Hypermiling – a forgotten sport?


A dictionary entry for Hypermiling states that it is the act of driving using techniques that maximize fuel economy. Those who practice these techniques are referred to as “hypermilers.”

Hypermiling is defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as the attempt to maximize gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one’s vehicle and one’s driving techniques. In fact, in 2008, the word Hypermiling was selected as the best new word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary.


Hypermiling, which can be practiced in any vehicle regardless of its fuel economy, had gained in popularity as a result of the rise in gasoline prices during the 2000s. While common techniques can be carried out by average motorists making minor changes in their driving habits, many Hypermilers use more advanced techniques, some of which are illegal in most if not all jurisdictions.

Hypermiling has come under fire from several quarters due to claims of dangerous or unlawful behavior by some Hypermilers. As a result, the Hypermiling Safety Foundation was formed in August 2008 to promote a safety and public awareness program, advocating legal fuel-saving techniques.

In some places, Hypermiling contests have been held to see who can get the highest mpg on a selected course.

A Maximum Fuel Economy contest was held in Elkhart, Indiana, a few years ago where “world records” for the Honda Insight (213 miles per US gallon (1.10 L/100 km; 256 mpg-imp) round trip), Toyota Prius (136 miles per US gallon (1.73 L/100 km; 163 mpg-imp) round trip) and the Ford Escape Hybrid (76 miles per US gallon (3.1 L/100 km; 91 mpg-imp) mpg round trip) were achieved, albeit having been achieved while rolling through all stop signs and having the vehicle tires inflated well beyond recommended specifications! The record for the most miles achieved out of a single tank of gas, with 2,254 miles (3,627 km) from the 13.7 US gallons (52 l; 11.4 imp gal) tank of a 2006 Honda Insight, represents an average of 164.53 miles per US gallon (1.4296 L/100 km; 197.59 mpg-imp) for the entire distance.

Now all that sounds terribly new and “green” and is the sort of fodder that the global warming people love to seize upon, to show their commitment to saving the planet. I am afraid I am with GM’s Bob Lutz who stated that “Global warming is a crock of sh*t.” And have you noticed they now call it ‘Climate Change’ so they are backing both horses in the race – heating or cooling! And to show my true callous nature, if Bob and I are wrong we’ll both be dead long before Bangkok disappears beneath the rising seas, so it isn’t our problem!