Monday, July 7, 2008

Hypermiling: Driving to Maximise Fuel Economy

You probably assumed that the painfully slow car in front of you, inching toward the glowing red stoplight a half-mile away, was another distracted driver talking on his cell phone. Impatiently waiting while he coasted along, you had no idea that you were stuck behind a "hypermiler."

Just what is a hypermiler?

Hypermilers are drivers of both hybrid cars and regular vehicles who go to extraordinary lengths to get as much as they can from each gallon of gasoline, trying to surpass the EPA's estimated fuel economy ratings...

The actual practice of hypermiling likely dates back to World War II gas rationing; in fact, during the fuel crisis of the 1970s, Reader's Digest published a guide for consumers that included many techniques now commonly used in hypermiling. Today, however, hypermilers are not only more serious about their craft; they also rely heavily on new technology to achieve such astounding fuel economy...

Read more
Here's another hypermiler article which proves that you don't need a hybrid to achieve very high gas mileage!

How do I start hypermiling, and how much can I save?


squire said...

Very good article. My little s-10 ex-cab pickup gets about 30mpg but can easily drop to 25mpg if I don't keep an eye on my driving, that is like the difference of paying $3.75 compared to $3.00 a gallon for gas.

Tracy said...

Pickup trucks especially respond to driving slower, because of their poor aerodynamics.
I have a Dodge pickup with a Cummins diesel engine; and I have heard of people getting as low as 10 mpg from those, or as high as 30 mpg. 30 mpg is pretty good for a 3/4 ton pickup. It's what I'm striving for.

Nan said...

I read that hypermilers article in Mother Jones last year. I remember thinking at the time that those people were insane. Trying to improve gas mileage is one thing, but taking it to the extremes those folks do comes close to qualifying as suicidal.

Best mileage I ever got with a vehicle was with an 82 Datsun 200SX. With its original engine it did 40 mpg easily. Every pickup has been a gas hog -- shape and weight definitely mitigate against trucks -- but we didn't get the trucks we've owned based on their fuel economy; we got them because we wanted to be able to haul stuff ranging from hay bales to sheet rock.

Tracy said...

Most pickups are gas hogs, but they don't have to be. I had a '72 Dodge 1/2 ton pickup with a 318 and 3-speed that got 18 mpg as long as I kept the speed below 60 mph; and a friend of mine had a similar truck with a 225 slant six and overdrive 4 speed that did about 21 mpg. I've heard of Chevy pickups with the 6.2 diesel getting 30 mpg, and even gas 350 v8s over 20 mpg. This is not hypermiling either, just keeping the speed down.
Most pickups won't do that, but they can be made to do so with a few tweaks.