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Independent, Expert EV Reviews & Advice Since 2006
BMW 545e xDrive M Sport Saloon PHEV

How to Maximise Your Hybrid Car’s Efficiency

Car owners are looking for solutions to utilise fuel reserves as petrol prices fluctuate. Your plug-in hybrid car combines the power of batteries and fuel. How you drive, whether driving in town or highway, the weather, and the road conditions all impact how much battery power and fuel you consume. While every car has the potential to get improved miles per gallon, several hybrid-specific tips and methods can help you in your attempts to maximise your hybrid car’s efficiency.

Prioritise Battery Care and Maintenance

The battery is the component that most distinguishes a hybrid from a petrol-powered vehicle. With regular maintenance, a hybrid car’s battery should last the whole life of the car. However, batteries can fail and, based on the brand and model of the vehicle, can be expensive to replace. You cannot repair or replace a hybrid’s battery on your own, so be sure the person who services your hybrid has a lot of knowledge. Avoid completely depleting your car’s battery. It’s best to give your battery extra time to warm up if it’s cold outdoors so that it won’t have to work harder to stay warm.

Utilise Cruise Control

It’s best to use cruise control technology in your car if it has one if you’re frequently travelling on high-speed roads. You can use cruise control to save gas when travelling long distances. The constant motion of your car, thanks to cruise control, relieves the engine’s strain. Since the needs for acceleration are not changing continually, your engine won’t need to use as much fuel and can help you cut down on fuel costs.

Minimise Idling

When a hybrid car idles, it should be using electric power, but if the battery is depleted, it uses fuel but does not generate electricity to recharge the battery. This can decrease fuel economy by as much as 30%. When waiting, turn off the engine and enjoy the peace and quiet. When stopped in traffic with a charged battery, take advantage of the opportunity to let the electric motor do all the work. And when parked, make sure to turn off the engine so that it doesn’t use any fuel at all.

Check Your Tyre Pressure Regularly

According to research, properly inflated tyres can increase fuel economy by roughly 3.5%. Some hybrid owners opt to slightly exceed the advised air pressure level while still maintaining a pressure range below the maximum. Overinflated tyres may have harsh handling and tyre wear. It’s best to have regular tyre pressure checks to identify leaks or evidence of embedded objects. Regular inspections are especially important during the winter when the cold can cause a sudden drop in air pressure.

Ease Off the AC

It’s helpful to remember that running the air conditioner quickly depletes the battery; try running just the fan and avoid using the compressor if you can. Opening the windows will have an adverse effect on your vehicle’s aerodynamics at higher speeds and, as a result, slightly lower its range. This is because a vehicle requires more energy to operate the more aerodynamic drag it has, especially at greater speeds.