I don’t know how many of you already know about hypermiling, but this is a term that I needed to find out more about. Hypermiling is a set of techniques to increase fuel efficiency and keep down fuel costs, so naturally I was interested in finding out more. It’s all about learning to adopt certain driving methods to get more miles per gallon of fuel. The technique has been around for some time now, but gas prices being very volatile recently have made is really popular in recent times. According to the hypermiling site, there are six main steps to follow:
1. Always know your gas mileage after every visit to the gas pump. Obviously you can’t improve on something until you know how good or bad it is in the first place.
2. Don’t drive aggressively. Rapid accelerations and frequent braking are really bad for mileage. It would seem that most drivers use the brakes at least 10 to 25 % more than required. To reduce braking, leave a big enough buffer between you and the car in front and don’t accelerate if you see traffic lights coming up. You are also advised to concentrate on driving etiquette and focus on maximum carefulness while driving to see results.
3. Sitting still at intersections / red lights. As soon as you see the red light before you, take your foot off the pedal and remember that idling does not improve your MPG.
4. Avoid traffic congestion. In this very interesting article, William Beatty talks about traffic ‘Waves’ and how to avoid them so that you are not caught in traffic snarls that cause you to stop and go stop and go. It’s about not going with the flow.
5. Accelerate slowly. To get to a certain speed in 3 seconds, it takes more acceleration (fuel) than it would to reach that same speed in 4 seconds. So don’t waste that fuel to save a second, makes sense I think.
6. If you have cruise control, use it. See here, to read about how Cruise control can be used to your advantage.
To discuss tips and techniques with Hypermiling buffs (or just to pick up a few pointers) you could go visit the Hypermiling Forum.