Congratulations! You ditched your less fuel-efficient vehicle, and you bought your first hybrid vehicle. You’re probably experiencing how it feels to get the amazing fuel economy that comes with it. But, you ask, how can I get the most miles per gallon from my hybrid? Funny you should ask, because we have the answers. We offer the following tips, which if followed, may earn you a spot in the Hypermiling Hall of Fame.

The first set of tips applies to any vehicle, including hybrids:

  • Clean out your trunk. Unnecessary weight will reduce your car’s fuel efficiency.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Plan your trips. Pick the most direct route and use real-time traffic to avoid traffic jams.
  • When driving faster than 45 mph, close the windows and sunroof.
  • Maintain a steady speed and don’t drive over the posted speed limit.
  • Avoid suddenly braking and then accelerating.
  • Remove roof racks, bike racks and boxes and that aren’t being used.

Here are some tips exclusively for hybrid vehicles:

  • Use your car’s hybrid information display to monitor energy usage.
  • Don’t put your pedal to the metal. Go easy on the accelerator and press it lightly and consistently to keep the car in EV mode.
  • Use the ECO mode to get better fuel economy.
  • Brake gently and early to allow the EV mode to operate longer.
  • Use cruise control to maintain an even speed.
  • Set the AC on recirculate, which saves energy.
  • Don’t select ‘N’ neutral when stationary in stop-start traffic because it will discharge the hybrid battery and fail to generate electricity.

Using the car’s battery will save the most energy when driving. In city driving situations, accelerate to the desired speed and then ease off the pedal, then ease back on. If you see the EV light come on, you’ll know the engine is switched off and you’re running off the battery.

Hybrid vehicles get better performance in warm weather than in cold weather, so expect better results in the summer than in the winter. In addition, winter driving typically requires using more accessories, such as the lights and windshield wipers. This takes some power from the battery. Have additional questions – like how you can save, come tax season? Contact Toyota of Hollywood today.