Have you heard of “Hypermiling”?
Fuel efficiency is becoming more and more of a priority as petrol prices dip and explode from week to week, but what if you could shave a few inches off your monthly fuel bill, just by changing some of your driving habits?
You’re probably thinking that the difference would be minimal at most, but Wayne Gerdes of the United States has proven otherwise, achieving over 100 kilometres per litre on a 25km drive. Gerdes is a hypermiler – this is the name for people who are dedicated to getting more than their money’s worth out of every last drop of fuel. And you can do it too!
Unfortunately, there is a lot of controversy surrounding hypermiling techniques, as some of them may be illegal or downright dangerous. No amount of fuel savings is worth risking your life for, which is why we’ve rounded up a few safe hypermiling techniques you can try:
Your car uses far less fuel when it’s cruising at a constant speed than when you’re accelerating. So get strategic about your driving! Stick to the highway where possible, so that stopping at traffic lights and subsequently needing to speed up is not an issue. Otherwise slow down when approaching a red light, so that when it turns green, you won’t have to accelerate as much as you would if you had raced up to the light only to come to a complete stop.
As you know, your car’s air conditioner can eat through your fuel pretty quickly, which is probably why you drive with your window rolled down instead. Good thinking… unless you’re on the highway. The air rushing through your windows will create resistance, which means your car will have to work extra hard to keep moving at the same speed. Rather cycle your air conditioner on and off to cool down the car.
The constant stop and go of a traffic jam is one of the worst fuel sucks there is. Rather pull over and turn off your engine until the traffic clears. In fact, rather turn off your car in any situation where you are going to be stationary for more than a minute or two.
Hypermiling is not the only way to save fuel, of course. Keeping fuel economy in mind when buying a car could go a long way to reducing your costs. For example, Tata acquired a patent earlier this year for developing an auto start-stop system to be used in its future manual transmission offerings. This will go a long way to cutting your fuel costs – and with absolutely no effort necessary from you!