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Milestone, III

December 29, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s December 29, which means it’s time for the annual review here at Ron’s View of how much I’ve driven my car in the last year. I don’t imagine anyone besides me finds this all that interesting. Nonetheless, I enjoy doing the analysis, and writing a post about it allows me to record the data in a convenient place. Come along for the ride if you wish.

The significance of December 29 is that it’s the day I bought the car, five years ago. My first milestone post was written three years later. In it, I observed that “the odometer reads 11,640. Dividing by 3, we find that I have averaged 3880 miles per year. And dividing that by 12, we find that I average 323 1/3 miles per month.” I then noted that in the car’s early days, I made three round trips to Vancouver, BC, on University business for a total of about 900 miles. “Subtracting 900 from the total, I find that I’ve done 10,740 miles of driving over three years, or 3580 per year, or 298 1/3 miles per month. That’s more like it.”

In last year’s milestone post, I discovered that my driving was down. The odometer was at 14,908, meaning I had “driven the car 3268 miles this year, for an average of only 272 1/3 miles per month, or a fraction over 9 miles a day. Averaging over the car’s four years, I have driven 3727 miles per year, or about 310 1/2 miles per month, or about 10 1/3 miles a day. If I deduct the 900 miles of driving to Vancouver and back, I bring the daily average over four years down to about 9 3/4 miles.”

This year, I drove more. My odometer now reads 18,601. (I didn’t want that extra mile. It’s only there because we took Emma to the vet this afternoon and had to return the long way to avoid traffic.) The beauty of 18,600 (let’s just say that’s my total) is that when you divide by 5 you get an average of 3720 miles per year, and when you divide that by 12, you get the nice round number of 310 miles of driving per month on average over the five years that I’ve owned the car. As you can see, that’s about where the average was a year ago, meaning it’s been an average year.

Digging a little deeper, I actually drove 3693 miles this past year, an increase of 425 miles over last year. It’s not hard to find the source of the increase. Gail knew instantly when I asked her to guess: our Memorial Day weekend trip to Portland. Take that away and our mileage in years four and five would have been nearly identical.

Thus, Portland trip aside, I’m still driving less than 10 miles a day. My largest drive in any given month often is a trip to the airport and back. As I concluded last year, I’m a strong candidate for an all-electric car. It won’t get us to Portland, at least not until I-5 has charging stations, but it will do everything else I need it to do.

What do you know? I just did a search on I-5 charging stations and discovered that there was an announcement just yesterday. They’re coming soon! There’s coverage in today’s Seattle Times, but on an inside page, so I had missed it. Still, 30-minute charges every 60 miles doesn’t sound all that attractive.

The real problem is, my car is going to last forever at the rate that I’m driving it. I’m not prepared to let it go just yet. The electric car will have to wait a few more years, by which time there should be a better charging infrastructure and better mileage between charges.

Categories: Automobiles
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