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Wednesday, 05 November 2008 20:22

Everybody can improve gas mileage by hypermiling

Whether you drive a gas-guzzling SUV or a green-running hybrid, you can increase your car’s gas mileage by making conscious but simple and effective improvements in the way you drive. Become a hypermiler!

Hypermiling is a term that refers to a set of driving techniques that maximize fuel economy (and minimize fuel waste) and, thus, saves you money at the gasoline pump.

The May 9, 2006 CNN article “Take it slow and save big on gas” talks about saving extra fuel and therefore money by changing your driving style.

It is talking about hypermiling.

The CNN article states, “You can get 35 percent better fuel mileage out of your current vehicle by using a device most drivers already have….That would be your right foot.”

The article says that for big gains in fuel savings, you need to lay off the accelerator.

CNN states, “Accelerating more slowly away from green lights and stopping more gradually for red lights cut fuel consumption in Edmunds.com's tests by 35.4 percent for the Land Rover and 27.1 percent for the Mustang.”

Introduce yourself to the concept of hypermiling with this CNN discussion.

Page two continues with additional tips to save money and gasoline.

Using the cruise control, it another good way that CNN says you can improve your gas mileage.

Wayne Gerdes is considered to be the person that first used the term “hypermiler.” He gets some of the best fuel savings in North America by using hypermiling techniques.

According to the January/February 2007 Mother Jones article “This Guy Can Get 59 MPG in a Plain Old Accord. Beat That, Punk,” he has gotten 30 miles per gallon (mpg) in an Acura MDX and 59 mpg in a Honda Accord.

The author states, “I first see his technique as the car he's driving, a 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid, pulls over to pick me up. Drifts over, actually, like a jellyfish. Around Wayne is madness in motion: Drivers in four lanes are accelerating hard, weaving erratically, or grinding to a halt. To Wayne, these are the driving habits of the ignorant and the wasteful—which is to say, nearly all of us. Wayne's car glides to a stop as if it has run out of gas. Wayne has stopped without braking.”

The website Hypermiling.com states six ways to improve gas mileagle. They are:

  • Always know you gas mileage
  • Don’t drive aggressively
  • Minimize the time spent stopped at red lights
  • Keep moving in congested traffic
  • Slowly accelerate after stopping
  • Use your cruise control

Read more about these energy saving tips at the Hypermiling website.

The New Scientist article “How to get extreme milage from ordinary cars” interviews Jack Martin, another hypermiler. He is asked the question, “Hypermilers have a reputation for going very slowly to save fuel. Is this accurate?”

Martin answers, “We’re not the slowest people on the road; we’re typically the ones going at the speed limit. When a vehicle goes by, you feel it initially suck on you a little bit and then push you. If you’re sensitive to that, you can work it, like a porpoise riding the waves crated by a boat. You start looking at it as energy around you. And it’s nonsensical to try to be too slow because then you’re just fighting that wall of air as it goes past you.”

Page three concludes the story.

The Christian Science Monitor provides tips for efficient use of your car at “‘Hypermiler’ driving tips

Probably its two most important tips are:

Don’t idle your car—that’s zero miles per gallon

Don’t drive above the speed limit--that's more air resistance for your car and less money in your pocket
To summarize, some of the ways you can save money and gasoline (and be a better and safer driver) are to:

Do not drive at excessive speeds

Ease up on the brake and coast as much as possible to stop signs and lights

Use your cruise control to maintain a steady speed

Avoid weaving in and out of traffic

Do not idle your car (you are maximizing your fuel loss and minimizing your distance traveled)

Concentrate on your driving and not on your cell phone conversations or other wasteful and dangerous habits.
Jack Martin summarizes why he is a hypermiler when he states, "I've always thought thtat the most timely thing we could do is to develop new behaviours that we could use now. We have cut a million barrels of oil out of demand in the U.S. since April [2008] because people are not going out as much. If we could just average around 50 miles per gallon (4.7 l/100km), we could cut oil usage in half."

For more information on hypermiling, check out: http://www.cleanmpg.com/.


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