Inspired by the story of hypermilers in a Mother Jones article , I decide to bring Erin, my fierce Honda Civic 1995 to a gas consumption test.
What is a Hypermiler?
Hypermilers are a breed of drivers who, notwithstanding the de facto testosterone rules of the road, cruise to achieve the best mileage possible. No need for electrical cars or hybrids, Wayne Gerdes, the protagonist of the article does it in his plain old Accord. His magic trick? anticipation and aerodynamics.
Can you Turn your Honda Civic 95 into a Hypermiler?
My little 1995 Civic, a beautiful donation from my friend Kathy, could already average 20 miles per gallon (mpg) with its 10 gallon tank. In ideal circumstances during our road trip from Chicago to Miami last year, we even managed a nice round 30 mpg. Conditions are not perfect in Curacao where most of the trafic is semi-urban but I felt the need, the need for green.
Relax max, chill bill, an antillean grandma is caressing my rear bumper as I let go of the accelerator a while back. She can read my plate as long as she wants, I have no reason to accelerate since the light ahead of us is still red. I’m rolling in gently and realize that I won’t need to break this time around. Conditions are perfect and I fluidly reintegrate the flow of cars who had passed me a few seconds ago.
400 Miles on a 10 Gallon Tank
Over the course of the next three weeks (that’s how long it took me to waste my tank away), I learn all inclines and declines to accelerate and break as little as possible. Conserving momentum is essential when trying to save gas. My tires screech on a few high-speed turns and I never pass 40 miles per hour but the limits are being pushed.
Ultimately, Wayne and I have different motives. Regardless, Erin will achieve a landslide victory and roll 400 miles on one tank, placing the gas consumption of this 13 year old Honda to 40 miles per gallon.
Next step? Recycling water and harnessing the sun. I heard people have done it.
I left my little dushi island of Curacao for a bigger, more Asian insular home. And I left Erin behind. My little ’95 Honda Civic is now retired with a new owner in the Caribbean. Kathy and Bradley still own a Honda, with half the wheels.