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How To Maximize Hybrid Efficiency
The key to a Hybrid Vehicle's gas sipping tendencies is that it's not always relying on the gas-powered engine to propel the car. The electric batteries in the car have enough juice to move the vehicle at certain speeds for periods of time, so the key is to maximize the opportunities for relying on the batteries. Check out this wiki to learn how hybrid cars work. Some tips are below and please add your own:
- Avoid driving in windy, snowy, rainy, or otherwise inclement weather conditions. Poor weather will decrease your hybrid’s fuel economy.
- Avoid driving during rush hour. Ideal driving conditions in a Prius include long stretches of road with few stops and an average speed limit of 45.
- Accelerate as much as possible on the battery before letting it switch over to the engine (if for example you stop at a light, or in traffic, etc). Acceleration is a big gas guzzler in any car, so putting even part of the load on the battery will minimize your most inefficient driving.
- Try to time a well-known route so that you'll hit all the green lights. Do this by adjusting your speed between lights so that you'll arrive just as the green switches, or traffic starts moving. You won't miss every light every time, but reducing the number of times you come to a complete stop will increase your mileage. (Plus, you won't be sitting there twiddling your thumbs on red).
- Try to plan your errands in the most direct route to accomplish all of them in one outing.
- Make sure your tires are fully pumped. Incorrect tire pressure is responsible for the production of an additional 18.4 metric tons of CO2 which end up in the atmosphere each year.
- Take your foot off the gas pedal as soon as you know you need to slow down.
- Maximize the “glide” action of the vehicle. The speed range which works bests for the “pulse and glide” technique is between 30 and 40 miles per hour. When driving less that 40 mph, gliding can occur with the engine off; above 40 mph, the engine will spin even when it’s off. Pulsing refers to gently holding the accelerator down after reaching the appropriate speed. After a brief pulse, ease up and glide. Repeat as needed.
- Don't speed! The faster you go, the more gas you use. If you decide to "pulse and glide" you might gently accelerate about the speed limit, then glide on the battery as far as you can. Gentle acceleration is key.
- Driving on hilly roads: Instead of trying to maintain one speed up and down the hills, let yourself speed up a bit going down and slow down a bit going up. Just be careful not to speed or anger the cars behind you - they probably won't appreciate the technique.
- Don't run your heater or A/C. This is a bit more extreme, depending on where you live. Roll down the windows and wear gloves or a hat in the winter. Rolling down your windows is better (mileage-wise) than using the A/C (although at faster speeds, like on the highway, opening your windows can increase drag). Bring a beverage either way, preferably in a reusable mug!
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