Hypermiling: Drive like a Girl.
Hypermiling is the sport of parking your testosterone at the race track and driving GENTLY for fuel economy. Avoiding sudden braking and acceleration, letting other cars go around you as you mosey up to traffic speed, coasting up to stoplights; these are the fine, feminine arts of hypermiling!
Whether you've got one of the new Chevy Volts, a new Nissan Leaf, or other electric vehicle, you'll need the skill of driving feminine if you want maximum range satisfaction. It works on gas-guzzlers, too, by the way. Heck, you can even go hypermiling in your Hummer if you want to.
EV Limitations and Hypermiling
I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but even if you lay out your cash and convert your new Prius into a plug-in hybrid, unless you also convert your driving habits, you won't get any better gas mileage than you did with a standard Prius off the shelf! In fact, you might do just about as well in a (much cheaper) Corolla.
Google's RechargeIT project demonstrated this in typical Google style - with technology, mounds of data, and a little friendly competition. They converted a fleet of Priuses and Ford Escape hybrids to plug-ins and then set their drivers out on the road to test the average fuel economy. The news was great! The converted Prius really DOES get 100 mpg or so in real-world conditions. Cool! Then...
...after the "project" was over, they used the same fleet of Priuses and Escapes as errand-running cars. And what happened? Those same cars got really bad fuel economy comparatively, about half what they'd done in the "project". What's up with those results?
Nobody really knows, but a lot of people are speculating wildly on why the converted Priuses don't do as well in real life as they did in the experiment. I might as well throw my own wild speculation in the ring, don't you think? So here's my bid: Human nature. It all comes down to driving habits and the human need to "win the game".
The art of getting the best gas mileage possible is made up of a lot of little things, maybe 100 different decisions in an hour's drive (you'll see which decisions equal maximum fuel economy below). During the project, the way to "win the game", in the driver's mind, is to get the maximum fuel economy possible by hypermiling. Google WANTED those results to turn out that way, and even among scientists, this desire has been known to skew the results.
After the project was over and the drivers were using the cars to run errands, however, the way to win the game became "getting the errand done as soon as possible", so fuel economy became less of a priority.
It turns out that these are two entirely different games, and you can win one game, or the other...but not both at the same time.Sound kinda familiar?
In an EV, you can have range, OR tire-smoking acceleration...but not both. There's a trick to getting the maximum range out of your battery pack, and it's pretty much the same as hypermiling.
Hypermiling Driving Habits
These are the driving habits that will help you win the game:
Hypermiling Just for Electric Cars
(Thanks to our collective EV wisdom and Seth Leitman's Build Your Own Electric Vehicle )
So what's missing in hypermiling, EV or otherwise?
Driving with your joystick might win you the NEDRA records, but for everyday driving, even my favorite bad boys drive like girls - hypermiling - to get maximum range out of their battery packs. Men have one great advantage when it comes to hypermiling, though...
...they don't let other people's opinions matter too much. This really helps when some sweaty ape is swearing and yelling out the window of the Hummer for you to get off the road. Just wave~~(all five fingers, please)!
Back to Electric Drag Racing.
National Solar Energy Plan
An EV Driver's Nissan Leaf
EV Pollution? Coal vs. ICE
Ford Focus Electric
Plug In America
Electric Car Conversions
Electric Cars on Ebay
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