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Hypermiling update

Posted by admin on Aug 21st, 2008
Aug 21

I’ve been doing some more experimenting with hypermiling lately. One big thing I’ve found is that 40mph is kind of a sweet spot for driving efficiency for my car (the 2007 Dodge Charger). The way I know this is because of how the car coasts. If I’m going 50 on level pavement, and I put the car in neutral to coast to a light or stop sign, the speed quickly drops at a rate of about a mile a second until it hits 40mph. Once it hits 40 then it drastically changes the deceleration and is about one mile per 5+ seconds. It has proven to be very consistent.

What this tells me is that, if possible, I should try to typically drive no faster than 40mph on surface streets. Doing so will significantly reduce drag, increase overall efficiency, and overall mpg. This has altered my driving a bit and I either try to avoid higher speed streets, or I end up not always “keeping up” with the other drivers and actually driving the speed limit more often. Even though my driving style needed to be altered to accommodate for my findings, it’s all worth it in the end – for at least two reasons. One is the increased mileage, and two is the less aggressive driving style. Of course there are negatives too – most commonly, more people tailgate me now. I’ve learned to ignore them.

I’m not going to have as many opportunities to practice my hypermiling in the car starting in about a week. I bought a motorcycle for my daily commuting and my wife will start using the car as her daily driver instead of the Yukon (yes, the full sized SUV. Can’t trade it in….). She is also going to be getting a scooter soon so the car may end up sitting for long periods of time in the near future. Between my motorcycle and her scooter, we’ll be going from around $450 a month in gas to about $100 a month, as well as producing a lot less CO2.

Dodge 1, me 0

Posted by admin on Jul 29th, 2008
Jul 29

Looks like I was wrong about the estimated mileage that Dodge put on their website about the Charger SE model. We got 27.67 mpg on our trip to Vegas (282.2 miles / 10.2 gallons). That was going 70-75 mph the whole way, which if it had been 65-70 it probably would have been better. We filled up before we left Vegas to come back home and we haven’t filled it up since we got back this afternoon, but it looks like it’s going to be about the same mileage for the return trip too.

One thing though that I should mention. The night before we left for Vegas we went to the airport to pick up my Mother-in-law, which is about 60 miles round trip. We had filled up that day, then we filled up again the next day just before we left for Vegas. The mpg we got from just driving to the airport and back was less that 17mpg! That was with two extra adults and their luggage in the car. What a difference the extra weight can make.