I bought my little pick-up truck in 2002. I chose a pick-up for the flexibility of haulage, as I lived out of town at the time on an acreage, and I needed the payload space. However, I also chose a manual transmission and a 4-cylinder engine out of a desire for fuel economy. My little truck has been the best of both worlds... loads of flexibility and decent gas mileage.
However, after reading an article on hypermiling on Wired, I decided last week to see if I could improve my fuel efficiency by changing how I drive. I'm not an aggressive driver, and if I speed, I don't go over 15 kms over the posted limit (more as a nod to legality than efficiency) but there are areas where I could improve. I decided to trial some of the new driving techniques referred to in the article and associated references.
I dropped conscientiously down to the speed limit. I dropped into neutral and coasted down hills, I avoided sudden starts and accelerated slowly and smoothly. I turned my ignition off at intersections. I did this for one week.
I was able to get one extra commute to work and back out of the remaining half-tank of gas that I experimented with. Usually a tank of fuel lasts me two weeks; I will need to fuel up Monday on my way home from work rather then last Friday as usual. That's three less trips to the gas station over the next year, that's an extra $240 in my pocket. (Think of all the extra yarn that would buy!) And all that with only a one week trial.
Tonight I will fuel up again, and play the game for the whole tank of fuel; the results so far have me curious to see what the peak efficiency of my little truck is. Game on.
(My husband plays the same game with his car, often able to go over 1,000 kms on a single tank, but since he drives a hybrid, I can hardly compare our results.)