There’s no question that having a hybrid car like the Toyota Prius changes your driving habits. Watching the histogram of your current fuel efficiency flick up and down with every press of the accelerator or every climb of a hill is a constant drain on your ethics. But you end up focused more on the game of getting good MPG from your car rather then simply going fast, which is generally a positive thing. One of my tactics on my commute to Cambridge, for example, is not letting myself ever get in the fast lane. I often end up sitting at 60 mph behind some truck, but that histogram ends up looking GREAT.
I hadn’t realised that there was a term for people trying to force the best MPG out of their vehicles, but there is. Apparently it’s “hypermilers”, coined by Wayne Gerdes (below). He can get 59 mpg from a regular Honda Accord, and up to 180 MPG from an Insight. He has some scary tactics for doing it, though…
This Guy Can Get 59 MPG in a Plain Old Accord. Beat That, Punk
“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”