Observations from my two weeks in Ecuador visiting by Bro and his family and checking on our cloudforest-reforestation carbon offset projects.
Increased GNP and growing personal incomes from exports of relatively high priced natural resource over the past 6 years (mainly heavy crude from the Amazon) coupled with heavily subsidized retail prices of refined products of said crude--to the extent that the government imports at a large loss high octane gasoline due to lack of refining infrastructure (until the Chavez - Correa Refinery of the Americas is completed just south of the recently made former US military base in the coastal city of Manta)
--and ubiquitous road building and resurfacing projects has resulted in a huge increase in automobile ownership in Ecuador.
That's $1 US buck (Ecuador Dollarized in 2000) for one US gallon of diesel -- $2 bucks for premium gasoline.
Needless to say, with petrol driving the economy and prices low at the pump the concept of hypermiling in the popular culture and among the newly and increasingly prosperous segment of the population runs straight into a cultural brick wall. Thought I felt like a geek here
. Although I have no direct knowledge, I suspect working vehicle owner/operators and the not quite middle class know a thing or two about economizing their fuel consumption.
Prius C advertized as sporty -- I found no mention of FE for any model in any form of advertising.
Yes a Prius C -- in an absurdist bit of governmental greenwashing (not that any of that happens here in the us
) for about a 6 months early in Correa's administration the tariff on hybrids was reduced to bring them to parity with their non-electrified stablemates. Especially in the capitol city of Quito Prius, h-Camry, h-Escape, and h-Highlander sightings were surprisingly common.
later...my attempts to h-mile.