Alberta & BC Rockies What Is HyperMiling
"Hypermiling" was coined by Wayne Gerdes, and describe how to drive in order to exceed their vehicle's EPA fuel economy rating. This manner of driving can often reach the fuel economy of driving an equivalent hybrid vehicle. Hypermilers driving their hybrids have been able to exceed 100 MPG. Many basic hypermiling techniques actually make you a better driver, though some more advanced techniques may actually be illegal in some jurisdictions. Being aware o fyour surroundings and other traffic is key to safe hypermiling.
In 2008, the EPA ratings have been lowered for many vehicles. This means that achieving 40% above the 2008 ratings is no harder than achieving 20% over the ratings prior to 2008. Many dedicated hypermilers often achieve 50% above the posted EPA mileage figures.
Getting your vehicle ready
- Remove Cargo or cargo racks. Cargo and/or roof racks on top of your vehicle increase aerodynamic drag and lower FE. Vehicles are not tested with additional cargo on the exterior.
- Do not carry cargo or tow a trailer unless absolutely necessary. The EPA tests assume 300 pounds (140 kg) of passenger and cargo weight. Towing a trailer or carrying excessive weight decreases fuel economy.
- Turn off unnecessary mechanical and electrical accessories. For example, operating the air conditioner on "max" reduces mileage between 5 and 30%.
- Maintain your Automobile. A poorly tuned engine burns more fuel, and fueleconmy is lowered with mproperly aligned or under inflated tire, a dirty air filter, or dragging brakes.
- Cold weather and frequent short trips. reduce fuel economy, since car engines don't operate efficiently until warmed up. Letting your car idle to warm-up actually uses more fuel and creates more pollution. In cold weather, start multi-stop trips with short hops, so the car is warmed up for the longer drive segments.
- Engines Need to be Broken-In. New vehicles will not obtain their optimal fuel economy for 3 to 5 thousand miles.
- Buy high BTU content gasoline if available. Oxygenated fuels or reformulated gasoline (RFG), can l decrease fuel economy 1-3%. Gasoline's energy content, with conventional gasoline containing about 1.7% more energy in summer than in winter.
- Buy the right oil. Use the oil with the lowest kinematic viscosity but within the band of your automobiles lubrication requirements.
- Avoid driving at higher speeds. Aerodynamic drag (wind resistance) and mechanical friction increases disproportionally, reducing fuel economy. The EPA accounts for aerodynamic drag at highway speeds of 60 mph (100 km/h), but higher speeds are largely unnecessary.
- Choose your routes. When choosing between a 100 km/h limited high speed route or a 70 km/h mph limited route with some lights, the slower route will improve your fuel economy.
- Do not accelerate quickly or brake heavily. This reduces fuel economy by as much as 33 percent at highway speeds and 5 percent around town. EPA tests do not account for this kind of vigorous driving.
- Do not idle needlessly. The EPA city levels factor in idling. Consider shutting down your vehicle if stopped for more than 7-seconds. That's how much fuel is used to restart a modern fuel-injection engine.
- Drive as level as possible. Driving in hilly or mountainous terrain, or on unpaved roads, will reduce fuel economy most of the time. EPA tests are performed on flat ground.
- Avoid 4-wheel drive. This reduces fuel economy by making the engine work harder and increases crankcase losses. EPA tests four-wheel drive vehicles in 2-wheel drive mode.
- Plan several lights ahead to anticipate traffi. Scan the road ahead for traffic and terrain conditions ahead.
- Drive in the right hand lane. On a highway, this minimizes the amount of lane changing needed, and allows travel at a lower rate of speed than the left hand lane. On a roadway, less stoppages for vehicles attempting left turns against on-coming traffic.
- Take the High Road. In rainy weather, the center crown or ridge will have the least depth of water to plow though as will the right or left edges of your lane.
- Park High. When entering a parking lot of any description, seek out the highest spot. Use gravity to slow you to a stop, and use the downhill slope to accelerate when you start up again.
- Park face-out. This improves visibility & safety, and improves fuel economy by minimizing the need to reverse out of a parking spot and re-accelerate forward (unless you plan to load your trunk).
For more advanced techniques, see the Hypermiling website/blog