Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Hypermiling App – Roger Ingalls

Out of necessity, I’ve become a hypermiler. I am now commuting up to seventy miles a day in a 5,000 pound Ford F250 pickup truck powered by a V10 engine. In the city, I get approximately 11 miles per gallon and about 13 on the highway. It’s safe to say this vehicle is not a gas hog; it’s a fuel sucking Tyrannosaurus rex.

Hypermiling is the practice of driving using techniques that maximize fuel economy. Those using these techniques are referred to as hypermilers. It gained popularity as a result of the rise in gasoline prices during the late 2000s. A month ago I was getting about 380 miles per tank of gas but now I’m hitting close to 470 miles. As a former racecar driver, it is difficult for me to drive in a manner that conserves energy over distance; my instinct is to save time over distance. I’m learning that it takes a lot of awareness and concentration to optimize fuel efficiency.

With all the computers now in our vehicles and in the smart phones we carry, where is the app that can help me hypermile? These devices have GPS and accelerometers so they should be able to coach us with voices commands and advice. Examples: 1) “Given the speed limit on this road, you are accelerating too fast, back off the gas pedal, 2) “The next traffic light will turn red in 5 seconds, left off the gas pedal and coast”, or 3) “the next two traffic lights will stay green for 45 seconds, increase speed to 5 miles per hour over the limit to avoid breaking for a red light”.

All the technology exists to help us save millions of gallons of fuel per day across the country. We just need to apply it in a smart way.

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2 thoughts on “Hypermiling App – Roger Ingalls

  1. I have a little bit of racing in my background too. I went through almost exactly the same thing, but it was my old BMW that allowed me to re-learn as you did. It had a gauge on it that told me what my gas mileage was right at that moment. I could watch it jump down (indicating worse gas mileage) when stepped on the gas. By watching this all the time, I un-learned my racing (and ricky-racer) habits and I was able to get 6 MPG BETTER than the cars EPA highway rating. That’s why I question all these people who are suing Toyota or whoever because they don’t get the advertised mileage.

    I wonder how much gas we would save as a nation if everybody drove the way you described.
    -TomR

  2. Hi Tom. It is amazing how much fuel we can save by just changing our habits. I need one of those MPG gauges so I can re-train my right foot!
    Thanks-
    Roger.

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