Having only just discovered that my minimalist approach to fuel use has a name, i.e Hypermiling, I was further amazed to find there’s a mass of information, discussion and data online. In fact, it’s mahoosive, less is the new more! Anyway (and as I was asked, … genuinely) these are the strategies that I’d worked out and played with for visiting the pumps less often.
But in order not to bore you, only those who click on ‘continue’ will read an essay exploring useful but dull anorakdom.
1. Mellow Music. I noticed that I drive faster to Rock music and that listening to something mellower (or even a story CD) means I travel at a more civilised pace.
2. Regular oil and air filter change. More efficient burn and less friction
3. Move less weight. Losing random junk from the car means less work for the engine to do.
4. Use the FIRST available car parking space. Arriving in a car park or town, ditch the car at the first opportunity as low speed manouvering and waiting wastes fuel.
5. Where possible, drive at the optimum time. I’m fortunate with my job as i have flexibility, so I leave for work well before rush-hour and hence come back before it. I plan journies to avoid school leaving time etc.
6. 55mph is GREAT, above 3000 rpm is BAD. Nuff said, watch the dials
7. Leave space. The more space between you and the car ahead the less you have to do sudden braking and hence costly re-acceleration.
8. Think way ahead. More chance to keep the car moving.
9. Dodge the wind. If it’s a windy day or if there re lots of lorries coming the other way (they move A LOT of air towards you), hug the inside lane.
10. Tyres. Keep them well inflated.
11. Avoid Stopping if possible. It really sucks gas to move over a ton of metal from a stand still.
12. Accelarate evenly and find 5th fast.
13. Switch off. If you’re not moving then the engine doesn’t need to be turning.
14. See the journey in a different light. If you see the journey as something that must be endured before you can get on with X then you’ll speed. See the journey as part of the activity of the day and you can be more chilled.
But (as Dave Warnock reminded me) I often leave the car at home and cycle. I guess this is ultrahypermiling as I can do 10 miles to one banana or piece of flapjack!