Lonely Man of Cake

March 8, 2007

Hypermiler

Filed under: America,Automotive,Conservation,Environment,General,Technology,Transportation — lonelymanofcake @ 4:52 pm

A hypermiler is one who modifies his/her driving habits in such a way to maximize the gas consumption of the vehicle well in excess of the vehicle’s EPA rating.

Hypermiling tactics include:

  1. Keeping windows closed and A/C off… always.  This supposedly minimizes drag and air resistance.  And also fogs up the windows and makes you sweat like a pig.
  2.  Finding the sweet spot in the engine’s torque curve, and staying there, even if it means upsetting other drivers.  In many new cars, this sweet spot can be found by paying attention to the FCD (=fuel consumption display) which changes dynamically based on driving habits.
  3. D-FAS (Draft Assisted Forced Auto Stop): This means drafting behind a large vehicle in order to reduce wind resistance.  It also means that you’ve put the car in neutral and turned off the engine as well.  No wonder this is illegal in some states!

I read this fascinating article about a record setting hypermiler last night, and while some of his tactics do appear to endanger other drivers (e.g., taking turns at 50 MPH; tailgating with the engine off, so there are no power brakes…), I find his pursuit, and ideology, quite noble.

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5 Comments »

  1. I would just prefer the cars be fuel efficient in the first place, rather than using these inconvenient and dangerous tactics.

    Just imagine if we spent a fraction of what the world is spending in Iraq to develop a new technology to ween us of Oil

    Comment by Seraphya — March 12, 2007 @ 7:02 pm | Reply

  2. “We” have already found, and implemented with varying degrees of success new technology: Diesel, Biodiesel, Hybrids, and Electrics. The problem is the suppression of mass market introduction of these technologies. But I think (and hope) things will change in 2008.

    Comment by lonelymanofcake — March 12, 2007 @ 10:56 pm | Reply

  3. We have so many answers. We need The Answer. We have had these answers for quite a few years already yet nothing has changed.
    Or maybe as you suggest the answer is in beating the suppression of mass market introduction of these technologies, but we don’t really have an answer to that either.

    I still think that from what I have seen of the technologies you mentioned, none of them is strong enough at their current state to really work as a full solution.

    Comment by Seraphya — March 13, 2007 @ 12:06 am | Reply

  4. “The Answer” is a new United States government, preferably of the Democratic variety.

    Comment by lonelymanofcake — March 13, 2007 @ 1:35 pm | Reply

  5. […] you can take to reduce your fuel consumption. That doesn’t mean to go as far as some people (hypermilers) who always keep their windows closed, don’t use the A/C, and perform dangerous driving […]

    Pingback by Homemade Hybrids: The 10 Second Rule « Lonely Man of Cake — April 1, 2007 @ 4:16 pm | Reply


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