API Claims Hypermilers Drive Hybrids "Almost Exclusively" - Fuelly Forums

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Old 06-03-2007, 11:10 PM   #1
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API Claims Hypermilers Drive Hybrids "Almost Exclusively"

BOSTON, Mass -- In a recent article distributed by the Associated Press and published on the Boston Globe (6/3/07)
website, Chris Williams wrote about hypermilers, and very nearly got it right. When he quoted actual hypermilers like Laurie With of Saulk Rapids, Minn., he did OK. But then he somehow drew a wrong conclusion:
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She is part of a small and extremely dedicated group of drivers around the country who call themselves 'hypermilers.' They almost exclusively drive hybrid vehicles [emphasis added]
While Williams does credit Wayne Gerdes of CleanMPG.com with coining the term 'hypermiler,' he missed looking in the 'Mileage Logs' of Gerdes' site where he would have seen the logged results from the drivers of 130 hybrid cars and trucks, 170 gasoline vehicles, one pure electic SUV, and nine diesels. On the GasSavers.org site, hypermilers regularly share tips on both driving techniques as well as automotive tunings shown to increase fuel efficiency. On that site, 'Gaslogs' show 191 gasoline vehicles (including two motorcycles), 11 diesels, and eight hybrids. I really don't think a minorty should be considered 'almost exclusivity.'

After that, Williams confined his quotes and comments almost exclusively to methods that seem risky. He appears to infer that the way most hypermilers get their high gas mileage numbers is by taking dangerous risks. For example when enumerating the constituent techniques, he includes only those that entail words like 'danger:'
Quote:
Gerdes recommends following the truck at a gap of about 1 second; drafting any closer yields eye-popping gas mileage but is too dangerous.
But, one second at 60 mph is 88 feet, or over six car-lengths.

And when describing the technique of pulse and glide, he writes:
Quote:
"you can wind up killing somebody," Gerdes says.
He then returns to the drafting discussion by quoting a Kurt Antonius of Honda Motor Co.:
Quote:
"It may be great on the racetrack to do drafting, but not on the highway," he said.
Infering that hypermiling requires drafting and is therefore irresponsible.

He similarly quotes a Minnesota State Patrol Lieutenant who admonishes the practice of shutting down a cars engine while driving and also discourages drafting trucks at less than a three second interval. The implication seems to be that this is, perhaps, all hypermiling is about.

OK, three seconds at 60 mph is 264 feet or atleast 18 car-lengths. I think leaving nearly a football field between me and a truck is a bit unusual to say the least.

He then suggests another pedestrian, over simplification of hypermiling:
Quote:
Hypermiling, it turns out, looks an awful lot like Sunday driving.
I'm not sure what he's trying to say here. I think he's saying this type of driving is disappointing and not really very exciting after all.

I think the article was a nice first attempt at describing the iconoclastic techniques that are hypermiling, but the slanted criticism seems to dilute its informational value.
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Old 06-04-2007, 04:52 AM   #2
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Yes, well said. And it's not better copy, it's 'better' copy.
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Old 06-04-2007, 05:54 AM   #3
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I felt much the same way when I did my press gig. I dont think I will be doing anymore press.

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Old 06-04-2007, 06:41 AM   #4
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"On highways, she stays in the right lane and watches the big SUVs zoom past."

We were on the highway this weekend and people were driving faster than I have ever seen. I mean CRAZY fast. I drive the speed limit and usually pass at least a few cars. This weekend, I passed practically noooobody, and hundreds of people just BLEW by me. So much for higher gas prices driving any sort of behavior change...
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Old 06-04-2007, 06:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
"On highways, she stays in the right lane and watches the big SUVs zoom past."

We were on the highway this weekend and people were driving faster than I have ever seen. I mean CRAZY fast. I drive the speed limit and usually pass at least a few cars. This weekend, I passed practically noooobody, and hundreds of people just BLEW by me. So much for higher gas prices driving any sort of behavior change...
Gas prices have dropped 10 cents here since the holiday. Crisis is over back to buisness as usual. There was a Biker rally here this weekend. Thousands of "RUBS" on their Harley's without mufflers driving all night long. Gotta love it.
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Old 06-04-2007, 12:59 PM   #6
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dorkiest. term. ever.

i grandma my shiz cuz i'm poor bichez!
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I think if i could get that type of FE i would have no problem driving a dildo shaped car.
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Old 06-05-2007, 11:21 PM   #7
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I read that same artical, and thought it was bad, but figured no one else would read it because it was a Minnasota news paper, and seemed to be about a few people from that state.
it's to bad that only people who drive hybrids care about not wasting as much... wait hybrids are mostly just a marketing tool, want to save gas? buy a smaller car... wait! buy a hybrid!
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