Excellent fuel economy is the cornerstone of hybrid vehicles but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to improve those figures even more. By following a few simple tips, hybrid owners can truly maximize their cars efficiency.
First, hybrid drivers should understand the benefits of a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) and how to use it to their advantage. Accelerating with the engine, and then once the desired speed is reached, switching to electric mode for cruising will use the least amount of gas and electricity.
Stop reading text messages and start reading the road. By paying attention to what’s happening ahead of you, you’ll be able to back off the gas pedal earlier and brake more gently. This will allow the regenerative braking system, which almost all hybrids use, to supply more power back to the battery.
Also be sure to use accessories in moderation. In saying this, feel free to crank up the air-conditioner in the middle of summer, but opt out of it on cooler summer days. In addition, by putting your hybrid in “eco” mode, air conditioning and other accessory settings will be changed so they use less power.
One final tip is to use EV modes the right way. Even though Toyota says the Prius can only get up to 25 mph in EV mode, it can run in EV mode up to 40 mph if you accelerate with the gas and then back off and cruise in EV.
Keep in mind that these driving techniques should help, but that mileage gained will vary. Some weeks you may achieve figures better than EPA estimates and others you may not. Test out these tips to see which one applies best to maximizing fuel efficiency of your hybrid.