My Mileage Can Beat Your Mileage!

Harnessing Americans’ competitiveness to save the planet

| July / August 2003

I just drove 459 miles round trip to speak at an environmental conference. I could probably report all the wise things that people had to say during the weekend’s proceedings, but instead I want to boast: 60.9! That’s how many miles per gallon I got coming and going.

That’s thanks to my new Honda Civic hybrid, of course—a car indistinguishable in appearance from all the millions of other Honda Civics, except that it almost never stops at gas stations. But to me the niftiest thing about the car is not its four-cylinder engine, or its trunk-mounted battery pack, or its regenerative braking that charges those batteries every time I put on the brake. It’s the gauge that lets me know exactly how many miles I am getting per gallon.