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The Art of efficient driving

by Adam Hostetter/Sports & Entertainment Editor 



Hypermiling is the technique of using the least amount of fuel as possible while driving.

When it comes to Lake Land, the number one mode of transport to campus is, without a doubt, driving. Students with tight budgets have to face a harsh reality: fuel is not cheap. Whether you drive with gasoline or diesel, hybrid or pure electricity, the simple problem is getting from point A to point B using the least amount of fuel. Hypermiling is a set of driving techniques that aim to do that and take it a step further into such fantastic gas savings that there are actual competitions to see who can get the most miles per gallon.

The most common and easy to use techniques for hypermiling are the following:

  1. Accelerate slowly. Gunning it hurts fuel economy and annoys the other drivers.
  2. Coast to a stop. Coasting to a red light or stop sign means you are not wasting fuel to maintain speed and it also helps your brake pads last longer.
  3. Slow down. It is no surprise that vehicle engines are most efficient when the vehicle is moving around 55 miles per hour. Yes, people normally drive faster than that on the highways and interstates (and get frustrated when you do not) but you will have the last laugh when you burn less fuel to get where you need to go.
  4. Proper maintenance. Properly inflated tires, wheel alignments, oil changes, and engine tune ups all affect the fuel economy of your vehicle. A well maintained vehicle is an efficient vehicle.
  5. Get rid of the junk in the trunk. You may have heard this saying numerous times but it still holds true. The added weight of all the stuff left in the car forces the engine to work harder to lug it all around.

This is the type of efficiency everyone can do, and it saves them money, so why not? However, there is another side to hypermiling. As said earlier, there are competitions for achieving the highest miles per gallon, and the type of driving in these competitions use advanced techniques such as drafting and coasting in neutral. Drafting and coasting in neutral are safety hazards under normal driving conditions and therefore not recommended. But the fact that someone can achieve 75 miles per gallon in a hypermiling competition is amazing.

Hypermiling is the art of efficient driving. It may not excite you with adrenaline, but it will excite wallets by saving fuel and money.

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