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 charge.
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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