Hybrid vehicles have become popular for the fuel efficiency and the ability for drivers to reduce their carbon footprint. Although the average MPG is already higher than standard combustion engines, there are a few tricks hybrid drivers can use to increase efficiency even more.
Whether commuters are spending a majority of their driving time on the highway or in town, there are always ways to get the most bang for your buck. In this article, we focus on winter driving tricks and tips for saving even more money during the holidays.
Combat the Cold
Even new drivers are aware that cold weather puts a damper on their vehicle’s components. A hybrid’s battery, much like its internal combustion engine, work best when warm. Aside from avoiding a chilly drive first thing in the morning, this is why drivers opt to heat their cars up first.
During winter months, vehicles are prone to a reduction in fuel economy. Hybrids are hit twice due to the additional inefficiency of their electrical components; leading to MPG losses. Regenerative braking is also less efficient during cold temperatures making the combustion engine run more often and for longer periods of time.
So, what can hybrid drivers do to combat the cold and make up for lost fuel economy?
Check Your Tires Often
We talk a lot about tire maintenance and its impact on fuel economy. If your vehicle is equipped with tire pressure sensors, don’t ignore them. When the low tire pressure sensor comes on, don’t hesitate to put air in as soon as you can stop at a gas station or service center.
Tire pressure will be more affected in the colder temperatures, so be vigilant about checking your tires and also pay attention to treadwear. Manufacturers recommend filling your tires a few above the recommended PSI during cold months. You can check the recommendations for how much air your tires need by simply looking on the tire sidewall itself or in your vehicle’s manual.
Use Your Garage
If you have a garage, be sure to use it as often as possible in the winter. It will keep the vehicle warmer during night time and early morning lows. This means less time spent warming your hybrid up in the morning to reach proper temperatures. It also means more time spent sleeping in!
Optimize Your Routes
With our schedules growing busier around the holidays, we are all guilty of wasting gas and time unnecessarily. However, the better optimized your route is and the more planning ahead you do, your car will thank you. Try to plan errands along your daily commute from work to home. Your vehicle will already be warmed up and you can save yourself another trip.
Be Temperature Conscious
We all want to be comfortable while we’re driving, but running the thermostat in your vehicle also leads to fuel waste. Setting the temp at the lowest temperature that is still comfortable helps maximize savings.
If your hybrid has heated seats, take advantage of them to reduce the need for heating your entire cabin. If not, consider keeping a light sweater in your car so you can still stay warm without driving with your bulky winter coat on.
Slow Down Speed Racer
Most of us are guilty of having a lead foot from time to time, but it doesn’t do much for fuel efficiency. Considering hazardous road conditions from the slush, snow, and black ice, it’s advisable to be speed conscious anyway.
Do you have any favorite tips or tricks for increasing your hybrid’s MPG during the winter? Share them with us in the comments! Hybrid Geek enjoys sharing helpful information and advice with our followers, so be sure to share this article with other hybrid enthusiasts.
As always, thanks for reading and we will be back with more all-things-hybrid next year. Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year from everyone at The Hybrid Geek!