A lot of people purchase a Hybrid vehicle for a variety of reasons. A few of the most common ones I hear are:
- It will shave a few dollars off my fuel bill every month.
- It has cleaner emissions.
- It’s cool to drive with the engine off with only the crunching of the tires to make noise.
But to get the most out of the above reasons, one most modify a few driving habits to get the most out of each of these.
First, get used to coasting. Coasting is one of the times when the Hybrid RX is charging the batteries. If you are traveling 45 miles per hour, nearly a quarter of a mile from the next stop sign or stop light is a good time to take your foot off of the gas pedal and let the RX coast. This will cause the gas engine to shut off, and the slight whining noise you may hear is the sound of money going back into your pocket. A great sound, indeed.
Second, when you accelerate from a dead stop, do so by keeping one eye on the dash (and the other on the road!). Specifically, watch the left dial that shows charge in blue, a green zone, and a white “power” zone. If you can use enough pedal control to keep the RX at the middle of the green zone or below, you will max out the battery use and usually keep the gas engine off while accelerating.
In addition, you will notice in the picture above that the RX in this photo was in the “Eco Mode”. This helps with fuel economy by nearly 3 miles per gallon in my tests! Even on Highways!
With these simple tips, I have been able to get between 31 and 34 miles to the gallon without sacrificing the sanity of the drivers behind me. I once traveled 3 miles on batteries alone at speeds up to 35 miles per hour without the gas engine ever kicking on! The road I was on was a major city street (Maize Rd in Wichita, KS) and has a speed limit of 35 to 40 mph. It was very busy and cars were going between 35 and 40. The road also has some nice little rolls to it that helped with coasting.
When I got to where I was going, the MPG displayed 39.4 mph! I was pretty pleased with the results.
If you have any more questions, please comment or stop by the dealership and I would be happy to show you how to get more from your Hybrid!