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Hypermiling Driving Habits

38814 Views 139 Replies 41 Participants Last post by  Sean Nelson
These are the driving habits that will help you win the game:

Drive Gently.
Like there was a double-tall extra hot with no foam sitting on the dashboard in front of you and you didn't want to WEAR it.

Find Your Sweet Spot.
There's a "sweet spot" for every motor (maximum efficiency RPM's). If you keep your eye on the ammeter, says the new Build Your Own Electric Vehicle, you can maximize your range by minimizing your current flow as you drive.

The Meter's Running.
Use the accelerator and the brake like they were on a meter, and you had to put quarters in to use them. I learned this hypermiling technique a long time ago, in a car with worn-out brake pads. I didn't care about fuel economy, I just didn't want to hear that awful scraping noise. Hey, a habit is a habit; )
The accelerator drains your battery pack in two ways: First, by increasing your need to brake (what goes up must come down, including your speed!), and second, because of the Lead-Foot Tax (Peukert effect).
The brake drains your battery pack by converting your hard-earned momentum into friction. Who needs more friction?

No Tailgating.
Unless the Raiders are in town and you're thinking "barbecue in the parking lot", tailgating is a bad thing. It only invites you to accelerate and brake on somebody else's schedule.

Pulse and Glide.
There's a trick to this, but in a nutshell, it means accelerate (gently) up to a certain speed, then back off the accelerator, then start again before you lose too much momentum. You're going for an average speed.

Go With The Flow.
Noticing what other drivers are doing around you will minimize the need to do the Brake-Stomp. If you had to drive with no brakes, you'd be watching what people were doing several cars ahead and behind, not just the car immediately in front of you. Hypermiling actually requires more attention to traffic flow to maintain an average speed, so hypermilers probably get in fewer car crashes, too.

It's a whole different ballgame in an electric car, because you don't have engine compression to slow you down. You can coast a long, long time - provided you don't have regenerative braking - and most EV drivers take full advantage of it.

Regenerative Braking.
Uses your motor as a generator to stuff your momentum energy BACK into your battery as electrical energy. An AC system does this rather efficiently. I've never heard of a DC system that had regeneration worth bothering with. If you've got good regeneration, your driving technique can afford to be less fuel-economical, because you can recapture your momentum energy. There's still a Lead-Foot Tax, but less of a Brake-Stomp Tax. It's not perfect. The motor can't regenerate electricity as fast as you can stomp the brake, so some will be lost.

Eye on the Prize.
Driving an EV is unfamiliar at first, but you have a meter on your dash to help you learn to drive correctly: the ammeter. Less is more. Notice what stomping on the accelerator and going up a hill do to the ammeter reading.

Lower Gear, Better Range.
With series DC electric motors, a lower gear increases the RPMs, which reduces amp draw from the battery (and increases range). Dan Bentler, EV Motors instructor at SSCC, says, "Gas-guzzler engines have a different torque curve than do electric motors. You want to be in whatever gear it takes to get you at the optimum spot on the torque curve. A lot of electric car converters are using series wound DC motors, so use a lower gear, speed the motor up, reduce the amps and save the controller."

Courtesy of Seth Leitman's collective EV Wisdom
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The Bolt has an EPA rating of 128 MPGe city and 110 MPGe highway.

Basically, I’m hypermiling whenever I drive it.
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