Wednesday, June 25, 2008

#414 Hypermiling

#414 Hypermiling


If the word's new to you, get used to hearing it. It's going to be around for awhile. Hypermiling is doing everything you can to squeeze use out of every drop of gasoline you buy. And these days, that squeezing can help.

But people, being people, are going to start doing even stranger stuff than usual behind the wheel.

You're going to find people who coast to the stop light, then turn the car off until it changes from red to green. Does this really save anything? Don't engines use a lot of gas to start the engine?

Tip: Don't take the key out of the ignition when you do this. There are a couple of reasons. First, you have to fumble to get the key back in the ignition and that takes too much time. Second, technically, you are illegally parked. No kidding. The cops can tag you for that.

Coasting downhill in neutral isn't a great idea, either, although it might save gas. Your engaged transmission gives you more control when you are slowing down and saves wear on the breaks. If your object is to save money, you're not doing it. Ask anyone who's had to have an early brake job lately.

The big thing about hypermiling, though, is going the speed limit instead of 20 mph faster. This one really CAN save fuel. Ever wonder about those EPA milage figures? They get the stats by running cars on tread mills, not roads. And what speeds do they use? The speeds you never travel -- 25, 35, 45, 55, 65 mph.

If you do that on an actual road, Hot Roddy who's behind you in the fast lane while you go 53 miles an hour is going to blow a gasket. Not in his engine -- in his head. And he'll do something stupid, like try to get around you and hit the car driven 48 miles an hour in the slow lane.

It's going to take some getting used to.

And you don't want to be around when some guy staring at his tachometer, making sure it stays at under 2000 rpm hits a stopped school bus he didn't see because he's looking at the tach.

Chances are we're going to take a senisble approach to hypermiling and do to it what we do to everything else. We'll do it to the extreme and then, after awhile, forget about it.

But gone should be the days of doing 80 on Route 80.




Shrapnel:

--Ashes to ashes, dust to dust? Better not empty the ash tray. All life is sacred.

--There are few, if any true synonyms in the English language. But we've become obsessed with substituting one word for another where we don't need to. And it sounds odd when we don't.

--Figured that jailing a few Enron crooks would keep everyone else on the straight and narrow? Didn't work. Let's see how many of the recently arrested financial wizards do time -- and bet short.


I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(r)
(C)WJR 2008

1 comment:

pipskippy said...

Hey man, I drive my roadster 60mph in a 70mph zone, often in the wake of a larger vehicle, and finally moved from 30mpg to 33.6 - consistently. No, the coasting didn't work, nor did manual shift mode on the automatic tranny. You're right, it's all about speed - and aggressiveness.