How to Get 88.8 MPG
By EV World
Bill Kinney has owned three Honda Insights. Every one of them has gotten an average lifetime fuel economy of more than 80 mpg. How does he manage it?
EV World's Bill Moore asked him recently during the AltCar Expo in Santa Monica, California. The video of that interview is available below to our Premium Subscribers. But off-camera he shared some additional advice on how to achieve such remarkably consistent numbers; the car on display is a 2005 model.
Besides learning how to drive the car to maximize its fuel economy -- and most of Kinney's trips are on Interstate and country roads -- he recommends doing seemingly little things like removing the front license plate holder. He also removed his outside mirrors, replacing them with a video camera mounted in the left rear turn signal. It's connected to a small color LCD video display mounted on the dash that enables him to see a wide-angle view of what's behind him. He figures it adds another one mile per gallon.
Kinney also recommends using Mobile One synthetic motor oil, stressing that it's important that if you don't change you're own oil, you have the Honda mechanic use only 2.6 quarts of oil, which is the capacity of the crankcase.
Kinney explained the importance of getting the car into its lean burn mode as quickly as possible, which it enters once the mpg display goes over 100. He does this by getting car up to the desired speed and then slightly letting off the accelerator -- he often does this by driving in his stocking feet because it allows him to better "feel" the car. He also avoids using the brakes as much as possible, letting the car roll to a stop through a combination of engine regeneration and natural drag. This means taking a bit more time and avoiding jackrabbit starts and stops.
His most important piece of advice is to inflat the car's low rolling resistance tires to their maximum rated pressure of 44 psi -- he personally exceeds this and runs his at 50 psi. It makes the ride a bit stiffer, but dramatically improves the car's performance.
To verify his claim, Kinney turned on the ignition of his display car and showed me its odometer readout at about 21.500 and then its average fuel economy number of exactly 88.8 mpg. It was 30 miles per gallon better than the 58 mpg on my 2000 Honda Insight.
Time to check my tire pressure.
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