Consumer Alert: Looking to save big money on gas? Try Hypermiling
You're probably opening your wallet a bit wider at the pump right now, as gas prices are the highest they've been in years.
The good news? There’s a way to make that tank of gas last almost twice as long.
It's called Hypermiling.
NBC 10 News got behind the wheel with a “Hypermiler” from Warwick to see how it works.
Ian George is driving an 18-year-old Honda Insight. When it rolled off the lot, way back in 2000, the car was supposed to get 60 miles per gallon.
Today, George is averaging an astonishing 100 miles per gallon.
“About how often are you filling up your tank?” asked NBC 10’s Emily Volz.
“A couple times a year, I guess,” George said.
George is a Hypermiler, which is a driver who has drastically improved his car's gas mileage by making skillful decisions behind the wheel.
“When I use the engine, I want to use it as efficiently as possible,” said George
George, who drives to work every day, said he spent a little over $300 on fuel in 2017.
But he isn’t driving your average Honda.
George is an admitted tinkerer, who’s made some changes to the car and its engine to improve fuel efficiency.
“I also have more manual controls of the hybrid system,” he said, adding that he also installed tiny solar panels on the roof and plans to install more on the hood. “So, all day long, say eight to 10 hours, it's going to be in the sun anyway, I might as well get something for that.”
But a big part of hypermiling is driving technique.
“The number one tenet is staying aware and paying as much attention as possible,” he said.
Staying aware means leaving plenty of space.
George drives in the slow lane, and rarely drives over the speed limit.
“You're aware of those conditions so that you're not wasting fuel accelerating and gunning it toward having to then brake hard to stop,” he said.
George said more extreme Hypermilers will tailgate tractor trailers and cut the engine at highway speeds.
“It's an aerodynamic benefit and so you'll lose less of your energy to wind resistance so you can get better miles per gallon,” he said.
For George, that's too dangerous, and he fears he'll lose fuel efficiency if he's forced to brake.
If more people adopted his hypermiling habits, he said, they'd save money on fuel and probably save time in the long run, because there would be less traffic.