In the Loop

Get 40 miles to the gallon . . . no Prius necessary!

Posted at 10:31 AM on June 11, 2008 by Sanden Totten (3 Comments)

Imagine if fuel efficiency was an extreme sport. That's basically what hypermiling is. Hypermilers are folks who compete to get the best gas mileage possible out of their cars (here's a story we did a while back).

And thanks to Wired on-line, the wisdom of the hypermilers is available to you. Check out how to get more than 40 dollars a gallon without buying a hybrid. They have tips for the novice and the expert petrol pincher, the most radical being the draft method (from the Wired article):

"This one's controversial because it's dangerous. But we trust you: Inch up behind, say, an 18-wheeler, and kill the engine as you enter its slipstream (you'll feel it). You're drafting now, getting pulled along by the truck's gas instead of your own."

Of course, there are other, less life threatening tips, like emptying your trunk of the useless crap weighing down your car. And using your breaks less in traffic by coasting. They warn though, this last technique may earn you some "middle-finger salutes" from your fellow motorists. But hey, at $4.00 + a gallon, a little verbal abuse is a small price to pay for fuel efficiency.

And if you want the skinny on what gas saving tips don't actually work, check out this story from NPR. (Spoiler alert: Clean air-filters have no effect on gas usage).

Got any other tips for saving gas?


Comments (3)

From the June 2, 2008 Austin (MN) Daily Herald:

"Fourteen Alden-Conger High School students built a car that gets 866 miles per gallon. Their secret? They take what they already know and build on it.

It’s that knowledge that helped them take first place in the design proposal portion of the 20th annual Supermileage Challenge presented by the Minnesota Technology Education Association — the reason for building the car.

“It’s a learning experience for these kids,” said science teacher Dave Bosma."

Posted by Bob Moffitt | June 11, 2008 2:43 PM


"Got any other tips for saving gas?"

1) don't drive
2) drive a lighter vehicle. My 30 year old motorcycle cost me less than $500 & gets ~50mpg
3) if you choose to shut your car off when tailgating make absolutely sure to turn the keys back to having the ignition on - so your steering wheel does not lock. Life sucks when the road curves & your steeringwheel is locked going straight.

Lastly, cars brake and break. The former means to decelerate, the latter to fall apart. Yo!

Posted by bsimon | June 11, 2008 3:07 PM


Wow Bob. That's amazing! 866 miles per gallon? How soon until it hits the market . . . and why hasn't Detroit figured this out yet? My only guess at a downside is that the car's ultra light body may not be that crash safe . . . but still, sounds like those students are on to something. Cool article.

Posted by Sanden Totten | June 11, 2008 4:14 PM


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