Hypermiling, which has been gaining popularity over the past year, is a method of increasing a car’s gas mileage by changing the way you drive. Poking around hypermiling web sites, you’ll find that claims of 50-60-70 miles per gallon are common. Some of the changes include gentle accelerations, driving the speed limit, less aggressive braking, and trying to avoid coming to a complete stop while in traffic. Committed hypermilers swear that a prominently displayed miles per gallon meter changes driving behavior (we can only assume that academic experiments and working papers on hypermiling are forthcoming). For those without a mpg display in their car, a mental game of “driving without brakes” – in which you try to drive the optimal speed that allows you to avoid using your brakes – is a good substitute.
P.S. We are awaiting the first city employment contract for bus drivers that includes wage bonuses for hitting fuel efficiency targets.