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Old 09-21-2015, 11:16 PM   #101 (permalink)
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I guess my first specific tip is: find out your local regulations. Here, it's illegal to give driving instruction for compensation without an instructor's licence. I used to teach driving as a job, but I let my instructor's licence expire years ago. So I was just doing this for fun.

I don't know how big an area you're thinking of serving, but the other main thing I'd do is scope out a teaching route that you can use for every session. Have the students come to you. Knowing the route inside out is safer, and gives you a chance to use ALL the possible "teachable moments" that apply on it that you might encounter.

My route is a loop that takes about 15 minutes to cover and includes tons of teachable moments. What I did was...

(1) get a baseline MPG (ScanGauge) by having the student drive the route normally
(2) demonstrate techniques by repeating the route explaining as you drive, note the MPG
(3) coach the student & record their new & improved MPG

Last point: plain jane eco-driving techniques only. You'll alienate regular people if you use advanced techniques they find scary or too out there. I never did EOC or P&G (with the exception of two students who already knew about it and wanted a demo). I only killed the engine at long stops for some of the students (based on how receptive / interested they were overall as the session progressed).

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Old 09-23-2015, 06:28 AM   #102 (permalink)
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In the limited time I had to search last night, I was unable to find out anything specifically about compensation. I did find this ->How to Become a Driver Education Instructor in North Carolina | eHow though I'm unsure if it is 100% true due to the website itself.

I have a choice of several familiar routes around where I live although I could get more people to consider this if I went up to Raleigh, which is the state capital 45 minutes north of me. Prius and Insight (2nd gen) abound up there... so they care about FE more. I'm just very unfamiliar with a lot of the city. I may have to become familiar!

I'll check with the DMV sometime this week and get a clear answer of if I can get compensated without license.
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Old 10-25-2015, 02:05 AM   #103 (permalink)
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Before I did any kind of teaching to drive, or to drive better.
I installed the 007 button on the dash!

Just that a simple push of the button REMOVES them from the car(ejection), that makes them be smooth AND do what is being said.
Even if the button is a dummy, (what a pun...)

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Old 11-10-2015, 02:53 PM   #104 (permalink)
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im teaching an 18 year old to drive right now.... fyi terifying

im gonna worry about corners and not hitting everything before we worry about mpg lol
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:55 PM   #105 (permalink)
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2016 Toyota Prius



This one was interesting!

The owners of the car are friends (retired professional couple) and the car is brand new (their first hybrid). They seem to be getting a kick out of the learning curve and enjoying the game of getting good fuel economy.

A credit to the Prius and to them: we did two "baseline" laps, and their results (both the same, according to the SG) were the best of any "regular" drivers I've done this with: 59 mpg US / 4.0 L/100 km. And that was with the A/C on all the time. I was afraid my demo & coaching laps wouldn't show much improvement!

(The owner of the previously discussed Lexus 200h had a higher baseline MPG, but he doesn't count - he was already really familiar with hybrid-specific ecodriving techniques.)

The 2016 Prius encourages ecodriving by providing a numeric Eco Score out of 100 and (sometimes) helpful hints after EVERY drive, eg:



Before we even did the drive, I wondered aloud if the car's coach would agree with some of my coaching tips.

It did not. (More on that in a minute.)


"Baseline" techniques that weren't helping:

- First
the good news: Both drivers were very laid back, with no evidence of the typical bad habit of rushing into predictable stops/slowdowns and jumping on the brakes.

- The less good news was they tended to accelerate so gently that the car used EV mode a lot. I explained why that wasn't necessarily a good thing.

- Also, their Toyota salesman had mistakenly told him that using the transmission's "B" gear (equivalent to downshifting or engine braking a conventional car) would regenerate more energy into the battery, so he was using it often approaching stops & slowdowns instead of just braking with the pedal.

Demonstration lap:

I showed them how using the engine under moderate load to get up to speed is OK, provided you have a clear road ahead and then let off the accelerator early to kill the engine when approaching the next stop/slowdown.

So this was another example where driving efficiently doesn't necessarily equal driving slowly: the average speed of my demo lap was 16 mph, vs. 14 mph for each of their baseline laps. Maybe that was traffic or stop light patterns, maybe not. But I used EV mode less and returned to the starting point with a higher state of charge in the hybrid battery.

No "B" mode for normal deceleration

I explained that you can get maximum regen using the regular brake pedal -- "B" mode doesn't give you any extra amps or volts. In fact, B mode is worse from an efficiency standpoint than regular brakes for normal deceleration because it also causes the ICE to spin up (without fuel) to add extra drag, which means you're throwing away some kinetic energy as heat.

B mode is OK for very steep or extended descents (eg. mountain driving).


The "Eco Score" computer didn't like me, but the numbers don't lie

When we used a bit more gas pedal to cause the engine to fire up during acceleration, the Eco Score told us afterward that we were accelerating too briskly (paraphrasing). Yet the MPG was significantly better on the laps where we did just that.

My guess is Toyota's Eco Score programmers erred on the side of caution, deciding they don't want to encourage drivers to accelerate energetically because it's too complicated to explain that it only makes sense when there is NOT a stop or slowdown in your immediate future. (In that case, EV mode makes more sense.)

Anyway, fun car and good results.
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Old 06-22-2016, 04:34 PM   #106 (permalink)
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Very nice, and very impressive numbers.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:31 PM   #107 (permalink)
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2016 Camry hybrid



Relatives stopped by recently with their new Camry hybrid.

I took it out on the route and the factory gauge said 60.2 MPG US. 20 C / ~70 F. Dry roads. Mid-day traffic.

Pretty impressive!

This is the 2nd Camry hybrid that's done the route. The first one was this 2007:



More details of this car's run here.
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Old 06-23-2017, 10:28 AM   #108 (permalink)
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Very nice! How did the driving experience compare with the Prius' you've driven?
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Old 10-30-2018, 01:07 PM   #109 (permalink)
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WHoops, missed your question.

I prefer driving the Prius. Better outward visibility, and more grounded to the ground than a Camry. I like to feel every pebble.
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Old 10-30-2018, 01:29 PM   #110 (permalink)
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One lap with a 2010 Ford F-150 4.6L 4x4




I took my friend's truck on the ecodriving route in less than ideal conditions.
  • cold start
  • 32 F / 0 C ambient
It's rated at:
  • 14 MPG US city (16.8 L/100 km)
  • 18 MPG highway (13)
  • 16 MPG combined (14.7)
In moderate mid-day traffic, I saw:

  • 15 L / 100 km = 15.7 MPG US
That was with a bit of neutral coasting, and stopping the engine at fresh red lights. I'm sure 16+ MPG city is do-able in warmer weather & with a warm drivetrain.

The truck's lifetime fuel economy (over 150k kms) is 14.7 MPG = 16 L / 100 km.


You know you're driving a thirsty vehicle when...

The onboard fuel economy gauge doesn't bother with decimal places.

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