Four Tips for Getting the Greatest Fuel Economy From a Hybrid
Everyone knows that a hybrid cars fuel economy what makes it one of the most popular choices for new car buyers. A hybrid cars fuel economy is as much as 35% more efficient with gas than the gas-powered version of the exact same make and model.
If you could crunch the numbers, it adds up like this: the average American uses about 500 gallons of gas per year in a gas powered vehicle. Meanwhile, drivers with the exact same driving habits who drive vehicles that are powered by hybrid batteries only use about 325 gallons of gas. If you’re wondering what that looks like in dollars, the average gallon of gas in 2015 was $2.64. If we multiply $2.64 by 500 gallons of gas that a gas-powered engine uses and compare it to the product of $2.64 multiplied by 325 gallons of gas that a hybrid engine uses, we’ll discover that drivers of gas powered vehicles spend approximately $1,320 on gas throughout the year; drivers of vehicles with a hybrid battery only spend about $858 for the same amount of road time.
Just the dollar savings of a hybrid cars fuel economy makes owning a hybrid an attractive option, not even touching the subject of being more environmentally-conscious. However, in addition to the built-in gas savings that hybrid drivers get, there are actually several simple driving tricks that improve a hybrid cars fuel economy even more. If you are wondering how to get the best mpg from your hybrid vehicle, we’ve put together a few easy tricks that anyone can use.
Four Easy Ways to Get the Best MPG From Your Hybrid
- Slow down your acceleration.
A hybrid vehicle is designed for the electric motor and the gas motor to work together in unison to get you where you want to be. However, the more you use the electric side of your hybrid, the better your fuel efficiency will be. You probably noticed that your vehicle is completely silent while you were coasting. It might even be a little unnerving at first — it feels like your car shuts off when you aren’t actually moving. This is because the electric side of your vehicle is doing all the work. When you accelerate, it gradually switches into gas mode. In order to keep the vehicle in electric mode and reduce the amount of gas being used, accelerate slow and steady. This keeps your car in electric mode for longer.
- Drive at a steady speed.
When your driving habits include accelerating fast and then hitting the brakes when you’re too close to the car in front of you, your gas engine is doing all of the work. Meanwhile, if you gradually get to the speed you want to drive at, and then cruise at that speed before slowly coming to a gradual stop as mentioned above, you are using more electric power and less gas power.
Bonus tip: Leaving a larger space between you and the vehicle in front of you is a good way to avoid the need to slam on the brakes. Being too close to the car ahead of you is not only dangerous, it also uses a lot of gas.
- While we’re on the subject of brakes…
Hybrid vehicles are designed to have brake systems that work for you to improve your fuel economy while you drive. The “regenerative breaks” that the friction caused by the brake slowing down the wheel to generate more power that goes back into your electric system. As such, when you brake slowly over a longer space, your regenerative brakes are getting the most juice out of your stopping action. On the same wavelength, by gradually coming to a stop, your vehicle goes into all-electric mode earlier in the slowing process, and saves you gas while making you power.
- Don’t shy away from city driving.
The conventional school of thought tells you that you’ll get the best MPG on the highway. However, all of the tips we mentioned above are used while in stop-and-go city driving. Don’t be afraid to make the most of your hybrid around town!
Do you have any other tips for improving the MPG of a hybrid? Please comment with your wisdom below!