QOTD: Gas Pump Workaround?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd gas pump workaround

If you’re as paranoid as this writer, chances are your formerly daily driver has long since sailed past its last regularly scheduled fill-up date. The last time any fresh gasoline hit the innards of your author’s high-end motorcar was three and a half weeks ago. The needle’s now resting just north of a quarter tank.


Frankly, it’s cause for concern, as adding useless miles to the odometer has typically served as a mental tonic for yours truly. At the same time, who wants to encounter people or things they’ve touched? That friendly neighborhood gas pump is no longer the welcoming monument it once was (with Doritos, no less). Wouldn’t it be great to drive past it without a care?

“Just give me 20 miles,” I keep thinking, hypermiling my sumptuous Cruze to my favorite running spot roughly 2 miles from home. “20 miles of range I can add at home, keeping that 1.4-liter BEAST in reserve. Why, oh why, did I purchase such a gas pig?!?”

The solution to my problem would be the sudden appearance of a plug-in hybrid in my parking spot. Sure, an electric vehicle would do the trick, and we’ve talked about that before, but a PHEV offers the best of both worlds. I could tool around the Omega Man-like streets of my deserted city, keeping my ICE and gas tank offline until called upon for some sort of emergency (or carefree road trips when borders eventually reopen).

People enjoy choice, but in North America the additional expense, weight, and trade-off in cargo volume (a less common concern nowadays) of PHEVs turns many consumers off. Why not flip the automaker an extra couple of grand for a conventional hybrid, or go all-in with an EV? How else to explain the decline and demise of the Chevrolet Volt?

A vehicle like the Volt (yes, it’s technically a series hybrid, but it works out just the same) would suit me just fine right now. Plenty of plug-in range and a gas generator waiting to fire up should I push it too far. Chances are I wouldn’t have to fill up till summer.

Plug-in hybrids probably aren’t your bag… and that’s okay! But no one likes pumping gas while wearing a t-shirt over their face and plastic bags on their hands, then watching their gas gauge like a cheating spouse. Just for today, put yourself in my mindset. Which PHEV currently on the market (or scheduled to land this year) would get your buy?

[Image: General Motors]

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9 of 79 comments
  • Rudiger Rudiger on Apr 11, 2020

    There are lots of terrific PHEV choices. For a CUV, the Mitsubishi Outlander doesn't have much of an EV range but it 'does' have one ace-in-the-hole: DCFC capability. No other PHEV has that (yet). Now, if the upcoming RAV4 PHEV includes DCFC, it would easily trump the Mitsu. For max hauling capacity, though, it's the Pacifica Hybrid. You can stuff a lot of humans/cargo in one of those without burning any gas for ~34 miles. If a sedan will do, the Honda Clarity has an EV range of 47 miles. And if you don't mind buying used, a second generation Volt, although smaller than the Clarity, has the same range and, unlike the Clarity, is a hatchback. Just make sure to get the top-tier version with the 7.2kWh charger. Charge times of lesser Volts aren't so great.

    • See 5 previous
    • -Nate -Nate on Apr 16, 2020

      @-Nate Yes, the 'free' charging station I was thinking of is always full of Teslas and nothing else . I got a post card in the mail yesterday saying the largest free charging station in the U.S.A. just opened, up on the roof of some building, I dropped that card into the shredder with all my junk, old bills etc. . -Nate

  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Apr 12, 2020

    @SaulTigh: Another grocery store shut down due to COVID. A store in Vaughan Ontario (Northwest suburb of Toronto) closed after 8 more of its workers test positive. This despite the store being closed and sanitized a couple of weeks prior. So much for your assumption/prediction.

    • JimZ JimZ on Apr 12, 2020

      that's what happens when we let people believe that reality is just a matter of opinion. if he doesn't believe any grocery store workers caught it, then no grocery store worker has caught it.

  • Bullnuke It may be awhile before these show up on US shores. The MV Fremantle Highway has just started demo/reconstruction in Rotterdam after the large fire when transporting its last shipment of electric Porsche products.
  • Fie on Fiasler Big, fast and thirsty does not equal good. True luxury is not cobbled together by the UAW.
  • Inside Looking Out I see it as gladiator races - only one survives in virtual world.
  • Crown They need to put the EcoDiesel back in the Grand Cherokee. I have a 2018 and it has been the most reliable vehicle I ever owned. 69,000 miles and only needed tires, and regular oil and fuel filter changes.
  • El scotto Y'all are overthinking this. Find some young hard-charging DA seeking the TV limelight to lock this kid up. Heck, have John Boehner come up from Cincy to help the young DA get his political career going. Better yet, have the young DA spin this as hard as he or she can; I'm the candidate for Law and Order, I defied our go-easy office and leadership to get this identified criminal locked up. Oh this could be spun more than a hyper active kid's top.Now I'd do some consulting work for Little Kings Original Cream Ale and Skyline Chili.