December 26, 2008

How to Conserve More Fuel with Hybrid Cars?

How to Conserve More Fuel with Hybrid Cars?

Most hybrid cars are made for fuel efficiency but you can further squeeze extra miles out of a gallon of gasoline buy adapting the same good driving habits you do in your gasoline-engine vehicles.

1. Go easy on the brakes. Your hybrid car has the regenerative braking system that recaptures the energy lost from braking and stores it back to your batteries. If you brake slowly, you give your electric motor more time to store power thus, recovering more energy back to the batteries. If you brake hard and abrupt, the regenerative braking system will not be able to recapture much of this energy and your brakes will take most of the work.

2. Drive at slow speed. When you drive at a slow speed, you are running the electric motor. This saves a lot of gas. Also high speed driving requires your engine to produce extra power to drive the car forward and push it through the air. This consumes more gas just to overcome the aerodynamic drag. (Take note: the air is much denser on snowy, rainy, and slushy conditions. This makes the engine consumes more fuel to push the vehicle through the air.)

3. Avoid quick acceleration. The electric motor can only give your car a certain amount of power. When you require more speed and step on the gas pedal, the combustion engine kicks in to provide that extra speed you need, thus consuming more fuel. Quick acceleration in gasoline- or diesel-engine car wastes a lot of energy and so with hybrid vehicles. If you need to accelerate, do it gradually if possible.

4. Check your tire pressure. Tires are made to improve safety and the quality of the ride. It is not actually made for efficiency but you can actually use the tire to significantly improve your gas mileage. Use and maintain the maximum recommended tire pressure for your car on the sidewall and not the psi supplied by the manufacturer on the doorframe. Also use low-resistance tires for better mileage.

5. Avoid rush hour. Stop-and-go traffic consumes a lot of gas.

6. Use low octane gasoline. Not only it is cheaper, vehicles are actually designed to run well on low octane gas. Check your manual.

7. Glide. If you are comfortable with driving back and forth to neutral, you can get the best out of your speed. Coasting in neutral gives you a longer cruise and better use of energy.

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