Best way to drive for fuel economy

Discussion in 'Prius v Fuel Economy' started by acr1, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. acr1

    acr1 Junior Member

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    I have a 2013 Prius V and my mpg averaged about 43. Now after about 13,000 miles it has gone down some to more like 41-42 and even 39. Once on a mostly highway trip it was down to about 34. Last summer it got 51 mpg in Colorado!

    Could someone please explain how to get better mileage. I once heard about a feathering technique with the accelerator but I don't know if I understand it.

    When the car is first accelerating it's getting around 7 mpg.
     
  2. rdgrimes

    rdgrimes Senior Member

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    The only thing that matters is your average MPG over many tanks. The variation you report is perfectly normal. Do a search and read up on "pulse and glide" driving technique. Keep your tires pumped up to 40psi and stay off the freeway as much as possible.
     
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  3. catgic

    catgic Mastr & Commandr Hybrid Guru

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    ACR1 – Greetings, and Welcome To The Hybrid “Hive,” and the Fight In The War On Petrol Terrori$m.

    At 13,000-miles, your v(vee) is broken in. Therefore, you are already getting the 2± MPG incremental contribution available to you from that area. Your mid-to-high 30s MPG Per Tank-Full fuel economy average numbers tells me your 1.8-Liter I4 gasoline engine is running too often/too much to permit you to reap the full benefit of incremental propulsion contributions delivered from the electric portion of the Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD). At 30-ish MPGs, you are converging on the inherent, stand-alone fuel economy of the 1.8-Liter ICE, as if it was powering your Prius all by itself.

    QUESTIONS:

    · There is “San Francisco,” and there is “San Francisco.” Where in the Greater San Francisco Bay Metro Area are you driving and commuting?
    · Is this your first Prius?
    · How many months have you been driving your v(vee) to reach 13,000-miles on the odometer?
    · What is your nominal percentage break down of City/Around Town/Highway driving?

    QUICK TIPS SUMMARY TO IMPROVING MPG ON PRIUS V

    Pre-Operative Set-Up:

    · "Up-Pressure" Tire Pressures to Max Side Wall PSI – FRONT/Max Side Wall Minus 1 PSI – REAR. Run on Low Rolling Resistance (LRR) tires.
    · Operate with ECO Mode selected on the center console buttons.
    · Drive with “Zen.” That is, “Become At One With Your Prius Hybrid Synergy Drive.”

    Operating-Driving Techniques:

    · Accelerate and operate staying within the Green Bars “Eco” Zone of the HSI, 99+% of the time. Stay out of the Red Bars “Power” Zone as much as you can. Red Bars on the HSI indicate additional swilling of motor fuel, compared to Green Bars “Eco” Zone or White Bars “Regen” Zone operations, which results in an additional incremental “Hit” onto your running MPGs.
    · Whenever the Traction Battery Charge Level permits, accelerate from Dead Stops (i.e. from Stop Lights/Stop Signs) with EV Mode temporarily selected on console, and accelerating so as to stay within, and at or around the top of the Green Bars “Eco” Zone. If you had the ECO Mode punched in prior to activating the EV Mode, the car will automatically switch back into the originally selected ECO Mode as you pass through 25 MPH with the gasoline engine simultaneously firing up to continue powering your acceleration past 25 MPH.
    · At every opportunity, apply and use "Hybrid $mart" Freewheeling Coasting, Regenerative Coasting, and Regenerative Braking. Anticipate upcoming Stop Signs, Red Lights, Green-To-Red Light changes. Slow down; bleed off speed, by using Freewheeling Coasting, Regenerative Coasting or by using a Light Touch (Regenerative Braking) on the Brake Pedal, in that order of preference. When slowing or stopping to a full stop, stay out of the Friction Braking Mode for a long as you can (i.e. the “Driving Without Brakes [DWB]” Technique). The Prius will automatically switch into the Friction Braking Mode at 7 MPH and below.
    · Consolidate Shopping Trips. Operate with EV Mode selected (i.e. ICE Off) for Fast-Food Drive Thru ordering and pick up. When someone else is present in the car, leave HSD POWER Button ON with car in PARK for short, ≤ 2-Minute "Out-Of-Car" Quick Errand Running. This will work to keep the car out of the initial, more fuel thirsty, “Reboot/Start Up” Mode following initial Re-Powering Up after you run your quick in-and-out errand.
    · At every opportunity, use Driving With Load (DWL) for negotiating small/short hills/up-slopes. After you crest a hill using DWL, use Freewheeling Coasting or Regenerative Coasting in the White Bars “Regen” Zone of the HSI on the down-slope side of a hill to reclaim “Free Energy.” Learn and incorporate all, or applicable elements of Warp-Stealth, Pulse & Glide, Dash & Coast, and Super "Atkinson" Highway Mode [SAHM/SHM] Techniques into your daily driving practices.
    · Where traffic permits, drive at no faster then 45 MPH in "Around Town" & "City" driving environments. 35 MPH is a "$weet $pot" Travel/Cruise Speed in this 45 MPH & Below Speed Range. For Open-Road/Freeway/Interstate travel, cruise at no faster than the 66 MPH Fuel Economy "$weet $pot" Speed, rather than traveling/cruising at 70-75 MPH or greater speeds.

    If you put some, most, or all of these golden nuggets of "Hybrid $mart" driving savvy into your driving practices, and learn how to start driving your new Prius Petrol Warfighter “Hybrid $mart,” you will start achieving “Stellar,” Max-MPG numbers displayed on the MID readout. Effectively and consistently applied, these tips could help you start immediately seeing high 40s/low 50s Per Tank-Full MPG numbers after your next Tank-Full Fill-Up and Trip A/B Reset.
     
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  4. Easy Rider

    Easy Rider Active Member

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    Please do a little searching on here for previous discussions of fuel mileage.
    There are a TON of them already.

    The essentials are:
    Slow down.
    Anticipate the traffic ahead so that you minimize the number of times you actually have to stop.
    Don't accelerate any harder than you need to.
    Weather is a factor, both very hot and very cold.

    Unless you want to join the ranks of those who are obsessive-compulsive about their mileage........don't worry about minor variations.
    All of the exotic solutions really aren't necessary and the car will do a pretty good job of taking care of it for you........if you let it.
     
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  5. rdgrimes

    rdgrimes Senior Member

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  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Things I've been doing, well trying:

    1. Try to keep acceleration in the 1/2 to 3/4 zone of the HSD bar:

    prius hsd.JPG

    This works on level roads, and won't get your followers too riled, it's a reasonable acceleration rate. On upgrades you'll have to push it harder though.

    2. Keep a generous following distance. When there's a slow down ahead, lift off the gas and "eat" the buffer, avoiding the brake pedal as long as it's safe.

    3. Don't speed.

    4. Stay cognisant of upcoming delays, traffic lights gone to red and so on. As much as possible coast up to stops, avoiding the brakes 'till the last bit.

    5. Encourage the car to slip into "stealth" mode (electric-only propulsion), by lifting off the gas and gently re-apply, while keeping the HSD display to the left of center.

    Temper this with the knowledge that protracted stealth with the HSD near the middle is going to eat up the charge fast. If this is the case, and the charge is dropping quickly, give a little more gas, get the engine to kick in, then coast a bit. Repeat.

    6. Consider getting the block heater. It's pretty pricey when dealer installed (what we did), but the part itself is about $80. (Available here too?)

    7. Last but not least, to ultimately reduce your gas consumption, not just the mpg game, consider:

    * leave the car at home for nearby errands, walk instead.
    * go for outings closer to home, think twice before going on super-long outings
    * consolidate trips
     
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  7. xpcman

    xpcman Senior Member

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    Well 75-80 MPH on I5 will probably get you less than 40 MPG. That's just how it works (Speed Kills MPG).
    65-70 MPH over the Sierras also get's you less than 40 MPG. (Hills Kill MPG)
     
  8. jonb505

    jonb505 Member

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    For me, when i see gas prices climbing north of $1.55 per liter, it makes for a good incentive to leave the car at home if at all possible. Saves me on maintenance as well as gas by driving less. << That's the single best MPG tip I can think of.
    Of course as others have mentioned anticipate traffic, avoid braking or accelerating, obviously be reasonable according to traffic conditions, don't be a road hazard, safety first. (y)
     
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  9. walter Lee

    walter Lee Hypermiling Padawan

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    Plan your route/commutes to minimize required stops(stop signs), traffic, and the risk of having to accelerate uphill from a dead stop (e.g. traffic light). When I time shift my commute when all the traffic lights are turned off and there is no traffic on the roads I can boast my mpg by 10 mpg on my 16 mile commute going to work.

    Avoid using a Prius for short trips (Less than 5 miles/15 minutes). If you have to use a Prius for short trips - try doing all your short trip sequentially within 15 minutes of each other. On short trips to the grocery store my 2010 Prius gets 18 mpg - but if I consolidate my short trips then my overall fuel efficiency can climbs to +50 mpg after the 3rd short trip...

    Drive in warm dry weather (between 60F to 85F) and on smooth road surfaces.

    drive at a slower top speed -especially on the superhighway ...

    Drive in the slow lane on the super highway speed and give yourself more time to travel.

    Don't allow the Prius V HSI display to go into the regenerative braking state while driving the superhighway

    accelerated slower uphill and on flat roads - put the throttle response to Power mode and accelerated so that gas engine is turned on immediately with the electric motor but only barely so- this means that the HSI display is somewhere slightly past the middle of the power spectrum under the *eco* capsule. If you want to get really precise -- connect an OBDII Scangauge II to your Prius V and set up the xgauge LOD (Load)... your accelerations should be between 60% to 80% Load ideally. This is not always possible - but when you can do this -- do it as often as you possible can.

    Accelerate harder downhill - the Prius V is heavier than the Prius hatchback and benefits more when accelerating downhill.

    Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Bad Tires or under inflated tires hurt fuel efficiency.
     
    #9 walter Lee, Jun 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  10. Stevevee

    Stevevee Active Member

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    Just a few of these things have combined for far better and more consistently better mileage for me. The pulse and glide works extremely well, and is probably the easiest way to increase mileage. (I even used this in Florida with a Chevy Cruz rental, and easily achieved a 2-day average of 43 mpg on flat roads with 50 mph average speed.)

    The tire pressure increased to 38/36 seems to off the best blend for me. The car is easier to roll, still rides well and corners better, and it's easier to drive around and maneuver at slow speeds.

    Just doing the above is probably good for 3-4 mpg in warmer weather for me. But the best part is that it's a lot Easier to get better mileage that way. Lately I've been back in the 42-44 range all around. Without our constant hills and wind, I wouldn't be surprised to see 50mpg average if I took my v down to flat Florida.
     
  11. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Pay no attention to the displayed mpg number during acceleration, especially with a cold engine. Acceleration inherently takes a lot more power / energy / fuel than steady speed cruising, that is just basic physics. Engine warmup also requires extra fuel. What matters to fuel economy averaged over the whole trip. To a lesser extent, steady speed cruising numbers are also useful.

    The CleanMPG.com article that made a difference for me, a year before even getting a hybrid, is:
    Beating the EPA - The Why’s and How to Hypermile

    Now that you have a Prius, also read the article:
    Pulse and Glide plus Warp Stealth in the Prius II for maximum FE …
    While some details have changed a bit for GenIII Prius, the overall basics are the same.
     
  12. Stevevee

    Stevevee Active Member

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    Very informative. Of course, pulse & glide works fantastic around town on flatter terrain. I've taken to using it a lot on the highway as well in the flatter stretches, which has proven far easier on the pedal leg in normal position rather than ECO, which can become a burden. I don't look at the mid-car in dash display, but I can tell from periodic glances that the battery discharge tells me why my mileage is higher. I still find the mid-dash display to be annoying, so I've gotten more used to not looking at it very much.

    That article was very informative, as it says "
    This allows little to no loss of momentum via Regen or providing “Electric Only” propulsion to the wheels. The way the “Glide” technique is implemented is that you hit the maximum target speed below 41 mph during your “Pulse”, let off the accelerator just a touch for a fraction of a second to shut down the ICE and induce a touch of Regen (best if you can skip Regen altogether), then press down on the accelerator ever so slightly to achieve and then maintain blacked out arrows all around with the ICE shut down, no regen to the pack, and no pack to MGSet to wheels propulsion down to the lower speed target. The blacked out arrows on the energy screen tell you that you are in or very close to being in this almost coast free state. You will need to practice this in your Prius II as it is not intuitive. I am sure most have probably been told by whomever that Regen is a hybrid’s real technological advance. It can be in circumstances when you must come to a stop before you had planned without the ability to “Glide” much of that distance. Many hypermilers evoke Regen for SoC management, when confronted with an uncontrollable slow down during a heavily congested traffic situation, or when a blown light timing forces an abrupt stop. Just remember that a pure “Glide” from 40 mph and below as well as “Warp Stealth” as described later on in the article from much higher speeds works. With a little practice, you will be able to enter into and out of “Glide” mode at will while just using your right foot on the accelerator."

    This takes practice, and after a year, I'm still not perfect at it. But our hills make it a lot harder to do. Overall, I'll bet P&G gives me an average of 2 to 4 mpg more depending on the trip.
     
  13. Roy & Renea

    Roy & Renea New Member

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    We just bought our 2015 Prius two yesterday. We bought it in Dallas and drove home here to Florida and we got 51 mpg....
     
  14. J L

    J L Junior Member

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    Staying at a constant speed for as long as possible works as well in my experience. I always drive within the flow of traffic and avoid heavy acceleration and braking. All in all, I get 52 MPG average without driving like a grandma or driving like a speed demon; I simply aim for sensible and safe driving with my Prius v daily driver. But it might be too early for me to actually state that I'm beating official MPG figures.

    I think, as long as you can drive normally without excessive speeding and braking, the hybrid synergy drive control unit will quickly adapt to your driving style and yield the best MPG results it can.
     
    #14 J L, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
  15. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    JL, you have my sympathy living in NOVA as you do (I'm ex-Oakton). Also my admiration for the 52MPG you seem to be getting. As you can see I get ~10MPG less but I live in the rolling hills of NC (I have to accelerate to 55MPH going up a hill for a mile just after I leave our development) and hills take their toll. Driving at slightly less than the speed limit, I average 10MPG less. My best MPG was on flat stretches going back to NOVA. Even the 70MPH on 95 was better than climbing hills.
     
  16. tempehuck

    tempehuck New Member

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    So true about hills.

    All MPG figures I give here are as reported by the car. I've found my car overestimates by about 3.8%, which isn't really that much.

    Driving around the relatively flat Orange County, CA, freeways and up to LA and back on I5/I10 in the evening/night in moving traffic, I get 50 MPG at speeds from 50 mph to 65 mph. Driving from CA to Phoenix, I only get 45MPG, because I cruise control at 75 mph, and because there are more hills, such as going through the Chiriacos, etc. When I'm getting 50 MPG on the freeways, I monitor both the MPG bar on the trip screen, and the green/red ECO/POWER acceleration graph on the speedometer, because even minute changes on the gas pedal can make quite large differences in MPG. You have to pay attention and have a sensitive foot, but with practice (I've only had the car since June 2014), it soon becomes second nature.

    On surface streets in Tempe, AZ, I only get about 46-47 MPG, because you have to keep up with traffic and don't get to just pulse and glide at will.

    Rated at 44/40, the car is supposed to do better off the highway than on, but my experience has been the opposite, probably because in both Orange County and Phoenix, the streets are laid out in square mile grids and have lots of cars and traffic lights on them, unlike the relatively empty country roads in the video posted above where you are free to pulse and glide at will. I have to accelerate frequently, and acceleration kills MPG. But even so, as noted above, I only drop from 50 down to 46 or so on the city streets.

    I keep my tires at 42 front/40 rear.
     
  17. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    The pulse-and-glide technique has been tested scientifically as a very good way to stretch fuel in a conventional automobile. It eliminates engine drag by disconnecting it from the drive train when it's not needed.

    The Prius however, is a different animal. The engine runs when it has to, and stops automatically when it's not needed. That's why pulse-and-gliding the Prius doesn't do much to extend to fuel economy. It actually has to use energy to coast in neutral. The entire system is designed to stretch a gallon of gasoline as far as possible without sacrificing all the other things a driver expects, like reasonable power, interior temperature control and engine longevity. Best practice for saving fuel in my opinion is not to play around pulsing and gliding; just drive like a senior.
     
  18. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I like hills for fuel economy. When I drive in the San Juan mountains of SW Colorado I average 50 - 55 MPG round trip.

    Perhaps needless to say, I pass NO ONE on the way up, and lots of cars pass me ;)
    I choose an RPM around 2500 and up I go
     
  19. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    The only problem with downhill grades, is that there are an equal number of uphill grades in the world. :LOL:
     
  20. rdgrimes

    rdgrimes Senior Member

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    Main reason for the better MPG is your reduced speed. 40-50 MPH is ideal for the v. I used to have an old 4-cyl 4-Runner that could get 30-35MPG on those same roads. Also, the ICE runs leaner at higher elevations.
     
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