Sunday, June 22, 2008


Is anyone else feeling the pain from almost $4 a gallon at the pump? It does make me cringe to think back to the summer of 1997 after I graduated from college. I was paying $0.94 per gallon at the Phillips station just up the road from my apartment. Ah, the good ol' days!

While few things can offset an increase by a factor of 4 in an essential commodity, every little bit helps. I recently read an article in the Star Telegram about hypermiling. There are some pretty lofty numbers thrown about, but some of these things made sense.

I've been doing a limited hypermiling test for two weeks now, and the results are not bad. I have made two adjustments. The first was the hardest, but it probably also had the bigger impact. I have cut my speed back to 60 mph on the highway. This has added less than five minutes to my commute each way - hardly noticeable. The second change that I've made is trying to coast as much as possible. The place that I can always do this is turning into my neighborhood. It is 0.3 of a mile from the neighborhood entrance to our house. After turning in I am able to coast the remainder of the way into the driveway with minimal breaking. The other place that lends itself well to this is highway exit ramps - especially the long ones. Coasting also has the side benefits of being easier on your breaks.

So the real question is this, is it worth it? My results are modest but real. I have increased my mpg from 27.5 to 30.5 over the last two weeks. At $3.88 per gallon traveling 750 miles in that span I've saved a little over $10. I could probably go even higher, but some of the recommendations seem more risky. Turning off the engine in a regular car seems like it would be hard on the starter. I'd love to hear from anyone who's been trying hypermiling.

Until next time...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read about hypermiling some time ago, and I think I emailed you that story from the S. Bend Trib. I haven't tried it, but I think I mentioned to you at the time that it could be risky on the freeway. Do you notice any fewer vehicles on the roads there, or that people are driving any slower? I do notice fewer vehicles, but people don't seem to be slowing down.
Stay safe. Mom