Saturday, March 6, 2010

Episode 5: Part 2 Hypermiling Techniques

Welcome to episode 5 of the Be Prepared Channel. Today we follow up with our last podcast where we had Part 1 introducing Hypermiling and why this might be a good idea. Today we are going into Part 2 of the 3 part series on the actual technique of hypermiling and how you can begin to see real savings in your commuting and use of a vehicle.

Hypermiling definition from the experts
The Why and How from the Experts

Episode 5 - Part 2 Hypermiling Techniques

Hypermiling Techniques:
- Drive the speed limit or slower if your vehicle performs better at the slower speeds(hint slower is always better)

City driving:
- Inertia is key
- No jack rabbit starts, slow and easy on the throttle, shift briskly through the gears short shifting in that torque sweet spot.
- Once up to speed constantly scan ahead watching for brake lights, watching for traffic lights. Back off early coast as much as possible and try to time the next light or the traffic slowdown. Inertia is your friend don't stop unless you have to.
-- Drive without brakes(DWB), pretend you don't have brakes, so be watching ahead and back off to keep your momentum and avoid using the brakes.
-- Many modern vehicles have a fuel shut off when coasting in gear, so coast as much as you can instead of using neutral
-- Manual transmissions have a big advantage when hypermiling, but even autos can get benefits from using these techniques.
-- Stop and go traffic kill fuel economy. Wasting fuel sitting at lights, and having to get the vehicle back up to speed kills economy.
-- If your unlucky and get to a light just as it turns red it might be in your best interest to turn off your car. Just don't daydream while sitting there, pay attention so that you know when to start the car again and be ready to go.
-- When parking face out so that you don't have to back up, stop, and go forward. When possible try to park facing downward on a slope or hill so less energy is used to start the car moving.

Highway driving:
- Inertia is key, maintain your speed as much as possible avoid the use of brakes.
- Know your vehicle, learn where you get the best fuel economy on the highway. Most vehicles have a sweet spot where they get the best economy and are the most efficient.
-- Cruise control can help you save fuel by maintaining your speed in that sweet spot.
-- Driving with load(DWL) If you get a device like a scangauge/or instant fuel consumption computer output to monitor real time fuel economy you can practice a technique called drive with load(DWL). This is a little more advanced technique where you do not use your cruise, and when approaching a hill you do not try to maintain speed, but try to maintain the engine(ie hold the gas pedal at the exact position it was before starting the hill climb) load up the hill. Stay in the right lanes, only do this when traffic permits, stay out of peoples way. You can save fuel using this method, and remember to coast as much as you can on the down hill segment of the drive.
-- Cautious use of drafting can help, but please use common sense and maintain a safe distance behind vehicles. Large vehicles like semi trucks even some distance back from them provide some benefit, but be careful about riding on the bumper of these vehicles. Do this at your own risk.

Tools to help your hypermiling:
- Scangauge, instant data and feedback as your driving... Know what is going on all the time, learn from it, and adjust your driving... It makes hypermiling like a game!
- Tire pressure gauge

Useful alternatives(smarter use of fuel when you really need it):
- Motorcycle
- Scooters
- Bicycles
- Walking

Helpful sites:
- (for the really wild and crazy stuff)

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