Interesting question. I haven't seen any CVT-specific discussions.
What vehicle is it?
Does its CVT behave the way CVTs were originally intended, choosing an optimum target RPM and smoothly varying the ratio to maintain that RPM, or does it pretend to shift gears for the sake of drivers who aren't comfortable without gear changes? If it does faux-shifting then I imagine you'd do some of the same stuff that you do with an automatic. If not then it should be optimized so that you needn't worry about it. If there are sport and economy modes, choose economy mode of course.
Of course there's plenty of stuff you can do that doesn't involve the transmission, like braking immediately for a red light far ahead so you can go through a green light instead of driving up to it and braking to stop at the red light, not braking more than necessary for turns, not idling unnecessarily, keeping your tires inflated as high as doesn't negatively affect handling/wear/maximum, etc.
Good question Lou, from what I've heard CVT transmissions is they are already more efficient than your standard automatic transmission, so I'd just use a light foot and remember the happy medium on acceleration.
I'm not an expert on CVT transmissions, but on a conventional transmission there's usually a happy medium acceleration rate to getting to your highest gear. The higher gears use less fuel in general, however if you accelerate too fast you could be using more fuel than needed, too slow and you're also using more fuel than needed.
I have a CVT in my FEH. The CVT as mentioned earlier already chooses the optimum throttle position and gear ratio for the amount of torque requested by the driver (via the accelerator pedal). There isn't much else to do. Most of the work is already done for you. Only thing I do extra is I will Neutral glide down moderate inclines.
For hypermiling, the CVT should always be at the ideal ratio for efficiency. As with a step automatic, it is probably best not to dally at the low speeds while accelerating with those CVTs using a torque converter.
Can you change gear manually? If so, there's hope. Pull away in 2nd if you can, 1st gear is only really for parking an/or puling off hills. Then when you get to 30 to 35 MPH, get into top gear (gear skipping is much easier in a proper manual) Also, putting the car in neutral on hills will save a lot too as the car will free wheels faster and further than it would in gear.
I'm thinking about the 2015 honda Fit that will be equipped with a CVT or now a 6 speed manual transmission but apparently no longer gearing on the 6 speed manual.
Probably will wait at least a year to make sure they have the CVT right, honda is relatively new to CVT. My mazda 2 is doing fine at 40.2 MPG overall (EPA 35 highway) in 51000 miles with about 65% highway miles.
Thanks for all the helpful input.
Why not choose a manual? I cant stand auto's, there are 3 types of people that drive auto's in the UK, people over the age of 80, severly disabled people and I won't say what the third is incase I cause offense. I cant imagine having so little input, it ruins the driving experiance for me.
Auto's generally have a 20% increase in fuel consuption and emissions, so manuals could be considered greener too.