This summer I have driven an average of 90 miles each day commuting from Culver to South Bend to participate in the RET program at Notre Dame. I drive a 2003 Honda Element, which is not the best vehicle for fuel economy…or is it?
I started reading some online blogs on hypermiling, which is essentially methods to milk the most miles from your vehicle, regardless of its type. Combined EPA estimates for my 2003 Element hover around 21 mpg, with an estimated 24 mpg highway. Want to know your vehicle’s EPA estimates. Go to www.fueleconomy.gov.
However, you don’t have to settle for these numbers. By keeping my speed at 55 mph on the highway and by utilizing some other techniques like coasting (my vehicle is a manual transmission, which makes coasting easy), I was able to attain a summer average just above 30.3 mpg.
I have managed my mileage on ecomodder, a site dedicated to hypermiling enthusiasts. Just this morning I have also learned about a social networking webapp called Fuelly. Fuelly will track your mileage (and more) and link that data to other owners of similar vehicles, as well as with your friends. Trust me, a little extra time and patience can really pay off if you have an extended commute.