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Meet the world’s best hypermilers. John and Helen Taylor, an Australian couple, have set 88 world records for blowing fuel efficiency numbers out of the water. They recently drove from Houston, Texas, to Sterling, Virginia, in a manual 2012 VW Passat SE TDI diesel. They got 1,626 miles to a tank of fuel. Miles. (Handout)
Meet the world’s best hypermilers. John and Helen Taylor, an Australian couple, have set 88 world records for blowing fuel efficiency numbers out of the water. They recently drove from Houston, Texas, to Sterling, Virginia, in a manual 2012 VW Passat SE TDI diesel. They got 1,626 miles to a tank of fuel. Miles. (Handout)

Drive, She Said

Hypermiling without AC: no sweat Add to ...

Lorraine Sommerfeld is hypermiling her way across Canada: aiming to drive across the country on six tanks of gas. Get the full story here and follow her progress with daily updates on this site and via Twitter @Globe_Drive

No air conditioning sucks. I didn’t think I’d care, but sometimes...

We had another drafting discussion yesterday; I misspoke on it reducing the truck’s fuel efficiency (I stand corrected; thanks, Peter Cheney). An RV passed us towing a car. Physics, again. Once the thing is moving, it’s simply heavier. But getting it going would take a whack of extra fuel on an already expensive mission.

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I’ve done RV gigs and I’ve been discussing with Helen Taylor how many things they do that could be applied to RVs. You’re already slugging up inclines and making slow starts; you have little choice, and they still guzzle gas. So far the main thing I’ve seen for RVs would be the times I’ve been stuck in construction delays, and should have just turned the whole thing off. I’m sure the Taylor’s will be chuckling at my naiveté. More discussions on this topic will follow.

A funny thing happens when you’re paying strict attention to the readout telling you how many litres per 100 km you are getting. The goal on this trip is to keep the number under the manufacturer’s posted ones. Way under.

Most people I hear from and know complain of those advertised numbers as being unattainable. I’m one of them. The Taylors consistently blow the doors off any numbers, any vehicle, any conditions. They’ve gone around the world, through 48 states several times, nearly every country in Africa and Europe, and cross their home country Australia all the time. They do it alone, they do it with small groups; they do it with tens of thousands of people participating. Every time, the results are consistent.

There are times I’m grateful that the car I’m doing this in is obviously part of a campaign. The brightly coloured decals on all the vehicles let people know it’s about something.

In the early days, especially, adjusting to working the throttle with finesse and consistency meant some goofs. I don’t like goofing, and I don’t like making errors on the road. The biggest bugaboo is keeping an even speed, but as the days progressed it got easier and easier. I’ve announced my goal on this trip is to pass someone. Anyone.

We’ll be looking for some tractors in Saskatchewan.

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