Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hypermiling - Part One

As the gas prices soar higher and higher, I am finding that I have to rethink how I drive. I am looking into carpooling options, and other ways to save some gas money. I currently can drive to work 4 times on a single tank of gas. This means at least $65 every 4 work days.I heard about something on the radio called Hypermiling. Hypermiling is a method of driving habits that is supposed to really increase your mileage. I decided I want to give it a try.

Some of the techniques are relatively easy to implement, so I am going to give them a try. The first is driving the speed limit. The statistic I read says that for every 5 miles per hour over 50 you lose 10% of your fuel efficiency. Going 70-75 means I lose 20-25% of my efficiency on the freeway. I haven't tested this on the freeway yet, but I have noticed a difference on PCH.

Another gas saver that most of us know, is to not use the A/C. Some go as far as to say that the windows should be rolled up too, but when driving along the ocean it is a shame to keep the windows up. All the same, I have been doing my best to endure the current heat wave without my A/C.

Another thing I noticed that is not in the list of Hypermiling techniques, is turning off the Traction Control on my Taurus. This seems to be having a mild beneficial effect.

Since I started this Tuesday morning, I have already gained .5 miles per gallon according to my car's Average MPG display. .5 times 16 gallons times 4 typical weeks in a month, mean I get an extra 32 miles a month just on the few changes I have made. That is roughly a one-way trip from home to work. I can't wait to see how much further I can take it. Wayne Gerdes, the godfather of hypermiling in a sense, has achieved 128 mpg. I don't think I can get that high, but every little bit helps. I will keep you all posted on my progress over the next few weeks and months.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

According to an expert on automobile mileage who was interviewed on NPR radio this afternoon, the air conditioner is a trade off to the windows being down. According to him, you lose about .5 mpg by using the air conditioner, but you lose the same amount by having the windows open to air drag, so don't feel so guilty about using the air when you're going to roll the windows down anyway.

While he didn't talk about 50 mph, he did say that you gain about 5mpg when you go 55 instead of 60 and 10mpg when you go 55 instead of 75.