Hypermiling (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the pump)

Hypermiling – the latest buzz word on the green motoring circuit – is not, as you might think, some crazy Star Trek inspired commuting technique, but it is, in fact a way to ensure that drivers get maximum fuel efficiency whilst driving, thereby lessening the effect on the wallet of rampant oil price increases, and helping save the planet at the same time.

The slighty controversial techniques are already gaining a huge following in the USA, and are now starting to creep into Europe, with many followers boasting of meeting and even exceeding the usually unattainable advertised miles per gallon of their vehicle of choice. Serious proponents of the art have gained almost unbelievable results, as is the case with Bill Kinney, who at Hybridfest 2007 gained an average of 168mpg from his Honda Insight Hybrid, which has an advertised fuel economy of 84mpg.

Whilst there are many hypermiling techniques, the key to them all is ensuring that every drop of fuel is used efficiently, and none is wasted. The basics include: Coasting to a stop rather than braking, slow acceleration and braking, driving at a maximum of 55mph, killing the air-conditioning and keeping the windows closed. All of these go some way towards enjoying the near mystical efficiencies reported, but it is the more controversial techniques such as pulse and glide, drafting and forced stop which have attracted criticism.

Here at How Ethical we can’t help but be intrigued by this… whether we’ll try it or not we don’t know, but it certainly makes you think about petrol consumption and how your driving habits affect the amount you spend on fuel. If you do decide to give it a try, why not drop us a line and let us know your results?

For more information on hypermiling, visit http://www.hypermiling.com

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