Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hypermilers not really relevant to the gas price discussion are they?

I think FARK has the right comment about hypermilers.
"Q: What do you get when you cross a self-absorbed, petty asshat and skyrocketing gas prices? A: The Hypermiler"
Now I know that I bought a Prius and I want to get good gas mileage with it but these hypermilers sound a little impressed with themselves. I too get aggravated when the light turns red since I have to stop and start again which uses gas, but I also like to live and so I follow the rules of the road and speed limits and I use my brakes if I have to stop. All activities which the hypermilers seem to shun because it uses up gas. From the USAToday article here are some other hazardous ways to save gas a la the hypermiler:
pumping up tire pressure far beyond car and tire makers' recommendations...

Turning the engine off while coasting can, in some cars, leave the driver without power steering or brakes and allow the possibility that the steering wheel will lock up. Drivers can endanger themselves and others if they go too slow for the pace of traffic.

How about that urge to "draft" trucks — follow close behind for less wind resistance — on the interstate? "There's another term for that. We call it tailgating,"

There is "ridge riding," which is driving the car off center in a lane to keep its tires out of the tracks worn into pavement from years of traffic.
Leave it to the press to hype this fringe group and extol the virtues of hyperbole instead of giving useful advice on getting good gas mileage, which is better phrased as using less gas. Is it better to take a few crazies from 50 to an unachievable 100mpg or to take the rest (most) of us from 20 to 25 mpg? Here is some math from a FARKer (yes some of them do math)
The gain from 20 mpg to 25 mpg is equal to the gain from 50 mpg to 100 mpg.

10000 miles...

@ 20 mpg = 500 gallons
@ 25 mpg = 400 gallons (savings of 100)

@ 50 mpg = 200 gallons
@ 100 mpg = 100 gallons (savings of 100)
Is it better to achieve 88mpg on a 29 mile commute or to find a job closer to home or convince your boss to let you telecommute?

(also pointed out by GasBuddy at WilmingtonGasPrices.com)

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