Wondering why your hybrid many not be as efficient as the studies claim? You may be missing a few key points on the best driving techniques to maximize your MPG and have a better overall driving experience.
Although hybrids are engineered for fuel efficiency, there are a few things drivers can do to take full advantage of the increased MPG. In this article, The Hybrid Geek provides an insider look on increasing savings and how to get the most of your hybrid.
Highway vs City Driving
Every seasoned driver knows that highway driving requires less braking than driving in the city. However, driving on the highway still requires a certain amount of braking and acceleration when switching lanes, passing, or merging onto/off of the highway.
Although the fix for saving gas may seem counter-intuitive, accelerating a bit more when moving from a rest can be beneficial. The reason for this is simply because pulling away in fully electric mode uses electricity better used for cruising.
Accelerating using the engine instead, and letting off once a desired speed has been reached, allows you to use less gas while accelerating. This translates to cruising in electric mode for longer. This nets a bigger return in the long run, thus increasing your MPG.
Utilizing EV Mode
Many hybrids will only utilize fully-electric around 25 MPH. This stands true if a driver only accelerates in EV mode. However, if a driver takes their foot off after accelerating, hybrid vehicles normally run in EV mode up to 40 MPH, saving gas.
With low speeds where drivers are braking often, such as traffic, it is recommended to gently accelerate as much as possible, allowing the EV to be utilized more often. This allows optimal gasoline usage, such as cruising, instead of use at a stand still.
Be Conservative with Accessories
For drivers with a big focus on gas consumption, be mindful when using the vehicle’s accessories. Always take advantage of the vehicle’s “eco” mode if applicable. The more often you use this, the less power your air condition and accessories use.
Some vehicles are opting to use energy efficient LEDs, but drivers should still avoid using their headlights in daylight. Halogen bulbs will use more power as they draw current. Safety is above efficiency, of course, so use your best judgment when on the road.
Experienced drivers should have a good idea of how to read the road. It is a beneficial technique regardless of your vehicle model. Especially beneficial when it comes to hybrid vehicles, though, is understanding braking.
Regenerative braking is an technology in a majority of hybrid vehicles. It allows hybrids to store power generated from braking and supply the battery with power later on. Drivers who take advantage of the regenerative braking understand the method behind it. Too much quick, last-minute braking won’t generate as much electricity. Drivers who brake too gently or earlier than usual will find their batteries to be constantly charged.
Although it may be tempting to go for the regenerative braking opportunity, don’t put yourself or other drivers at risk. Always be observant of road conditions and your surrounding areas even if you need to brake quickly or harder than usually.
As always, The Hybrid Geek provides top notch service for hybrid drivers who appreciate value and competitive pricing. For more informative articles, be sure to follow our blog. If you need help with your hybrid vehicle, give us a call at (919) 996-0626 today!