How I achieved 57mpg from 48mpg.
First, what is hypermiling?
It may sound new but the term hypermiling was first coined in 2004 by Wayne Gerdes from the forum CleanMPG.com and it was the Oxford word of the year in 2008.
Hypermiling is a technique or a set of techniques to improve fuel efficiency in cars. These easy-to-follow techniques can help reduce fuel consumption.
I drive a 2014 Diesel Peugeot 2008. I bought this car when it was just under two years and had done around 22k miles and the fuel consumption was around 52 miles a gallon. Now it has done 80k miles and is becoming hungrier by day. At one point I was getting 48 mpg.
Receiving 4 miles less per gallon is may not look like a great loss, but with the current fuel price in mind, A 100-mile journey would consume 9.46 litre of fuel in 48mpg, 8.73 litres in 52mpg and 7.96 litres in 57mpg. Based on the current cost of 199.9p/litre, it costs £18.91, £17.45 and £15.91 respectively.
Then I came across hypermiling that helped me save around £3 for every 100 miles I cover, a bit like a Tesco Clubcard.
A bit of disclaimer/suggestion here: First – safety comes before any fuel-saving, your fuel-saving should always be safe, and legal and you must avoid antagonising other road users. And second, the list below is not a recommendation.
Here is what I did.
First, I replaced the heavy child car seat with a lighter one. (to be clear- I replaced the seat, not the child who is thankfully, not heavy) Researches show that an extra 100 pounds (45KG) of weight in the car can reduce MPG by up to 2%. I had a very heavy car seat that weighed almost 16 kg and by replacing it with something like this one, I offloaded 12 kg. (And probably gained 200 yards per gallon!!)
The second thing I learned is that underinflated tyres waste a lot of fuel. So, instead of visiting a petrol pump (and shed a drop of tear by looking at the price), I decided to buy a 12v air compressor like this one, (I paid £19.99 but at the time of writing this, it is on promotion – £14.98).
Not only it will be the most convenient way to check and top up the air, it will also save me an unnecessary trip to the garage.
Equipped with a new car seat (I know,) and a new air compressor, I started hypermiling.
I started with something I’d like to call – Mindful driving ( not patented, feel free to use the term, PayPal link below).
My mindful driving/hypermiling methods include:
- Planning ahead. I began to look for alternative routes that has fewer stops, trying to avoid motorways and busy roads. (Thanks Waze)
- Reduce driving: I have stopped looking for a parking place closer to the shops because remember, hypermiling is about reducing unnecessary driving.
- Slow and Steady: Wherever possible, I avoid heavy acceleration. I wouldn’t recommend going slow when there is somebody behind you because it can frustrate them. If there is nobody behind me and the road is clear, I occasionally let go of the pedal and coast. I only do this when there is nobody behind me. (quite important, personally) And I would not recommend letting people pass you (as some hypermilers suggest) because it is not always safe.
- Observation: Paying full attention means I am aware of the traffic lights and prepare myself accordingly. For example, If I am behind a few cars and the light is green, I reduce my speed and prepare to coast to stop when the light turns red. This method is not always possible though, especially when the road is busy.
- I started wearing thinner shoes to increase sensitivity on the accelerator.
- I frequently observe my RPM and make the most of my start-stop engine.
- I have stopped using cruise control on uneven roads.
- Closing windows off reduces drag, but I am yet to calculate the savings.
- Change in refuelling habits. I used to fill my car fortnightly. Now I do it every 2-4 days because more fuel = more weight = more fuel consumption.
There are quite a few other tricks hypermilers use or suggest but I don’t think it is safe so I decided not to include them here.
If you have any other tips, please feel free to share.