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Fidel Figures it Out: Does hypermiling really save gas?



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY — Some people have learned how to take better control of their gas consumption by turning the way they drive into a bit of an art form. It's called hypermiling, but does it really work?

Some of the techniques used by hypermilers may seem extreme, but really it's all about making better use of a device we already have — that would be your right foot. Back off the accelerator and you can save big on gas.


Really, instead of focusing on trip time, it's a little different mindset — more focus on minimizing waste.

–Chris Cannon, hypermiler


"When I started hypermiling, it seemed like such an obviously good trade-off," said hypermiler Chris Cannon.

He has been using hypermiling techniques for about five years. He regularly checks tire pressure, puts his car in neutral when he backs out of his driveway, and drives at or slightly below the speed limit when he is on the freeway.

"Really, instead of focusing on trip time, it's a little different mindset — more focus on minimizing waste," Cannon said.

Cannon figures it adds only one minute to his 15 minute commute but saves him 20 percent to 30 percent on gas.

Got a question?
If you've got something you'd like Steve Fidel to figure out, email him at figureitout@ksl.com.

Here are the basics for hypermiling: Accelerate more slowly away from green lights and stop more gradually for red lights, and lift your foot off the accelerator as soon as possible when approaching a stop.

Cannon puts safety first and follows the law, but there are some creative techniques that aren't exactly legal. Drafting behind a semitruck, turning off your engine while coasting, and over-inflating your tires are all very dangerous

I decided to try some of the legal methods. Cruising down the freeway at 65 miles per hour, it was obvious the cars whizzing past me haven't caught the vision. I caught some glares, but my MPG rate was definitely up, and I felt empowered!

For more gas-saving tips, visit www.cleanmpg.com.

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