Hypermiling- the tech of great gas mileage


The price of gasoline is spiraling up every day here in the US and with the holiday weekend upon us many have foregone taking holiday trips and are staying close to home.  The high cost of gasoline is bad enough but this cost is beginning to drive up costs across the board as transporting goods is more expensive than ever.  I know Kevin is enjoying his Highlander Hybrid and the good gas mileage it provides and hybrid owners must be feeling pretty smug right about now.

Last Friday I had the good fortune to meet someone in the local Starbucks who has opened my eyes to something I never suspected existed.  Dan Bryant introduced himself and the conversation quickly turned to his passion- hypermiling.  What on earth is hypermiling?  Dan can answer that better than I but basically it is the practice of changing one’s driving habits and in some cases making tech mods to their hybrid cars to stretch the gas mileage that can be obtained.  Now before you scoff at this you should realize that there are national competitions that pit hypermilers against one another and Dan is ranked 2nd nationally as he has posted 106 mpg in competition.  Yes, 106 miles per gallon in a Prius hybrid in competition.  So you can see that Dan takes this seriously and given that he can make a tank of gas last a couple of months with the high price of gasoline we should too.

Dan has appeared on the local news due to his passion for hypermiling and operates a local club and web site dedicated to it.  Check out Dan’s stuff and perhaps your eyes will be opened to his hobby as mine have been.  I had never heard of hypermiling before but I must admit it is totally cool.  Tell Dan that JK sent you.



To Ed T., Yes there are a lot of things that one can do to increase gas mileage. The reason you got better gas mileage is because at a certain speed, wind resistance begins to increase exponentially.

Also, I’d be careful about these exhuberent gas mileages some people report. One guy put in a battery in his car that he would charge up at home and gas would kick in after the battery died and he would report a really high number and would claim his car can get x number of miles per gallon which is such a farse.

Where do you think the energy to charge up the battery came from? Well about 40% of it most likely came from burning fossil fuels. Here’s the thing though, when the electric company burns fossil fuels to create energy at least 50% of the energy is lost as heat.

In short, your car has to run purely on gas for you to be able to make a claim that your car gets x miles to the gallon, if not at least put a disclaimer because otherwise its just a lie.

Ed T.

On my most recent trip to Louisiana, I tried a little experiment. On the way down, I drove the speed limit. On the way back, I drove 5 mph under (65 in the 70 zones, 60 in the 65 mph zones). I got about a 10% increase in gas mileage (about a 20% increase over driving “with the traffic”.)

And, it was a lot less stressful.

Moral of the story: even those of us who don’t drive hybrids can do things to make the gallons of gas go farther.


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