Most hybrids are still holding a very strong advantage as far as saving gas is concerned. It is one of the reasons why most people actually decided to buy a hybrid vehicle in the first place among other environmental advantages. But with this investment comes the desire to get the best possible mileage from your hybrid over time. Although hybrid engines are specifically designed for efficiency over performance, as the electric motors share the work, there are specific tips you can follow to get more miles for your buck.
An article from Green Car Reports discusses how to make your hybrid a gas-efficient machine. One of their first tips is to use a little more of the gas pedal when moving along. That’s because pulling away uses more energy than cruising, and doing so in the all-electric mode means you’re using electricity that could be put to better use cruising. You can accelerate using the engine, and then “back off once you’ve reached your desired speed. You’ll use a negligible amount of gas accelerating, but you’ll cruise for much longer in electric mode.”
Knowing EV mode limitations is also beneficial. Toyota explains that their Prius, their most popular hybrid, will only do up to around 25mph in EV mode. If you accelerate in EV mode, that’s about right, but if you back off after accelerating normally it’s possible to run in EV mode at speeds of up to 40mph. That can save tons of gas right there. EV mode actually has better gas-mileage around town rather than highway, unlike gasoline automobiles. The same goes for stop and go traffic or slow-moving traffic jams; gently accelerate and use as much of your EV mode as possible. Gas should be used to drive, not while crawling along.
Braking habits are also important. Knowing where you’re going, reading road signs and planning the road ahead is a helpful tool whenever you’re driving, but when you do this in a hybrid vehicle, you can enjoy gas savings. The article claims that most, if not all hybrids have a regenerative effect when backing off or braking, supplying power back to the battery. Last-minute, quick braking won’t trigger the EV mode and uses more gas, but slowing down early will generate electricity.
All of these tips are great for saving gas, and there are many other things you can do to enjoy the benefits of owning a hybrid. However, HEV maintenance is also important and your hybrid deserves an expert auto repair shop equipped with the means and experience for the complex hybrid system under your hood. Contact us today and start enjoying driving a little bit more.