Hybridfest 2008 MPG Challenge

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Hypermilers Unite!

Got mileage? Hypermilers are getting organized and are obsessed about getting the maximum mileage from their vehicles. At the annual HybridFest, fellow hypermilers flocked to join green-car techies and owners from across North America for presentations, hybrid and EV test drives. Whether it is a hybrid vehicle or an old fashion fossil fuel, carbon belching combustion engine. Find out if hypermiling techniques really work as this self styled “mileage obsessor” travels to Wisconsin to participate in a race to see who can travel the most miles with their hybrid.

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How It Works

The annual MPG Challenge competition goes down an open course in Madison designed to simulate real-world driving. The 26-mile route has a realistic time limit set by the coordinators, who prerun the loop and follow standard traffic rules. The average time of multiple runs then has a 5-minute buffer added, and all participants have to come in within that time frame. Many drivers were as much as 10 minutes late, and found themselves disqualified. Contestants were not allowed to see the course before the competition. There are eight divisions, and contestants are judged on the percentage that they score above the EPA estimates for their vehicles. In other words, this really is a challenge.

In the end, William Kenney proved that 109 mpg was possible, even under the tough competition guidelines: His Honda Insight scored 109 percent over the EPA for his car. However, he lost to local Jared Parish’s Prius (pictured below), which scored 99 mpg and 115 over the Prius’s EPA rating. Parish was heavily favored to win the MPG Challenge, since he was a local contestant and a superb hypermiler to boot.

Jared Parish’s Prius winner of 2008 MPG Challenge

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