Yesterday I wrote about five ways to save money on gas. Here are five more, including one that's begging for a virtual slapfight between its proponents and detractors.
Yesterday I wrote about five ways to save money on gas. Here are five more, including one that's begging for a virtual slapfight between its proponents and detractors.1. Start HypermilingHypermiling is an extreme sport for a dedicated sort of driver -- it's not for the average commuter. To be a hypermiler is to take measures that will maximize gas mileage, beyond the vehicle's fuel economy rating, even if it means personal discomfort and odd looks. If you occasionally roll down a hill in neutral, I wouldn't call you a hypermiler. If you draft behind other vehicles on a hot day with your windows up and the A/C off, congratulations, you're in the club.
2. Go Electric
Switching to a 100% plug-in electric car today is a bit of a moon shot. Just try getting your hands on a Tesla Roadster. PayPal founder Elon Musk is the man behind the car that is said to go 220 miles between charges and cost less than 2 cents per mile to operate. For one thing, there's a 15-month wait for orders. Then there's the base price: $109,000. If your price range is closer to $15,000, stand by; the affordable electric car revolution is coming. But by the time it gets here, electric cars will no longer be extreme.
3. Mod Your Prius
If you're among the 1 million Toyota Prius owners feeling pretty good about the 40, 50, or 60+ mpg you're getting, 100+ mpg will surely knock your socks off. Battery maker A123 Systems announced this month that it is taking orders on its Hymotion L5 Plug-in Conversion Modules. Based on A123's rechargeable Nanophosphate lithium-ion battery, Hymotion will turn an off-the-rack Prius into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. It "enables the Prius to achieve in excess of up to 100 mpg for 30-40 miles over a range of up to 40 miles, dependent upon driving conditions." Approximate cost, $10,000; delivery expected November 2008.
4. Mod Your Gas Guzzler
No Prius? No problem. Roll your own electric vehicle with help from Michael Brown's book, Convert It, and a conversion kit from his company, Electro Automotive. Expect to pay at least $10,000, plus whatever you charge yourself for labor.
5. Add A Shot Of Acetone To The Gas Tank
This last one definitely falls under the "extreme" category. In the video below, you'll see a number of common sense tips for doubling your gas mileage, and then a hack that makes folks howl: the addition of a small amount of acetone (the active ingredient in nail polish remover) into your gas tank.
It didn't work for Mythbusters, and Car Talk's Tom Magliozzi calls it "worse than useless." Watch the video and decide for yourself. One caveat: If acetone drips on your car's nice finish, you're finished; it will strip the paint.
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