I blame it on The Egg, my Prius hybrid.
Toyota put a heads-up readout on the dashboard that you can set to display your estimated MPG as you drive. It’s like a challenge, and it’s a challenge that I am not too wimpy to back down from.
When I drive, I try to make that readout go as high as I can.
Sometimes, that means some granny-driving. You know: 35 m.p.h. in a 35 m.p.h. zone (because the battery-powered EM mode can get you going that fast). Full stops at stop signs (so the gas motor will cut off). Coasting down hills willy-nilly and braking at speed bumps (it charges the battery array). Slow acceleration to speed rather than jackrabbit starts and anticipating stop signs and red lights by backing off the accelerator immediately (which will improve gas mileage in any car, hybrid or not).
I generally granny-drive on my way to work and on my way home. I take a little-used route through a pleasant housing development with low m.p.h. signage anyway. My route features a nicely-landscaped country club golf course, lots of private gardens, lovely homes, friendly joggers and walkers. I enjoy the drive. I don’t rush. I leave in plenty of time, and I don’t need to rush.
I don’t granny-drive all the time. I don’t granny-drive when there’s traffic pushing from behind. (Oh, all right, maybe the odd Jaguar or Hummer.) And I don’t granny-drive to be obnoxious. (Usually. Hey, there are two lanes, and no center lines!)
I granny-drive to get good mileage. And I succeed!
Coming back to work from lunch today, the readout was 63.5 MPG.