Man Takes the Hellish Hybrid Challenge - NBC4 Washington

Man Takes the Hellish Hybrid Challenge

11 gallons of gas, one Toyota Prius, and 11 days to go from Florida to D.C.

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    Man Takes the Hellish Hybrid Challenge
    Expect all hybrid hell to break lose if a Toyota Prius can make it to DC on 11 gallons of gas from Florida.

    From the land of eco-friendly and too much time on his hands, we bring you Rick Kearney.

    On Monday, Kearney embarked on a journey to end all journeys when he hopped into his electric hybrid Toyota Prius and headed for the nation's capital, vowing to make it to DC in 11 days on just 11 gallons of gas. We're not sure if he is only taking $11 or the significance of the number 11, but it would be a pretty neat accomplishment if the little Prius that could can make it all the way to Obamaland without guzzling hordes of gas.

    The eco-challenge is more than a publicity stunt and marketing ploy for Toyota to push the pint-sized Prius. It may be a sign of things to come on Florida roads and highways everywhere.

    Gas pumps are sucking wallets dry like mosquitoes after a good rain. Last year, when prices went soaring into the strotosphere, Prius sales jumped in Florida. Prices are slowly starting to climb now, which might start a similar run to dealerships offering relief in the form of hybrids.

    But what may be even more troubling is the trend that may run rampant on the roads if Kearney actually completes the 1,100 mile trek to DC. In order to make it to Washington as planned, Kearney will have to drive about 30 to 35 mph. Can you imagine the frenzy that would start if people realized they could save at the pump if they just drove slower (and drive a hybrid of course)? You'd never get to work on time.

    Kearney will try to avoid being sabotaged by fast drivers on his route by taking back roads and plastering his hatchback with "Save your horn. Drive around me" bumper stickers. He hopes to be able to recharge the car's battery at local restaurants and other establishments he comes upon along the way.

    We expect Kearney to make it to DC around the time Toyota releases its Jetson-inspired bubble hover car model, but what do we know.

    Eco-godspeed, sir.