Putt your way to 63 Miles-Per-Gallon

The average MPG on my last tank was 63.0!  EPA rating on my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid is only 50MPG.  How did I do that?

It takes a little patience, but the answer is simple.  Just drive 60 miles per hour the whole way, and you’ll keep that MPG rating up.  The car’s performance is very sensitive to small increases in throttle at those speeds.

Achieving MPG at that level yields two conclusions for me:

First, people really are governed by metrics.  They say in management school that keeping metrics for how your employees are doing is key to optimizing behaviors, and I think it’s true.  Whether you are measuring bugs/day, support calls/week, or cars washed/hour, we all have a competitive element and a desire to rank at the top of the chart.  For me, when the only metric I had in my car was the speedometer, of course I wanted to get to a maximum speed.  How many times have you heard your coworkers brag about their top speed?  Now, however, my metric is MPG.  And if getting the highest MPG means driving 60MPH instead of 90MPH, well, I can do that too.  What if cars didn’t have speedometers and only had MPG gauges?  Would everyone start to optimize for MPG?

The second thought is that we should create a website for us MPG freaks – www.MPGHiScores.com – where drivers can post their MPG accomplishments.  Rules would be that “scores” must cover at least a 100mile trip and you must take a photo of your odometer to submit.

One thought on “Putt your way to 63 Miles-Per-Gallon

  • August 30, 2007 at 12:22 am

    Previously there have been a lot of complaints because the tests that have been performed to determine gas mileage are not representative of real driving conditions. So in 2006 the EPA decided to revise the tests that they used to determine gas mileage, starting with the 2008 models.


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