Flutterby™! : hypermilers

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2007-03-19 14:55:01.987289+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

This one's for Diane: Mother Jones: This Guy Can Get 59 MPG in a Plain Old Accord. Beat That, Punk, on the culture of "hypermilers", and getting over 120MPG from a Prius (and 180MPG from an Insight) (I'm now not sure where I got this from, but over at Brainwagon, Mark linked to it).

[ related topics: Sociology Current Events Automobiles ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-03-19 16:42:53.590808+00 by: ebradway

There's a group of VW TDi fans who are into hypermiling as well. The goal there is to get the most miles our of a tank of diesel in a Passat:


The Jetta TDi I had routinely got 40mpg even driving fast (like doing 100+mph between Vegas and San Diego). If I got a little lighter on the gas pedal, I'm sure I could have doubled that.

When I bought the Jetta, I drove the Honda Civic Hybrid. The Civic felt like a tin-can and drove like a slug. The Jetta felt almost like a luxury car and drove like a sports car.

Mileage is a lot more about how you drive and not what you drive - and lightweight + low power can just be uncomfortable and unnecessary...

#Comment Re: made: 2007-03-19 17:25:20.432041+00 by: mvandewettering

I thought that the guy who was the main focus of the article was a bit of a loon. He drives hugging the white line on the right (you know, where trash and abandoned cars live), takes 25 mile an hour offramps at 50+ to avoid losing momentum, and goes around with his A/C off in 90+ degree whether while wearing a jacket packed with ice, and turning off his engine entirely while drafting off 18 wheelers. I'm pretty sure that his "death corner" maneuver is sure to net him some traffic stops and likely some tickets, and I hate tailgaters. Still, fascinating pathology.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-03-19 18:47:34.623733+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, there were a number of techniques in there that were clearly unsafe (although I admit that back in my student days I drove from Chattanooga Tennessee to Ithaca New York for a conference at Cornell, and I believe I averaged in the 50MPG range on a car that I normally got in the low 30s on because of drafting trucks).

But if we could raise consciousness about starts and stops, especially in traffic light heavy areas, and incorporate some of the smarts about engine use as hybrid technologies improve, I think there are ways these guys could help the culture.

On the other hand, most of us probably have a lot more we could reduce in terms of miles driven before we start worrying too hard about squeezing out an extra few percent. And I'm not sure that the dust created by pushing tires hard on curves is going to have less of a health impact than slowing to a safe speed for them.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-03-20 01:03:45.668054+00 by: Larry Burton

I drive a 95 Chevy Silverado Extended Cab that gets just under 18mpg the way I currently drive. Yeah, I think the guy is a loon but he has inspired me. I now have a 46 mile, one way, commute. The truck is paid for and the tags are cheap on it. I don't see the economics in trading it in for something that gets better gas mileage but I'm wondering if I can alter my driving habits enough to get 20mpg out of it on my commute.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-03-20 02:59:15.48781+00 by: ebradway

With a full-size pickup, you're best bet is drafting semis. You don't need to get tight in the zone - just let them break wind for you. It'll easily get you about 20mpg.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-03-22 01:07:56.88874+00 by: Larry Burton

The problem with drafting semis on my commute is that so much of it is inside the perimeter and no through trucks are allowed there. The portion outside of the perimeter is usually so congested that drafting isn't an option.