How to drive a hybrid for maximum mpg
The whole purpose of a hybrid
is that you can use it like any other car. But there’s a world of
difference under the hood, of course. Now the main reason most of us
buy hybrids is because we’re environmentally aware and we want to save
money on fuel costs.
Here’s how to do it. First
off, do all the things to maximise mpg as you would with any other car,
namely - remove all unnecessary weight, make sure the tyres are the
right pressure, close the windows, don’t use the air-con if you can
avoid it, drive steadily and slowly avoiding sharp braking wherever
possible, and plan your journeys for the quieter times.
As far as hybrids are
concerned, keep an eye on the multi info displays; familiarising
yourself with these will help you maximise your miles per gallon.
Always accelerate as gently
as possible – this will help keep your hybrid in EV mode as long as it
can, which is the desired intent in reducing fuel usage. Smoothly
accelerating then taking your foot off the accelerator until the speed
drops about 5-10 miles per hour, then gently accelerating again back up
to the desired speed will help.
Similarly, braking gently
helps give the regenerative braking mechanism a boost, which again
helps the EV system work longer and better.
When possible, anticipate
your stops in advance at junctions and traffic lights etc. and coast to
a standstill as much as possible. When your hybrid is at a standstill,
don’t select neutral as this will cause the hybrid battery to lose
Hybrid drivers should also
minimise the use of the climate control system and all other power
drawing accessories which use electrical power. The power is drawn from
the high voltage battery and so needs to be replaced by engine usage or
through regenerative braking. Above all, keep it gentle and keep it
slow and your hybrid will go on for a long time – cheaply!
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