Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hyper-something, anyway

Ran across this rather OCD-ish list of 100-odd tips for "hypermiling" and was surprised at how many of them I instinctively followed. My faves:
6) Join a fuel economy forum

Join an outstanding forum to learn ways to increase your fuel economy by talking to others who share your enthusiasm and goals.
God, you mean I can make my life even more boring?
14) The 'corridor effect'

All else being equal, traveling at a constant speed on a freeway within a flow of traffic (in the same direction) is more efficient than going the same speed in isolation. The reason is aerodynamic: a flow of traffic generates a localized wind current in the direction of travel. You will benefit from this artificial breeze.
Actually I don't like this one, because in my decades of x-country driving I've learned that it's best to keep away from crowds.

Here's the first really obsessive one:
25) Pick up cargo "high", deliver "low"

If possible, shop at stores that are higher in elevation than your home. That way the extra weight you pick up (shopping items) is on board for the descending return leg where it's less of a penalty than it would be on an ascending return leg.
I do this one:
26) Conserve momentum: stop sign 'stop and crawl'

When multiple vehicles ahead of you are progressing through a stop sign (or a right turn at a red light), this represents a mini 'stop and crawl' situation normally found in a bumper to bumper traffic jam. Time your approach, to arrive at the stop sign as the last car ahead is departing.
And this:
30) Traffic light timing - stale 'green', no pedestrian signal

In the absense of any other indication about how stale the light is (eg. if there's no pedestrian signal or waiting cross traffic), assume that the green light ahead is about to change. Adjust your approach speed accordingly (IF traffic permits - ie. you don't hold anyone up) to avoid a full-on brake application should the light change.
And this:
45) Conserve momentum: avoid stopping

Avoid coming to a complete stop whenever possible (and when safe and legal of course). It takes much less energy to accelerate a vehicle when it's already traveling just a few kilometers per hour than it does from a complete stop.
Uh, no:
47) "Drive without brakes" (DWB)
Although the Drunkawife tried to help me out with this one, IYKWIMAIKYD.

This one is really scary:
55) Engine off coasting

Engine-off coasting (EOC) is one of the largest contributors to increased efficiency of hybrid vehicles, many of which automatically shut down the engine when the accelerator is released and the vehicle is coasting.

EOC can be accomplished in non-hybrids as well simply by shifting to neutral and switching the key from "Run" to "Acc" (being careful not to switch to "Off" and cause the steering to lock). As soon as the engine stops, return the key to the "Run" position or else you will be in danger of locking out your steering and crashing. Also be careful to not steer at all while the key is off to prevent a lock up.
Another one I do:
73) Manual transmission: cruise in high gear

When cruising at a constant speed, shift to the highest gear you can use without lugging the engine.
107) Listen to slower music

Leave the speed metal at home. Fast paced music can make a driver more impatient, more agressive and likely to speed. At the same time, slower paced music is more relaxing and tends to promote a more sensible driving style while also reducing stress.
No Golden Earring? Surely you jest.

There are many, many more. See which ones you do. YMMV.

Update: Should note that I don't do any of this stuff out of concern for, like, Gaia or anything. I'm poor, and, as one of the hypermiler points encourages, I treat getting good mileage like a game. The 93 Ford Escort wagon I drive is rated 28 mpg combined city/highway; believe it or not, I've gotten 40 mpg combined (rarely), but routinely get 42-43 mpg on over-the-road distances, driving just under 80 (where the limit is generally 75). I enjoy that.

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