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59mpg in a plain old Accord… beat that, punk

January 30, 2007

While I’m not a ‘hypermiler’, I do usually get better mileage than most people do with the same model car.  It’s a game to me to mesh smoothly with traffic, and drive all the way through town without ever tapping the brake.  But this guy totally has me beat:

Drafting 18-wheelers with the engine off, taking death turns at 52 miles an hour, and other lessons learned while riding shotgun with the king of the hypermilers… Around Wayne is madness in motion: Drivers in four lanes are accelerating hard, weaving erratically, or grinding to a halt. To Wayne, these are the driving habits of the ignorant and the wasteful—which is to say, nearly all of us. Wayne’s car glides to a stop as if it has run out of gas. Wayne has stopped without braking…
- Mother Jones: “This guy can get 59mpg in a plain old Accord.  Beat that, punk.

Wayne’s probably pretty extreme in traffic – there’s something to learn from him but it would be maddening to drive behind him as he coasts to a stop.  One suggestion if you want better gas mileage is; ride a bicycle.  When you are the engine, you become conscious of energy usage relative to acceleration.  You learn that braking is the enemy.  You learn to plan ahead, which you can apply in your car.

There’s a general principle here; no machine is better than its user, and an attentive user can get the most out of any machine.  Want a faster computer?  Learn a few keyboard shortcuts, you’ll save way more time than a new processor will.  Tired of giving your money to the Ay-rabs?  Put down your cell phone and drive.  Think you need a better camera?  Read a book on composition and lighting.  No matter how good our gadgets get, it still comes down to the human.

But don’t draft semi trucks; leave that to Wayne. 

  1. January 31, 2007 at 11:19 | #1

    A little to narcissistic for me, but I do use some of those techniques from time to time.  But when I am in a rush to get to work in the morning…

    Really the key to good gas mileage is proper planning.  If I get up early enough so that I do not have to rush to work, then I can take my time and hypermile.  Same goes for any trip.  Plan ahead so you can check the oil, tire pressure, etc.

    One suggestion if you want better gas mileage is; ride a bicycle.

    Couldn’t agree more.  No hypermileing needed, unless you get tired easily.

  2. April 7, 2007 at 19:11 | #2

    Yes, I use these techniques all the time myself.  You can do much better in this with a standard shift of course.

    Love your blog

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