In today’s economy everyone is trying to stretch their pennies as far as possible. One group of enthusiasts has taken the idea of s-t-r-e-t-c-h to a whole new level. For these automotive aficionados the goal is to save money at the pump by extending their mpg’s as far as the road will take them.
Meet the Hypermilers: A group of men and women devoted to increasing their automobile’s fuel economy with the use of specific hypermiling techniques designed to improve the overall mileage of a car.
What is hypermiling? You could say that the definition is also the goal: to beat the EPA’s fuel economy figures. And while some hypermiling methods are outright dangerous (AutoNation does not endorse any tip or driving technique that would put any motorist in danger) many of their tips make sense.
Any driver can increase a vehicle’s fuel efficiency, but for the hypermiler the tips and techniques are a driving life style. One tip is to keep focused while you’re driving. Focusing allows you to anticipate your need to brake or accelerate. Since much of your fuel consumption happens when accelerating from a stop, a hypermiler’s objective is to minimize both braking and rapid acceleration. Another tip: plan your driving activity for the day in advance with your eye on finding the shortest distance with the fewest stops. Hypermilers tend to group errands whenever possible, saving time and money. You can also save fuel by shutting the engine off, rather than allowing it to idle while stopped or parked. Also, drivers should be aware of behaviors considered to sap a vehicle’s fuel such as running the air conditioning or driving with the windows down.
Hypermiling has its own language as well. Some common terms:
- FE: fuel economy
- DWL: driving with load
- ICE: internal combustion engine
- PP: potential parking
- SHM: super highway mode
- Smart braking
The ultimate goal of a hypermiler is to get the highest mpgs possible. Edmunds.com did a article on a few hypermiling drivers who were able to achieve some amazing numbers. One driver’s highest record was 78 mpg in a Prius, another expert was able to get his Honda Insight to drive 200 mpg over a 40 mile drive. Keep in mind that any car can get better fuel economy; also noted was a driver who was able to get his ’05 Honda Accord to go 66 mpg and his ’03 Ford Ranger pickup truck to get 85 mpg.
You don’t have to be an extremist to get good gas mileage, but you do have to be devoted to the cause to be a hypermiler. If you’re interested in learning more about hypermiling checkout these sites www.cleanmpg.com and www.hypermilinggastips.com
Let us hear from you. What tips and techniques do you have for extending your car’s mpg?