Through tricky coasting, careful acceleration, and driving without breaking, the “king of the hypermilers” can apparently squeeze 59 MPG out of a non-hybrid Honda Accord and more than 100 MPG from a Toyota Prius.
I read the original article about Gerdes and listened to the interview with him. How does he get such high mileage? Through a series of extreme measures, most of which aren’t appropriate for the average person. He doesn’t use the air conditioning or roll down the windows, even on hot, humid days. He drafts off eighteen-wheelers, riding just a car length or two behind them. He turns off the engine and coasts, when possible. This is anal-retentiveness at its best. (Or worst.) Some of the things Gerdes does are very, very dangerous.
But he does have recommendations for how the average person can conserve fuel, thus saving money on gas.
- Don’t speed.
- Go easy on the brakes.
- Inflate your tires to maximum recommended pressure.
- Never idle. (His rule of thumb is: “If you’re going to be stopped more than seven seconds, turn off the engine.”)
- Know your route so you can time the traffic signals.
- Keep your vehicle as empty as possible. Added weight reduces fuel economy.
- Remove racks and other objects on the outside of your vehicle.
- If you’re comfortable with it (because it is illegal), use a rolling stop.
- In parking lots, don’t use reverse. Pull into a spot so that you’re facing out.
A google search yields a lot more info on Gerdes and on “hypermiling”. Yet another example of extreme personal finance (by which I mean “things that I could never do”) .
[Boing Boing: Mileage hacker Wayne Gerdis]