What is hypermiling? The new technique that saves drivers fuel

Many motorists know the pain of filling up the tank with motorists spending hundreds filling up each year

By The Newsroom
Friday, 19th May 2017, 10:04 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:47 pm

A new driving technique aimed at reducing fuel consumption is taking the driving world by storm following a post on social media by an online group.

Hypermiling is a new tactic that is growing in popularity. The idea behind hypermiling is to beat a car maker’s stated miles per gallon figures by driving as economically as possible.

The energy efficient driving technqiue aims to encourage the most economical driving practices possible. However, it has been criticised by some due to dangerous techniques such as tailgating and coasting.

A statement on the Hypermiling website said: “Hypermiling, as with any other form of driving technique, can be dangerous if used on the wrong road and in unsuitable traffic conditions.

“Please always be aware of other road users and do not endanger yourself or others for the sake of saving a few miles per gallon.

“We encourage safe and considerate driving.”

Hypermiling practices

One of the main techniques being encouraged by hypermiling is drafting. Such a technique involves sitting close to or slipstreaming behind the car in front which can result in savings of around 40% fuel.

Drafting saves energy by using the car in front to push the air out of the way reducing the use of petrol. This is seen in racing competitions - like how Formula 1 cars will use the slipstream of the car in front to overtake.

However such a tactic has been heavily criticised as it reduces visibility and takes away time to react if the car in front brakes suddenly.

Switching engine off

Another major tactic used by ‘hypermilers’ is switching the engine off and driving once speed and momentum has been gained.

By turning off your engine drivers save fuel, but risk the loss of power steering, acceleration and may have braking compromised too.

A number of road safety groups are advising to not risk hypermiling but instead practice effective fuel saving methods such as maintaining consistent speeds, not using air con, keeping tyres well inflated and getting rid of unneccessary weight.