It seems hypermiling and the quest for extreme fuel efficiency is not just limited to the U.S. where fuel prices have taken a big leap upwards the past couple of years. I recently met a couple from Australia who are determined to land themselves into the Guiness Book of World Records by traversing the world, covering 18,000 miles (28,970 kilometers), and doing it by using less than 40 tanks of gas in a Volkswagen Jetta TDI.
Currently, John and Helen Taylor are touring the 48 continental U.S. states with the goal of breaking the current world record for lowest fuel consumption across the 48 contiguous United States of 51.8 mpg. As of today they have driven more than 8,100 miles through 41states while averaging 59.33 mpg. Cost of the fuel consumption so far has been $562.43 with an average of 843 miles (1,356 kms) on every tank of gas. John and Helen are totally optimistic they are going to break the record if they remain focused and stay the course with their “FuelStretch” fuel-saving driving tips they developed with Shell.
The Taylors are an Australian husband and wife team who set a Guinness World Record for driving around the globe on 24 tanks of fuel behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Golf in 2006, and as always, Guinness World Records rules and regulations will be strictly adhered to on this challenge. Approximately 12 official check-in and refueling stops across the country are included throughout the duration of the drive, which is slated to conclude September 26 in West Virginia. The current world record for the lowest fuel consumption on a nationwide drive is 51.58 miles per gallon.
“It will be a great challenge and adventure to drive through the 48 U.S. mainland states,” said Helen Taylor. “We want to educate the American public that by choosing the right car, using the right fuel and adopting fuel-saving driving techniques, everyone in the U.S. can save money, fuel and reduce carbon emissions.”
The couple will drive on a counter-clockwise route including stops in Virginia, New Hampshire, Ohio, Iowa, South Dakota, Montana, Nevada, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Illinois, Louisiana and West Virgina. Some of the fuel-maximizing tactics the Taylors will employ on the road include actions such as avoiding idling and higher speeds, minimizing vehicle drag and performing regular vehicle maintenance.
UPDATE Sept. 26, 2008: Congratulations to the Taylors who set a new Guiness World Record for lowest fuel consumption driving through the lower-48 states of the U.S. in twenty days with an overall fuel economy of 58.82 MPG. Their strength lies with their ability to stay focused on their goal and putting up with each other cooped up in a Jetta (not using the A/C) for the duration of the trip. Would you be able to stay that close to your SO for three weeks?
11.04 Tanks of Shell Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel
Costing $US 653.06
Average 853 Miles per Tank (1,373 Km’s per Tank)
$US 00.069 cents per mile
9,419 Miles driven