Hyper-mile-ing the smart car

Hypermilers, you know who you are. It is the people in the high-efficiency cars, hybrids, EVs, even some SUVs are doing it.

What?

Hypermiling.

Oh.

What is it?

It is a set of things you can do to squeeze more miles per gallon out of that tank.

For example?

Well, some things are less obvious than driving the speed limit. I tried that on the way to work today. Driving the speed limit. Funny that you’re going along at 65-70+ usually but really the speed limit is 45-50, 55 in some places. Weird huh? Yeah, but try actually driving the posted speed limit. Surreal! Definately want to do that in the slow lane in California. People still come up on your butt and go around you as if you were an obstacle in the road. I’m sure on a backroad in central Maine or somewhere in the middle of Nebraska it’s probably not an issue 😉

Well anyway, what brought this on for me is having the smart car, some of my friends are hypermiling and getting over 400 miles on the tank, that’s 50+ MPG, and this is a petrol car, right, not a stinkin environmentally-unfriendly toxic battery dangerous in a crash hybrid.

But, why am I getting 35-39 MPG with my lead foot? Oy! So trying to make things better 🙂 one way is to slow down. What a novel concept. I won’t do it for Nader’s safety program, but I’ll do it to save a few bucks at the pump — the more of my hard-earned taxable income that can save and not give to the Bush family’s oil and war profiteering, the better!

Another thing hypermilers do, is, and you’re going to say “duh” when you hear it, they coast. Yup. On a downward grade? Stick it in Neutral. Use the brakes. Ok if you are goin super fast and need to keep the car slowed then gear it, but otherwise, N is the gear of choice. Your car is using a lot less gas sitting idle than spinning the revs to keep up with your downhill speed.

Stuck at a long traffic light, train crossing, or stop-n-go traffic parking lot? Turn off the engine. That will save the air as well as some fuel.

And do you really need to use the A/C in the bay area? Come on, I live on the coast. Roll the window down or at least crack it for some natural ventalation. Not using accessories needlessly saves some gas too.

I’m going to keep a log of my milage and see how things go. The more miles I get out of the tank, the better. I may not shoot for 50+ miles per gallon or 400 mile tank, but I’ll shoot for the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything, number 42.

2 Replies to “Hyper-mile-ing the smart car”

  1. Hi – one thing I also read regarding AC vrs open window is that above 40 MPH it is better to have AC with windows closed, due to the fact that the drag on the vehicle uses more fuel than the AC would. But under 40 mph it is more efficient to open the windows. Not that I would recommend that in really hot weather.

    Editor’s note: Good point! Thanks for the comment and the cool link to hypermiling!

  2. Hi…I bought a 150cc crotch-rocket last year. Tops out around 55 mph,
    gets 89-92 mpg. Operating cost breaks down like this:

    Bike: $1400.00 (new)
    TTL: $200.00 (Texas)
    Helmet: $125.00 (DOT & SNELL rated)
    Tags: $22.00 (Texas-2008)
    Ins: $75.00 per yr (Nationwide-2008)

    Stickin’ it to “Big Oil”…Priceless!

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