We originally posted this on June 12th, 2008. We’ve moved it up to 2016 to make sure more readers see it.
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I now own a smart again! I purchased a 2006 canada1 cdi coupe in November 2015.
Due to the very weak Canadian dollar, I am not stocking the ScanGauge II at this time.
I am still involved with energy efficiency however, and will evaluate the market conditions in the coming months and determine if there is still sufficient demand for (after-market) real time fuel consumption monitoring.
Much has been written about ‘hypermiling’ and the driving style of ‘hypermilers’. The ability to squeeze 80, 90 or even 100 mpg out of my diesel smart car is clearly a good thing when fuel is $1.50 a litre in Canada / $5.00 a gallon in the US. Not only that, but there’s the impact of our vehicles CO2 emissions on the climate. A big impact. About 50% of the average Canadians greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from their vehicle.
There are some really common sense approaches to getting better mileage. And they don’t involve coasting dangerously through stop lights, disconnecting your alternator, letting your car sniff acetone, or strapping hideous and poorly paint-matched cardboard all over your car to increase the aerodynamics. (Don’t ask. It wasn’t me.)
A pretty exhaustive list of both common, and uncommon methods of saving fuel can be found at ecomodder.com… have fun with those 100+ ideas…
The list would not be complete without metrompg.com. Darin, the website owner, first brought the Scangauge to my attention back in June 2006. The site has a wealth of information, and some great interviews with fuel economy pioneers.
Here’s the main hypermiling techniques I utilize day in and day out to get better fuel economy in my smart car:
Hypermiling involves pretty much all of the above as a minimum. There are more, shall we say ‘dedicated’ techniques, but if you adhere to this list, you’ll be more than well on your way.
The reality is this - your right foot and your ego has the most to do with how much fuel your chosen vehicle burns. Even a Toyota Prius or Honda Civic hybrid is no guarantee of fuel savings if you don’t put a bit of effort into it. Or as one hypermiler put it: ‘fanatic’ is what the lazy call the dedicated.
I plan on purchasing a 2008 gasoline smart car for extended fuel economy testing. The gasoline smart may not be as frugal as the diesel, but I’m sure I’ll figure out the nuances of the gasser quicker. I didn’t have a Scangauge in 2005 during the 100 MPG Challenge. This saw ‘NRG SVR’ and I drive round trip across all ten Canadian provinces averaging 3.6 L/100 km (78 mpg imperial / 65 mpg US). I was promoting the One-Tonne Challenge for the City of Abbotsford at about the time climate change concerns started to reach the public forefront.
The best fuel economy I have achieved to date (as of 2008) in the smart is 2.23 L/100 km, or 126 mpg imperial / 105 mpg US. You can read about that here. On my daily commute between Abbotsford and Cloverdale BC, 3.0 L/100 km is pretty standard, except in inclimate weather.
At the time this was originally wrote in 2008, I was working as a fuel analyst for a large trucking company in Western Canada. I managed the fuel purchasing and was involved in all areas related to fuel consumption and sustainability. Indeed, ‘hypermileage’ is where it is at. In 2008, the company was getting close to spending $50,000,000 a year on fuel.
Contact me by e-mail with any comments.