I specialize on the driving technique side of things, and there are several reasons that I do it. When I first fell in with this crowd, I was propelled by the sheer thrill of being able to travel farther on a gallon of fuel than I ever thought possible with my vehicle. Saving a buck or ten at the pump is very nice, too.
Also on my list is the fact that our collective oil consumption scares me. Sometimes I look at the numbers and wonder, how can we possibly keep this up? Why aren't we doing something about it? So hypermiling is my way to a little bit to help. I also enjoy sharing my knowledge as I learn to help others curb their fuel consumption, too.
Finally, I think that hypermiling has made me a much safer driver than I was. Not only do I obey speed limits now, but hypermiling requires a level of situational awareness that I didn't really have before. So my odds of getting into an accident are lower, and odds are good that any accident that I do get into will be less severe. (**Knocks on wood!**)
After Katrina, I got tired of waiting for the automobile manufacturers to come out with an inexpensive car that got good FE (and 38mpg "fuel efficient" car just doesn't cut it), so I starting researching and engineering my own.
Primarily to save money, so each of the aero mods that I install has to be able to pay for itself in gas savings. I'm not going to spend $100 on a mod to save $10 worth of gas over the life of the mod.
Secondarily for the engineering challenge for creating a more efficient car, something I consider the car manufacturers selling cars in North America derelict in.
... 'cause gas prices are too high, profits are "obscene", the (hot?) air suffers, and I won't give 'em a dime without a fight!
Me too. I am actually willing to spend more money to make sure I give as little as possible to the oil companies. To me, going to the gas station is the equivalent of making a direct contribution to the GOP (in it's current atavistic form).
I consider this a hobby/invention/creative thing. I never did the car performance tuning thing (unless you count a noisy muffler on a Karmann Ghia), but this dovetails quite neatly into my overall worldview. This is by far the only website I have *ever* participated in to a great degree.
However, my life is too messy to go all out. My pragmatic side still leads me to the gas station instead of the McDonalds for veggie oil.
Your pragmatic side may lead you to an EV, if you can figure out how to build one for your needs.
If I really had the bucko-bucks, I would take a 1992 CRX over to the guys at http://www.leftcoastconversions.com/index.php and have them make me an electric CRX. That was probably my all time favorite car to own and drive. that way, I could have my cake and drive it too.
It is possible to get a 65 mph capable, 40 mile range conversion on the road for ~$1,500 with the right car and with good scrounging of components. Take sa lot of patience though. Cost doesn't count labor, given you'd be doing that yourself. It won't be fancy, but it will do what most cars need to do: point A to point B.
Most conversions using flooded lead acid batteries will do 0-60 mph ~20-25 seconds, top 75 mph, do 30-50 miles range, and cost about $6,000-8,000.
With a very aerodynamic car(eg. CRX aeromodded to hell), it would be possible to do an 80-100 mile range conversion with AGM lead acid batteries, that uses a Zilla controller, WarP 9" motor, does 0-60 mph in ~7 seconds, and tops over 120 mph for about $10,000.
You could also go the route of a small pickup loaded with about 2,400 pounds of flooded lead acid batteries for 75+ mph top speed, 120 miles range(much more range and speed with aeromods) for about $10,000-12,000.