Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hypermiling: All Hype or Worth the Risk?

Thursday on the news at 10, I have a story on hypermiling. Some people think in a world of $4 gas, it makes total sense. Others think it's totally crazy. Hypermilers do things like over inflating their tires, putting their cars in neutral and turning off their engines so they can coast down hills without using gas. They'll roll through stop lights and stop signs, so they don't have to stop. Stopping, actually re-starting, uses a lot more gas. The extreme hypermilers draft, too. That's when they get so close to the vehicle ahead of them on the interstate, the other vehicle blocks their wind, helping them move without as much effort.

AAA isn't a big fan of this. If you over inflate your tires, they might rupture or blow. Putting the car in neutral could slow you down if you need to accelerate fast. And turning off your engine completely likely cuts off power to your steering and brakes. So it's far more difficult to control.

But a West Des Moines hypermiler (who doesn't draft, by the way, because he says, it's too dangerous) says he saves 20% on his monthly gas bill. That is 20 bucks a month he keeps in his pocket. He is an actuary, a man who works in numbers and risk every day. And he says hypermiling is definitely worth the risk. Do you?


Anonymous said...

Give these people a break! If you don't want to do everything they do don't. Every little bit helps.

Bob said...

Adjusting the way you drive is only one of the hypermiling techniques being utilized. Several other techniques involve making adjustments to your auto to make it operate more efficiently.