Hypermiling is nothing new, but most people, if they know about it, think about hypermiling in a Toyota or Honda hybrid. Ford is working hard to get you to think about their cars, too.
Edwards and the driving team, which includes Wayne Gerdes and several Ford hybrid engineers are driving the Fusion Hybrid from Mount Vernon, Va to Washington, D.C. over a three day period. They began the trek on April 25 and expect to end on April 28.
The 80+ mpg was achieved over 47 hours of continuous driving. The team will continue to drive until the full tank is depleted. You can track their progress through several sources, including YouTube and Twitter.
Wayne Gerdes is a hypermiling expert and is most likely leading the effort to get the most out of the driving.
Ford is competing to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. As part of the event, the team is conducting clinics for media and customers in the Fusion Hybrid, providing interviews and vehicle demonstrations on how simple techniques can make a significant difference to real world fuel economy numbers.
Mileage-maximizing techniques that the Ford team used and recommend to consumers include:
- Slowing down and maintaining even throttle pressure;
- Gradually accelerating and smoothly braking;
- Maintaining a safe distance between vehicles and anticipating traffic conditions;
- Coasting up to red lights and stop signs to avoid fuel waste and brake wear;
- Minimize use of heater and air conditioning to reduce the load on the engine;
- Close windows at high speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag;
- Applying the “Pulse and Glide” technique while maintaining the flow of traffic;
- Minimize excessive engine workload by using the vehicle’s kinetic forward motion to climb hills, and use downhill momentum to build speed; and
- Avoiding bumps and potholes that can reduce momentum
Update: The final numbers: 1,445.7 miles on one tank of gas for an average fuel economy of 81.5 mpg. Ford, Edwards, Gerdes and the rest of the team outdid themselves with this challenge.
Also, Pamela Sorensen from Pamela's Punch (pamelaspunch.com) get a few lessons in Eco-driving from Ford's Chief Engineer for Hybrids, Sherif Marakby.
And another video from the 'final moments.'