPG, the better the efficiency of your car, as opposed to L/100km, where the smaller your L/100km, the more efficient your car. Plus we’re dealing with fuel tanks with fixed capacities, so it’s simple multiplication to figure out how far you can go: q fuel units X r distance/fuel capacity = your range. When you think about gas, do you think about it in terms of 100km chunks? I suspect not. We think about how much it costs to fill up our cars and how far we can get on that fixed amount of fuel. So fuel per set distance is stupid.

    I’m not sure a 5% difference is necessarily “quite different” but my first thought was that when you were in Vancouver, you were doing a lot more highway driving, and from my limited-yet-shocking-given-that-I-have-never-driven knowledge of driving and cars, highway driving results in more efficient gasoline consumption, yes? So that’s my best guess, along with the notion that I expect most machines get less efficient as time goes on.

  2. I don’t think about gas in terms of how far I go on a tank of gas, because I don’t fill it up and then drive until it’s all used. So I don’t think about how much it cost to “fill up my car” – it costs a different amount every time (even beyond gas prices being slightly different) because one time my tank is 1/2 full when I fill it up, another time it’s 1/4 full, etc. In fact, I have no idea what the capacity of my tank is. I find amount of fuel per distance useful because I know how much gas costs per L and I know how far 100 km (e.g., gas costs about $1.25/L (for the 91 octane stuff I buy) and 100 km is about the distance from Vancouver to Chilliwack). Which makes way more sense to me that miles per gallon because I don’t think of distance in miles and we don’t pay for gas in gallons – those measures are meaningless to me.

    I also disagree about thinking “bigger is better” – when I think of efficiency, I think less is better. If it takes less gas to go a given distance, then it’s more efficient.

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