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Old 07-30-2008, 08:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hypermiling in Europe

Just wanted to give you a perspective on what it's like to hypermile here in Germany.

First of all, gas costs 1.48 EUR/L, that's about $8.80/gal (thanks to high tax rates and the weak Dollar; oddly, diesel is slightly cheaper than gasoline). All the more surprising that relatively few people are hypermiling here, and I haven't found any decent German sites similar to Ecomodder. There is one site where you can compare your fuel economy to others driving the same car, here it is for my car: Übersicht: Volkswagen - Golf
You do occasionally hear someone else turning off their engine at stoplights (and not just the newer cars that do it automatically), and many people do let the car coast down if there's a red light ahead; they teach you these things in driver's ed here. Cars didn't become ScanGauge-compatible here until about 2002, so for me that means I can't wait for MPGuino. The official fuel economy figures are way overly optimistic, based on a very artificial driving cycle with gentle accelerations, unlike the new EPA figures.

In general it's more difficult to hypermile here because the traffic is more dense, frequent intersections, it's often hard to see stoplights from far away, and the stoplight programs sometlimes change frequently depending on the time of day, making it hard to plan ahead. So you often end up having to dump your momentum - ouch. Long cruising stretches like on many American suburban roads are rare.

The speed limit in town is 50 km/h (30 mph) on main roads and 30 km/h (19 mph) on side streets, which means EOC can help a lot. People usually cruise about 10 km/h over the limit. On urban highways it's 80 km/h (50 mph) and in the country there's sometimes no limit.

Ecomods like Basjoos' or even wheel well covers are a problem because the cops are really strict about every modification needing to be officially approved.

The good thing is, there aren't too many tailgaters and I've never gotten honked at. You can tell when a light is stale green because the pedestrian crosswalks will turn red first. And a red light changes to red + amber about 2 seconds before turning green, giving you plenty of time to start up your engine. Very few stop signs, it's usually right-before-left in residential areas. At least in Berlin, traffic jams are rare.

So it's a mixed bag. But at these gas prices it's bound to catch on.

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Old 07-30-2008, 08:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Bearleener -

I saw lots of turning circles in Belgium. Do you have lots of those too? I survived them, but I wonder what the "skillzz" are for using them efficiently.

CarloSW2
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Interesting perspective.

I find it surprising that there's no equivalent fuel efficiency discussion forums in Germany. EM member Groar mentioned the same thing about France, if I recall. I wonder why that is.
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Interesting perspective.

I find it surprising that there's no equivalent fuel efficiency discussion forums in Germany. EM member Groar mentioned the same thing about France, if I recall. I wonder why that is.
it is because the u.s. rocks!! jk, too many people speeding, fast acceleration, idling.
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Neat! But some mods are illegal??? Me and my blue tape wouldn't stand a chance!!!
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenitup View Post
it is because the u.s. rocks!! jk, too many people speeding, fast acceleration, idling.
In other words: more room for improvement in North America, whereas maybe Europeans already feel they are making a good effort (considering the size of the average vehicle, and the proportion of diesels as 2 examples).
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Old 08-03-2008, 06:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
Bearleener -

I saw lots of turning circles in Belgium. Do you have lots of those too? I survived them, but I wonder what the "skillzz" are for using them efficiently.

CarloSW2
We have them in england as well, and most of europe does afaik. They are called Roundabouts here, don't know the german word for them. They are meant to reduce the congestion that traffic lights cause by allowing a free flow of traffic instead of letting each side of a intersection go in a ordered pattern.

As for skills, not sure there are any, you could just adapt any existing ones. The idea is that you only have to look for traffic coming from the right (in england anyway) so as you approach the roundabout you look for traffic coming from that direction and if there isn't any you proceed out onto the roundabout and come of at the intended junction.
They aren't perfect, a lot of them have 2 or more lanes, one in my town has 4. Some of the busier ones have traffic lights on them so people waiting have a chance to get on the roundabout if there is a deluge of traffic coming from the right, which is nice on some, and plain stupid on others.

Here are a couple of google map link to show some "nice" ones in my area
Mountbatten Roundabout
Cooper Dean Rounabout
Annoying 3 Roundabout stretch

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