Driving hybrids through the snow
24 December 2009 10:41
Working from home as I write this. Woke, like much of the country, to a white-out. No problem, I was sensible enough to park the Toyota Prius on the main road last night. Here’s a picture of it, under its snowy blanket. Glad I parked it there because the short and gently shelving cul-de-sac that gives access to my driveway soon became an ice-rink thanks to idiot drivers spinning their wheels (no, not the neighbours but visitors to the village butchers, using our street as a turning area). Had to give three cars a shove while I was digging out the Prius.
And it started beautifully. It had me worried for a moment, mind. I’d left my freshly charged mobile phone in there overnight, by mistake. Opened up the Prius this morning and the phone was dead. Seems lithium ion batteries don’t like the cold. But the Prius shrugged off the weather, petrol-firing itself from slumber, clearing screens with decent air-con heat within a minute. Winter poses no problem for this hybrid.
So why am I working from home then? Simple. All those idiot drivers who just don’t understand about driving in snow have made it pointless for me even to attempt the journey. Local radio and the internet tell me that the most direct route through East Northamptonshire to Peterborough is still at a standstill; there’s been a crash at Brampton Hut so I can’t use the A14/A1, and my only other main road alternative via Corby is knackered too.
There’s probably a route I could negotiate via the intricate network of country lanes, but while the Prius is as reliable as a Dualit toaster and just as warm inside, it’s no Land Rover Defender. The snow’s started falling again. And I’m no idiot.