What is Hypermiling?

Aug 11 06:41 2008 Anna Williams Print This Article

For more information you may visit Anna's blog, http://livingclean.com/hypermiling. Anna also has a Hypermiling E-Book available on her blog at http://livingclean.com/hypermiling/hypermilingebook.html.

Though the term "hypermiling" is a new word,Guest Posting the concepts it is based on are not new at all. We have just never had a specific name for it until now.

However, with gas prices reaching the extortion levels, people (out of necessity) have started to pay attention to how much fuel they are consuming.

And thus the word "hypermiling" has been born. The term "hypermiling" (originally coined by Wayne Gerdes) means, in simple terms, getting the best gas mileage out of the fuel you have.

Before the word "hypermiling" was born, "hypermiling" was just referred too as sensible fuel economy, or common-sense driving practice.

But today, getting the most for your money (by squeezing out the maximum amount of mileage per gallon of gasoline) has become a specialized field, with the name "hypermiling."

A lot of "controversy" has been built up around the subject of hypermiling. Some claim it is dangerous or state that it causes accidents, etc. These statements are about as intelligent as the statement that driving is dangerous or causes car crashes.

Of course, if there were no cars on the road, there would be no car accidents. That is about the level of logic we are using when we say that hypermiling is dangerous or controversial.

Before the word "hypermiling" existed, we would have heard about "safe and unsafe driving practices." Today, in the interest of controversy, we no longer hear about "unsafe driving practices," but about hypermiling. I guess monkey learned a new trick.

Lets take a look at what hypermiling is, and what a few hypermiling techniques are:

First of all, a common hypermiling practice is to plan one's trips a little more carefully, in order to avoid unnecessary driving. That's common sense, I would say. But it's not something we were too careful about when fuel was cheap.

Another important hypermiling technique is driving within the speed-limit - as driving at higher speeds wastes fuel. Avoiding excessive idling of one's engine is also a key hypermiling tactic, as you are getting zero miles per gallon when you are standing still. What is interesting about this last point is that, for years now, we have had cars whose engines switch to "hibernate mode" after standing still for a few seconds, in order to avoid wasting fuel. "Hibernating" here means that the engine "switches off" and starts up again the moment you hit the gas peddle with your foot.

Making sure that your tires are inflated to the correct air pressure, according to the instructions of the manufacturer, is also a hypermiling technique. That might sound like a minor detail to some, but if you have ever ridden a bicycle with tires that were under-inflated you will have a good idea how much extra energy it takes, as compared to riding with correctly inflated tires.

Well, the same goes for a car. Under-inflated tires make your engine work a lot harder and consume more fuel. Try riding a bicycle with badly inflated tires sometime, and you will get a good idea of what I am talking about. A car handles better with correct tire pressure, giving you a lot more control when you are driving.

I could go on and on, and could detail many other points of hypermiling. But I think the above examples serve to show you that we are really just talking about common sense.

The only real truth in all this controversy is that there are safe drivers and there are unsafe drivers. But that's not new. And this fact did not arrive with the subject of hypermiling. It will not go away with the subject of hypermiling either.

Some people are smart and some are less so. That's nothing new and it's not something we didn't already know.

I guess it's those people who are "less so," who feel they need to create a "controversy" around a subject such as hypermiling. Maybe it makes them feel clever.

The fact is, hypermiling consists of safe and sensible ways to improve gas mileage. Just as one could drive unsafely in the interest of better gas mileage, one could also be a maniac gas-guzzler who speeds around turns, slams on his brakes, and pays high gas prices as a result.

Real hypermiling techniques involves safe and sensible driving habits.

Regardless, hypermiling simply consists of a set of techniques and driving practices which are used to get better gas mileage, using common sense and safe driving practices.

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Anna Williams
Anna Williams

For more information you may visit Hypermiling Techniques . Anna also has a Hypermiling E-Book available on her blog.

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