Hypermilers Laughing All the Way to the Bank, Pump

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Hypermiling: Obsessive? Maybe. Cost-effective? Absolutely.

    With the economy in the tank, maximizing miles per gallon has a new appeal.

    Years ago, when we first heard about hypermilers, drivers who employ various techniques to stretch their MPG to the limit, we wrote them off as eccentric hybrid lovers who need to get a life.

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    Then gas hit $4 a gallon, the economy got shaky and we all lost our jobs.

    That's when hypermilers officially got the last laugh.

    Although hypermiling started off as the hybrid owner's game, the state of mind has branched out to other makes and models.

    Hypermiler Rani Cardona isn't going to win any races in her 2006 Honda Civic, but in the fuel department, she gets 600 miles on a full tank of gas. That beats Honda's estimates by 15 miles per gallon.

    "That's our goal -- to beat the EPA -- to crush it," Cardona said.

    According to hypermiling.com, you're only six steps away from crushing EPA estimates on your own car:

    1. Start recording your gas mileage
    2. Do you drive aggressively and not know it?
    3. How long are you sitting still at red lights?
    4. Keeping moving in traffic congestion
    5. Slowly accelerate after stops
    6. Your cruise control saves gas (but not by using it they way you might think)