Hypermiling (at least a little)

I admit that I am sometimes an impatient driver.  In order to practice hypermiling, I had to leash my natural impatience to get wherever I am going (mainly work and home).  I own a 13-year-old used Honda Accord for which I was getting on average, 24 mpg on my combination city/highway driving for my commute (about 40 miles/day).

Since I cannot change my commute without changing my job, I figured hypermiling to increase the efficiency of my car would be worth a try.  First we made sure the tire pressure was at the recommended psi.  Then I started driving and minimizing my use of the brakes – I would try to coast to a stop and accelerate slowly until I reached my maximum speed.  I tried to stick to the speed limit at all times or speed a little less to hit an efficient mph (the most efficient speeds are between 45 and 65 mph for the average car).

With these changes, on my commute, I started to regularly hit 29 mpg, which was a nice percentage increase.  On highway trips to go hiking, we got 31 mpg.  On average, we save about $20/month with gas hovering at $4/gallon.  It’s possible that we could get better gas mileage, but it’s a good compromise.

It does take me a little longer to get where I’m going, but it has become a habit now, and I enjoy it.


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