Something I’ve been reading a lot about lately is something called hypermiling. Hypermiling is essentially the art of maintaining a vehicle and driving that vehicle in the most efficient standards. For example, the tires on my car have a maximum pressure of 44 psi. I used to inflate them to about 35 psi – a number I’m not certain how I came about – but have recently inflated them to their max pressure. This will help to reduce the rolling resistance and should increase fuel economy by approximately 10% (according to most articles I’ve read).
I’m also coasting a lot more. I’ve found that my car, even uphill, maintains a pretty steady rate of speed when coasting. This means that I can lay off the gas several blocks before I need to stop which saves a lot of gas on rural streets. On a flat, straight road I’ve let off the gas as far away as 1/8th of a mile before I needed to stop and I hadn’t even dropped 5 mph by the time I got to the stop light/sign! I bet that I could coast for a total of as much as a mile on my 12 mile commute to work.
If what I’ve read is true then these two practices could increase my MPG by as much as 3 miles per gallon. That’s a lot! I usually get an abysmal 17mpg in the car (2007 Dodge Charger) so 20mpg would be a great start to lowering my transportation footprint. I’m really curious to find out just how much of a difference it is going to make. I’ll report back in a week or two to update on the results, and possibly with some additional tips.